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,


Quick Notes, May 16, 2017

By Eileen McIntire, President

The Board meets May 22, 7 p.m., at the Miller Branch Library, Howard County, in the Patapsco Room. All members are invited to attend.

Coming up: June 20, Annual Meeting. 7 p.m., Miller Branch Library, Howard County, Ellicott Room.

We are pleased to welcome Charitta Williams as the new MWA bookkeeper to handle MWA’s increasingly complicated financial transactions.

MWA needs a Treasurer to provide monthly financial reports to the board. With a bookkeeper on board, this job will be much easier. If you’d like to volunteer for the Board position of Treasurer, please contact Eileen McIntire,

MWA also needs someone to scan its documents for digital storage. This would also involve transferring MWA Board Yahoo files to other software.



The following messages are for your information. MWA does not necessarily sponsor nor endorse any of these organizations.

Poetry Contest

Loudoun County Public Library invites you to participate in its fourth annual poetry contest for adults ages 18 and up. Rhyme On! will be accepting entries--and they would love to have yours--from April 15 through May 31.

The poem should be in one of the following categories: • Best Love Poem • Best “Loudoun” Poem • Funniest Poem • Free-Verse

Cash prizes will be awarded for winners and runner-ups! Winners will be announced online July 5, 2017 on Loudoun County Public Library’s website and winners will be mailed their prizes.

Submission guidelines and more information are on the library website.  

If you have any questions about Rhyme On! contact Angela Marchetto, 540-687-5730.


Poetry Reading

June 11: Lucinda Marshall, Donald Illich, Katherine E. Young, Leeya Mehta, Serena Agusto-Cox, and Gregory Luce will be giving a poetry reading at Chesapeake Framing and Art Gallery,  123 Crown Park Ave., Gaithersburg 20878, from 3-5 pm. There will be an open mic after the readings. Don, Serena and Lucinda live in Maryland. Katherine E. Young is the Poet Laureate of Arlington. Greg is in Arlington as well and Leeya lives in DC. They are published poets who are active in the DMV literary community. More information is available on Facebook, and on Lucinda’s website. .

Book Festival

The inaugural Howard County Book Festival, Books in Bloom, will take place on June 11th at the Chrysalis at Merriweather Post Pavilion from 12-5. For more information, go to the website


Writing Workshops and Conferences

June 3, 2017: The 3rd Annual Writing Intensive at St. John’s College is a fun day devoted to writing instruction, discovery, and inspiration. Seven award-winning authors (including nationally acclaimed novelists, a media branding expert, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist) will present workshops that include memoir, fiction, nonfiction, and publishing advice.

For more information, go to the website 


June 18 – 24, 2017:
6th Chesapeake Writers’ Conference, St. Mary’s College
St. Mary’s City, Maryland
A week of craft talks, lectures, panel discussions, and readings, as well as daily workshops in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

The conference hosts writers at all levels of experience for a rich week of lectures, craft talks, readings, and panel discussions, as well as daily workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. A workshop designed for high school-aged youth will be a multi-genre course in which participants try their hand at a range of writing genres and styles. All conference workshops are led by exemplary faculty. Course credit for those enrolled in a degree program is also available.

New workshop for 2017: A teachers-only workshop that offers graduate credit for continuing professional development. Also planned: The multi-genre Youth Workshop for high schoolers. The publishing panel will include literary agent Mitchell Waters from Curtis Brown, Naomi Gibbs, an editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Rae Bryant, the editor of The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, a literary and arts journal housed at Johns Hopkins. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Enrollment is limited. Please follow the directions for applications on the website. June 2 is the due date for payment, but a spot will not be reserved until you have paid in full. Those registering after June 2 are not eligible for a refund. For more information, go to Contact Jerry Gabriel, Conference Director (, with questions.



Living Springs Publishers LLP is publishing a series of books called Stories Through The Ages. Each book will feature short stories written by people in different segments of the population. They are now accepting submissions for the Baby Boomers Plus edition (anyone born 1964 or earlier) and the Generations XYZ edition (anyone born 1996 – 1965).

