President and Treasurer
Mark Allen is an executive vice president at Physical Sciences Inc., a privately held research and development company in Andover, Massachusetts. He is responsible for all business and funding aspects of the Applied Sciences division of the company. When not editing or preparing grant proposals, Mark is a passionate consumer and supporter of literature and the arts. Mark’s nonprofit experience includes his current service on the Board of Ambassadors for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) organization.
Mark has been a resident of Boston’s South End for nearly thirty years and is committed to sustaining the artistic temperament in our city’s community.
Bianca Garcia is the author of the acclaimed food blog Confessions of a Chocoholic. Part memoir, part recipe collection, and part restaurant review database, her blog is a chronicle of her culinary adventures—and the laughs, tears, and chocolate that come with it.
Bianca is an advertising professional—she has worked for Leo Burnett, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and Boston.com—and is now Associate Director of Digital Media at Genuine Interactive. She also has a master's degree in journalism from the Harvard University Extension School. She has served as a social media consultant for Talking Writing since its inception. Bianca spends her free time writing, running, practicing yoga, and catching up with her family, friends, and her DVR. She thinks about dessert constantly.
Susan Cassidy is a donor relations officer at Harvard, where she helps the university build stronger relationships with donors through stewardship, recognition, and engagement programs that encourage and reward philanthropy. She also has extensive experience in magazine publishing, in jobs ranging from proofreader to copy chief to managing editor. Susan holds a master’s degree in English from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s from Tufts University. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, and enjoys reading, movies, learning to speak Italian, and hanging around in cafés drinking too much chai tea.
Honorary Board Member
Michael Steinberg is the founding editor of the nationally known journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. First published in 1999, it is one of three journals devoted solely to literary nonfiction.
Mike has written and edited five books, including Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs From Michigan—a finalist for the 2000 Forward Magazine Independent Press Anthology of the Year and the 2000 Great Lakes Book Sellers Award—and an anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, co-edited with Robert Root and now in its sixth edition. In addition, his essays and memoirs have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. In 2004, Foreword Magazine chose his book Still Pitching as the Independent Press Memoir of the Year.
He's been a guest writer at many colleges and universities, as well as at several national and international writers’ conferences, including the Prague Summer Writing Program, the Paris Writers’ Conference, the Kachemak Bay/Alaska Writers’ Conference, the Geneva Writers’ Conference, and the Chautauqua Writers’ Center. Currently, he is writer-in-residence at the Solstice/Pine Manor low-residency MFA program. Learn more at Michael Steinberg’s website.
TW Staff (Ex Officio)
Martha Nichols is Editor in Chief of Talking Writing. A former editor at Harvard Business Review, she’s currently a contributing editor at Women’s Review of Books. She teaches in the journalism program at the Harvard University Extension School. A longtime journalist and freelance writer, she has published in Utne Reader; Brain, Child Magazine; Salon; Christian Science Monitor; and other journals. As a reporter for Youth Today, she covered nonprofit workforce issues in community-based organizations.
Martha has served on several boards, including that of the Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center (TREC) in San Francisco in the late 1980s. TREC is a nonprofit community organization that promotes arts and culture in an inner-city neighborhood. Martha’s experience as an instructor and facilitator with a TREC women’s writing group is documented in Caroline Heller’s Until We Are Strong Together: Women Writers in the Tenderloin (Teacher’s College Press, 1997). More recently, Martha was clerk on the executive committee of the board for Harvard’s Botanic Gardens Children’s Center.
Visit Martha’s blog, Athena’s Head, for more about her many interests.