Quick Notes, January 30, 2018

By Eileen McIntire, President

One of Hollywood’s top writing coaches and story experts, Michael Hauge headlines the MWA  conference with an all-day workshop on Friday, March 23. Hauge receives rave reviews for inspiring and motivating writers.

Early bird discounts end Feb. 1. Don't miss out on an exhiliarating two days!

Hauge has worked with screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers, consulting on projects starring WiIl Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, and many others. He’s also the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get your Screen play or Novel Read.

How to write a thriller with John Gilstrap, poetry with Maryland’s poet Laureate, writing workshops and panel discussions on a range of topics, agent pitches, keynote addresses at Saturday’s breakfast and luncheon, and editor critiques also pack the two-day agenda.

Register now. Go to for the complete schedule and to register.

Advertise your new book, business or service: Cheap Promo Opportunities:

The vendor table for all-day Saturday is a measly $10.

Program Book ads:

  • A quarter-page (4.5” x 2”) ad is only $25.
  • $50 for the half page Ad size is 4.5" wide X 3.5" tall.
  • $100 for the full page ($150 for full page inside front) Ad size is 4.5" wide X 7.5" tall.


Quick Notes, January 19, 2018

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

The Winter MWA Newsletter is posted on the MWA website. It offers news, views, and tools for you and your opportunity to share what’s happening in your own writing. Read it now.


Book Awards Contest: Still plenty of time to read and vote on your favorites among the submissions. Contest ends Feb. 28. Winners will be announced at MWA’s annual conference


Annual Conference: March 23-24, 2018, BWI Marriott.

DISCOUNT RATES END FEB. 1! This promises to be the best yet! Look at the line-up.

Friday, March 23:

Michael Hauge, Hollywood storyteller, screenwriter, and motivational speaker, presents an all-day workshop. He has worked with screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers, consulted on projects starring (among many others) WiIl Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and Reese Witherspoon. He is also the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get your Screen play or Novel Read.

Parallel Sessions: Half-Day Poetry Workshop with Maryland’s Poet Laureate Stanley Plumly, Maryland’s award-winning poet laureate and distinguished professor at the University of Maryland,

Half-Day Memoir Writing Workshop with popular workshop leader and author Barbara Morrison.End the day by unwinding and enjoying your colleagues at the Purple Prose Dinner.

Saturday, March 24

Keynote Breakfast with John Gilstrap, award-winning, NYT best-selling author of thrillers including a 2016 Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original Novel for his book, Against All Enemies.

Keynote Lunch with screenwriter and storyteller Michael Hauge

Agent/Editor Pitch Appointments (for MWA members only. Not a member? Join for conference discounts and a pitch session.)

Full Day of Workshops. Topics include: • How to Write a Thriller • Plot and Structure • Self-Publishing • Social Media • 20 More!

Panel topics include • Young Adult—Learn from your audience • First Responder—What happens to 911 calls? • How to Begin a Writing Career in Retirement. LOW RATES END FEB. 1!


The next board meeting of the Maryland Writers’ Association will be Feb. 13. 7 p.m. at the Miller Branch Library, Ellicott City, MD. All members are welcome to attend.



The following are not sponsored by nor endorsed by the Maryland Writers’ Association. They are listed here as a service to members.

For mystery writers, join Sisters in Crime members on Friday, January 26, 2018 at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery to see the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Bruce Goldfarb from the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will give a lecture on the Nutshells from noon to 1 p.m. in the Rubenstein Grand Salon on the second floor of the Renwick Gallery. Bruce will share insights into the part these dioramas played in advancing the field of forensics and explain their necessary role in training future investigators. This is a free lecture, open to the public. Come early to get a good seat.

