Our Crew

The Chippewa Valley Writers Guild is dependent on people: good, kind, generous, thoughtful folks who exemplify what it means to be a good literary citizen for our region.  Check out some of our most committed crew members below.

B.J. Hollars
GUild Director

B.J. Hollars is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the author of several books, most recently From the Mouths of Dogs and This Is Only A Test.  In addition to teaching, he serves as the book reviews editor for Pleiades Book Review and a mentor for Creative Nonfiction.


Cheryl Peick
Web/Graphic Design

Cheryl Peick is a St. Paul, Minnesota based designer and illustrator with experience working in both print and digital design. She is currently working as a designer at catchfire, a creative agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mike Paulus
Online Editor

Mike has worked for over 15 years in interactive media, from producing educational video games to writing/managing content for print and the web as the Online Editor for Eau Claire's Volume One to creating and maintaining websites around the Midwest. He's a contributor to WPR's Wisconsin Life program, and his "The Rear End" column has appeared in Volume One Magazine since 2004.

Brady Krien
Financial Support

Brady is 2014 graduate from UW-Eau Claire with degrees in English and Economics and is currently a graduate students in English Lit. at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. His primary interest is in Midwestern environmental writers and in how they write about place, citizenship, and science. Outside the classroom he can usually be found exploring the environment itself through a variety of outdoor adventures.


Erin Bernardy
Outreach Coordinator

Erin graduated from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in May 2015 with a degree in Women's Studies and Creative Writing. S he is now the Domestic Violence Youth Advocate at the Family Support Center in Chippewa Falls. She gets paid to make super heroes out of clay, perfect her puppet voice, and talk about feelings.  Erin has the opportunity to see first hand how writing and storytelling enables children and youth to foster emotional intelligence, articulate memories, feel empowered to change the trajectory of their futures, and heal from trauma. She wags her tail at the opportunity to meet new people and nurture an inter-generational community of passionate writers!

Karissa Zastrow
Library Coordinator

Karissa Zastrow graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in May of 2013 with a degree in psychology and creative writing.  Currently, one of her four jobs is at the Altoona Public Library, where she is the Communications and Teen Programming Associate.  She also works at a Eau Claire elementary school, the YMCA and at Racy D'lenes Coffee Lounge.  When Karissa does have a spare moment, she is usually writing, reading, hanging out with friends, or planning her next trip.

Erin Stevens
Social Media Coordinator

Erin Stevens lives in Minneapolis where she works as a freelance writer and struggles to understand the bus system. She graduated from UWEC in 2014 with degrees in English- Creative Writing and Organizational Communication, and she loves to visit Eau Claire whenever she can. When she’s not working, Erin’s either writing, eating pizza, playing skeeball, or taking her millionth selfie with her cat, Ollie. You can find her at www.writtenwithflair.wordpress.com


Carey Applegate

Jack Bushnell

Debbie Campbell

Julian Emerson

B.J. Hollars

Karen Loeb

Allyson Loomis

Jon Loomis

Molly Patterson

Katie Vagnino




Jim Alf

Carey Applegate

Debbie Dampbell

Julian Emerson

B.J. Hollars

Sarah Jayne Johnson

Mike Paulus

Justin Patchin

Eric Rasmussen

Rob Reid

Erin Stevens

 Ken Szymanski

Alison Wagener