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About Us


The National Writers Association began its journey in 1929 as The Writers Colony in the Rocky Mountains by our founder, David Raffelock . As the editor of a New York children’s publication, David found that many of the submissions had promise but needed further work beyond simple editing. Tired of the hectic New York pace, David and his wife, Essie were looking for a slower, more relaxed pace. After scouting the foothills of the Rockies, they found the ideal spot for a writer’s colony.  The colony became popular, and summer attendees gathered from across the United States to learn and polish their work. Writers continued throughout the year to seek his advice. After consulting with Essie, the couple decided to form  in 1937 the National Writers Club, a full-time writer’s organization.  In 1951 David Raffelock incorporated the National Writers Club in Colorado.  In 1974, David collapsed in the office, and the couple decided it was time to hire someone else as Executive Director.

Don Bower eventually took over the position. Since the Board of Directors couldn’t meet Don’s salary requirements, they offered the staff and Don stock options.

After several years, James Lee Young a technical writer took over the Executive Director’s job in 1978. James tenure lasted until 1991 when he chose to return to full-time writing. In the fall of 1991, Sandy Whelchel took leadership of the organization and has been in that position since.

 In 1994, the name was changed to the National Writers Association to include the National Writers School, and The National Writers Press until The National Writers Press became a separate entity in 2007.

The National Writers Association held annual summer conferences in the 1970's at the Brown Palace, a model that was prototyped until 2005. 

Our association has offered thousands of members, both beginning and professional, personal consultation on writing problems, marketing assistance, in-depth reports on the facets of writing, a quarterly online magazine, and monthly newsletters. In doing so, it has been more than just a professional organization. It’s been a writer’s family -- a network of aspiring and professional writers, publishers, and editors who understand each other’s challenges and needs -- an organization whose motto is simple but significant: ‘You Are Not Alone.”


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