The Renwick is not part of the main Smithsonian Campus. It's located at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, near the intersection of Pennsylvania and 17th Street. There's limited street parking; paid parking is available at several nearby buildings, including: 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. (One Parking) 1750 H. Street 648 18th St. (Colonial Parking)


Writers’ Retreat at Deep Creek Lake: An exact date has not yet been determined, but it will be a Friday check-in to Sunday check-out, with all expenses included at Blue Moon Rising, a tiny cabin community on Deep Creek Lake. The weekend will offer plenty of group or private writing time, a sit-down one-on-one meeting with either a professional editor or motivational coach (both published authors), a group Q&A, two writing workshops and plenty of fellowship opportunities. Cost: Each tiny cabin (which is actually quite roomy) is $495 for a single attendee, $395 for two attendees sharing the same cabin and $295 per person if three people share. If you’re interested, contact Jeannette DiLouie,


Call for Entries: Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2018

Submit your Poetry & Short Fiction and showcase your work to a new international audience and further your involvement in the literary world. Prizes include: £1,000 for the Short Fiction and Poetry winners, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual for 60 finalists, Consultation with Redhammer Management, membership to the Poetry Society, one year subscription to Granta and a selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage. Entries are open until 31 August. Submit at:


The Gulf Coast Writers’ Association (GCWA) is now accepting entries for the 2018 Writing Contest. Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2018.

Entry fees: $10 for first entry for members; $20 for nonmembers. Categories are Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s Stories. The winners’ submissions will be posted on the website and will appear in the summer issue of Ft. Myers Magazine. This contest is open to GCWA members and the public. Winners will be announced at the GCWA meeting April 21, 2018. List of winners will be posted on the website by April 31, 2018.

Entries should be mailed to: GCWA Writing Contest P.O. Box 60771 Fort Myers, FL 33906 Go to for more information.


Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, announces the availability of Apprenticeship Awards and Project Grants to fund folklife activities between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Applications for both programs are open until February 2, 2018.

The Apprenticeship Award supports up to one year of study in folklife, or living cultural traditions. During the study period, a master folklife practitioner passes down her or his knowledge to an apprentice in an effort to support the vitality of folklife in Maryland. Apprenticeships may focus on performance-based forms of folklife, such as storytelling, music, or dance; tangible forms of folklife, such as craft, costume, or food; or occupational forms of folklife, such as those found in maritime, agricultural, or architectural traditions. Project Grants support short-term research and programming focused on folklife. Successful grantees undertake projects directed by professionals, community scholars, organizations, or artists as they identify, document, support, or present Maryland folklife.

Past Project Grants have funded the documentation of food traditions, the production of an album of folk music, and an oral history collection leading to the creation of an exhibit on community life. Technical support is an important part of our work at Maryland Traditions.

For more information, advice on application strategies, or any other inquiry, contact Maryland Traditions Director Chad Edward Buterbaugh at 410.767.6450 or To access the Apprenticeship Award or Project Grant applications, visit

Quick Notes, December 12, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

BOOK AWARDS SCORING ENDS FEB. 28 – Get your reading done now and your votes in! You might even find the perfect gift for someone on your list among the submissions.

REGISTER NOW FOR MWA’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE! Early bird discounts end February 1. This two-day conference looks like MWA’s best ever. Don’t miss it!

Pen In Hand, MWA’s literary journal, is still accepting submissions for the January issue. Deadline is Dec. 31. Send submissions to

Submissions to the next issue of MWA’s quarterly Newsletter are being accepted now. Send your news and articles to Editor Barbara Morrison at



This has been another great year for the Maryland Writers’ Association thanks to a capable, energetic and enthusiastic Board of Directors. Many thanks and holiday hugs are due to:

Janet Ruck, Vice President

Mark Willen, Treasurer and Teen Club Coordinator

Chip Trimmier, Secretary

Flo McCahon, Membership Chair

Jess Williams, Conference Chair

Michelle Butler* and Katherine Melvin, Program Chairs

Amy Kaplan, Chapter Liaison

Tony Russo, Communications Chair

Dr. Tapendu Basu, Editor, Pen in Hand

Barbara Morrison, Editor, Newsletter

Larry Matthews,* Member at Large

Christina Lyons, Member at Large

Eric Badertscher, Member at Large

Angela Dale, Website

Ally Machate, Anthologies

* Michelle Butler and Larry Matthews resigned in mid-term because of personal and professional considerations.

Many thanks are also due to the Chapter officers who line up excellent monthly programs. Here are the presidents of each chapter:

Howard County – Nancy Alexander

Montgomery County – Judy Kelly

Carroll County – Joelle Jarvis and Jo Donaldson

Charles County – Karen McIntyre

Lower Eastern Shore – Stephanie Fowler

Baltimore County – Dr. Tapendu Basu

The next MWA Board meeting will be January 11, 7 p.m., at the Miller Branch Public Library, Ellicott City. All members are invited to attend.



