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Howard County Chapter

HoCo on Facebook

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]


Meetings during the Holiday Season and our Short Story Contest!

Join our December "Write-In" on Thursday 17 December

There will be an assortment of writing contests, door prizes, and a chance to chat with fellow authors before the holidays hit you like a freight train! The focus for this meeting will be on...

HoCo's Winter Short Story Contest

The theme is: "Winter, Dark, Cold" ... Choose one aspect or combine them all!
  • For HoCo Chapter Members. Submit to: [email protected] 
  • Up to 5,000 words (but it's not school, we're not marking down if you don't have enough pages! Flash fiction-sized stories are fine)
  • Any genre
  • DEADLINE: Midnight, 10 January 2021
  • Winners announced at our February Chapter Meeting.
  • First place - $75 Second Place - $50 Third Place - $25 ... and, of course, bragging rights!


Coming up in 2021

21 January 2021

The Non-Fiction Panel

    Valarie Austin           Katherine Pickett              Phil Padgett

This  Workshop will introduce three distinguished published authors to discuss their diverse works and publishing experiences and answer your questions about how to get going and how to get published.

Valarie R. Austin is the author of The Student's Comprehensive Guide For College & Other Life Lessons. She also leads career and college readiness workshops for high school students. Contact her at [email protected].

Philip Padgett examines history by applying skills developed during 40 years of analytical support. A Navy veteran, Advocating Overlord is his first book. Contact him at the book's website:

Katherine Pickett provides copyediting, proofreading, and developmental editing. She is the author of the award-winning book, Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. Contact her at

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 Tuesdays at 12:30 at Philly's Best Pizza and Subs (now meeting virtually on ZOOM)
— 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.

Writers and Coffee – 9:30 AM every WEDNESDAY, (new day!) for our members on non-traditional schedules
This is an informal drop-in group (consisting right now of Suzanne!) at Roggenart, 6476 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia... it's 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 can swing it…), for now but for this to work, at least two alternate POC’s will have to volunteer eventually. 

We can spread out, wear masks, all the good stuff, but still get out and write. Looking forward to seeing anyone who is comfortable joining for some focused writing time and author commisseration. 



Coming up for HoCo in 2021

21 January: The Nonfiction Panel

18 February: The Editor Strikes Back (find out what they really think about your submissions)

18 March: The Editor Strikes Back II (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.