Submissions for the College Edition are currently closed as they are working on getting the first book in the series ready for publication. They will re-open submissions this summer. You can see information about the winners of this contest in our Blog and on our Facebook page. There is no prompt for the contests, stories may be about any topic.

For each contest the story from the top 15 finalists will be included in a book published by Living Springs Publishers LLP. In addition first, second and third place finalists receive cash prizes of $500, $200 and $100 respectively. A flyer, in PDF form, can be downloaded at


Quick Notes, April 20, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

The Spring 2017 Newsletter is live on the website. Go to

COMING UP! Volunteer Opportunities

April 29: Baltimore’s CityLit Festival. Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to 4 pm at the University of Baltimore's William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center at 11 West Mt. Royal Avenue. MWA will have half a table to exhibit and sell its materials. If you’d like to volunteer to staff the table, please email Eileen McIntire at

May 20: Gaithersburg Book Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Can you volunteer to staff the MWA booth for a couple of hours? You can also display and sell your books. Contact Eileen McIntire,

OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS - The following messages are for your information. MWA does not sponsor nor endorse any of these organizations.

Loudoun County Public Library Announces Poetry Contest

Loudoun County Public Library invites you to participate in its fourth annual poetry contest for adults ages 18 and up. Cash prizes will be awarded for winners and runner-ups! Rhyme On! will be accepting entries--and they would love to have yours--from April 15 through May 31. The poem should be in one of the following categories:

  • Best Love Poem
  • Best “Loudoun” Poem
  • Funniest Poem
  • Free-Verse

Submission guidelines and more information are on the library website. Winners will be announced online July 5, 2017 on Loudoun County Public Library’s website and winners will be mailed their prizes. Contact any of its eight branches if you have any questions about Rhyme On! or e-mail Angela Marchetto, 540-687-5730.


Quick Notes, March 31, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

The 2017 Maryland Writers’ Conference, "The Writing Roller Coaster," blasted attendees with ideas and opportunities all day Saturday, March 25, in Annapolis, MD. Kudos to Jess Williams, conference coordinator.

Well-known authors Maria V. Snyder and Jeffery Deaver, the keynote speakers, followed the theme. Deaver is a former journalist, folksinger, attorney, and bestselling author. He has sold 50 million books worldwide. Snyder is a former meteorologist responsible for the New York Times best-selling "Study" series about a young woman who becomes a poison taster.

Maria entertained us with anecdotes of her life as a writer, and Jeffery listed 10 points on writing, concluding with several scathing reviews of the classics and authors endured by Kipling, Hemingway and others. Even the best can get bad reviews.

Writers hung outside the agents’ room, waiting for their turn to pitch their book. The agents, who traveled to Annapolis from New York and New Jersey, also took part in a panel to answer questions from writers. One tip: They all recommend using as a source for industry news and resources. They also suggest the queryshark blog for help on writing queries. Jane Friedman’s blog ( has good information on platforms. The agents also noted that is not always up to date, so check the agent’s website.

John Gilstrap, writer of such thrillers as Final Target, Friendly Fire, and a host of others, gave a two-part workshop on writing thrillers. He suggests reading Steven King’s book On Writing. Commercial fiction, he says, is about giving the reader a good ride with a tightly plotted story and characters the reader cares about. Put the character in plausible jeopardy, then ratchet up the tension until the reader screams for mercy.

I led a workshop on critique groups. It seems that these can sometimes go astray and become on one hand a brutal butchery of a fledgling writer’s effort or, on the other, so kind and gentle that the critique is worthless. The point of a critique group is to help all of us get published. We need the negative feedback to improve, but we also need the positive. What worked? What didn’t work? Critique groups that work well give its participants gentle shoves in the right direction while pointing out the positives.

These are just a few examples in a good day, even if I didn’t win the $200 bottle of Dom Perignon raffled off during the concluding reception and book signing event.