The following announcements are provided as a service to the members. MWA does not necessarily endorse nor sponsor any of the organizations or their events.

The 6th Annual College Park Book Festival will be held Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the College Park Community Center. Registration information will be sent out in January 2018.


The 12th Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is now open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world. Prizes include: £1,000 for the Short Fiction and Poetry winners, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual for 60 finalists, Consultation with Redhammer Management, membership to the Poetry Society, one year subscription to Granta and a selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage.

Entries are open until 31 August. Submit at:


Odyssey Writing Workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror: Held for six weeks each summer in Manchester, New Hampshire, Odyssey is widely considered one of the top programs for writers of the fantastic. Only fifteen are admitted. Top authors, agents, and editors serve as guest lecturers. Advanced lectures, in-depth feedback, and one-on-one guidance help students make major improvements. Fifty-nine percent go on to professional publication.

This summer's program runs from June 4 to July 13, 2018. Class meets for over four hours each day, five days a week, with time split between lectures and workshopping. Lectures explore powerful techniques while feedback reveals the strengths and weaknesses in each writer's work. Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work. The workshop is held at Saint Anselm College, one of the top small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, and students live in campus apartments. They love the peaceful grounds and friendly staff. College credit is available on request. Odyssey is for writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work.

The early action application deadline is January 31, and the regular application deadline is April 7. The workshop is held by the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Odyssey is funded in part by donations from graduates, grantors and supporters, and in part by student tuition. Tuition is $2,025, and housing in campus apartments is $892 for a double room and $1,784 for a single. All applicants receive feedback on their writing sample.

A scholarship covering tuition, textbook, and housing will be awarded to a promising writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.

For more information, go to


Eastern Shore Writers Association - Bay to Ocean Conference: The next Bay to Ocean Writers Conference will take place on March 10, 2018, at Chesapeake College, on Route 50 near Easton, MD. Christopher Tilghman, author of the critically acclaimed novel "Mason's Retreat" and a professor of English at the University of Virginia, will deliver the opening keynote. For more information, go to


Livecanon announces poetry courses available in 2018 and offered through EventBrite. Livecanon is in the United Kingdom and the courses are offered there. It is an ensemble performing, creating, recording, and publishing poetry throughout the UK. So if you’re up for a trip to London in 2018, here is a list of courses. Go to the website indicated for more information.

One day courses

Correspondence Courses


Quick Notes, November 15, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire

2018 – MWA’s 30th Year!

The Annual Conference – March 23-24, BWI Marriott.

Two packed days of writing workshops, panel discussions, agent and editor pitches, speakers, networking and much more. Early Bird Registration is open now! Go to for more information and to register.

March 23:

Full-day Story-Writing Workshop with Michael Hauge, one of Hollywood’s top coaches and story experts. He has worked with countless screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers and consulted on projects starring Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and others. He is also the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read.

Half-day Poetry Workshop with Maryland’s Poet Laureate Dr. Stanley Plumly, award-winning and distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. In addition to teaching at some of the country’s most esteemed institutions, including Columbia, the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa and Princeton, Plumly has received numerous honors throughout the course of his longstanding career, such as a Guggenheim Fellowship; an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and the LA Times Book Prize, among others.

Half-day Memoir-Writing Workshop with Barbara Morrison. Barbara is a popular leader of writing workshops and the author of Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother.

March 24:

Keynote Breakfast with John Gilstrap, NYT best-selling author of thrillers and winner of multiple awards, including a 2016 Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original Novel for Against All Enemies.

Keynote Lunch with Michael Hauge

Agent/Editor pitch appointments (for MWA members)

Workshop Topics include: How to Write a Thriller Plot and Structure, Self-Publishing, Social Media + 20 more! Panel Topics include: Young Adult – Learn from the audience you write for, First Responder – What happens with 911 is called? How to Begin a Writing Career in Retirement


BOOK AWARDS CONTESTCast your scores now. Scoring closes February 28. Enjoy reading any or all of the submissions in the following categories then score them. The categories are: • Mystery/thriller • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction • Literary/Mainstream • Historical Fiction MWA members may score each entry once. Once a score has been submitted, it cannot be changed or withdrawn.


