Posted tagged ‘New Mexico Press Women’

Meet a Member: Kathryn Cόrdova

November 30, 2016

Another dedicated, long-time NFPW member is Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova of New Mexico. She is always willing to help out and also one of the first to express appreciation for the hard work of others. I remember the  nice thank you note and gift she sent me after the NFPW conference in Idaho in 2008. I was impressed with her thoughtfulness. She is also a talented writer and teacher. She is also willing to share her talents with others. I am proud to call this unique and unbelievable member a friend.

Name:  Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

City/State: El Prado (Taos County), New Mexico

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Affiliate and Leadership Positions:

New Mexico– Past positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Communicator Of  Achievement Chair.

NFPW– Communicator Of Achievement Chair; Membership Chair; Student Membership Chair; POPPS Vice President/ Treasurer and President; NFPW Treasurer; and NFPW Second Vice President.

Years in NFPW: 27

Tell Us a Little About You:

I prepared for dual careers in Journalism and Education, as these were the times when women did not receive many opportunities in the newsroom.  Fortunately, I was able to work at both careers as a teacher and a freelance writer.  I have also served in editorial positions on community publications and professional newspapers and magazines.  Throughout the years, I have written four different columns, and continue to write one, “Know Your Neighbor” on a weekly basis for our community’s newspaper.  I have also contributed to and written books, mainly biographies.  Family is very important to me.

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Career Advice: 

People should work at what they enjoy and about what they feel passionate.  Doing so brings joy to the worker and those around him or her.  When one is happy, it is contagious and obvious in the finished product.  We are all lifelong learners, and as such, must embrace learning something new as much as possible.

Which talent would you most like to have?  Art.  The best I can achieve in regard to completing an art piece is to draw a stick doll.

If I could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love where I live right now.  I enjoy traveling, but it’s always a joy to return home.

 What book are you reading?

I’m an avid reader.  I just started the book Laci, about Laci Peterson, by Michael Fleeman.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As a Doctor of Education, I teach courses such as Children’s Literature and deep-thought texts.  As a former high school teacher, I taught American Literature. Therefore, it may surprise some to learn that I love to read and write (unpublished) what my dad used to call “trashy books.”

Why your affiliate and NFPW are important to you. 

An organization is only as good as its members.  I would never trade the friendships I have made, the people I have met, things I have learned and the places I have visited as a result of attending conferences, meetings, etc.  The networking is available to all the members, and it’s refreshing to note that the Press Women organization does not confine itself to only one small facet of the careers and interests of the members.  The broad base is very appealing.

What is the best way to follow you- website, Twitter, Facebook, etc.?  Much to the chagrin of my children, I do not follow social media.




Meet a Member: Loretta Hall

September 27, 2016

Each year one National Federation of Press Women member is honored as Communicator of Achievement. It is the top honor given by the organization. Affiliates select a member to represent their organization and then a national panel of judges select the recipient. Loretta Hall of New Mexico was honored as the 2016 recipient. She is serving at the affiliate president and is an outstanding writer and author. Her eighth book is at the publisher now. Meet another of our unique and unbelievable NFPW members.

Loretta Hall

Loretta Hall

Name: Loretta Hall

City and State: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Affiliate and any leadership positions: New Mexico Press Women (Zia Book Award Chair, 2012-2014; Treasurer, 2014-2016; President, 2016-2018)

Years a member of NFPW: 5

Tell us a little about you.

I’m a freelance writer and nonfiction book author. At first, I wrote articles for a variety of consumer and trade magazines. My first article, “Have Phone, Will Travel,” was published by Home Office Computing in June 1990. It was a guide to shopping for a cell phone in those early days when they came in the forms of bricks, bag phones, and car phones. After answering an ad in a civil engineering newsletter, I was assigned to write three chapters for a book called When Technology Fails. That opened the door for assignments for writing chapters in books on various topics published by what was then called Gale Research. Eventually, that evolved into commissions to write two books for their UXL imprint.

I continued to write articles, mostly for trade and professional journals in the civil engineering and construction industries. But I found that I really enjoyed writing books. My eighth book is with the publisher now, and it should be available around the end of this year. Since the mid-2000s, my interest in manned spaceflight has been rekindled. As a teenager, I was enthralled with our progress toward landing men on the moon. Now, with the emergence of the commercial space industry, that fascination has again captured me. My last four books are about space exploration, its history, and its future.


Loretta Hall in a space suit. The last few books she has written have focused on space exploration.

Any career advice you would give?

For freelance writers, I would suggest focusing on trade publications or niche-market magazines rather than the big-name consumer magazines. It’s much easier to get regular assignments that way, and the pay can be comparable.

For aspiring authors, I’d caution against expecting significant income from writing books. If income is your goal, keep writing for magazines. Or write “works for hire” for educational publishers; you won’t get royalties, but you’ll earn several thousand dollars for each book. Of course, there are other reasons for writing books, and I love doing it.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be more athletic. I’ve never been particularly good at sports, and I’m more inclined to sit at my computer or curl up with a book.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In the world’s largest English-language library!

What book are you reading?