MWA Book Award Winners Announced

This year’s book awards contest was conducted differently than in the past. This year, MWA members could submit their recently published books in four different genre: mystery/thriller, literary/mainstream, historical and science fiction/fantasy. MWA members were the judges, but no one could judge books in a genre to which they submitted an entry.

This year’s winners were:

Historical - Provenance. Donna Drew Sawyer.

Mystery / Thriller - Auburn Ride. David Stever.

Science Fiction / Fantasy / Speculative Fiction - The Enchanted Dagger. Vonnie Winslow Crist.

Literary / Mainstream - A Hundred Veils. Rea Keech.



If a person visits a psychiatrist, is he a patient or a client? And does he lie on a couch to dredge up the pains of his childhood? Carolyn Kaufman, Psy.D. tries to set the record straight in her new book, The Writer’s Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior. This is an excellent resource for writers that debunks much of the generally held ideas about various kinds of mental illness and treatments. You’d be surprised how easy it is to go wrong in your writing on this topic.



MWA does not necessarily endorse nor sponsor these opportunities.

Essays for Democracy

To document this unique era in American political history, Dr. Betty Wells and Dr. Paula Dail are developing a project called “Essays for Democracy.” The purpose is to provide the venue whereby women’s voices can create the historical record of this era. Wells and Dail are soliciting well-written, 2-3000 word essays from women activists for a book tentatively titled Resist: Women’s Voices Speaking Truth to Power being published by McFarland Publishers.

Women members of various interest groups are invited to submit an essay for this book, on a topic of their choosing. This might be immigration, health care, the environment, a living wage, or any other concern they feel passionate about and are committed to protecting and defending.

For more information, contact Wells and Dail at

Contact: Paula Dail, PhD Emerita Research Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy Publisher:

Quick Notes, March 13, 2017

From Eileen McIntire, President

Make your views known!

Share your views with MWA’s board members up close and personal. They’ll be at the annual conference coming up March 25. Register now! Have breakfast with well-known author Maria V. Snyder. Then after a morning of informative workshops and networking coffee break, have lunch with internationally known thriller writer Jeffery Deaver. Spend the afternoon cramming your brains with more information on how to write, publish and sell your books more successfully. Then round out your day by relaxing, chatting with your fellow writers, and mingling with authors at the book-signing reception. A day packed with information, enjoyment, and news. More information at


Your Chances to Shine – Submissions Needed

The MWA Newsletter is looking for you--talk to us! Do you have member news (publications, upcoming author events, awards, contest wins)? A question for our writers’ advice column? An essay for the Why We Write column? How about announcements of other Maryland writing events? Send your submissions for the next issue by March 31 to newsletter@marylandwriters.orgSee the current newsletter at
Deadline: March 31.

Pen in Hand, MWA’s literary journal, edited by Dr. Tapendu Basu, is also seeking submissions for its July issue. Poetry, short stories, memoirs, plays. The journal is published twice yearly and distributed by email and print. It is also available for sale on and other online bookstores. Send submissions to or to Dr. Basu at
Deadline: June 15.

Critique Groups Flourish!

New members are often drawn to MWA for its critique groups, small groups that meet regularly to help members develop, polish, and refine their manuscripts. MWA Board Member Angela Dale, who serves as MWA’s webmaster, has volunteered to coordinate MWA’s critique groups. See the list of current critique groups and information on how to find one and how to add your group to the list on the MWA website,


MWA Needs an Archivist

Boxes of minutes and other documents of MWA history repose in the president’s basement. MWA needs a volunteer to bring order to these files and then scan these documents for posterity. If you’d like to take on this project, contact Eileen McIntire,

Opportunities for Writers

The following messages are for your information. MWA does not sponsor nor endorse any of these organizations.