The Special Collections Library Association is holding its annual conference at the Baltimore Convention Center in June. They are asking MWA to provide an hour-long panel discussion at lunchtime to introduce attendees to Maryland. If you’d like to be on the panel, please submit a proposal to MWA Vice President Janet Ruck,


ISO Graphic Designer: MWA is seeking a graphic designer to design its literary journal, Pen in Hand. The journal is published twice a year in January and July, is 6” x 9” and generally contains about 65 pages. Payment in contributor copies and acknowledgement and credit on the copyright page plus our heartfelt thanks.


Speaking of Pen in Hand, editor Dr. Basu is seeking more submissions for the January issue. Deadline is Dec. 31.


MWA needs an archivist to bring order and efficiency to its files and records. This would include scanning records and downloading files to put in a digital format. If you can help, contact Eileen McIntire,



The following is presented as a service to MWA members. MWA does not necessarily endorse or sponsor these organizations.


2018 WILLIAM SAROYAN INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR WRITING -- Call for Submissions -- Deadline for entries: January 31, 2018. Submissions are now being accepted for this award given by Stanford University Libraries in partnership with the William Saroyan Foundation. The award recognizes newly published works of fiction and nonfiction with a $5,000 award for the winner in each category. The prize is designed to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation. Entries must be received by January 31, 2018. For entry forms and more information on the prize, visit the Saroyan Prize website:


Takoma Park Book Fair: A few places are still available. Busboys & Poets is hosting this year’s event on Saturday, December 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. They have a dedicated event space and will actively promote the event, which is free and open to the public. Participating authors must be Takoma Park (or nearby) residents—and have published within the last two years. They ask for a $20 contribution from each author to cover costs. Busboys has assumed ownership of the bookstores in their restaurants (some were previously under Politics & Prose management). They plan to organize a variety of book events during the coming year.

SIGN UP FOR THE BOOK FAIR BY NOVEMBER 25. Email the following information to · your name, address, and phone number,· title and publication date of your book, brief description of your book (1 or 2 lines). Attach a jpg of your cover.

Quick Notes, October 18, 2017

By Eileen McIntire

MWA’s Fall Newsletter is now available online. Editor Barbara Morrison reminds members to keep your news in the news. E-mail her about your triumphs, new book launchings, and other happenings. Tips, how-tos, and craft articles are also welcome. E-mail Barbara at The Newsletter comes out quarterly.

Congratulations to MWA’s Teen Writers Groups for receiving their second grant of $500 from the Constellation's Community Champions program! Constellation is an alternative energy supply company. Membership Chair Flo McCahon made the connection and Mark Willen, MWA Teen Writers Groups Coordinator, received the grant, which will be used to fund MWA conference scholarships for selected teens.

MEMBER ALERT: Quick Notes and other MWA announcements are sent by e-mail. Please check your member profile on and make sure your information, including your e-mail address, is correct. You don’t want to miss out.

Critique Groups are a valuable and popular benefit of MWA. If you would like to find a critique group for feedback on your writing, please add yourself to the critique group database. You can also contact open critique groups listed on the website. Here’s an ISO from a member who is looking for a critique group in the Harbor East section of Baltimore. She writes historical mysteries. If you are interested in joining a group in that area, e-mail me ( and I’ll put you in touch. Critique groups are always forming, and you can start one with a small nucleus.



The following announcements are for your information and are not necessarily endorsed nor sponsored by MWA.

Baltimore Screenwriters Competition now accepting submissions. Entry deadline January 24, 2018.

The Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is now accepting entries for the 13th annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. Applicants can submit screenplays in the feature or shorts categories. The top entries in both categories win cash prizes, and feature winners also receive all access passes to the 2018 Maryland Film Festival and passes to local movie theaters.

The application and guidelines are available online at The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is a project of the Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in conjunction with film programs at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. Funding is provided by The Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Parr. Additional support is courtesy of the Maryland Film Festival, NEXTCAR and Visit Baltimore.

