Board Members

LRWN Board

The LWRN Board governs and oversees its operations.  The following people are members of the LWRN Board:

Luke Anderson

Luke Anderson started writing poetry and memoir after retiring from a career managing nonprofit organizations. He calls himself a “late onset writer.” His work has been published in The Talking Stick, The Otter Tail Review, The Northwoods Press newspapers, the Lake Region Review and has received several literary awards. He is retired and lives in Battle Lake. He is a member of the Fergus Falls Writers and a founding board member of the Lake Region Writers Network, currently serving as managing editor of Lake Region Review No. 3

Reba Gilliand is a founding member of Lake Region Writers Network and served as project manager for its 2010 writers’ conference. She moved from the Cities to west central Minnesota in 2001after twenty-five years helping organizations improve their work environment.  She “retired” to the lake area where she, among other things, indulges her passions of writing and gardening.  She has degrees in Organizational Psychology and English, and a certificate in Gerontology. She writes regularly for two regional magazines: Lake and Home Magazine and In Good Company and attends the Fergus Falls Writing Group.

Athena Kildegaard writes poetry mostly, but she has also written short stories, scripts for television, columns, and nonfiction. Her books of poetry are Rare Momentum (2006), Bodies of Light (2011), both from Red Dragonfly Press, and Cloves & Honey (2012) from Nodin Press. Her poems appear widely in literary journals and anthologies. She has received grants from the Lake Region Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board and the LRAC/McKnight Fellowship. She is a lecturer at the University of Minnesota, Morris.  Athena is currently serving as a co-editor of the Lake Region Review and as treasurer of the LRWN. Check out her blog/website at

Lois Reff has published a monthly motivational newsletter since 2002.  She enjoys learning about and writing in the genre of fiction.  She has participated in several Barnes and Noble writing workshops, and the Weekend With Your Novel workshop at the University of Wisconsin.  She is an active member of the Fergus Falls Writers’ Group.  She is currently working on a mystery novel. She and her husband, along with six pets, live north of Fergus Falls by Jewett Lake. Lois is serving as the LRWN Conference Director.

Ann Schwalboski holds an MFA in Creative Writing as well as an MA in Mass Communications and is a writing instructor for M|State Fergus Falls, MSUM, NDSCS and a Mass Communication instructor for SCSU as well as a speech instructor for Herzing University Online. Ann has written articles for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. She most recently published two poems: “As I Read My Rejection Letter” for MSUM’s Red Weather and “Faded Blue Jeans” for Talking Stick. Ann is primarily, however, a frustrated fiction writer who looks forward to a more balanced teaching and writing schedule to finally finish three books: a humorous young adult story, a mystery, and an, as yet, undetermined genre novel.

Ruth Solie has been a librarian for over 30 years, working with all kinds of libraries and in a variety of communities. She grew up in Montana, attended Carleton College as an undergraduate, and received graduate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Chicago.  Her personal commitment is to literature, literacy, libraries, and young children. She has been an active promoter and supporter of the literary arts in Minnesota through involvement with the Minnesota Book Award program, as co-chair of the Spotlight on Books Conference, and extensive library programming over the years. She is honored to work with the writers of the Lakes Region Writers Network. Ruth is serving as president of the LRWN Board.

Ann Hermes holds a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism, a B.A. in Speech Rhetoric/Public Address, and an M.A. in Philanthropy and Development.  She has been a television reporter, TV anchorwoman, and a writer/producer of multi-media presentations.  She currently is the Artistic Director for Lakes Area Theatre producing weekly, half-hour radio theatre shows, which are broadcast on 15 radio stations across Minnesota. She also operates her freelance business, Choice Voice, providing writing services for multi-media productions, voice acting, and on-camera acting services.

David Bengtson grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and moved to Minnesota to attend Concordia College in Moorhead. From 1968-2002, he taught English at the high school in Long Prairie, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Marilyn. In addition to three chapbooks and a collection of 71 prose poems, his writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been heard on “The Writer’s Almanac.” In 2003 at “Poetry Hour,” sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service on the Mississippi River Stage at the Minnesota State Fair, he handed out his first batch of “Poems-on-Sticks.” Since then, he has given away more than 7000 “Poems-on-Sticks” at readings, workshops, and presentations.

Paul Carney joined the English Dept. at M|State Fergus Falls in 1988. During his tenure at M|State he has taught courses in composition, literature, humanities, men’s studies, criminology, and creative writing. Carney has served two terms as President of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English. He is a former fellow and board member of The Minnesota Writing Project, the state affiliate of The National Writing Project. He is the developer and coordinator of Ready or Not Writing (, an online program that invites high school students to submit their writing electronically to college faculty for feedback and support. In 2008, he created the Roadside Poetry Project, a project that celebrates the personal pulse of poetry in the public landscape (Http:// A writer of poetry and prose, his work has appeared in The Lake Region Review, River of Time, The Sun, and The Minnesota English Journal. When he’s not writing, he enjoys collecting old radios, planting trees, listening to jazz, and watching The Andy Griffith Show. He lives on an 8-acre hobby farm in Underwood, MN, where his lifelong quest for Mayberry has ended.

Yahya Frederickson is the author of three chapbooks:  Returning to Water (2006) and Trilogy (1986), both published by Dacotah Territory Press; and Month of Honey, Month of Missilles (2009), published by Tigertail Press. His poems have appeared in numerous national journals. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and Fullbright Visiting Scholar, Yahya is currently a professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

HobergGwendolyn Hoberg is the owner of Content & Contour, an editing and writing business based in Moorhead, Minnesota. Gwen writes for the Classical Minnesota Public Radio website, Fargo-Moorhead Stride magazine, and other regional publications. She is also the co-author of The Walk Across North Dakota, a travel memoir based on hikes in 2011 and 2013. In addition to her editing and writing, Gwen has played french horn in ensembles throughout Minnesota and North Dakota and currently performs with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys arranging classical and pop music for horn and brass ensembles (“Stairway to Heaven” for horn quartet is a favorite).

JohnsonDiane Johnson’s first dream was to grow up and become a writer. After seven decades in coastal California, she has returned to her prairie-Norwegian roots in Minnesota with her husband, allowing time to reflect upon and write about change and transformation, along with her passions – gardening, wildlife and the environment. She belongs to the Fergus Falls Writers Group and writes the blog: She has been published in A & U, America’s AIDS Magazine, Northwoods Woman, and the Fargo Forum.


LRWN Webmaster

Linda Frances Lein has published four books: Mother to Mother: Letters about Being a Mom (1999), Country Reflections (2000), Hannah Kempfer: An Immigrant Girl (2002), and The Making of a Small Town: Carlisle, Minnesota (2008). From 1999-2003 she wrote a bimonthly column called “A Day in the Life of a Farm Wife” for AGRI-GUIDE. The stories were set on the Lein Farm and surrounding rural community where she lives. Linda is primarily a creative nonfiction writer, but she has had poems published in The Rambler, Red Weather and Lake Region Review as well, and she is working on two novels. Linda served on the LRWN Board for four years and although she’s no longer a board member, she has volunteered to serve as the webmaster.  Check out her blog/website at