Warren Publishing Calls for Submissions

Warren Publishing is currently accepting submissions for the following genres: fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, historical fiction, YA, art and coffee table books and children’s books. There’s no need for an invitation or representation by a literary agent. All manuscripts should be edited and polished. Warren Publishing is a hybrid publishing company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

For nearly 30 years, Warren has been incorporating its five-step publishing process to take its authors from visualization through world-wide marketplace placement in both online and retail stores. Our process is proven by our award-winning titles, quick turnarounds, and the accolades of others in the publishing business. Our work has won awards for remarkable publishing, including the Garland P. Stout Publishing Award for Excellence in Publishing.

Visit the submissions tab on today, or call 980-265-2336 for more information. *Warren Publishing is a family-friendly publisher and will not accept erotica or “non-PG” submissions. Warren Publishing, 3440 Toringdon Way, Suite 205, Charlotte, NC 28277. Phone: 980-265-2336. Email:

Fiction500 Contest 3 opens March 15.

The Fiction500 Contest 3 will open March 15, 2017. They will provide a prompt on that date and invite authors to submit an original work of fiction no longer than 500 words. The contest is limited to the first 500 entries. The entry fee is $15. Stories will be judged by published authors and college-level writing instructors. The winner will receive $500, Second Place $200, and Third Place $100. For more information

Fiction500 is a series of writing contests created to inspire authors and promote excellence in short fiction. They strictly limit submissions to the first 500 entrants. Authors may only submit one story per contest. Published authors, editors, agents and creative writing instructors will judge the contests. Fiction500 publishes winning stories on its site, along with additional submissions the judges determine merit honorable mention.

Entries are limited to authors legally residing in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older as of the Contest submission date. Each Contest begins at 12:00 a.m. Eastern time on the published start date, and entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the published deadline date, or until 500 qualified entries are received, whichever comes first. All story submissions are final, and all entry fees are non-refundable. Stories cannot be revised or edited after they have been submitted. Entries and fee payments will only be accepted through the submission form on this website. No submissions or payments will be accepted by regular mail, email, links to online sites or any other means. Each person may submit only one (1) story per contest. Attempts to enter multiple times under one or more identities will result in the entrant's disqualification. By entering the contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules. You further acknowledge that the decision of the Fiction 500 judges shall be final and binding. For more information, go to https://www.fiction500.


Quick Notes, November 2, 2016

From Eileen McIntire, President

Important for all MWA members: Please log in to and check your membership information and e-mail address. Your membership and e-mail address must be current to take part in member opportunities and discounts. Check your member profile and make sure that’s current too.

This means you.

Announcing the MWA Annual Book Awards!

The new 2017 MWA Book Awards Contest is now open! MWA members in good standing who have published a novel (50K words or more) in 2015 or 2016 may enter. There is no fee to enter; one entry per MWA member. Application forms are in the member area of the website.
Submission period is November 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016.

Awards will be given in the following genre divisions:

  • Mystery/thriller
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction
  • Literary/Mainstream
  • Historical Fiction

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 a story.


  • Authors should submit an image of book cover and 50-word max blurb indicating the genre division.
  • Authors are not required to submit copies of their book; however, they are encouraged to negotiate a lower ebook price with their publisher for MWA members during the contest period, so members can read their books more easily.
  • Authors must score at least 4 other entries, in a genre division other than the one submitted to. Entries whose authors do not fulfill this requirement will not be considered for prizes.


  • Winners will be chosen by the MWA membership, ranking entries on a 1 to 10 scale. Scores will be averaged to determine winners.
  • MWA members in good standing may score entries, one score per entry (details to come).
  • Critique sheets will not be given.
  • At least 5 qualifying entries are required to award a prize in a genre division.
  • Entries receiving fewer than 5 scores will not be considered for prizes.
  • Awards will be announced at the MWA conference, March 25, 2017
  • Scoring period is December 1, 2016 - March 1, 2017.

This year’s contest was devised by Program Chair Michelle Butler,, with the help of Amy Kaplan, President, Howard County Chapter.

