Check out our current issue:
July 2017

Pen-in-Hand is the official literary and art publication of the Maryland Writers' Association, published bi-annually in January and July. The publication is comprised of contributions from MWA members and the MWA board, as well as announcements from Maryland-based literary journals, publishers, reading series, and writers' associations. 

In addition to poetry, short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and artwork, Pen-in-Hand also publishes interviews with writers or guest speakers, book reviews, how-to advice, member profiles, and member surveys, among other subjects of interest to writers.

Hard copy available for sale from your local chapter or at



January 2017

January 2016

Older versions (prior to January 2016) may be viewed by visiting the archives



All submissions are subject to the editor's discretion (i.e., not all submissions will be published). Regular features may include a message from the MWA President and MWA Officers, Letters from the Editor, Calls for Submissions, and details about MWA Contests and Conferences.  

Maryland artists who are MWA members are also welcome to submit photographs of their work.
Submissions must be emailed; no hard copies will be accepted. All photos must be formatted as follows: jpeg or png, max. 300 dpi, black and white. Photos may be resized for publicaiton at the editor's discretion. 
Title, medium, date, and artist name must be included in all submissions. 

Optional: Brief artist bio, (Max 4 sentences) and an artist statement describing the work (500 word maximum).

Submissions are Open on a Rolling Basis during the submission period and up to Submission Deadline. Submission Period Closes at 11:59 p.m. Day of Deadline. 

Next Submission Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Theme: The upcoming January 2018 issue will have a section on the theme of Earth and Space. MWA members and young writers are encouraged to send their best works.

Be sure to check Pen-In-Hand and MWA Announcements, the MWA facebook page, and MWA Twiitter for Calls for Submission, deadline information, and special runs!

Items submitted after deadline may be held for publication in the following issue.

Pen in Hand Submission Guidelines

You must be a current MWA member to be considered for publication

We do not pay for submissions. 

Authors retain all rights except First Electronic Right

All Submissions Must be Sent Via Email to or  For all other issues, including email updates, please contact either your MWA Chapter President or send an email to:
We do not accept previously published work. Exceptions may be made at the editor’s discretion, provided that you indicate where and when your work was originally published. In addition, you must either have the rights to the piece, or be able to demonstrate (in writing) that you have reprint permission from the rights holder. The MWA will be held harmless in case of unauthorized reproduction. 

 Articles: 1000-3000 words per piece, per issue. Limited to two submissions.


  •           Poetry/Prose: Maximum of 100 lines, one submission, per author, per issue. 
  •           Haiku: Limited to two submissions per author, per issue. 
  •           Micro Poetry: Limited to 150 words, two submissions per author, per issue.


  •          Fiction/Non-Fiction Stories: 2000-3000 words, 1 per author, per issue.
  •          Fiction/Non-Fiction Short-short stories: 1000-1500 words, 1 per author, per issue       
  •          Flash Fiction/Non-Fiction: 750 words max, 2 per author, per issue 


  •          Visual Art/Photography: 2 per artist per issue, B&W Photo, JPG, Gif, or PNG, 72-300dpi, 5x7
  •          Post Card Art: 2 per artist per issue, 3x5 B&W JPG, Gif, or PNG, 72-300 dpi    
  •          Line Art/Half-tone: submissions (paintings, drawings): JPG, Gif, PNG, Max 5 MB  
  •          Digital Art: 2 per artist per issue. JPG, Gif, PNG, PDF, (B&W, Half-tone, Grayscale) 5x,72 dpi 
  •          Please properly format work prior to Submitting. 
             DPI= Image Resolution    3x5, 5x7, 8x10= Image Size, in Inches

*Please include an Artist Statement, including a brief description, date, and medium. Limited to 250 words.

Cover Art: 

  • 1  per Artist per issue. At the editor’s discretion, submissions not chosen for the cover may be featured
     in the issue.  Format:  B&W, Half-tone, or Grayscale, 8x10, 72 dpi


All submissions should be submitted as a .doc, .docx,  .pdf file submitted via email only. Submissions received in any other format will not be considered. Unless your creative work dictates otherwise, use 12-point Times New Roman, single-spaced text, and flush left margins. If your submission has been previously published elsewhere, please indicate where and when at the bottom of your submission.

If line art or a halftone will accompany your submission, submit it as a .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .pdf,  or .png, 72-300dpi, 8inx10in max. Artwork submitted in any other format will not be considered. 

Sumissions must include a Separate Bio/Artist Statement, written in third person, 75 words max. Please indicate your MWA Chapter. Artist Statements and Bios may be sent as a separate file, doc, docx. or pdf, or may be included in the body of the email. *Do Not Include Work/Submissions in the body of the email.

In the body of your email, please indicate contact information, the genre of your submission, word  count, your MWA Chapter, and preferred publication name.

Maryland-based literary journals, publishers, reading series, and writers' associations are welcome to submit announcements such as calls for submissions and upcoming events

Be aware that all articles and bios may be edited for length. All submissions (except for creative work)  will be proofread and corrected accordingly for typos and grammatical errors.

Include "PIH" in the e-mail subject line and send to the Pen in Hand Editor at or

Themed Issues or Special Runs: Please refer to the directions posted in the Call for Action for Themed Issues/Special Runs. Unless otherwise noted, all Calls for Submissions follow regular dates and publication guidelines. 

All submissions are accepted at the editor’s discretion. Neither Pen in Hand nor MWA provides feedback, critiques, suggestions, reviews, or responds to inquiries of any kind regarding submissions, accepted or declined. You may submit in more than one genre, but accepted work is limited to one genre piece, per author/artist, per publication, (Ie: 2 Post Card Art, 1 Story, 2 Flash Fiction, etc.)

Please allow two to three weeks for a response. 

Editor: Dr. Tapendu K. Basu (Gandharva raja)