I enjoy two kinds of reading. For fiction, I choose mysteries and legal thrillers. Currently, I’m reading The River Is Dark by Joe Hart. For nonfiction, I usually pick something about space exploration. I just ordered a copy of The Science of Interstellar, which was written by the science advisor for the film.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I spent two days learning to drive an open-wheel, formula race car on a road track.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

In our short-attention-span, sound-bite society, I believe it is more important than ever to promote good journalism and work toward a more informed public.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

My primary website is; from there, you can find others that relate to some of my books.

My Facebook page is, and on LinkedIn I’m at


New Mexico’s Cassie McClure enjoys sharing writing talents with others

January 5, 2015

Second year NFPW member Cassie McClure is saving her money to attend her first NFPW conference this fall in Alaska. She is an active member and plays a leadership role in Las Cruces Press Women and New Mexico Press Women. To her delight she picked up writing assignments by networking at New Mexico meetings and has received positive feedback from those stories. She is an asset to her affiliate and is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member. Meet my new friend, Cassie McClure. 

Name: Cassie McClure

City and State: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Cassie McClure

Cassie McClure

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Vice President of the Las Cruces Press Women and Secretary of New Mexico Press Women

Years a member of NFPW: Almost two years.

Tell us a little about you.

I’m about two years into a freelance writing career that I picked up at my first Press Women event. I came to a fiction writing panel to get my Mom out of the house a bit and, at the end of the event, an editor of a local magazine asked if anyone was interested in writing. I snagged a card, wrote a quick email, and got lucky. Cheryl Fallstead, president of LCPW and NMPW, then offered me a writing gig at Southwest Senior and introduced me to people at the local paper and a few months later I had people stop and congratulate me on articles, which, is still strange because many times I feel like I’m writing into a void for my own amusement.

Aside from writing, in 2014, my husband and I decided to buy a fixer-upper, get a dog to annoy our cat, all while having a cheerful toddler meander around us. Each time, we said, ‘You know, we’re just not that busy, are we?’

I am a 2006 New Mexico State University alumna who wrote for the student paper The Roundup, I have bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and German, and also a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. I am the vice president of the Las Cruces Press Women and the secretary of the New Mexico Press Women. I currently write for the Las Cruces Sun-News, SuCasa Magazine, and Southwest Senior. Since 2012, my day job is as senior library specialist in the Technical Services department at the NMSU Library. Previously I was with NMSU’s PREDICT Open Source Intelligence Laboratory, but was previously also a library specialist at NMSU Archives from 2008 to 2010. I live in Las Cruces with husband Jorge and  two-year-old daughter Evelynn. I enjoy learning about random life stories from story assignments.

Any career advice you would give?

This question somewhat stumps me because I feel like such a novice in my career as a professional writer. I’d known that my strength academically was writing, wrote a blog as a hobby for a few years, and liked helping others tweak their work. My day job is working at a library – not as a librarian, because those with MLISs get upset if you call yourself that even after 10 odd years working in a library – and debating how exactly I was going to get into a career path that uses my bachelor’s in Journalism and my master’s in Rhetoric.

Writing freelance feels a bit like an accident, but it’s in keeping with how I usually approach life – just put yourself out there, try new things, and see what comes out of the woodwork, good or bad. It’s all fodder for the memoir at any rate.

Cassie McClure in Mexico with her husband, Jorge.

Cassie McClure in Mexico with her husband.

For my own career, I’ve been trying to scout the old school idea of finding a mentor – someone like 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy’s maybe slightly more liberal counterpart – but what I’ve found is that you can pull mentorships from all the people in your life, picking out the best bits which work well for your situation and applying them to how you want to further yourself. You like someone’s writing voice? Incorporate what you like into your own. Think someone dresses snazzily? Ask her where she shops. Admire a business person? Try to write an article about their business and then ask them all sorts of questions about how they got to where they are. People love talking about themselves and I love to listen.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to speak English-accent-free, melodic Spanish.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Berlin, Germany.

What book are you reading?

I’m one of those newfangled people who would like to debate with you about how audiobooks and podcasts are much like reading, especially when you pause it and debate a topic that comes up in an audiobook with someone during a long road trip. Podcasts also save my sanity while working on large sets of data at work.  I was one of the many people addicted to the Serial podcast and am someone who has an unrequited love of Ira Glass.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m going through a severe Bollywood phase and am listening to a Pandora station based on A.R. Rahman’s soundtracks. Also, my husband says that I should put in that I’m also a German [thus the Berlin, Germany answer] and married to a Mexican because that makes me sound more exotic.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I think that Press Women gets me out of my shell and gives me a chance to try on a leadership hat. For example, I’m building a panel of border reporters to come talk to our members and local people about current issues in border journalism. I’ve actually been able to email people whose work I admire and I’ll get to meet them in person. I’ve met people across the state and seen what other issues impact them and their causes, but also am able to represent a view from southern New Mexico.

I hope to save some pennies (and quarters and dollars) to try and come to my first NFPW conference in 2015, because mingling in Alaska with other professional writers sounds like a heck of an experience to put in that memoir.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

For those with professional curiosity:

For random, pithy tweets: @TheCMcClure

For daily posts entirely too occupied with DeLoreans and my bafflement at humanity: