Board of Directors

Cape Cod Writers Center Board of Directors



Barbara Eppich Struna, President is an International Best Selling Author of suspenseful historical fiction, including, The Old Cape House, The Old Cape Teapot, The Old Cape Hollywood Secret, and The Old Cape Blood Ruby. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, IBPA, Sisters In Crime: National, New England, Los Angeles, Member in Letters of the National League of American Pen Women, and President of Cape Cod Writers Center. Always a journal writer, she is fascinated by history and writes a blog about the unique facts and myths of Cape Cod.


Madeline Holt, Vice President

Madeline Miele Holt journeyed though several careers relating to books, libraries, and media. She was an editor, a library consultant, and a sales and marketing executive traveling throughout the United States and abroad representing library automation systems. As a second career, she completed a master’s degree in library science and became the director of the Ames Free Library in Easton, MA where innovative and community-focus programs led to a Bill and Melinda Gates award as a second-place winner of the Best Small Library in America contest.


Hugh Blair-Smith, Treasurer

After retiring from a career in computer science, especially the guidance computer for the Apollo spacecraft, Hugh Blair-Smith published his techno-memoir, Left Brains for the Right Stuff: Computers, Space, and History in 2015. He appeared in a Nova show, Apollo’s Daring Mission, in December 2018, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first to place men in orbit around the Moon. He is serving as CCWC Treasurer, leads the Mid-Cape Nonfiction Writers Group, and is working on his next book, Minot’s Gifts.


Robert Reece, M.D.  Secretary-Clerk

Robert M. Reece, MD, a Tufts clinical professor of pediatrics, edited nine textbooks on child abuse and neglect. Since retiring, he’s written two novels: “To Tell the Truth,” based on his experience as a child abuse pediatrician, and “Double Blind Double Cross” arising from his interest in post traumatic stress.


Additional Directors



Alyssa Metcalfe   Director

Alyssa Metcalfe was born and raised in New York City, where the streets were her playground, theater, and teacher. As an adult, Metcalfe’s writing is influenced by the dark and gritty themes from her childhood leading her to award-winning short stories in Gemini Magazine and Dark Ink Magazine. But her lifelong love of animals also fuels her imagination along with an A.S. in Equine Studies from Northwest College in Powell, WY and a B.S. in Animal Science from UMASS Amherst. Mousebound, a children’s picture book was published in September 2018. She currently lives on Cape Cod, is on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center, member of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and the SCBWI.


Katrina Valenzuela   Director

Katrina Valenzuela is an adjunct faculty member of Cape Cod Community College where she teaches Middle Eastern Dance, Egyptian Culture, and Arabic Language. She is also director of Troupe Mirage performing company.

Katrina has been published by The National Guild of Hypnotists, The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, The Mystic Roundtable of the United Nations, Spirit of Change Magazine and Cape Women Online. She presents programs on Egyptian mythology at local libraries, schools, and cultural centers and has led tours and seminars in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, and Europe.

Her memoir, River of Stars Nights of Jasmine, is available through Amazon, Ingram, and all local bookstores.




Judith Partelow   Director

Judith Partelow is a poet, director and actress. Her first chapbook of poetry called A Woman’s Heart was released in 2014. She then created a play from her poetry with the same title which has been produced four times and will be produced again at The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, May 10,11,12 and in Cotuit in September. Her second book of poems published by Scargo Hill Poets is Carry Me Back, A Woman’s Life in Poetry. 



Rick Cochran   Director

Rick Cochran grew up in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts where his father was the last principal of Wellfleet High School before the formation of the Nauset Regional School District. Rick is a retired educator with degrees from Tufts and Northeastern. He is the author of the short story collections, “Wellfleet Tales,” “Wellfleet Tales II: Confessions of a Wash-Ashore” and the novel, “Murder at Bound Brook: Cape Cod Mystery. Rick has also been a contributor to “Cape Cod Life” magazine and the “Barnstable Patriot.”


Kathleen Murphy Director

After years of working as a corporate trainer, Kathleen’s life took a nomadic turn in 1997 after she accompanied her construction manager husband Michael to the newly independent country of Ukraine. Eighteen years later, his work assignments brought them to Russia, Azerbaijan, Virginia, California, and New Mexico. They’re now delighted to be retired on Cape Cod. While traveling, Kathleen volunteered her writing and organizational skills to International charitable organizations and local reading clubs, all the while gaining insight into her host countries and their cultures. She especially enjoyed reading popular authors like Bulgakov, Nabokov, and Kurban Said. A member of CCWC’s Mid-Cape Nonfiction Writers Group, she volunteers with Books and the World. Currently, she is working on a memoir about the Murphys’ first expatriate experiences of living in Kyiv, Ukraine.


Kathy Aspden Director

In no particular order, Kathy is a novelist, screenwriter, lifelong resident of Cape Cod, occasional host for the television show Books and the World, public speaker, reviewer for, and contributing writer for Her Circle News. Her first novel, Baklava, Biscotti, and an Irishman, was a finalist for the Multicultural Fiction category of International Book Awards. The sequel, An Irishman’s Son, was published in May 2020.  Her 2015 short film, The Solomons’ Dog, was a finalist in the 15-Minutes of Fame Film Festival in Orlando, Florida.  Interested in everything from the next great invention to the easiest way to tile a bathroom, Kathy is a gleeful research junkie and an enthusiastic participant in the human experience. She is currently working on a feature screenplay, entitled, The Magnificent Quarantinos.



Nancy Rubin Stuart  Executive Director 

CCWC Executive Director Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author/ journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New England Quarterly, American History, Huffington Post, in other national publications and abroad.  She has authored seven traditionally published books, including American EmpressDefiant Brides and The Muse of the Revolution. Nancy is currently completing an eighth book due out with Beacon Press in late 2022.