The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is open to all screenwriters. Submitted scripts receive coverage from students in the Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University screenwriting programs and by local screenwriters and producers. The final screenplays are judged by film industry professionals including writer Norman Steinberg (“Blazing Saddles,” “My Favorite Year”), producer Nina Noble (“The Deuce,” “Treme,” “The Wire”) and producer and studio executive Larry Kostroff (“The Gumshoe Kid,” “When A Stranger Calls”). Winners of the competition are announced during the 2018 Maryland Film Festival on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

In the feature category, the first place winner receives $1,500, an all access pass to the 2017 Maryland Film Festival, a Weekend in Baltimore Package, a rental car for the weekend and passes to area movie theaters. The second place winner receives $750, an all access pass to the festival and movie passes. The third place winner receives $350, an all access pass to the festival and movie passes. In the shorts category, winners will receive cash prizes.

For more information on the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, call 410-752-8632 or visit


Fall Fiction Contest - Deadline: Nov. 15

The Masters Review announces its Fall Fiction Contest. The winning story will be paid $2000, awarded publication online in The Masters Review, and receive a note from the judge on why the story was selected. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $200 and $100, respectively, as well as correspondence from the judge. Fifteen finalists will be acknowledged in December and the winners will be selected from that pool.

The Fall Fiction Contest winner last year, Ruth Joffre, just sold her story collection to Grove Atlantic. Her winning story, "Night Beast," is the title story in her debut collection.

GUIDELINES: • Submissions are open from Sept 15 - Nov 15. 7000 word limit • Fiction only • Emerging Writers only. (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Self-published writers and writers with story collections and novels with a small circulation are welcome to submit.) • $20 to enter • Previously unpublished work only • Multiple and simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please notify us if your story is accepted elsewhere • International submissions allowed.

Finalists will be announced by Dec 21, and winners will be announced in January.

The contest judge will be BRIAN EVENSON, author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection, A Collapse of Horses. He is one of fiction's best literary writers with a stellar eye for gothic and dark literary fiction. A Shirley Jackson, International Horror and Edgar Award finalist, as well as the winner of three O. Henry Prizes, this contest is in the very best hands.

For more information, visit the website,



Nonfiction Writers Conference Online – Nov. 9-10

"Marketing Mastery for Authors" is the theme of the Fall Nonfiction Writers Conference, November 9-10, 2017. It will be a virtual event conducted entirely by teleseminar—no travel required.

For MWA members, they offer a special 33% off discount. The Nonfiction Writers Conference, and its sister organization The Nonfiction Authors Association, both aim to bring much-needed support and education to the nonfiction writer community.

To find out more, go to and

Quick Notes, September 23, 2017

By Eileen McIntire, President


MWA’s literary journal, Pen in Hand, is now accepting submissions for the January issue. Deadline is Dec. 1. Categories are fluid and may include short plays, short stories, poetry, first chapters of unpublished novels, memoirs, etc. Please go to for submission guidelines and more information.

Pen in Hand is available on the website and as a printed book for sale on It is given to agents, editors, and speakers at the conference and chapter meetings.

MWA’s Quarterly Newsletter deadline is September 30. Let your fellow writers know what’s happening in your writing, your activities and latest triumphs. Editor Barbara Morrison is also looking for questions for the writers’ advice columns, reviews of writing craft books, a contribution to the “Why I Write” column, interviews, articles on the craft of writing, and other items of interest to writers.

CONTEST DEADLINE: Sept. 30. Still time to submit your novel: Awards will be given in the following genre divisions: • Mystery/thriller • Romance • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction • Literary/Mainstream • Historical Fiction • Young Adult / New Adult

THE 2018 CONFERENCE: Not to be missed! Dates: March 23-24, 2018, BWI Marriott, Baltimore.

Registration for this two-day conference opens Dec. 1. Here's what's happening.

On Friday, March 23, choose from three dynamite sessions:

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Intensive Writing Workshop with MICHAEL HAUGE, a script consultant, story expert, author and lecturer who works with writers, filmmakers, marketers, business leaders, attorneys and public speakers, both in Hollywood and around the world. He has consulted on projects starring Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon, and for Overbrook Entertainment, where he consulted on the scripts for (among many others) I Am Legend, Hancock, The Karate Kid, Suicide Squad and Bright, which is currently in production. Michael is the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, as well as the 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book, Writing Screenplays That Sell. Michael has presented seminars, lectures and keynotes in person and online to more than 80,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”

Two half-day workshops:

Intensive Poetry Workshop with Maryland Poet Laureate STANLEY PLUMLY. He is the author of nine books of poetry, including Old Heart (Norton, 2008), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Most recently, Mr. Plumly has authored Posthumous Keats (Norton, 2008), a “personal biography” of the English poet, John Keats, which has received widespread critical acclaim by reviewers for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, among others, and his poems, essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in many of the country’s best periodicals and newspapers.

