~About US~

MISSION: Creative Colloquy strives to highlight the South Sound literary community and build relationships based on mutual admiration of the written word.

Creative Colloquy achieves this in a number of ways, including an online literary site focused on short fiction, novel excerpts and essays, but also including poetry and prose penned by writers residing in Western Washington. CC publishes an annual print anthology teeming with stories by local scribes paired with the art of South Sound artists inspired by the words within.

Our team has helped craft a series of podcasts with local creatives, a noir-themed audio collection, a bad teen poetry zine, and poetry to pizza. CC has also held pop-up literary readings within the confines of an old post office, a taproom, the Knights of Pythias lodge and local bookstores. Additionally, we hold our annual Creative Colloquy Crawl; a large-scale pub crawl styled literary event featuring dozens of storytellers bridging genres, generations, demographics and experience levels. This event brings hundreds of attendees each fall. Other special events are coordinated on a case-by-case basis, always keeping our vision in mind, to act as a platform to help the literary culture and community flourish.

In the time before COVID, monthly reading events were hosted every third Monday at Honey at Alma Mater in Tacoma, Washington. Currently, these are being broadcast via Zoom online meetings. These readings feature authors published on the website, followed by an open mic and occasional live music intermissions. Our gatherings aim to lure writers out from the solitary activity of writing itself to connect with like minds, fuel inspiration and celebrate the love of the craft.

The Creative Colloquy team is a deeply passionate and dedicated crew of writers themselves who invest countless hours and resources into efforts promoting talented scribes in the area. In all of our community collaborations and creative endeavors, Creative Colloquy prioritizes cultivating a welcoming space of inclusivity. There is no toleration of hate speech or other discriminatory practices. We strive to provide a platform where all writers (and listeners) feel safe in the vulnerable act that is the sharing of stories.

The Team

Founder & Event Producer: Jackie Fender (Casella) has been a resident of Tacoma and surrounding areas since she was just a glimmer. She’s an editorial writer with columns among the pages of the Weekly Volcano, and has been published by City Arts Magazine, South Sound Talk, Post Defiance, South Sound Magazine, and Grit City Magazine.

Fender was awarded the 2018 AMOCAT Award for Outreach by an Individual. You can reach her at jackie.d.fender@gmail.com.

The Board

Cat Melaunie  is a Texas Native, Washington transplant. She has a degree in English Language Arts and Writing with minors in psychology and education from McMurry University, as well as an ELA Teaching license in Washington. She is a freelance writer, currently working with Nerdfarmer Podcast and has been featured in Tacoma Strong . Cat has three passions: writing, teaching, and dogs. Cat can be seen locally hosting trivia, emceeing events, and volunteering wherever there is a need. Cat is a downtown Tacoma resident and mother of a 2 1/2 year old guinea pig named Obiwan Guinobi.


Jennifer Preston Chushcoff would have been an astronomer or botanist, but she couldn’t do the math. So, she became an author and artist focused on scientific discovery and the environment. Her diverse work appears in children’s books, anthologies and a letterpress print. Her popup, SNOWFLAKES, won a Moonbeam Gold Medal, and her poetry collection, WA IS WATER, was awarded a TAIP Grant. She writes spooky stories for kids as, “The Fairy Gothmother.” Her visual art has been exhibited in numerous galleries, site-specific installations and public collections. For the past four years, she has contributed her design skills to Creative Colloquy. Born in Southern California and educated at UC Berkeley, she now lives in Washington State where she regularly frolics in the woods and water searching for her lost childhood. Find out more at www.byJenn.com

Say hello: contact@byjenn.com.

DL (Larry) Fowler is an award winning author of biographical and thriller novels. He earned a BA in humanities at USC and an MBA from Cal-State. After a career as a CPA and investment advisor, he now pursues his first love, writing. Larry has lived the past ten years in Gig Harbor with his wife Judi and enjoys spending time with his daughter and three grandchildren who live nearby.

Jonny Eberle is a writer, photographer and filmmaker. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Arizona, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Northern Arizona University. He lives in Tacoma with his wife and three typewriters. He blogs at www.jweberle.com.

