The Nature of Words' Ellen Waterston to Step Down | Bent
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Nature of Words' Ellen Waterston to Step Down

The founder of the Nature of Words literary organization has chosen to step down.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Since founding The Nature of Words in 2005, Ellen Waterston has been the face of the literary festival, in addition to the year-around educational programs that soon followed in its wake.

But today Waterston announced that she would be stepping down as executive director this spring. She said a national search for a new director is already underway.

While she'll no longer have a job title with the nonprofit, Waterston says she'll certainly be involved in some capacity with The Nature of Words, but to what degree is uncertain right now.

Her decision is tied to her ongoing work with OSU-Cascades to develop a low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing program, but Waterston couldn't yet elaborate further as to what her role would be with that program -- should it become a reality.

Waterston says the upcoming change in leadership at The Nature of Words is a step in the right direction for the organization.

"This really is a step toward further nurturing the growth of the Nature of Words," said Waterston, "It's not as though I'm saying goodbye, and I'm actually looking forward to the new direction we'll take."

In recent years, The Nature of Words has expanded its scope from a weekend literary festival that has attracted world-renowned authors to a year-around literary group that has increasingly focused on educational programs, including the popular youth-aimed Storefront Project and school outreach efforts.

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