From our new President


Happy New Year to all Authors of the Flathead, 

This is my first letter as your new AoF president! I’ll do my best to fill Betty Kuffel’s shoes as I serve the organization and writers. I know you’re all busy, so I’ll get down to business.  

I encourage you to participate in the Thursday gatherings. The mission of the AoF is Writers Helping Writers and these evenings are a great time for longtime members to uplift and pay forward to the craft and careers of younger writers.  

First Thursdays: Kathy Dunnehoff presents a plethora of innovative ideas to move our writing forward. We also take some minutes at the beginning to hear what each member is doing and share tips. This past week I learned of a member’s book I wish to purchase and a submission opportunity for unagented folks like me. These sessions are in-person.   

Second Thursdays: This coming session is a special opportunity! Vice president Sue Purvis is assembling an amazing lineup of guest speakers and on January 13 she will host Molly Smith Metzler, the screenwriter who turned Missoula author Stephanie Land's memoir Maid into the hit Netflix series. Molly’s other credits and the Zoom codes are listed on the AoF website Schedule.

Third Thursday: AoF Secretary Fran Tabor hosts Open Readings. A guide on what to bring is on the AoF website Schedule. These sessions are in-person.   

Fourth Thursday: Barbara Schiffman hosts guests and offers guidance on screenwriting. A variety of activities are on the AoF website and vary between in-person and Zoom.   

2022 membership is due. The Board may need to raise the fee a bit so get your $25 in soon to be “grandfathered” at the current rate. You can pay on the AoF website or mail a check to Treasurer Tom Kuffel, 1020 7th St W., Whitefish, MT 59937.     

If any of you need a critique group or have some opening in an existing one, please let me know.   

The 2022 Flathead River Writers Conference will be held October 1 & 2 with a special session with editor Valerie Matthews on Sept. 30. We are planning for an in-person event with a limited Zoom option. Watch for updates on presenters coming soon on the website.   

Thank you in advance to new board members Jess E. Owen and Dr. Erika Putman for joining as at-large members.   

Thank you to past board member Dixon Rice for his service in previous years, to Dhyan Bokor for updating the AoF Instagram and Facebook pages, and to Dennis Foley, long-time steward of the AoF, who continues to maintain our website and handle communication. Dhyan is moving on to support another organization and we need a volunteer to take over the FB and Instagram accounts. Let me know if you will help.   

And I want to thank Betty Kuffel who served as both president and vice president these past few years, in addition to coordinating the conference until turning it over to me for 2022. Her service has been exemplary and I’m delighted she will continue as a board member and mentor as we bring new board members up to speed. If anyone deserves a white horse and hat, it is Betty. I hope you’ll thank her and the others I mentioned above as you run into them.   

Take care and Write On! 


Craig Thomas Naylor, DMA

President, Authors of the Flathead 

Coordinator, FlatheadRiver Writers Conference 

98 Morning Glory Lane, Kalispell, MT59901 


FB Craig Thomas Naylor 


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