2023 Laura Tracy Baisden Award Winner

Laura Tracy Baisden Award for Exemplary Teaching of Writing

The West Virginia writing community lost a friend and advocate in 2018 with the untimely passing of Laura Tracy Baisden. During her two decades as a Logan County educator and member of the National Writing Project, Ms. Baisden touched countless lives with her generosity, compassion, and dedication to the craft of writing. The Central WV Writing Project wishes to celebrate the life and work of Laura Tracy Baisden by establishing a memorial award that will recognize an exemplary teacher of writing within West Virginia. The award will be presented annually at West Virginia Young Writers Day.


Look for the next nomination for the 2024 award to be open in Fall 2023.

The 2023 Recipient of the Laura Tracy Baisden Award for Exemplary Teaching of Writing

Dr. MG Gainer

Dr. MG Gainer teaches at Calhoun County Middle High School at Mt. Zion, WV, after 20 years slightly north in Pennsylvania. Living and teaching high school in the same county she grew up in provides a strange juxtaposition of past and present. She is the Faculty Senate President for her building, serves on her building and county leadership teams, and assists other teachers with Teams and writing across the curriculum tasks.

Her bachelor’s in education comes from Glenville State University. At the encouragement of her professors there, she embarked on a massive graduate school adventure. Her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in English come from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

She lives in Calhoun County with her family, where she takes too many pictures of her dog and writes poetry to explain life to herself and anyone interested. She tries to live life by two tenets:  people who aren’t helping don’t get to complain and leave things better than you found them. Having been on the picket line for higher education and now public education, she knows the work must continue if a strong, affordable education is to remain available to all students.  It seems full circle to return to the state where she was introduced to the labor movement by a puppet show about Mother Jones that visited her elementary school.