MWA Writing Contest Announcements 

About Maryland Writers’ Association Annual Writing Contests

Over the last couple of years, MWA has established a contest schedule: novels, short fiction/creative non-fiction, and poetry. Our intention is to maintain this schedule going forward. 

The 2018 MWA writers’ contest featured published novels judged by peers. For the 2019 MWA contest, we asked writers to tell us about Maryland using short fiction and creative non-fiction. The results were outstanding and were collected in the anthology 30 Ways to Love Maryland.

MWA’s 2020 Contest is devoted to poetry. We challenge the poets to help us get a sense of this great state and its people with a poem (or three) about Maryland. 

MWA 2020 Writing Contest – Poetry

MWA members and non-MWA Maryland residents were invited to submit poems about or set in Maryland. The three contest judges, poet Sue Ellen Thompson (Pulitzer Prize nominee), Steven Leyva (Cave Canem Fellow and Little Patuxent Review Editor) and Grace Cavalieri (Poet Laureate of Maryland), chose the following Contest Winners:

First Place: John O’Dell, After Defibrillation

Second Place: Marc Drexler, Baltimore 1977

Third Place: John O’Dell, For Tom Who Says He’s Slipping

Honorable Mention: Meg Kuyatt, Gambrills Elegy

Honorable Mention: Michael Ratcliffe, After Sterling

The winning poems are published in MWA’s latest anthology, Maryland in Poetry, available on Amazon.comThe poems in this publication reflect our state's diversity both in the writers who bared their hearts to us and the subjects they chose to tackle. Our rich history, racial struggles, Baltimore’s inner city, prison, shootings, and also the spectacular beauty of the Bay and Maryland’s natural habitat are all represented here.

Previous MWA Writing Contests

The 2019 MWA 30th Anniversary Short Fiction & Creative Non-Fiction Contest:

The 2018 MWA Novel Contest:

  • Winners: 
    • Historical Fiction: The Eagle and the Dragon by Lewis McIntyre
    • Mainstream/Literary: Hawke's Return by Mark Willen
    • Mystery/Thriller: Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders by Frank Hopkins
    • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction: The House on Moss Swamp Road by M.J. Patrick

The 2018 MWA Novel Contest:

The MWA Short Works Contest: