Board of Directors
The board of directors for the Missoula Writing Collaborative is comprised of teachers, scholars, writers, community planners, entrepreneurs, and artists. They meet once a month and are instrumental in the smooth functioning of all aspects of the Missoula Writing Collaborative’s operations, from long-range planning to fundraising to personnel oversight and review.
Barbie Beaton is a creative nonfiction writer. Currently working on Trouble Land: A Memoir of PTSD, Barbie explores American narratives and gender bias in her story of a common yet severe psychiatric condition left undiagnosed for decades after childhood trauma. An excerpt of this book awarded her the 2018 Montana Honorary Fellowship at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Barbie’s writing has been published in Bright Bones; Contemporary Montana Writers, Brevity Blog, PACES Connection, and various online lit mags. Owners of Big Dipper Ice Cream, she and her husband live in Missoula, MT. Learn more at www.barbiebeaton.com.
Cindy Biggerstaff bio coming soon!
David Allan Cates is the author of five novels, two collections of poetry, and a collection of short stories. His essays and travel pieces have appeared in various places, including The New York Times, and Outside Magazine. He taught for the Missoula Writing Collaborative between 1996 and 2012. He currently serves as Executive Director of Missoula Medical Aid, an NGO that provides public health and surgical services in Honduras, and supports nutrition, agriculture, and business development projects there.
Cynthia Hamlett Manning is a social scientist, currently working for a small consulting company which specializes in training for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. She volunteers as a mediator in Missoula Justice and District Courts, particularly with development of Parenting Plans. Cynthia worked for many years with a land management agency where, as a social scientist, she helped with significant cultural projects with the Kootenai Tribe and the Blackfeet Tribe at Kootenai Falls and Badger-Two Medicine, respectively. She has degrees in cultural anthropology, specializing in Plains Indian ethnohistory. She also worked towards her doctorate in Social Science Implications in Natural Resource Management. Cynthia was a writing coach at Hellgate High School for eight years and coached Odyssey of the Mind for many years. She was raised in a family of avid readers and helped instill the love of the written word with her own family.