In the Beginning

Fay Robinson - Founder

BIW Listserv was started in October 1998 by Carmel Thomaston (aka Fay Robinson). Carmel lived in Alabama within one hundred miles of the place where her paternal ancestors settled in the early 1800s. She spent her spare time canning vegetables from her husband’s garden and researching her family history. She was a freelance writer and former newspaper editor. She wrote hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers for publications such as Writers Digest and Progressive Farmer. As Fay Robinson she was the author of three published books for Harlequin Superromance. Her first book, A MAN LIKE MAC, won the Rita award for Best First Book from Romance Writers of America. Her second won a Maggie award from Georgia Romance Writers as an unpublished manuscript.

Carmel handed over the reins to Bonnie Saunders in June 2002 and in July Maureen Wood became the List Moderator. Regretfully Carmel passed away in December 2002 but she remains with us in spirit. In January 2006 the reins then passed from Bonnie to Maureen.

Near the end of 2008, we lost ten years worth of messages and decided it was time to move the BIW community to the official website where the blog and group info reside.


BIW Moderator and Webmistress

Moe, BIW Moderator

Maureen Wood: Members know her as Moe. For the last seven years she has worked from home as a writer and domestic engineer. She writes articles, poetry and has three books in progress. Her writing has been published online and in print. Writing reviews for Linear Reflections and BellaOnline has been a great opportunity to read some of the latest literature and to witness big name concerts. Maureen edited a number of newsletters for WordBeats at WordMuseum for a few years.

She currently spends the majority of her time at BellaOnline’s Large & Lovely site where she writes weekly articles, interviews or reviews as well as running Book-in-a-week and few other sites.

It is a constant battle every day to beat down the internal editor and the dreaded procrastination but she strongly believes, someday soon, she will support herself and her husband on the income from her writing. Maureen resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband of 15 years and their three furry children.

Assistant Moderator

Sakinah has been an Assistant Moderator for over a year.

Sakinah Hofler: After three years of being a participating member of Book-in-a-week writing challenges Sakinah became Moe’s Assistant Moderator. Since January 2013 she moderates at least eight challenges a year.

She writes fiction, screenplays, and poetry. She is an MFA candidate at Florida State University where she serves as the Assistant Online Editor for the Southeast Review. Her work has appeared in Euonia Review and Counterexample Poetics.

BIW Welcome Committee

Elaine Hanna - Welcome Committee

Elaine Hanna: By the time she was ten years old she was writing sappy nature poetry. Through her teen years her forte was meticulously written term papers, in addition to the occasional maudlin short fiction. Her college degrees in biology and theology have taken her writing in two directions. For many years she has written spiritual and theological articles for a number of church publications. Her biology degree kicked in more recently, however, influencing her writing in an unexpected way.

Having grown up on the Massachusetts coast, she fell in love with the ocean at a very young age, and spent summers at the beach collecting broken shells, building lopsided sand castles, crawling across the jetty – though never reaching the endpoint – and holding her breath underwater. The highlight of her beach days was touching a shark with her big toe. Since then she has been fascinated with – and terrified by – sharks. After moving to the land-locked Midwest with her clergy husband and three children, she began to pine away for the ocean. Since she could not live on the coast anymore, she now writes about the ocean and – shudder – sharks via a young adult fiction series she has been writing through BIW these past six years. She is now completing the final revisions for the first book in the series and expects to offer it to an interested agent soon.

She appreciates the encouragement, advice, and friendship offered by fellow BIWers, as well as belonging to a community which prods her to be accountable for getting her writing done.

The BIW Blog

We have four columnists who contribute to the BIW blog.