As she contemplated her 13 years at St. Catherine’s, Katharine Armstrong Herndon '86 selected for a senior quote in the Quair, “Someday they’re going to say ‘This is where it all began.'” Those prescient words reflected a lifelong love of writing that first manifested itself in work with the Arcadian, the poetry club, and on Atelier (creative writing magazine) as well as her own creative work.
It comes therefore as no surprise that Herndon was selected to be Executive Director of James River Writers (JRW) in Richmond. Established in 2002, James River Writers builds community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia.
“Richmond has an incredible nonprofit community, and I’m lucky to have found the organization that best fits my passion,” Herndon said. “Every day, I get to hang out with amazingly creative people who inspire me both personally and professionally.”
According to the JRW website, the “multi-faceted non-profit… serves as central Virginia’s literary hub and a welcoming home for anyone who loves the written word. “Aspiring and professional writers and passionate readers in all genres benefit from a variety of programs, services, and events, often presented in partnership with other cultural organizations. We are supported by government grants, foundations, corporate partners, and the generosity of our members.” Prior to her appointment as Executive Director in 2014, Herndon served on JRW’s board for several years in a variety of roles, including executive secretary, co-chair of the 2011 conference committee and membership chair.
Longtime former English and creative writing teacher Buffy Morgan recalls, “Katharine Armstrong is the only high school student I ever taught who had completed a novel when I first met her.”
While at St. Catherine’s, Herndon was inducted into in the Cum Laude Society, and was the recipient of the 1986 Bishop Brown/Ellett English Award. After attending Davidson College and University of Central Florida, Katharine taught middle school language arts for 13 years. More recently her work won second place in the Style Magazine fiction contest and has been published in The Great Richmond Zombie Book and in the anthology River Town.