And the day came
When the risk it took
To remain tight inside the bud
Was more painful
Than the risk it took to
To bloom

Anais Nin

Who We Are

Women Who Write is a New-Jersey based, non-profit collective of women writers of all genres, from all walks of life. Published and unpublished, professional and amateur, our membership is comprised of writers in various stages of their careers. We welcome new writers as openly as experienced authors.

How We Operate

Women Who Write members are organized into critique groups based upon genre. We have groups for poetry, fiction and children’s books. We also offer mixed groups for writers interested in memoir, short stories, creative non-fiction and other genres.

When you join Women Who Write, you select an open group based upon your needs. Groups typically meet twice a month to share work and receive constructive criticism. Women Who Write groups offer encouragement, support and motivation to writers of all levels.


  • To assist women writers in every phase of the writing process—with critque groups, workshops, and discussions.
  • To bring the work of women writers into the community through readings and publications.
  • To provide encouragement, assistance, and a sense of community to women writers who might otherwise be working in isolation.

Member Benefits

Besides providing group feedback that enables our members to grow as writers and improve their craft, Women Who Write organizes exclusive workshops with publishing professionals. Women Who Write awards grants to our writing groups so they can hold their own genre-specific events.

Annual Spring and Fall readings introduce members’ work to the public. Our literary journal, Goldfinch, takes submissions exclusively from members and awards prizes based upon literary merit. Our new blog offers members an opportunity to share insights on the creative process and publicize their writing.

How to Join

Visit the Groups page and select a group that may fit your needs.

Prospective members are encouraged to attend two group meetings to understand how an individual critique group operates and determine if it will be a good fit. To attend a third meeting and/or share your work, membership is required. Membership is open to women age 18 years and older.

If you don’t see a group that meets your needs, please contact Melissa Azarian to discuss how we may be able to work with you.

Board Officers:

  • President:  Ginger Pate (2013-2015)
  • Vice President Programs:  Debbie Gerrish (2013-2015)
  • Vice President Membership:  Amy Reade  (2014-2016)
  • Treasurer:  Martha Van Loon (2013-2015)
  • Secretary:  Elsie Boehm  (2014-2016)


  • Writers Notes Trustee:  Michelle Hollander  (2014-2015)
  • Goldfinch:  Joanne Flynn Black, Editor- in- Chief (2013-2015)
  • Publicity:  Dana Punzo (2013-2015)
  • Website Liaison:  Marcia Ivans (2013-2015)
  • Trustee- at- Large: Maggie Roycraft (2014-2016)
  • Trustee-at- Large:  Dorothy Ryan (2013-2015)
  • Trustee- at- Large: Beatriz Velazquez (2014-2016)

Membership Assistant to the Board:

            Membership Directory ………………. Tricia Taylor Vanderhoof