Our Writers

Helen Chappell

Tidewater Times columnist, recovering reporter, and writer of books, Helen Chappell has covered Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore for a variety of periodicals, including the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun.

Her writing has received grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Sumner T. McKnight Foundation. Her journalism was recognized with the A.E. Emmart Award for Excellence in Writing on the Humanities in Maryland and the Jane Austen Society of Maryland’s Jane Award for 1994.

Chappell is the creator of the Sam And Hollis mystery series, and the Oysterback stories, as well as The Chesapeake Book of the Dead. Under her pen name, Rebecca Baldwin, she has published a number of historical novels.

Dick Cooper

Dick Cooper was a metropolitan newspaper reporter, editor and manager for 36 years. As a staffer at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 28 years, he covered local, regional and national news. He conducted journalistic investigations focusing on crime and corruption. As an editor, he directed local news coverage in Philadelphia and its suburbs. He taught journalism at Temple University for 10 years. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for coverage of the Attica Prison Riot while working as a reporter for the Rochester, New York, Times-Union. He is president of Cooper Media Associates, Inc. a media consulting firm.

He was a Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, Class of 1990-91, and is a 1969 graduate of the Michigan State University School of Journalism. Dick and his wife, Pat, live in St. Michaels and sail the Chesapeake Bay on their 1971 Hinckley Bermuda 40, Tusitala.

Gary Crawford

After teaching high school in Ohio, Gary served in the Peace Corps (Micronesia), then trained volunteers. In 1979, he joined the faculty of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute where for eight years he was Associate Dean of the School of Language Studies. Buying a home on Tilghman’s Island in 1980, he and his wife Susan established a bookstore there, Crawfords Nautical Books, in 1993. Since retirement in 1998, both have been active in civic affairs. Gary helped found the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum; he now serves on the Board of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center and Talbot County’s Village Center Board; Susan is treasurer of the St. Michaels Art League. Gary has authored numerous articles about the area, including some video presentations, and for five years published the “Island Flyer,” a weekly paper for Tilghman Island.

Pamela Doyle – Tidewater Kitchen

Pamela Doyle, formerly Denver’s NBC Channel 9 Children’s Chef, is now teaching both adult and children’s cooking classes in the south shore of Massachusetts. The growing gourmets learn nutrition, safety, new foods,
cooking math, science and basic etiquette. The adult classes are based on tips and techniques so the home cook will have a new appreciation for cooking and creating it into their own lives. Presentation is a huge part of who I am and how my food is put together, I think if it is appealing there is more enjoyment. Pamela continues to take cooking classes as she travels with her family.

Cliff James

They say, “better late than never.” Of course they, whoever they are, say many things.  Sometimes the things they say are true. For me it certainly is, because I came late to my calling. I graduated with from the University of Maryland in 1972 with a degree in Industrial Management and Technology, and then picked up an MBA during my twenty one years in Southern California. Prior to La- La-Land,  Arizona was home for four years. 
 Once married with a daughter on the way, I set upon a journey with several large, well known industrial giants from Pittsburgh, San Francisco, New York, to Charleston, W.Va., and then west chasing the gold shot sparkle of Arizona and Southern California. Despite the regular relocations, long hours, constant business travel and responsibilities to my growing family, I found myself now and then squeezing in some writing: op-ed pieces, magazine articles, short stories and a screen play or two. Then in 2008 – 2009 my wife and I pulled up stakes and headed back east, first to Charleston, S.C., and then Easton, Maryland.  We wanted to reconnect with old friends and relatives, with ourselves and with the wee small voice of true self inside whispering “listen to me.” For my wife, that voice said “let’s paint.”  To me, it said, “lets write.” This time I listened, which is how I came late to my calling.