Stanley Plumly is the recipient of numerous awards including eight Pushcart Prizes, the Paterson Poetry Prize (2007), an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002), and a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation (2001).

Intensive Memoir-Writing Workshop with BARBARA MORRISON. She writes under the name B. Morrison and is the author of two poetry collections, Terrarium (2013) and Here at Least (2006), and a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. Her award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She conducts writing workshops and speaks on women's and poverty-related issues. She is also the owner of a small press and speaks about publishing and marketing. She has maintained her Monday Morning Books blog since 2006. For more information, visit her website and blog at

Saturday, March 24: Workshops on how to write a thriller, plot and structure, self-publishing, social media plus 20 more; agent/editor pitch appointments and two keynote speakers.

Breakfast Keynote Speaker: JOHN GILSTRAP is the New York Times bestselling author of Final Target, Friendly Fire, Nick of Time, Against All Enemies, End Game, Soft Targets, High Treason, Damage Control, Threat Warning, Hostage Zero, No Mercy, Nathan’s Run, At All Costs, Even Steven, Scott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom. Four of his books have been purchased or optioned for the Big Screen. In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris. He will co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom, which should begin filming in 2018. A frequent speaker at literary events, John also teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution. Outside of his writing life, John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, weapons systems, hazardous materials, and fire behavior. John lives in Fairfax, VA.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Michael Hauge.(see above).




MWA does not sponsor or necessarily support the following organization.

The RISK! live true storytelling show is coming to Baltimore on November 3, 2017. The show producers are looking for people to pitch their stories for the chance to perform in the live show.

Submission deadline is  October 3. Send pitches to:

The show will be presented at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, at 7:30 p.m.

Theme: Obsession (Stories are not required to fit under this theme. It’s just a jumping off point to help you brainstorm about stories you have. We cast excellent true stories over stories that simply fit the theme but are less compelling.)

RISK! Is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. RISK! has featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, and regular folks from around the world, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The RISK! podcast gets over 1.5 million downloads each month. called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.” RISK! is not like other storytelling shows. It’s “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” RISK! encourages storytellers to step out on a limb, be brutally candid and emotionally raw. This is an uncensored show where taboos are tackled and people talk about things they ordinarily might not share in mixed company, but might save for their therapist.

To hear some of their stories, go to For more information about what they look for in story pitches and how to submit, go to

Quick Notes, August 18, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

Contest Deadline Extended! The 2018 MWA Book Awards are open to all MWA members in good standing who have published a novel (50K words or more) in 2016 or 2017. There is no fee to enter; one entry per MWA member. Awards will be given in the following genre divisions: • Mystery/thriller • Romance • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction • Literary/Mainstream • Historical Fiction • Young Adult / New Adult •

At least 5 qualifying entries are required to award a prize in that division. Co-authored books are allowed; not allowed are anthologies to which the author has contributed. Novels entered in last-year’s contest are not eligible. For more information on rules and how to submit, please visit MWA’s Contests page.


MWA is now accepting workshop proposals for the 2018 conference, March 23rd & 24th at the BWI Marriott. Conference theme is “From Brain to Bookshelf.” All 50-minute presentations will be scheduled on Saturday, March 24th.

Do you have a creative workshop that will jog the writer's mind? A unique workshop to bring to the conference circuit? Send us your proposal!

Send proposal and bio to or Proposals sent by September 1st will receive priority consideration. Proposals will be accepted until September 30.


The latest issue of the MWA quarterly Newsletter and the July Pen in Hand are available online at Pen in Hand is also available on

The Newsletter prints your news and your brags. Send items to Barbara Morrison, Editor, at


New Program Chair: We are sorry to lose Michelle Butler as Program Chair. Her innovative “people’s choice” Book Awards Contest was a great success last year and continues this year. Stepping into the position is Katherine Melvin, past president of the Montgomery Chapter. Welcome, Katherine!


Critique Groups Coordinator is Angela Dale, who is also MWA Webmaster. The website lists critique groups around the state. MWA will also help you form a new one if there isn’t one convenient to you.


