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Howard County Chapter

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MWA Meetings are being held online until further notice, at 7:00 PM on the third Thursday of each month. Our meeting venue is on ZOOM at:

When meeting in person, the Howard County Chapter meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:00pm at The Owen Brown Community Center, 6800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

Chapter President: Steve Lubs, [email protected]

Chapter VP: Rick Wright, [email protected]

Chapter Treasurer: Suzanne Forest, [email protected]

Chapter Secretary: Donald McLean, [email protected]


Our FEBRuary Chapter Meeting

18 February 2021

The Editor Strikes Back: Part I

Editors play a key role in the path to publication for many authors. Come hear from an editor about the other side of your story, and what they really think when they first lay eyes on your manuscript. Once you know what drives editors crazy you'll be able to avoid their wrath right from the start!

Two brave writers have sent samples from their first pages to see what the editor finds as examples of what not to do. Join us to see what we can learn from the feedback! 

About our Presenter:

Dustin Blottenberger is a published writer, visual artist and editor specializing in speculative fiction and focusing on fantasy. Since 2015 he's been a co-organizer for Columbia Writers where he leads critiques and presents workshops for writers. He has presented his work and workshops at Capclave, World Fantasy Convention, and others. He currently works as a technical editor and lives in Columbia, MD with his wife Brigitte, three bad cats, and one very goofy dog.

And we'll reveal the winners of our Short Story Contest!


And coming soon...(18 March 2021 to be exact...)

The Editor Strikes Back: Part II... 

Come for insights from another editor.


Critique Groups

MWA Howard County Poetry Critique Group
— Meets on the First Monday of the Month at Whole Foods in Columbia
— Closed. Waiting list,
— Contact: Patti Ross, [email protected]

MWA Novel Development Group 
— Meets on alternate Wednesdays at 1:30 PM  (Now meeting virtually on ZOOM, the the return to our Pizza Shop will come!)
— Note: Members are all in some stage of working on a novel,
Contact: Suzanne Forest, [email protected] to check on openings, wait list

MWA Memoir Writers Group 
— Meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month in members’ homes,
— Contact: Kay Armstrong-Baker, [email protected]  to check on openings, wait list.

MWA Howard County Group #1, Multi-Genre
— Meets on Alternate Wednesdays at members' homes, 7:00
— NOTE: Requires a trial period.
— Contact: Ali Varden [email protected] to check on openings / wait list

MWA Howard County Group #2, Multi-Genre
— Meets on the Second Tuesday of the month at members’ homes, 7:30 
— May have openings
— Contact Steve Lubs [email protected] to check on openings / wait list

Other Resources in Howard County 

Columbia Writers
— Multiple meeting opportunities/times/venues
— Genres: All fiction genres; no non-fiction or poetry at this time
— Visit for more details

Weird and Wonderous Writers
— Meets the third Tuesday of the month at BJ’s Restaurant and Brew House, Columbia
— Genres: Mainly Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror.
— Visit  for more details

Maryland Dream Weavers
— Maryland Dream Weavers meets once a month at a member’s house
— Genre: Primarily Science Fiction and Fantasy
— Currently has no openings
— Contact: Amy Kaplan [email protected] for wait list.

Savage Writer's Circle
— Meets on the second Monday of the Month at the Savage Branch of the Howard County Library
— Genres: All Genres
— Contact: Claire Ferguson at [email protected]

Fiction and Screenwriting Critique Group
— Genres: All fiction welcome, including screenplays
— Meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Columbia
— More information at   

The Write Stuff Howard County
—  Genres: All types welcome

—  Leader: Mary H Fox
Email [email protected]
We meet every other Sunday afternoon 1-3 at inn at Peralynna on Rt. 108. Announcements and updates on Write Stuff FB page; just ask to join.
Currently open to new members.

And finally, our Writing Hangout for Writers with Non-Traditional Schedules:

Writers and Coffee – 9:30 AM every WEDNESDAY
This is an informal drop-in group at Roggenart, 6476 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia (accross from the Columbia Ale House)  where MWA writers can meet, write, share their questions, and connect to find critique or beta reading partners. This would also have a mailing list, and (if there is enough interest) some kind of discount card good during the meeting times. 
Suzanne Forest, [email protected], will be the POC, keep a loosy-goosy membership list, print the discount cards (if we grow enough to swing it post COVID). Meanwhile we spread out, wear masks, all the good stuff, but still have a good time writing. Looking forward to seeing anyone who is comfortable joining for some focused writing time and author commisseration. 



Coming up for HoCo in 2021

18 February: The Editor Strikes Back Part I with Dustin Blottenberger (find out what they really think about your submissions)

18 March: The Editor Strikes Back II with Trisha Wooldrige (in case you missed the first one... or you're just a glutton for punishment!)

15 April: A character development workshop. (after dealing with those editors, you know you need it...)

20 May: Police Procedural: how to get the details right in your action-thriller-cozy mystery--wherever the police appear in your writing.


Click here to view all MWA meetings.