Our Board

Wordcrafters is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 

Matthew Lowes (he/him), President, is a writer, a teacher, and a martial arts instructor. His stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Dark Recesses and Anotherealm.

He has traveled widely, from the deserts of Australia and West Africa to the jungles and mountains of South America and Southeast Asia. He has been at times a pilot, a scuba diver, and a rock climber.

He is currently working on a trilogy of fantasy novels, a collection of horror stories, and two roleplaying games. He lives in the Pacific Northwest where every day he pursues the dreams and ideas that are the inspiration for his work.

Christina Lay (she/her), Treasurer, has been writing since second grade when she first knew she wanted to be a writer. Her short stories are published in anthologies like Ghosts at the Coast and Dead On Demand. Her first novel, Death Is a Star, was released by IFD Publishing. Her awards include placing in the Rupert Hughes Writing Competition at the Maui Writers Conference, the Authors’ Venue Novel Competition, the Writers’ Digest Short Story Contest, LaBelle Lettre’s Mystery Short Story Contest, and the PNWA Novel Competition.

She maintains her secret identity by working as a bookkeeper for a nonprofit. She has a dog, and five cats, and her second love (after writing) is photography.

Miriam Gershow (she/her), Secretary, is a Eugene-based novelist and short story writer, who occasionally dips her toe into creative nonfiction. 

Her debut short story collection, Survival Tips, is forthcoming from Propeller Books in 2024. Her novel, Closer, is forthcoming from Regal House in 2025. Her first novel, The Local News (Spiegel & Grau), was hailed as “unusually credible and precise” and “deftly heartbreaking” by The New York Times, as well as “an accomplished debut” (Publisher’s Weekly) with a “disarmingly unsentimental narrative voice,” (Kirkus Reviews).

Miriam’s stories appear in The Georgia Review, Gulf Coast and Black Warrior Review, among other journals. Her flash fiction appears in anthologies from Alan Squire Books and Alternating Currents, as well as in Pithead Chapel, Had, and Variant Lit, where she is the inaugural winner of the Pizza Prize. Her creative nonfiction is featured in Salon and Craft Literary among other journals.

She teaches writing at the University of Oregon.

Rosemary Nigro (she/her) has a background in literature, photography, and art history. With an undergraduate degree in world literature from Yale University, and a master’s degree in library science from Simmons University, her career history reflects a passion for the arts and academia. She’s worked in academic libraries across the U.S. for more than two decades including Yale University, the University of Texas, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon. 

Rosemary is a voracious reader–especially of fantasy, fairy tale retellings, science fiction, and horror. She’s currently working on several writing projects exploring the spaces between reality and fantasy. 

A few of her other interests include jewelry making, including traditional Native American beading techniques she learned as a child, and international cooking–she owns at least 100 cookbooks and claims pomegranates as her favorite fruit. She’s also a member of Toastmasters International and speaks Spanish and Italian. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in Oregon with her spouse and their two teenage children. 

Carla Orcutt (she/her) is a science fiction writer with an extensive background in nonprofits and public service. She’s a former grants administrator at Womenspace and has worked with the State of Oregon as a fiscal analyst. 

Originally from Düsseldorf, Germany, Carla studied economics at Albertus Magnus University Cologne in Germany, then moved to the United States and obtained a Masters in Sociology at Ohio University and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Oregon. She’s been on several nonprofit boards, and the executive director of a nonprofit providing housing for adults with developmental disabilities. 

Carla is a passionate supporter of the literary arts.

Phosphor Emery Alethes (she/they) is a trans and autistic writer and actor. Though she has primarily been a fiction writer, she is currently at work on a memoir/essay/novel hybrid and prewriting for a play and a screenplay. 

Phosphor has extensive experience working in and around K-12 education, facilitating prose critique groups in person and online, and supporting writers and applicants in creative and academic pursuits.

She has acted in several plays and films, and her love of language led her to train specifically as a Shakespearean actor, in addition to contemporary techniques, all of which has subtly informed her craft and process as a writer.

Phosphor lives in Eugene with their daughter; their dog, Gilly; and their fish, Fishy and Swishy, whom they did not name. 

Our founders

Elizabeth Engstrom Cratty (she/her), Founder, is a sought-after teacher and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars around the world.

She has written thirteen books and edited four anthologies, and she has over two hundred fifty short stories, articles, and essays in print. She was Director of the Maui Writers Retreat for ten years and is currently on faculty at the University of Phoenix.

An avid gardener and knitter, she also hikes the beautiful Pacific Northwest and puts her pen to use for social justice.

Juanita Metzler (she/her), Founder, works at Travel Lane County as the Senior Convention Director. In her capacity, she works with a variety of markets such as medical, military reunions, faith-based, insurance, financial and legal; as well as the arts, crafts, and hobby markets and brings a unique view to that organization.

Prior to joining Travel Lane County, she worked in the financial market and as a professional event planner. At Travel Lane County Juanita works with planners as they consider location, speakers, and activities. She understands what the planners are looking for and helps them achieve their goals.

When Juanita is not at Travel Lane County she enjoys traveling with her husband, attending Oregon Duck sports events, trips to the beach, listening to music, and volunteering with many organizations.