Bonna Nelson

Bonna Nelson is a former Social Security Administration Director. She has enjoyed teaching memoir and creative writing programs at Harford Community and Chesapeake Colleges, and at the Genesis Pines Healthcare Center, and has served on the board of Pickering Creek Audubon Center and on the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference Steering Committee. She has also served as an Outreach Volunteer for the Talbot County Free Library for several years after moving to the Shore in 2005.

Bonna and her husband John love to travel and enjoy boating from their “base camp” on the Tred Avon River in Easton. Bonna has a passion for writing and she takes her notebook and camera wherever they go, always looking for the perfect story or beach! Being a columnist, writer, artist and photographer, Bonna has contributed hundreds of articles, essays, stories and photographs to periodicals and newspapers around the area.

Between traveling and writing, much of Bonna’s time is now spent as a member of the “sandwich generation,” lovingly coordinating care for her mother and spending quality time with her granddaughter.

Marc Teffeau – Tidewater Gardening

Marc Teffeau has been contributing Tidewater Gardening to the Tidewater Times since 1989. He is a Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturalist with over 30 year’s experience in horticulture. He is the retired Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs with the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) in Washington, D.C. Prior to going with ANLA he was with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension as Professor and Regional Extension Specialist for Commercial Horticulture at the Wye Research and Education Center and as county and area Extension Horticulture Agent in Talbot County. Marc has B.S., M.S. and PhD from the University of Maryland – College Park. He resides in Georgia with his wife Linda.

Michael Valliant

I am a father, a writer, a runner, a hiker, reader, follower of Christ, a longboard skateboarder, stand-up paddleboarder, kayaker, novice birder, sunrise chaser, daily coffee drinker, occasional beer sipper. I live in Oxford on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where I am the director of the Oxford Community Center by day.  I am on a walk of faith, a spiritual adventure, following where God leads, trying to share my walk and story.

I’ve been doing some form of creative writing since I was 14, when I scrawled a crappy poem in the margin of a notebook during world history class. I was an English Literature and Philosophy major at Washington College, and have written for art and cultural museums, non-profit organizations, the United States Coast Guard, and for magazines and publications including Tidewater Times, Trail Runner Magazine, What’s Up Eastern Shore, and Eastern Shore Savvy.

Roger Vaughan

Roger Vaughan is an internationally published journalist and writer. With 14 books to his credit, and a variety of other work that includes a major film, a play, a musical pageant, and scores of magazine articles, videos, and internet reports, Vaughan’s major interest has always been writing about individuals who have had a strong influence on our culture.

As youth and education editor at LIFE magazine, Vaughan covered Bob Dylan’s European tour, the Beatles, the Monterrey Pop and Woodstock music festivals, the Haight-Ashbury Summer of Love, Andy Warhol’s Factory, the youth movement, the arrival of LSD, and Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony’s tour of China. Among other notables he has written about are Walter Cronkite, Roy Disney, Rod and Olin Stephens, Malcolm Forbes, Tony Gwynn, HRH Princess Margaret, Ann Sophie Mutter, Lee Marvin, and Mstislav Rostropovich.

He was founding editor of TheYACHT magazine.

Vaughan has written two books about the America’s Cup, and has contributed to several others. He has written biographies of media magnate Ted Turner (USA), music director Herbert von Karajan (Austria, France), medical researcher Dr. Hillary Koprowski (Poland, USA), and educator/philanthropist Harry Anderson (New York, Newport, Jekyll Island). His current project is a biography of Victor Kovalenko (Ukraine, Australia), head coach of the Australian Olympic Sailing Team.

A sailor from childhood, Vaughan’s interest in those attracted to the sea came from within. Early musical training primed him for eclectic work in that area. The broad variety of his other work stems from his conviction that every scene, no matter how compelling, or how movingly described, is dormant until populated with strong spirits whose talent and energy bring it to life; and from his further conviction that if it is boring to write, it will be boring to read.

Vaughan is also head of Choptank Word Bank, working with designer Austin Metze of Metze Publication Design, and editor Kip Requardt, to package books from concept to finished product.

He is a respectable photographer with a good eye.

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