CONFERENCE ALERT!: March 25, 2017

Look for announcements about the Early Bird rates and deadlines coming soon!
Meanwhile, Conference Chair Jess Williams is looking for a few good people to volunteer for the following positions. If you can help, contact her at

  • PR CHAIR: Promotes the conference and the organization
  • VENDOR CHAIR: Contacts and schedules vendors who wish to display a table at our event
  • DONATION CHAIR: Contacts business' in pursuit of donations for the conference
  • BOOKSTORE CHAIR: Coordinates between members and the bookstore, ensuring all the books are ordered and available at our event
  • MODERATOR CHAIR: Coordinates moderators for each workshop. From as simple as signaling when the workshop is over, to reading first page samples in panels
  • REGISTRATION CHAIR: Compiles all registration materials and contacts potential volunteers to assist at the registration tables the morning of the event
  • AGENT/EDITOR CHAIR: Schedules volunteers to moderate pitch appointments, moderates available appointments at conference, assists in registering agents/editors, helps with transportation to and from airport/ amtrack (no shuttle).
  • CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHER: Takes photos at the conference for us to post on social media, generating interest for 2018.



The Constellation's Community Champions program has awarded MWA’s Teen Writers Clubs a grant of $500. The grant was the result of MWA Membership Chair Flo McCahon (who writes mysteries as Millie Mack) being a customer of Constellation Energy. When they sent out a notice to customers that they had grant money available, she filled out part of the form and forwarded it on to Teen Writers Group Coordinator Mark Willin who completed the application.


Dr. Tapendu Basu and Barbara Morrison are now co-chairs of the Publications Committee, which produces Pen In Hand [PIH}, the biannual literary journal published by MWA, and a quarterly newsletter.

More submissions in the following genre are being accepted now for the January 2017 and also for the July 2017 issues of PIH.

  • Poetry
  • Short stories
  • Flash Fiction
  • Non-fiction esp. related to writing, publishing, and Misc. “HOW TO”
  • Essays
  • Short plays
  • Interviews with notable writers

The January issue will have sections on Haiku and Limericks. So get that pen in hand
and submit your best work to PIH.

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE FRONT COVER DESIGN for both Jan and July issues are also needed.

Send submissions with bio, email, and contact information to the Pen In Hand website at or directly to


Katherine Melvin, President of the Montgomery County Chapter, announces the winners of the Montgomery Writes contest held by chapter.


  • Winner: Urvi Chowdhury, On the Run
  • Runners up:
    Melanie Hatter, Malawi's Sisters
    Stephen Sugg, Stanley and Phyllis

Creative Nonfiction

  • Winner: Laura Donnelly Smith, Tree Fall
  • Runners up:
    Suzyn Gonzalez, Sitting in Airports, Waiting for Planes
    Judy Ohr, Sand Never Stops Shifting


  • Winner: Emma Millar, The Osprey’s Nest
  • Runners up:
    Shirley Menendez, A Villanelle to Life in America
    Jennifer Bunch, Apple Pie Ala Mode: A Chronicle of the 1960s


Literary Artist Opportunity for the Maryland Purple Line

Deadline: December 1, 2016 - 8 p.m. EDT
Request for Qualifications (No proposals)

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Project Management Consultant
(PMC) is seeking literary artists and all types of writers to invite to create
a 600 to 1000 word story/ composition/ poem/ literary work that captures
the essence of the corridor to be integrated into the design of the Purple Line
transit stations between Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties
outside of Washington, D.C. .

Selection is two-phased: (1) Request for Qualifications & (2) Procurement.
Invited writers will be paid a stipend of up to $3500 for producing proposals.
For information about Purple Line Light Rail, visit:

Submit Qualifications at CAFÉ call for entry site:
Search: Literary Opportunity for the Maryland Purple Line Light-Rail Project
OR link:


MWA member Stephanie Ann Sarwal announces that her children's school is hosting a holiday boutique and is looking for booksellers to take booths. Fee is $50. The event will be held Saturday, Dec 3 from 4-9 pm in Hyattsville. The school expects 1,000 people through the door.

For more information, contact Stephanie at 301-312-9274.