The MWA Board of Directors meets monthly. Members are invited to attend. The next meeting is Monday, September 18, 7 p.m., at the Owen Brown Community Center, Columbia, MD.


Speaking of meetings, as an MWA member, you are welcome at any monthly chapter meeting in the state without charge. Check the MWA website for information on dates, times, places and programs.

This month I had the pleasure and the opportunity of attending the following meetings:

  • The Lower Eastern Shore Chapter, an informal group that meets for fun, fellowship, and support on the second Tuesday, 6 p.m. at the offices of Saltwater Media in Berlin, MD.
  • The Annapolis Chapter, which meets the third Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Maryland Hall, Annapolis. The program featured Jill Bernstein, speaking on working with a publicist.
  • The Howard County Chapter, which meets on the third Thursday, 7 p.m., at the Owen Brown Community Center, Columbia, MD, featured Keith R.A. De Candida on “How to Write A Fight Scene.”


Vice President Janet Ruck has submitted the final report for the 2017 grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.


Volunteers Needed:

Graphic designer for MWA’s biannual literary journal, Pen in Hand. The journal is published in January and July. It generally runs about 66 pages, In a 6” x 9” format. It is distributed in a pdf format online and also printed as a Print-on-demand document with Lightning Source, for which a pdf is also needed. Editor is Dr. Tapendu Basu, who is easy to work with.

Archives Manager to keep our documents in order. We are hoping for someone to scan and digitize our files for posterity.


Opportunities for Writers

These announcements are provided as a service to you. MWA does not necessarily endorse nor sponsor them.

The summer months offer many retreats for writers. Here’s one you might consider for 2018. “A Writer’s Retreat in England,” sponsored by Ardent Writer Press, Brownsboro, AL, will be held from August 10-18, 2018, at Worton Park, The Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, England. Featured guests will be New York Times best-seller Ruth Downie, Dr. Heather Corbaly Bryant, The Writing Program, Wellesley College, and Jamie Dodson, author of the YA books of the WWII era, the Nick Grant Adventure Series. For more information, go to Email contact is or 256-694-6744.


I will be joining mystery authors Flo McCahon, Marcia Talley, Sujata Massey, and Maya Corrigan for a panel discussion of “Books and Authors of Mystery,” sponsored by Sisters in Crime and the Enoch Pratt Library. 2 p.m., September 16, Light Street Branch Library, Baltimore.

Quick Notes, July 18, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

Maryland Writers’ Association Awarded $2,000 Grant

Annapolis, MD, July 18, 2017 – The Maryland State Arts Council awarded the Maryland Writers’ Association a $2,000 grant for fiscal year 2018. This grant will support a variety of literary arts activities such as readings, lectures, workshops, a literary publication, and services to writers. This is the largest grant MWA has received from the state.

The Arts Council is under the authority of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. It was founded 40 years ago to encourage and invest in the arts for all Marylanders.


Congratulations to the newly elected chapter presidents:

  • Judy Kelly, Montgomery County Chapter;
  • Karen McIntyre, Charles County Chapter; and
  • Nancy Alexander, Howard County Chapter.

Amy Kaplan was welcomed as the newest member of the state Board of Directors.


The 2018 MWA Book Awards Now Accepting Submissions!

The Book Awards are open to MWA members in good standing who have published a novel (50K words or more) in 2016 or 2017. There is no fee to enter; one entry per MWA member. Submissions accepted until Aug. 31. Novels entered in the 2017 MWA Book Awards are not eligible to be submitted to the 2018 awards. Awards will be given in the following genre divisions:

  • Mystery/thriller
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
  • Literary/Mainstream
  • Historical
  • Young Adult / New Adult

However, at least 5 qualifying entries are required to award a prize in that division. If 5 entries are not received in a category, it may be eliminated or combined with another category. Co-authored books are allowed; anthologies to which the author has contributed a story are not. Go to the MWA website, to find out how to submit and obtain the rules for this “People’s Choice” awards program.


Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Did you publish your novel? Win the Pulitzer? Get a book contract? Were a featured speaker? Tell all of us about it through the MWA Quarterly Newsletter. It’s too late for the summer issue, but remember to get your news in for the next issue.


MWA has a Resources page on the website which lists editors, designers and others who provide services to writers. If you’d like your service or company to be listed, please e-mail Eileen McIntire, with your name, services you provide, and contact information.