Heather Momyer
is a writer, painter, and amateur violinist. Born in Pennsylvania, she has also lived in Ohio, Louisiana, and Illinois, with interludes in Vietnam and Armenia before landing in Washington. She is author of the fiction chapbook How to Swim and the creative nonfiction/literary criticism chapbook Among Friends and Lovers, and has been working on a novel inspired by Leda and the Swan for what feels like forever. Her stories and essays appear in Another Chicago Magazine, The Forge Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, Bennington Review, and other journals. Artwork can be found in Stoneboat or at her website 

Editorial Committee:

Managing Editor: Emilie Rommel Shimkus is a PNW-born actor, singer, and writer madly in love with collaborative, multi-genre projects and publications. Emilie is also on the editorial staff at Floating Bridge Press and is a board member and reading series host for Northwest Renaissance Poets & Publishers. She was awarded a Tacoma Artists Initiative Program grant to produce Tell Your Children, a short-film project based on original poetry and inspired by women in myth, legend, and fairy tale (www.poetryshorts.org). Her poems can be found in anthologies like Creative Colloquy, In Tahoma’s Shadow, and Sarasvati Takes Pegasus as Her Mount. She has been a featured reader, workshop leader, and event coordinator for the Tacoma Poetry Festival, Creative Colloquy Crawl, Poets on The Ave, and several other South Sound literary events. www.emilierommelshimkus.com ig + twitter: onefootonshore.

profile2Elizabeth Beck is an island writer who likes to share scratched-out and blacked-over words. A deep love for the South Sound Region is only exceeded by her passion to expose the immense talent found there. Her poetry and short stories have been featured at WRIST Magazine, Underneath the Juniper Tree, The Laureate Listening Project, The Washington State and Gig Harbor History Museums, TAM, The Washington State Department of Commerce, and glimpsed floating down storm drains. Hold her work up to the light at americanogig.wix.com/elizabethbeck.

Troy Kehm-Goins is a Puyallup poet and artist who has been published in WRIST, Post Defiance, Read Write Poem, and Les Sar’zine. His work is a mixture of the everyday and the mythological, drawing upon diverse influences and inspirations. He has also self-published four poetry chapbooks, the most recent of which is Black Psalms. He resides online at Troy’s Work Table (www.troysworktable.blogspot.com) where he explores books, art, beer, and wandering.

Hannah Hadjes is an emerging writer of fantasy and adventure prose as well as incendiary verse. At age eight, in a history class learning about the momentous Library of Alexandria, she wrote her first story about a little fairy who didn’t like the look of her wings. Ever since then, she has been jotting down ideas and writing short stories between school work and her other hobbies which include dancing, acting, and enjoying the outdoors. She studies writing at Pierce College and is also the student lead editor of the Student Literary Arts Magazine at Pierce. Hannah has always been passionate about leaving the world a better place than she entered it and continues to pursue this goal in her writing.

Jack Cameron is the author of 15 Minute Stories, a collection of flash fiction, Kickstart Your Kickstarter, an e-book on crowdfunding, and Ruin Your Life, a self-help book for hooligans. He is preparing to publish his first novel, A Better Lie. His work has also appeared in Creative Colloquy, Grit City Magazine, and The Pitkin Review. His website, TacomaStories.com covers local businesses and events as well as every homicide that happens in the city. He has an Associates in Human Services from Tacoma Community College, a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, and is currently an MFA in Creative Writing Candidate at Goddard College. You can find him online on his personal website, at @jackcameron on Twitter, Facebook.com/jackcameron He also writes a weekly newsletter called Notes From Table 30 that you can subscribe to at http://jackcameron.substack.com

Jenny Bartoy is a freelance editor and writer located in Tacoma, Washington. She’s a word nerd whose professional passion is to help authors shine while honoring their voice and vision. Jenny’s creative nonfiction has been published in Room magazine and WhipUp. Her memoir manuscript is currently in revision. For many years she wrote the Stumbles & Stitches blog and published sewing projects in books for Lark Crafts, which led to a stint as managing editor for Quiltfolk magazine. Previously, she worked as a project manager in advertising, marketing, and film production. Jenny is a crafty lefty, a garden fiend, and a mama of three. She grew up in France and lived in New York, Austin, San Francisco, Nashville, and Seattle before settling in beautiful T-Town. You can connect with her on Instagram at @jbartoywriter or visit her website at http://www.jennybartoy.com.

Craig Craker is a writer, photographer and editor. Born in Idaho, he spent most of his growing up years in Kirkland and has lived in Tacoma for five years combined. He received his Bachelor’s degree in English from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho. He is a winner of more than 15 writing awards in the last 15 years spent in journalism and college athletics communications and spent time at the Tacoma News Tribune on the sports copy desk. He is an avid reader, a recent avid photographer and a sometimes blogger at travelingthepnw.org. He lives in Tacoma with his wife, daughter and two dogs.