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.