Sunday, November 24, 2013

Re-print of Interview with Ellen Schofield, Program Coordinator for NCWN West

Earlier this year, Rosemary Royston, program coordinator for the past couple of years, resigned due to a heavy workload and family issues. NCWN West was without a leader for a couple of weeks, and then an interim program coordinator was named.

It was chaotic for a while as weeks passed while we waited to see who would be chosen. Some of us wondered about the future of Netwest.

I am here to say that we can all rest well. 

The future of NCWN West is in the good hands of Ellen Schofield, Murphy resident, originally from Big Sky Country, Montana. It has been my pleasure to get to know Ellen in the past few months. I learned more about her when she attended one of my classes at Tri-County Community College.
Her ancestors were brave pioneers who headed out west to make new starts. She writes about her interesting family history and about her travels.

She was gracious to answer questions for the following interview.

Ellen Schofield

GB: Thank you, Ellen, for this opportunity to ask you some questions that will help our members know you better. You have recently been appointed Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Writers’ Network West, the only chapter of NCWN, state literary organization.
A detailed job description was created for this position. When you read this, did you find it challenging in any way?
ES: Yes, I found it challenging because I want to live up to it while serving the entire Netwest area (nine WNC counties, north GA, TN and SC).

GB: Your resume is impressive but you also have letters from former employers who highly praise your abilities. What do you see as your strengths that will enable you to best serve the writers and members of NCWN West?
ES: I feel that my experience with non-profits, including the legalities of being a 501c3 entity, along with my technical writing experience, analytical abilities and attention to detail will allow the writers and members to create their magic while I take care of the more mundane details.

GB: How have you prepared yourself to take over the leadership of Netwest?
ES: I’ve done this by meeting members and familiarizing myself with the entire organization. However, I am still in the process of preparing, and I do hope that the members will bear with me during my learning curve.

GB: Have you set any goals for NCWN West or for yourself as Program Coordinator?
ES: I believe that education is never wasted. That’s why I would like to continue with the successful programs already in place while adding new ones to meet other needs. I’d also like to institute an enjoyable and instructional annual Writers’ Conference for the Netwest region.  

GB: I understand you plan to travel throughout the region, meet members and talk with the Netwest representatives. Why do you think this is important?
ES: Travel was a specific request from Ed Southern, our Executive Director. I'm in total agreement, because I don’t know how I can best serve the membership if I don’t know them and their unique issues. Also, I enjoy travel and meeting new people, especially writers.

GB: What message do you have for the members of NCWN West?
ES: I believe that I have been placed in a position of responsibility and trust, and I want you all to know that I am very sincere in my desire to help all writers spread their wings and fly. I am convinced that each of our members is a valuable gem, and I am really looking forward to getting to know them better. I appreciate the many welcoming comments and emails that I have received, and I look forward to being a part of this very talented group.
In closing, I would like to quote the NC Writers’ Network statement of belief because it articulates in a wonderful way why we are unified in our quest to express ourselves in writing, no matter our genre:
“We believe that writing is necessary both for self-expression and community spirit, that well-written words can connect people across time and distance, and that the deeply satisfying experiences of writing and reading should be available to everyone."

GB: My thanks to Ellen for her candid response to my questions. Look for Ellen at Netwest gatherings, invite her to your writers’ groups, and take the time to get to know her. I think we will see positive growth for NCWN West as we move forward under the leadership of Ellen Schofield.

(This post was previously posted August 2013 on now defunct Netwest website)

Glenda C. Beall is Clay County Representative for NCWN West and former Program Coordinator. She is Owner/Director of Writers Circle, and teaches writing at Tri-County College in Murphy. Her website is:


Lise said...

Great interview. I believe Ellen is going to be an excellent leader for the group:)

Jack J. Prather said...

Ellen and Glenda are writers' treasures and we are grateful for them! Nice interview GB - you should write a book of bios. Jack

Ellen said...

Thank you all for your comments and your support.

Glenda Beall said...

Thanks, Jack, for your suggestion, but I'll leave the writing of a book of bios to you. I look forward to the publication of your book of Notable Women of North Carolina and the insightful interviews in that book.

Glenda Beall said...

Lise, thanks for your comment and for reading this post.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Great interview, Glenda.
I enjoyed it very much.

Glenda Beall said...

Thanks, Brenda, for reading the blog.