The Premier Writing Organization On
California's Central Coast
Welcome to SLO NightWriters


SLO NightWriters

Current Office Holder Biographies

President - Janice Konstantinidis

Janice Konstantinidis joined SLO NightWriters in 2010 with the goal of developing her writing skills.  Janice Konstantinidis lives in Paso Robles, on the Central Coast of California.  She enjoys writing poetry, memoir and short fiction.  Born in Dover, Tasmania, Australia, she immigrated to the USA in 2005.  She draws inspiration from nature and a deep regard and sense of the transience of life. 

Janice has had many of her poems published in  literary magazines in the USA. She finds great joy and comfort in writing poetry.

Janice’s Wikipedia page is This entry illustrates the various complexities of her life as “Forgotten Australian.”  Janice been featured as a guest writer for the Australian National Museum on several occasions. 

Janice recently published a book of ekphrastic poetry in collaboration with a Tasmanian photographer, Lorraine Flakemore. The book title is "Words of Beak".

Janice won the 2020 Lillian Dean Inspirational Award at the Central Coast Writers Conference.

Janice has a lively sense of humor and is often mischievously guilty of writing several limericks a day. Her poetry, often lyrical, often asks the reader to look deeply into the beauty of nature.


Bachelor of Arts   - University of Tasmania

Bachelor of Letters - Australian National University

Graduate Diploma in Education – University of Canberra.

Vice-president - Mary Silberstein

Mary Silberstein was born in Saudi Arabia. Her father worked for Aramco oil company there. She traveled the world with her family right out of the cradle… travel and adventure are in her blood. She first began writing as a young child, journaling during trips to the states and across Europe. She finds writing and reading, movies, music, and theatre, to be wonderful escapes into life’s great adventures.

The author began writing poetry 30 years ago. Over the years, her poem subjects have included revelations on the beauty of nature and celebration of the human spirit. A nurse by profession, mother, and grandmother, she understands human frailty, its joys and loses.

She is the winner of several poetry contests, has been published locally over the years, and has been an active member of Central Coast’s SLO Night Writers for the past five years. Her first collection of poetry, No One Told the Redwood, was published on Amazon in 2018. The Search for Blue Sky, her first published novel, came out in 2022.

California has been her beloved home for most of her adult life and she enjoys world travel, with Hawaii as a favorite go-to place. She currently lives on a small ranch on the Central Coast with her devoted husband Stephen, beloved dog Fox Z,  seven amazing chickens, and two Pygmy goats; Cody and Cooper. Children and grandchildren live nearby and keep her young and busy.

Secretary - Jim Livingston

Treasurer - Cheri Grimm

Newsletter Editor - Denise Yaffe

Denise Yaffe is a new author of children’s books. She is from California and has a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the field of chemical Engineering, She has 30 years of environmental experience in compliance, remediation, and sustainability. She has written and published technical papers and scholarly articles for national conference proceedings and various peer-reviewed journals such as Risk Analysis, J. Chemical Information Computer Science, and Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research. She is currently writing the Earth Kids series of books addressing various important environmental issues.

Denise Yaffe is a new author of children’s books. She illustrates and writes environmental fiction and non-fiction for middle-grade. She is currently writing the Earth Kids series of books addressing pollution, global warming, climate change and environmental justice. In the past, Denise authored and published scholarly articles and technical papers for national conference proceedings and various peer-reviewed journals such as Risk Analysis, J. Chemical Information Computer Science, and Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research.

Denise is from California and has a doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also a Licensed Professional Engineer with experience in environmental and chemical engineering,compliance, remediation, and sustainability. Denise moved to Los Osos in 2019 and later joined NightWriters. Dr. Yaffe is the Environmental Justice Coordinator for the NAACP, the newly appointed editor of Wordsmiths, SLO NightWriters, and works part-time as an environmental consultant. 

Golden Quill Contest Director 

Harvey Ardman

Harvey Ardman has been a professional writer for nearly 60 years. His work includes many magazine articles, dozens of PBS documentary films and 23 published books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Journalism and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

About a year-and-a-half ago, Ardman left his home of 40 years in Rockport, Maine and moved to San Luis Obispo, to be near his younger daughter. One of the first things he did here was to join Nightwriters. He is an avid participant in a critique group and is in the final stages of completing his first science fiction novel, "Hello, Earth," a book of just over 100,000 words.

Last year, he served as the Golden Quill's short story judge. 

Programs Director - Position Vacant

Acting: Janice Konstantinidis

Membership Director

Leanne Phillips

Leanne Phillips is a writer, a certified book coach, and an editor. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Kelp Journal, The Coachella Review, Persimmon Tree, and elsewhere. Her novel was named the Book Winner and a Mentorship Prize Winner in Launch Pad's 6th Annual Prose Writing Competition, and one of her short stories was the Grand Prize Winner in Screencraft's 2023 Cinematic Prose Writing Competition.

Leanne earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts (fiction and creative nonfiction) from the University of California at Riverside, Palm Desert. She received her BA in English, with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She earned her book coaching certification from Author Accelerator and a copyediting certificate from the University of California at San Diego.



Workshops and Conference Director

David Brandin 


Webmaster - Janice Konstantinidis

Janice joined SLO NightWriters with the goal of developing her writing skills. Janice Konstantinidis is both an Australian and an America Citizen. She lives on the Central Coast of California.

She has been writing shorter pieces, prose, poetry most of her life. She is currently writing a book of limericks.

Janice won four awards in the 2013 Lillian Dean Writer's Contest. First and second place in 'Creative Non Fiction Memoir', and second and third place in Poetry. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Tasmania, a Bachelor of Letters in English Literature from The Australian National University and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Canberra. 

Social Media Coordinator  Position Vacant

Sunshine Chair - Judythe Guarnera

Member At Large - Leonard Carpenter

Leonard Carpenter - The Breakout Conan Author!

Well-known for his many books on Conan the Barbarian, Leonard breaks out of the fantasy market with his historical epic Lusitania Lost, dramatizing the luxury liner’s sinking that set America on course to enter WW I!

Leonard travels and adventures, most recently in Cuba where he brushes up on scuba diving and hiked to Fidel Castro’s remote rebel lair in the Sierra Maestra!

Another great book by Leonard is Biohacker. Leonard says, “the original title was Fatal Strain, but that sounded a little too….fatalistic?” He continues saying, “The underlying theme was that human overpopulation represented an ever-increasing STRAIN that could prove FATAL to our own planetary survival and Earth’s biosphere. Still true, and becoming more evident day after day.”

Also, another great book by Leonard is The Stravinsky Code, which has been free on his website for a short while. Leonard is taking it offline, any day now, and says it will be available later this years in the magazine Weirdbook.

More info on Leonard at

Critique Group Coordinator - Position Vacant

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