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Matthew Lancellotti

Originally from northern New Jersey, Matt has lived most of his adult life in California. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz he joined Out magazine in New York from its inaugural issue, working in advertising and leading their online media team. He returned to California to attend USC, earning his MBA in product marketing, and then his PhD in consumer psychology. He is currently Professor of Marketing (Consumer Psychology) in the Department of Marketing at Mihaylo College of Business, Cal State Fullerton. He has published numerous research articles for academic journals and business-trade and -advice publications. At the same time he has always enjoyed writing fiction, and has done so in fits and starts since childhood. He has finally just finished writing his first novel, and is in the final editing process. He has found tremendous value and camaraderie as a member of the PSWG to help him through that journey.Matt has a passion for geography and weather, and can often be found pouring over Google Earth or scouring radar images and weather alerts. He lives in Palm Springs, a truly inspirational place for writing, with his loving husband and adorable pooch Ollie.


Critique Groups, Write Nites, Midweek Mingles

Kristina Hoffman

Kristina VanKirk Hoffman was born and raised in Northern California. After studying Art History and Political Science at UCLA and Barnard College, she directed Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica from 1984-1988 and Ace Gallery in Los Angeles from 1988 – 1997. During that time, she wrote press releases for each exhibition, coordinated exhibitions, acted as docent to museum tours, provided information and loans of artworks to major museums, placed artworks in significant collections and contributed an article to Flash Art Magazine. She then returned to the Bay Area and began her art consultant/interior design business. During that time she volunteered, chaired the annual fundraiser, and then became the President of Marin Charitable serving at-risk youth. In 2012 she and her husband moved to Sonoma, California where she served on the board of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and was the Chairperson for their annual fundraiser. She was also a contributing writer to Valley of the Moon Magazine. She is passionate about education, fundraising, writing and contemporary art.

Eduardo Santiago

Eduardo Santiago's first novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss was an Edmund White Debut Fiction Award finalist and won Latino Book Award for Best Historical Novel. His second book, Midnight Rumba, won the New England Book Award - Best Fiction. His short stories have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, and the upcoming Palm Springs Noir. His nonfiction was published in the Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, and Out Traveler Magazine. His screenplay, Proof Sheet (co-written) is currently in post-production. Mr. Santiago teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension and Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. He is two-time PEN Fellow and the founder and curator of the Idyllwild Author’s Series.

Cynthia West

Cynthia’s background has been almost completely focused on education, having received her B.A. in English from the University of Tennessee and an M.A. and Ed.M. in English and History from Columbia University.  She has held teaching and administrative positions in a series of East Coast schools, each time increasing her teaching loads and levels of responsibility. She worked as a speech and grant writer for Princeton University. Cynthia is also a Fulbright Exchange Fellow, spending a year at the Antwerp International school in Belgium teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum and researching World War I and World II landscape memorials.  Following that experience, she created a short documentary video, Remembrance and Reconciliation based on Carl Sandburg’s war poem, Grass.  Additionally, Cynthia contributed a chapter and video to the iBook, Bringing the Great War Home, produced by University of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and The American Battle Monuments commission. 
In her earlier years, Cynthia played competitive tennis and enjoyed a decade as a teaching pro. She is a Life member of the United States Tennis Association, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and a certified professional with the Professional Tennis Registry. For the last five years, Cynthia has enjoyed working in Media Services for the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament.
That exposure to the Coachella Valley is what brought Cynthia to Palm Desert, where she plans to continue Fine Tutoring, a service she started in North Carolina where she worked with high school and college students to improve their English and History skills.  She perfected the art of tutoring via Skype sessions to expand her geographic reach and now looks forward to teaching Coachella Valley students while keeping many of her former East Coast students and their siblings.
When she is not tutoring students or writing her first novel, she can be found biking, photographing, hiking and volunteering for the Disabled American Veterans and for the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
You can contact Cynthia at

Kathy Weyer

Kathy Weyer is a writer, having retired from many different professions including Human Resources Administration, Marriage and Family Counseling, and running several non profit agencies. Her experiences in those roles have given her fodder for writing fiction and some fact-based articles that have run in national magazines. A native San Diegan, she recently moved to Palm Springs with her husband of 40 years. She is involved with the Palm Springs Rotary Club, the Friends of the Palm Springs Library, Voices For Children, and devotes her time to creative arts and animal welfare.She lives with her husband and two black labs named Nick and Nora, a black cat named Freddie, who is her office mate and is sometimes helpful, but not always, at the keyboard, and a cockatiel named Socrates.You can find Kathy at or on Facebook at

Judalon Manes

Judalon discovered her passion for history when she was ten. She opened her great-grandfather’s old hump-backed trunk and found a law book and a Texas history from the 1850s. It was love. That love grew to embrace all things antiquarian: books, textiles, jewelry, and furniture, just to list a few. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Anthropology, she went on to become a Social Sciences teacher in California. Her passion for lovely old things led her to extra jobs: opening vintage shops, including a rare book store.
As a child, she discovered her passion for writing when her grandmother introduced her to a Bronte family biography that described Charlotte and her siblings creating tiny books written in miniscule script. Dozens of miniature Bronte-esque creations followed, along with mounds of awful poetry, TV scripts, and plays (none of which ever saw the light of day.)
Finally, the two came together in the creation of Great Crossing, A Forgotten Love Story. Judalon learned about Julia and Richard while developing a unit on US vice-presidents for her history students. “Someone should make their story into a novel!” she told her husband, author Christopher Manes. “That someone should be you,” he suggested.
Where did her name originate? With The Iron Mistress, a book by Paul Wellman made into a 1952 film starring Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo. The not-so-loveable love interest of Alamo hero Jim Bowie, Judalon de Bornay had a name that captivated about a dozen or so daring young romantics, like her parents, during the baby boom. There’s a street named Judalon in her hometown of Houston, Texas.
She is the mother of three miracle children, the lucky stepmom of four, and the grateful grandma of two boys and two girls. She and her husband live in the Coachella Valley along with two rescue cats and too many books.

Advisory Committee

Marly Bergerud

Support and Volunteer Staff

Karen Morison-Knox: Writing Labs

Sydney Knox

Mark E. Anderson

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