Listee Features — Writing

Janet McCanless


Learning to read at the age of 4, Janet “Jan” McCanless has been reading and writing all her life, having been inspired early on by her father, who was a publisher. He would frequently bring home advanced readers’ copies of books from work to review, and Ms. McCanless decided that she was going to teach herself how to read them. Not initially starting her career as a writer, she earned an Associate of Science in medical technology from Catawba College and worked in the medical field and as a schoolteacher while raising her three children. Once her children were grown, and she had retired from the field of education, Ms. McCanless returned to writing, publishing her first book in 2005.

Read More »
Elizabeth Osta


With a fulfilling career spanning three decades, Elizabeth Osta is a distinguished educator and award-winning author of several books and essays. At the start of her career journey, she received a Bachelor of Science in speech correction from Nazareth College in 1967, followed by a Master of Science from the State University of New York. Ms. Osta then served a long and successful tenure as a staff training specialist for the Rochester City School District between 1977 and 2001. In 2001, she became director of Better Communication Services, a role in which she continues to excel. Ms. Osta’s writing career commenced with the publication of her first book, “Jeremiah’s Hunger” in 2011. The story takes place during the Great Hunger

Read More »
Jane Mullowney


Jane Lee Mullowney is an accomplished author and artist who has additionally led an extensive career in environmental work. First earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Loyola Marymount University, she began her professional endeavors during her college years, selling her artwork and taking commissions to put herself through school. Following her graduation, she joined Westsail Parts Co. in Newport Beach, California, as the vice president of sales from 1974 to 1975. Ms. Mullowney entered the environmental field in 1976 as a marketing engineer for the Environmental Data Corporation, where she remained until 1978. From 1978 to 1984, Ms. Mullowney was the director of marketing for the Contraves Goerz Corp. During this time, she furthered her studies at the California

Read More »
Wilda Worth


Wilda Worth knew from an early age that she wanted a life that would allow her to have her own career, home and family. Not having any kind of support from her family, she was driven by her own determination to set goals for herself as she worked her way through school at Kinsman High School in Ohio. Going on to pursue a college education, she graduated from the East Texas State Teachers College, which today is part of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor of Science in education and began her career as an elementary school teacher in the Texas public school system in 1951. Throughout her early years as a teacher, Ms. Worth continued her studies through summer

Read More »
Dierdre Timmons


After graduating from the Annie Wright Schools, Dierdre Allen Timmons joined Smith College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1990. She subsequently moved to Brussels with her then husband, who was attending a master’s program there, and began her career as a writer with The Bulletin, a local magazine. When she returned the United States, she joined a small local newspaper in Bellevue, Washington, as a news clerk before going on on to become a reporter with a different small paper. Continuing her studies, she achieved a journalism certificate from the University of Washington to support her career and eventually acquired an editor position at Microsoft, where she worked pulling news stories for Around

Read More »
Sandi Starrette


A certified gemologist, trained by the Gemological Institute of America Inc., Sandi Starrette, MA, holds further certifications in diamond appraisal, colored stone identification and appraisal, and has completed apprenticeships in both gold and silversmithing. She began her career as a fiber artist and jeweler in 1967, excelling in a freelance capacity before becoming the owner of The Golden Scarab, a jewelry store, from 1975 to 1984. While she found great success in this traditionally male dominated field, she notes that it wasn’t without its struggles, recalling a particular time when a man came into her jewelry store for watch repair, but then refused to let her touch his watch because she was a woman. Despite experiences like this, Ms. Starrette

Read More »
Adriene Jones


Taught to write by her mother as a teenager in the 1980s, Adriene Joy Jones found herself called to be a writer in 1995. As she began to cultivate her skills in writing, she started taking writing courses and eventually obtained an associate degree from ICS in 1999. That same year, she joined Newman Springs Publishing, where she has excelled as an author ever since. With eight books currently available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, she has developed a reputation for honest storytelling and not sugarcoating tragedy, especially when she is writing stories that are based on real events. Ms. Jones considers it incredibly important to spend time conducting careful research so that she can present everything

Read More »
Nancy Reynolds


Inspired early on by her love of ballet, Nancy Reynolds began training as a ballet dancer at the School of American Ballet in 1951. In 1957, she was invited to join the New York City Ballet, where she danced for five years while continuing to train at the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School and the Martha Graham School. From there, she studied briefly at Sorbonne University in Paris in 1962 before achieving a Bachelor of Art in art history at Columbia University in 1965 and entering the field of publishing as an editor with Praeger Publishing from 1965 to 1971. While she was no longer dancing herself, Ms. Reynolds still found herself drawn to the field of dance

Read More »
Toya Vickers


With a deep, passionate desire to help others and make a difference, Toya Raylonn Vickers has been writing since she was 7 years old, keeping a journal and using writing as a way to formulate her thoughts and understand her feelings. Initially intending to pursue a career in social work, she first earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Ohio State University in 1999 followed by a master’s degree in social work from Howard University in 2003. A few months shy of the completion of her master’s, Ms. Vickers was in a serious car accident, which dramatically altered the path of her career. Ms. Vickers began writing her first novel, “Dimes, Profiles and Wives,” as she was convalescing following

Read More »
Ivy Chang


Born in Beijing, Ivy Chang came to the United States with her family, by way of Taiwan where she attended private school in Taipei, in 1955. Entering the public school system in Minnesota, she had to learn English on her own while attending school as there were no English as a second language programs at the time. Repeating first grade in order to gain a better grasp on the language, she excelled in her studies and, following her graduation from high school, she joined the University of Minnesota to pursue a postsecondary education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism in 1970 and began her career as an editorial assistant at Burlington Northern Inc., now the BNSF Railway

Read More »