Stephanie Vanderslice, a professor and director of the Arkansas Writers MFA workshop, has officially begun serving as a director for the 2020 Association of Writers (AWP) board of directors as of Nov. 7. Vanderslice was elected as an AWP board director through unanimous voting in October.
Vanderslice will be serving as co-chair of the Professional Standards Committee, where she will be leading the development of new professional standards and hallmarks for writing programs, which are guidlines that have not been revised for many years.
“I’m extremely excited to be a part of this committee and to have input on a national level,” Vanderslice said. “It’s a really good time to be joining the board [to] support all the new leadership and help to move the organization in new directions that it has not yet been moved in.”
The leadership of the organization itself is undergoing some monumental changes that Vanderslice will be involved with implementing. There are currently 18 people serving on the board of directors.
According to the Association of Writers website, awpwriters.org, the AWP works to provide support, advocacy and opportunities for writers and to “foster literary achievement, to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing.”
Vanderslice, like many other professors, has published several novels and works of creative nonfiction. Most recently, Vanderslice published “The Geeks Guide to Writing Life: An Instructional Memoir for Prose Writers.” In addition to this, Vanderslice also is a Writing Life blogger for the Huffington Post and writes scholarly essays on teaching for creative writing.
According to her biography on the UCA Creative Writing department website, Vanderslice’s fiction and nonfiction works, such as “Can Creative Writing Really Be Taught?” and “Studying Creative Writing Successfully” have appeared in many journals and online publications.
This new position for Vanderslice adds to the many awards and recognitions she has received over the years for her literary scholarship. In 2012, Vanderslice recieved the CASE U.S. Professor of The Year award for the state of Arkansas and in 2009, Vanderslice was named ACTELA College English Teacher of The Year.
“The board makes many decisions that affect the organization and creative writing in higher education as a whole. I'm very honored [to have been selected].”