ASJA is governed by an Executive Committee and the Board of Directors and it's a prestigious honor to serve members and colleagues. These positions demand a significant amount of time that officers and the board give back to the ASJA. The Executive Committee and Board members are elected by the ASJA membership. To be elected, Board candidates are recruited by a nominations committee, after which the general membership votes on the final candidates. The ASJA Board meets almost every month to create policy and ensure that the ASJA’s mission and objectives are being followed. 

ASJA's administrative and fiscal year runs from January 1 - December 31. The current volunteer leadership is listed below.

Past Presidents

Chapter Presidents

Board of Directors


 Laura Laing, President, Baltimore, MD

The author of three math books, Laura Laing has been a freelance journalist and writer for more than 15 years. She is currently writing an experimentally themed and structured memoir, and her essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Creative Nonfiction, and Full Grown PeopleHer essay, “Your Leaving” appeared in the 10th Anniversary of Consequence Magazine and received the 2019 ASJA Best Essay Award. @llaingwriter


Emily Paulsen, Vice President, Rockville, MD

A writer and editor based in the DC area, Emily Paulsen focuses on health and healthcare topics for online and print publications, healthcare organizations, government agencies, and non-profit associations. She is the co-author of three books and a former magazine editor.


Lisa Rapasca Roepe, Secretary, Arlington, VA

Lisa Rabasca Roepe is a freelance journalist who writes about the culture of work, technology, entrepreneurship, and beer and spirits. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, the Christian Science Monitor, OZY, Family Circle, Good, Quartz, The Atlantic’s City Lab, The Muse, The Week, HR Magazine, Men’s Journal and Eater. 


Poornima Apte,  Treasurer, Walpole, Mass.

Poornima Apte is an engineer turned technology writer. She writes branded content features, white papers, case studies, video scripts,   infographics, and other content marketing assets for a wide range of clients including Forbes BrandVoice, Vox Media, VentureBeat, Dell     Technologies, Verizon, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Chemical & Engineering  News. Poornima's specialties include AI, robotics, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and digital transformation. She reviews   literary fiction for Booklist and Kirkus and is a proud member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

Milt TobyMilt Toby, Past President, Georgetown, KY

ASJA President Milt Toby is an attorney and award-winning author who has been writing about Thoroughbred racing since Secretariat won the Triple Crown. A frequent presenter at national and regional conferences, Milt has a special interest in copyright, publishing contracts, and other legal issues affecting writers. His latest book, Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing's Most Famous Cold Case, was published in 2018.

Terms Expiring 2022

Sally Abrahms, At Large Brookline, MA

Sally Abrahms, a consumer and content writer, focuses on aging and baby boomers. She is the author of two books and a contributor to four. Sally is also the recipient of a New York Times Foundation, and a MetLife Foundation, journalism fellowship on aging. 


Arielle Emmett, At Large, Mooresville, NC

Arielle Emmett, Ph.D., is a US Fulbright Scholar (Kenya 2018-2019) who has just returned from ten months of teaching and research on the Chinese in Kenya. She is a Contributing Editor to Smithsonian Air & Space, and has traveled and reported on science, politics, and the environment from Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and several European countries. 


Wendy Helfenbaum, At Large, Montreal, QC

Wendy Helfenbaum is a Montreal-based journalist, TV producer and content marketing writer. She chairs ASJA’s Client Networking Committee, overseeing all client-facing programs. Wendy covers real estate, architecture and design, gardening, travel and parenting for consumer, trade and digital publications, and she also works with many brands, universities and nonprofits. @WendyHelfenbaum


Terms Expiring 2023

Stacey Freed, At Large, Pittsford, NY

Stacey Freed was a senior editor at Remodeling, published by the Washington-D.C.-based Hanley Wood. Since 2013 she has been freelancing for national trade and consumer publications. Her writing is regularly featured in Better Homes and Gardens and USA Today special interest publications; Realtor magazine; Professional Builder; This Old House and online at OneZero/Medium; AARP; House Logic, and Trulia, among other places. Freed has won a Neal Award for specialized journalism and several awards from the American Society of Business Publications Editors. She holds an MFA from George Mason University. Her essay, "Tourist No More," published in She Can Find Her Way: Women Travelers at Their Best (Upper Hand Press, 2017), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

Beverly Gray, At Large, Santa Monica, CA

Beverly Gray, a film industry veteran, is the author of the bestselling Roger Corman: An Unauthorized Biography of the Godfather of Indie Filmmaking, which in paperback was tastefully retitled Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers. She has also published Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon . . . and Beyond, and, most recently, Seduced by Mrs. RobinsonHow The Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation. She blogs twice weekly at Beverly in Movieland (www.beverlyinmovieland.com).

Kristine Hansen, At Large, Milwaukee, WI

Kristine Hansen, has been a member of ASJA since 2006 and is a food, design and travel writer based in Milwaukee. Past involvements with ASJA include chairing Virtual Client Connections.




Parul Kapur Hinzen, At Large, Georgia

Parul Kapur Hinzen is an arts and culture journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal EuropeThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Esquire, ARTNewsArt in America, Guernica and Slate. She was previously a press officer at the United Nations and spent a decade freelancing from Europe. She founded the Books page at ArtsATL, Atlanta's leading arts website, and headed book coverage there from 2010-2014. She is also a fiction writer and is at work on her second novel. 


Terms Expiring 2024

Christopher Johnston, At Large, Cleveland, Ohio

Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,500 articles in numerous regional and national publications including American TheatreChristian Science MonitorHistory Magazine, and Scientific American. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice, was published by Skyhorse Publishers in May 2018. He teaches playwriting and creative nonfiction courses at Cleveland State University and a variety of workshops for the William M. Skirball Writers Center and Literary Cleveland. In 2020, Johnston received an Ohio Society of Professional Journalists award for best investigative reporting for a digital publication. In 2018 and 2019, he received an Ohio Arts Council grant and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writer’s Alliance Grant. In 2019, he also received the Distinguished Professional Contribution Award from The Renee Jones Empowerment Center in Cleveland that provides a full spectrum of services to help women survivors of human trafficking recover. 

Lottie Joiner, At Large, Washington D.C.

Lottie Joiner is the editor-in-chief of The Crisis magazine, the official publication of the NAACP, and a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer. She writes about social justice and civil rights with a focus on issues that impact marginalized and underserved communities. Lottie’s work has been published in The Washington PostUSATodayTime.comTheAtlantic.com and The Daily Beast. Most recently she was named a 2019 Folio: 100 Honoree which recognizes media professionals in magazine and digital media.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson