Our vision is to create a lasting contribution to the literary arts by providing a sanctuary where writing is nurtured, honored, and shared. 


The mission of The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is to nurture writers of all genres, backgrounds, and levels of experience in a supportive environment that builds community, stimulates new thinking, energizes creative expression, and optimizes productivity. 

Laura Parker Castoro, WCDH board member
Peggy Kjelgaard

President of the Board

Peggy Kjelgaard is a writer with a Ph.D. in education and has been a teacher and consultant in Knowledge Management. She moved to Eureka From Dallas in 2004 and was Executive Director for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts for 10 years. She has served on various boards, including the Eureka Springs Arts Council, Equity Bank Advisory Board and local school boards. Peggy received the 2018 Arkansas Governor’s Award for Arts Community Development.

William Bernhardt, WCDH board member
KJ Zumwalt

Vice President

KJ Zumwalt is a long-time Eureka Springs resident. She has been an award-winning restaurateur for more than 20 years, currently chef/owner of KJ's Caribe Restaurant and Cantina Mexican Restaurant in Eureka Springs. She is originally from Arkansas and attended Harding University, where she received  a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Marketing. She loves to kayak, hike, and swim in the great outdoors of the Ozarks in Northwest Arkansas.

Linda Lewis, Writers' Colony Executive Director
Allyn Lord


Allyn Lord is director of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. She has spent over 35 years in Northwest Arkansas museums, including the University of Arkansas Museum and Rogers Historical Museum. The author of several history and museum books, she published the book "Historic Monte Ne" in 2006 and is now writing a biography of "Coin" Harvey. She recently received two lifetime achievement awards for museum work.

Sharon Spurlin, WCDH Board vice-president
Sharon Spurlin

Board member

Sharon served the Writers’ Colony beginning in 2005 and has served on numerous boards, including Clear Spring School and the Carroll County Community Foundation. Sharon has taught communication skills, global issues, and experiential theology over a period of 15 years in 10 different states. She became a personal and small group coach in 1997. She was named in the 10 outstanding women of Carroll County in 2000.


Laura Parker Castoro, WCDH board member
Woody Barlow

Board member

Woody Barlow was born in Kansas City, Missouri, raised in the Midwest, and educated as a civil engineering draftsman before serving two years in Vietnam. He served thirty-two years as an air traffic controller and watch supervisor for the FAA, before retiring to Eureka Springs, Ark. Woody has written three books: a memoir, a nonfiction novel, and a book of poetry. He is a staunch believer in the transformative power of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.

Charles Templeton, WCDH board secretary
Charles Templeton

Board member

Charles Templeton is a retired school administrator from Texas. He served in the Marine Corps from 1967-71, doing a tour of duty in Vietnam and serving in the Presidential Helicopter squadron. He has served on the Historic District Commission, the Eureka Springs School Board, Carnegie Library Board and Clear Spring School Board. Charles and Sandra have 3 daughters and 6
granddaughters. Charles also belongs to a writers' group.

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Elise Roenigk, Treasurer

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Laura Matson Hahn

Board member

Laura was born in Chicago, raised in Northern New Jersey, educated in Rhode Island and Michigan, lived in Pennsylvania, and recently moved to Arkansas.  She received a Master’s in Communications and spent 30 years working in communications, cutting her teeth on the then new cable TV industry, and moving into corporate communications. Her attention then turned to crafting her novel, The Heart Code, an homage to bohemian culture inspired by her life-long commitment to the philosophy of living according to the heart’s voice and wisdom.  Later, she shared her gifts with students of creative writing and performance of literature, two of her deepest joys.  Upon relocating to Beaver Lake in 2018, she and her husband dove into the country life raising guinea hens and dogs, developing their 3 acres, and participating in community activities. 

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Ashley Wellman

Board member

Ashley has been a scholar specializing in homicide, victimology, and trauma since 2008. Her work has focused on grief, loss, and recovery following an experience with violent victimization. She has published over 30 academic articles, spoken nationally and internationally, and serves as a media expert on these topics. As a widow and single mother, Ashley turned to creative writing to rebuild and redefine her life. Now, as a children's book author and owner of aMUSEd Fine Art & Extraordinary Books in Eureka Springs, she is creating a life full of magic for her family while spreading a message of love, acceptance, and friendship to all those who interact with her books and business.