Here at the Writers’ Program we’re like family. Linda Venis, our Program Director, and Cindy Lieberman, our Program Manager, keep us “kids” in line and bring us goodies for our birthdays. We celebrate the holidays together and toast each others’ life changes, whether it’s an online journal publication, a new apartment, or a new baby.

The most recent change was last week when the Writers’ Program’s dynamic duo Corey Campbell and Daniel Sanchez took off for New Orleans. Not only are we totally jealous (what LA resident doesn’t fantasize from time to time about taking off on the open road to leave horrendous traffic and high rent behind?), but we will also truly miss them. It was hard to see two insanely nice, funny, and hardworking people go, but like a kid going off to college, forcing them to stay would probably be unhealthy for all parties involved (but don’t think Linda and Cindy didn’t consider it!)

Simultaneously, the fabulous Mae Respicio returned from maternity leave following the birth of her new baby. I filled in for Mae as Program Rep in Creative Writing (Onsite) during the 5 months she was out, but I was recently promoted to Corey’s position as Program Rep in Creative Writing (Online) and Events. Confused yet?

In the interest of clarity, here’s a quick breakdown of each staff member and their current role on the team:

Dr. Linda Venis: Program Director, head honcho, baker of many amazing treats (I still haven’t forgotten her spicy chocolate tart from our mini “bake off” last year), and overall fearless leader.

Cindy Lieberman: Program Manager, team mom, occasional matchmaker, and bearer of large bars of chocolate from Trader Joes (notice a theme emerging?).

Smaranda Gildea: Assistant to the Director, organizer extraordinaire, world traveler, and former American Apparel model/fashionista-at-large.

Chae Ko: Program Representative for Screenwriting, Miyazaki buff, chocolate lover, and our resident expert on all things Korean.

Hillary Hintzen: Program Assistant for Screenwriting, mother to a beautiful baby kitten, our new blogger, and owner of many adorable shoes.

Katy Flaherty (that’s me!): Program Representative for Creative Writing (Online) and Events, foodie, budding mixologist (drinks, not beats), and mother of two beautiful not-so-baby kittens.

Sara Bond: Program Assistant for Creative Writing (Online) and Events, former resident of Japan, sci-fi enthusiast, and first rate apple pie baker (seriously, that thing could win a contest).

Mae Respicio: Program Representative for Creative Writing (Onsite), mom to two adorable boys, published author, and, as Corey Campbell puts it, TMOWITW (The Most Organized Woman in The World).

And, drum roll….our newest staff member….

Kate Sipples: Program Assistant for Creative Writing (Onsite), former resident of South Africa, aspiring novelist, and cyclist. She’s taken several Writers’ Program courses so she’s already “in the know” and we can tell she’s going to be awesome.

So that’s us; our newly reorganized, always fun, and very supportive family. We’re here for you if you need anything, and if you’re confused about who does what, just give us a call at (310) 825-9415 and we’ll patch you through to the right person.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some chocolate I need to try…

Katy Flaherty is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Online) and Events. 

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