The Board

Our Fearless Leaders:

President: Matt Bayan

As president of our non-profit corporation, Matt’s job is to preside over the Board, to help develop programs, to  manage the organization, and to develop contacts outside the organization to further our goals.

Matt’s the Bestselling Author of “EAT FAT, BE HEALTHY: How a Low-Fat Diet Can Kill You.” He recently released TIME JUMPER, which Sci-Fi great, A.C. Crispin, called “a mindblowing fantasy thriller.” His murder mystery, THE FIRECRACKER KING, has garnered excellent reviews. His work spans fiction and non-fiction. Upcoming in 2017: GUN 101: A Writer’s Guide To Firearms In Fiction. Matt is also a professional editor. To learn more about him and his books, please go to

If you have any questions about the organization, please email Matt at

Director EmeritusDennis Stoddard

Dennis Stoddard is the self published author of the “Kingdom of Torrence” epic fantasy series under D.M. Stoddard. He is currently working on book three. He painted the weapons illustrating the covers of the first two books and composed a song with his son that the bard’s sing in the first book. Additionally, he has been published in a magazine and has an unpublished, non-fiction field guide. D. M. was a finalist in the 2014 ad 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Dennis recieved a Masters of Business Administration in 2004 and is a navy veteran. His writing experience includes summaries of legal research and analysis; reports to state leadership in process re-engineering audits and various forms of military intelligence. His favorite authors include Tolkien, McCaffrey, Brooks, Eddings and Rowling. His motto, adopted from his creative writing professor, “Just keep writing.”

Secretary & Critique Group Wrangler: Nicole Frens

Nicole’s role as our critique group wrangler is to bring writers together with a critique group that fits their needs.

She’s written many novels, but never dared to actually edit one until joining the HSW and finding a critique group.  Joining the group has helped push, shove, and otherwise advance her writing to all new page numbers.   She penned a weekly column in a local newspaper for years before starting a business writing articles for medical offices.  Writing novels and homeschooling her two kids in the Virginia City Highlands keeps her busy, if not income-free, these days.

Treasurer: Jay Leavitt

JayJay Leavitt was born and raised in Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wa. He was King of the Seattle Junior Seafair in the 1950’s. He studied architecture at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Or and served in Vietnam, ’68 – ’69. He was a member of the Navigation team in the Submarine Service, ”70 – ”71, and then was a General Contractor in Southern California. He married Mary Lou in Las Vegas, Christmas 1990. Currently, he’s the owner of Allglaze Venture, Inc. Reno, NV.

Contact Jay at


Media Director: Rene Averett

Rene Averett blogs regularly on her Skinny Girl Bistro site where she shares information about low-carb foods, living a low-carb lifestyle, and many recipes. Her first self-published book was a low carb recipe book. Since then she has published several novels under two pen names, one for fantasy and science fiction and one for suspense romance.

Born in Texas, Rene has been transplanted and thrives in Nevada. The latter part of her career centered on doing technical writing for a large gaming manufacturer and she enjoyed it right up until her retirement. She’s always been writing something from newsletters, screenplays, magazines, and technical documentation to novels.

As Media director, she edits the HSW newsletter and works to get information about the group out to interested writers.