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 Categories are fluid and may include short plays, short stories, poetry, first chapters of unpublished novels, memoirs, etc.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