The International Women's Writing Guild



RAQUEL ARRECHEA, Secretary, is the Executive Director of the Individual Tax practice of Untracht Early LLC and has over twenty years of public accounting experience. She specializes in tax services, such as tax consulting, tax controversy, high net-worth individual taxation, and international tax. She has oversight responsibilities for managing over thirty tax professionals within the practice and for determining and implementing effective policies and procedures. She is a member of the AICPA, the NYSSCPA, the NJSCPA, and the AWSCPA.

Raquel is a licensed CPA. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from New York University, as well as a Master of Science in Taxation and a Certificate of Completion in Financial Planning, both from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In 2015, in recognition of her business achievements, she was named to the Farleigh Dickinson University Silberman College of Business' "50 Under 50" list of top alumni business leaders under the age of 50.

At age nine, Raquel wrote a children's book, The Bird Who Couldn’t Fly, and, in 2008, published a memoir, A Toast to My Family. Her poem "There Once Was A Time" appears in the 2016 anthology MuseMatrix, and in the same year, her book-length personal narrative of "a spirit in a dog's body," Scrappy, was completed. In January 2017, she received the National Association of Cuban-American Women’s prestigious Elena Mederos Award for her contributions to the advancement of those in the Hispanic-American community. Raquel has been an active member of the International Women’s Writing Guild since 2006.

KELLY DUMAR, Board Member, is a poet and playwright whose chapbook, All These Cures, won the 2014 Lit House Press poetry contest. Her poems are published in dozens of literary journals, and her award-winning monologues and plays have been produced around the US and Canada, and are published by dramatic publishers. Kelly founded and produces the Our Voices Festival of Boston Women Playwrights & Poets held at Wellesley College, now in its 9th year. Kelly’s certification in Psychodrama and passion for Playback Theatre inspire her creative writing workshops with transformative energy. Her Writing Truth & Beauty Essay & Writing Prompt are sent weekly to subscribers at

DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, Board Member, is a popular speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of the acclaimed Soul Between the Lines: Freeing Your Creative Spirit Through Writing (Avon/HarperCollins). Her publications include Muse Blues, Woman, Fierce with Reality, Family, The Passion Collection, A Taste of Tamarinda, and her latest book of poetry, Sharing the Same Sky. She has been a contributor to Personal Journaling, Heart&Soul, The New York Times, Drum Voices, SisterFire, HealthQuest, Conditions, and many other publications. A former Poet-in-Residence at Hunter College, NYU faculty member, NiaOnline columnist, and commentator for National Public Radio, Dorothy is founder of the Heartland Institute for Transformation. In her activist commitment to global healing, she has served as a UNESCO delegate, conducted educational supply campaigns for schools and villages in Africa, and shared the dais with the Dalai Lama. 

MARJ HAHNE, Interim Operations Director, is a freelance editor and writing teacher from Longmont, Colorado. A 2015 graduate of the Rainier Writing Workshop, with a concentration in poetry, she has performed and taught at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television programs. Marj’s poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. She has a poetry CD titled notspeak

 JUDITH HUGE, President, graduated cum laude from Goucher College  where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and holds a Masters degree from The Johns Hopkins University. She is the founder of the Goucher (College) Teachers’ Institute, a graduate program focused on improving the teaching of writing. Her own consulting firm, Work/Write consulting, helps clients make a difference in the way they define, approach, and solve the communications and management challenges that are unique to their particular situations.

Clients have ranged from Fortune 100 corporations to not-for-profits. Her projects have ranged from working with senior management at a New York utility to improve their crisis communication after the first World Trade Center bombing to helping one of the nation's largest food banks redesign their business model after traditional sources of donated food dried up. She helped individuals as well as organizations grow through their transitions teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in organizational development, advanced writing, and therapeutic journaling, as well as directing workshops in venues across the nation. Additionally, she is the author of A Middle-Aged Woman and the Sea, a tale of memoir and transition published in Women in the Wild, as well as her own business column and travel articles for the Gannett newspaper chain. She is also a contributing author, with six other IWWG members, to 101 Ways You Can Help: How to Offer Support and Comfort to Those Who Are Grieving.

 LAURA L. KIELEY, Vice President, was born in Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to New York City in 1996. She is currently an independent corporate communications consultant. Before that, she held positions in professional services firms, including Director of Marketing and Communications for Tatum, a Randstad company.

Laura has been writing creatively since before the age of ten. Her first major writing award came in high school, when she took First Place in the Royal Canadian Legion’s National Senior Essay Competition for Remembrance Day. Her award included traveling to Europe to visit WWI battlefields as part of a Legion delegation, representing the Youth of Canada on national television and having tea with Canada’s Governor General.

Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts with High Honors at Carleton University and her Master of Arts in International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at the same university. She is currently working on her first novel. She has been a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild since 2003, and is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. 

DIXIE KING, Ph.D., Executive Director, has been writing since she first taught herself to type at age seven on her father’s big metal Smith Corona typewriter. Between the ages of eight and eleven, she produced plays for her classroom, and won the Read Magazine Creative Writing award at age thirteen. In high school, she was a member of the Forensics team, and specialized in original oratory, writing persuasive pieces to inspire and motivate. She then took a twenty-year hiatus from creative writing and went on to receive her doctorate in cultural anthropology from UCLA in 1996, with a specialization in medical and psycho-cultural studies. For the past twenty-five years, her professional life has focused around the evaluation of primary prevention and intervention programs, substance abuse treatment, and integrated service delivery systems in both education and health-related settings. She has provided training at both the state and federal levels in needs assessment, strategic planning, delivering curriculum with fidelity, group facilitation skills, leadership development, conflict management, and cultural diversity. In 1997, Dixie founded Transforming Local Communities, Inc. Today her company provides training, research, and evaluation services to school districts and public agencies throughout California. Dixie became a member of the International Women's Writing Guild in the mid-1990s and had her first piece of fiction published in the New England Writers Network shortly after. She is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles, where she is focusing on creative nonfiction—specifically, the personal essay and memoir.

REV. DR. CATHLEEN O'CONNOR, Board Memberis a metaphysical teacher, bestselling author, speaker, and intuitive mentor who loves helping people harness the power of the mind and heart to co-create miracles in all areas of life. She has been quoted in the Huffington Post as a dream interpretation expert and featured as a work-life balance expert in various publications.

As a writer, Cathleen blogs regularly for in the career and wealth section and is the author of The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary (Adams Media, 2010), High Heels on the Hamster Wheel (Balboa Press, 2014), and the best-selling 365 Days of Angel Prayers (Createspace, 2014). Cathleen’s first published works were two poems published in anthologies in the 1980s. A lifelong member of the IWWG, Cathleen’s love of writing goes back to childhood when she used to create weekly newspapers (complete with drawings) for her family of four.

In addition to writing and teaching, Cathleen sees clients privately for spiritual (metaphysical counseling) and teaches a year-long program, A Course in Spiritual Living, as ongoing workshops and weekend retreats. Cathleen is on the Board of the Barbara E. Giordano Foundation for Women’s Health and Education, a nonprofit with a mission of serving women veterans and their families. The Foundation provides a variety of programs and services to help women veterans successfully transition back to daily life after their service. Connect with Cathleen at

HOPE PLAYER, Treasureris the Managing Member of The Arcadian Group, LLC which provides advisory services and training to small businesses.  She holds the professional designations of Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Valuation Analyst. Hope received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina and is a frequent author and speaker on small business and financial literacy topics. Her articles have been published in New Jersey CPA magazine and Blue Ridge Business Journal. Hope is also the author of the book Find the Numbers for Your Business Plan (Full Court Press, 2010). 

Hope is active with the Financial Literacy Committee of New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Newark, New Jersey, and the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  For her dedication to small business, Hope was recognized by Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants for Outstanding Public Service and by the Small Business Administration as an Outstanding Accountant Advocate. She has been a partner in CPA firms in Roanoke, Virginia, and Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Advisory Circle

Raquel Arrechea - Board Secretary, Member since 2000

Lynne Barrett - Instructor, Member since 1992

Heather Cariou - Instructor, Member since 1984

Kelly DuMar - Instructor, Member since 2013

Dorothy Randall Gray Board member, Instructor, Member since 1989

Caitlin Gutheil - Member since 2003

Marj Hahne - Instructor, Member since 1999

Judy Huge - Board President, Instructor, Member since 1994

Laura Kieley - Board Vice President, Member since 2003

Dixie King -  Executive Director, Instructor, Member since 1999

Maureen Murdock - Instructor, Member since 1998

Cathleen O'Connor - Board member, Instructor, Member since 1990

Kathleen A. O'Shea - Instructor, Member since 1989

Jan Phillips - Instructor, Member since 1991

Hope Player - Board Treasurer, Member since 2004

Eunice Scarfe - Instructor, Member since 1995

Myra Shapiro - Instructor, Member since 1993

Arielle Silver - Member since 2016

Marylou Streznewski - Instructor, Member since 1990

Susan Tiberghien - Instructor, Member since 1990

Deni Trach - Member since 2013

Pam Varkony - Instructor, Member since 2011

Anne Walradt - Instructor, Member since 1992

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