Fired Writing Association Director Alleges Discrimination

September 16, 2019

Chloe Schwenke is out as executive director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs after less than six months, according to Publishers Weekly. Cynthia Sherman, the association’s director of conferences, and Diane Zinna, deputy executive director, have been named interim co-directors. The association’s governing board chair, Robin Reagler, stepped down during the recent board meeting at which fellow officers voted to terminate Schwenke, Publishers Weekly also reported. Bonnie Culver, director of the master’s of fine arts program at Wilkes University, is now board chair.

Schwenke, who was first named interim director of the association last year after David Fenza was fired, reportedly said her separation was “involuntary.” She released a letter to the association’s board saying that she was discriminated against as a transgender woman and that the association is suffering from financial issues stemming from its newly severed ties with the University of Maryland. Sherman told Publishers Weekly, “We’re continuing as we have always done,” and everything is “on track.”

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