Intellectual rights attorney: We’d like to add this listing to the Resources page. If you know of someone you can recommend, please e-mail with the name and contact information.



This section is provided as a service to members. MWA does not sponsor or necessarily support the following organization.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2017 Call for Entries

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2017 is open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world. Now in its 11th year, the award is an internationally renowned prize presented by Aesthetica Magazine and judged by literary experts, including Arifa Akbar, book reviewer for Monocle Radio and BBC Radio 5 Live and former Literary Editor at The Independent.

Prizes include: • £1,000 prize money Poetry Winner • £1,000 prize money Short Fiction Winner • Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology for 60 shortlisted writers • Consultation with Redhammer Management (Short Fiction Winner) • Full Membership to The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner) • Selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage • One year subscription to Granta.

Short Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines. Works previously published elsewhere are accepted. Deadline for submissions is 31 August 2017. To enter, visit


Quick Notes, June 19, 2017

by Eileen McIntire, President

Reminder: MWA Annual Meeting, Tuesday, June 20, Miller Public Library, Ellicott City, 7 p.m. On the Program: Readings by the MWA Book Awards winners.


Job Opening: Writer

Professor Dale Green, Morgan State University, Baltimore, is looking for a writer to help write his publications and other papers as needed. His field is Historic Preservation specializing in university heritage, historic black universities and colleges, black architects, historic African American districts, along with other historic preservation aspects. The position is contractual and the writer would be expected to work at Morgan State University in Baltimore. If you are interested, contact Wendy McGee-Preti, MCRP, Research Associate to Professor Green, 443.885.3225 or 443.885.4831. 


Free Writing Festival at the National Archives

Carl Rauscher, former member of MWA, sends this announcement about a free writing festival, sponsored by the National Archives, to be held on Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8 at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. The upcoming public event is called "The 'Write' Stuff." Select events will be live-streamed or available via webinar for those who can’t make it in person. For more information, go to


Quick Notes, June 5, 2017

By Eileen McIntire, President

You’re Invited! MWA Annual Meeting Features Book Award Winners

MWA’s 2017 Book Awards Winners Donna Drew Sawyer, David Stever, and Rea Keech will read from their winning books at the 2017 MWA Annual Meeting coming up June 20, at 7 p.m. in the Ellicott Room, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042. (410) 313-1950. Refreshments will be served.

Donna Drew Sawyer won in the historical category for Provenance, a novel of Southern civility that turns savage when a successful local businessman turns out to be black; David Stever won in the mystery/thriller category for Auburn Ride, a thriller featuring private investigator Johnny Delarosa; and Rea Keech won in the Mainstream/Literary category for A Hundred Veils, in which a young American teacher at the University of Tehran falls in love with an Iranian girl and gets caught up in the social, political and religious turmoil of the times.

The 2018 Book Awards Contest begins July 1! Submissions accepted July 1 through September 30 for books published in 2016 and 2017. Scoring dates have been lengthened, beginning on October 1 through February 28, 2018. Winners will again be announced at the annual conference in March. The contest is open to MWA members in good standing. There is no fee to enter but author-entrants are required to score 4 entries in a category other than the one they submitted to. A category must have at least five entries to qualify for an award.


SUBMISSIONS requested now for MWA’s next quarterly newsletter.  Please send any information that might be of interest to members, including announcements about other local events or your own news to Barbara Morrison, MWA Newsletter Editor. E-mail DEADLINE: June 26.


Writers, Editors, and Publishers Networking Social

It’s back! MWA-Montgomery will host a networking happy hour Thursday, June 15, with members of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and the Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA). Please join us Thursday, June 15, at Azucar Restaurant, 14418 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906, from 6 to 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Cash bar. This event brings together people from all sides of the publishing industry to meet, mingle, exchange business cards, and have fun! We will be in the private room next to the bar. Please enter through the side door (not the main restaurant entrance). Parking is plentiful and free. RSVPs are appreciated but not required. Admittance is $10 cash or check at the door. Last year’s event was a great success and so much fun. We hope you’ll join us!




Do you provide a service to writers, editors and publishers? Add your name, the service you provide, website link, and contact information to MWA’s online Resources Page. Send your information to Eileen McIntire,