Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ask the Prez

Hi there!

J.T. Evans sitting here at the keyboard, typing in your direction.

Just in case you don't know the name or person here in front of the laptop, I'll do an intro of myself. Then I'll let you know why I'm typing these words. My history with Pikes Peak Writers goes like this:

In August of 2008, I attended my first Write Brain. The wonderful Linda Rohrbough taught it, and I can't think of a better first-time experience with PPW than her "Tools in the Toolbox" presentation. Chris Mandeville (the president of PPW at the time) picked me out of the crowd at the end of the Write Brain and awarded me a coveted "Writer's Clock" from Linda. The clock still hangs (and loudly tick-tocks away) on my office wall.

After that evening, I attended every PPW event I could.

Bouncing to 2010 finds me at my first Pikes Peak Writers Conference. At a moment of downtime between the last session of the day and the evening meal, Chris Mandeville found me standing around not doing much of anything. After a full day of hectic learning, receiving invaluable feedback on my work in progress, and getting lost in the Marriott (why is Aspen Leaf way over there?), I enjoyed the few moments of respite. Chris approached me and asked if I would be a silent auction guard for a few tables since there were some members of the public wandering about, and she didn't want a small auction item to wander away. I gladly jumped at the opportunity to help out.

PPWC 2011 found me in the moderator chair under the guidance of MB Partlow, and I've continued to moderate sessions since that day. Later that year, MB recruited me to help judge the Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Contest (now known as The Zebulon in a reincarnated form). June of 2012 found me presenting a Write Brain, and later that year, I leveraged my professional skills and volunteered to take over the PPW web site.

I was then asked to join the board of directors of PPW as vice president. In January of 2013, I made that move to the board. In September of the same year, Laura Hayden stepped down as president in a planned transition, and I shifted into the role of president of Pikes Peak Writers. Lots has gone on in the past couple of years for me, and I'm a better person for it.

Now that you know where I've come from to get where I'm at within PPW, I have a favor to ask of you.

Ask me questions!

That's the point of this column. I want to learn more about what's on your mind in the PPW universe. Quite a bit goes into what we do to keep the ship running smoothly, and I'm sure many of you out there want to know some things. How do we do what we do? How can I help you keep PPW a great organization? What's the history of PPW? Who does what within the organization?

These are just some sampler questions. I'm certain your immensely creative minds can come up with more (and probably better) questions.

If you have questions for me, please email me at with the subject line of: Ask The Prez

Within the email, let me know your question(s), and if it's okay if I use your first name in the blog post. Also let me know if you want an urgent answer in private email, or if you can wait for me to queue up the question and get it out here on the blog. I expect to answer 1-2 questions a month here in this column.

Please do me a favor, and restrict your questions to the email address given above. I'll lose track of them if you send them via Facebook, Twitter, text message, or some other media.
Now open up your inbox and hit me with some questions!



  1. I love knowing this bit of history about you! Thanks for sharing!! And for being open to questions! :o)

  2. Great new feature, Donnell and J.T.!

  3. Interesting blog, J.T. and Donnell. Looking forward to future posts, as well as the soon-to-be Q&A portion.

  4. Super feature - bravo J.T and Donnell !


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