About the Facilitator

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman



Everyone has a story to tell. We hope to hear yours.

Marion Denard

Marion trained to become an AWA facilitator in 2009 and founded Writers’ Room in 2012. Marion started writing as a child, wedged between a dresser and a desk with a wide-ruled notebook balanced on her knees. She went on to study literature and creative writing, earning her bachelor’s degree at University of Puget Sound and her master’s degree at Dartmouth College. She taught composition at Vermont Technical College and used her writing skills in support of safe families and nonprofits that address child abuse and domestic violence. She fell in love with the Amherst Writers and Artists method as a participant in a weekly writing group. She is currently earning a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Northwestern University.

Her poetry has appeared in multiple printed literary journals, as well as online. Her short fiction has appeared at Cleaver Literary Magazine and her non-fiction at River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative Nonfiction. She is currently seeking representation for her children’s novel. 

Jessie Pannell

Jessie Pannell has been writing and editing for over 15 years.  Her writing journey has included everything from writing a children’s art and Bible study curriculum to a very engaging employee handbook.  She published her first collection of poetry, Forever Built of Days, in 2016 as a way to find her creative voice through grief.  Jessie has been in writing workshops learning under the Amherst Writers and Artists method for almost ten years and recently completed her AWA Training as a writing facilitator.