In addition to poetry, short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and artwork, Pen-in-Hand also publishes interviews with writers or guest speakers, book reviews, how-to advice, member profiles, and member surveys, among other subjects of interest to writers.Pen-in-Hand is the official literary and art publication of the Maryland Writers' Association, published bi-annually in January and July. The publication is comprised of contributions from MWA members and the MWA board, as well as announcements from Maryland-based literary journals, publishers, reading series, and writers' associations. 

Hard copy available for sale from your local chapter. Current and back issues also available on Amazon.

Current Issue: January 2021



Pen In Hand is the official literary and art publication of the Maryland Writers’ Association. It is published biannually in January and July.

Submission deadline for the July 2021 issue of Pen In Hand is May 30, 2021. MWA members and young writers are encouraged to submit poetry, sci-fiction, flash fiction, short stories, drama, memoirs, creative non-fiction, and personal essays. Submit to [email protected] or [email protected].

Please follow the following submission guidelines:

  • Use black type only
  • Submit only in Times New Roman font
  • Use font size 12 for the manuscript
  • Leave 1inch margin on top, bottom, left and right
  • Place title of ‘story’ three double spaces below top of page.
  • Center title
  • One space below your title place your name at the right corner
  • Indent first line of each paragraph 1/2” inch
  • Single space between period and new sentence
  • In general, dialog should be double spaced and in quotation marks.
  • Insert approximate word count at the end of your manuscript (except poetry).
  • One double space below the end of your manuscript, include a brief Bio. The Bio should be limited to your literary works and interest, publication and awards.

All submissions are subject to the editor's discretion (i.e., not all submissions will be published). Regular features may include a message from the MWA President and MWA Officers, Letters from the Editor, Calls for Submissions, and details about MWA Contests and Conferences.  

Maryland artists who are MWA members are also welcome to submit photographs of their work.
Submissions must be emailed; no hard copies will be accepted. All photos must be formatted as follows: jpeg or png, max. 300 dpi, black and white. Photos may be resized for publicaiton at the editor's discretion. 
Title, medium, date, and artist name must be included in all submissions. 

Optional: Brief artist bio, (Max 4 sentences) and an artist statement describing the work (500 word maximum).

Submissions are Open on a Rolling Basis during the submission period and up to Submission Deadline. Submission Period Closes at 11:59 p.m. Day of Deadline. 

Next Submission Deadline: May 30, 2021.

Be sure to check Pen-In-Hand and MWA Announcements, the MWA facebook page, and MWA Twiitter for Calls for Submission, deadline information, and special runs!

Items submitted after deadline may be held for publication in the following issue.

Pen in Hand Submission Guidelines

You must be a current MWA member to be considered for publication

We do not pay for submissions. 

Authors retain all rights except First Electronic Right

All Submissions Must be Sent Via Email to [email protected] or [email protected].  For all other issues, including email updates, please contact either your MWA Chapter President or send an email to: [email protected]
We do not accept previously published work. Exceptions may be made at the editor’s discretion, provided that you indicate where and when your work was originally published. In addition, you must either have the rights to the piece, or be able to demonstrate (in writing) that you have reprint permission from the rights holder. The MWA will be held harmless in case of unauthorized reproduction. 

 Articles: 1000-3000 words per piece, per issue. Limited to two submissions.


  • Poetry/Prose: Maximum of 100 lines, one submission, per author, per issue. 
  • Haiku: Limited to two submissions per author, per issue. 
  • Micro Poetry: Limited to 150 words, two submissions per author, per issue.


  • Fiction/Non-Fiction Stories: 2000-3000 words, 1 per author, per issue.
  • Fiction/Non-Fiction Short-short stories: 1000-1500 words, 1 per author, per issue       
  • Flash Fiction/Non-Fiction: 750 words max, 2 per author, per issue 


  • Visual Art/Photography: 2 per artist per issue, B&W Photo, JPG, Gif, or PNG, 72-300dpi, 5x7
  • Post Card Art: 2 per artist per issue, 3x5 B&W JPG, Gif, or PNG, 72-300 dpi    
  • Line Art/Half-tone: submissions (paintings, drawings): JPG, Gif, PNG, Max 5 MB  
  • Digital Art: 2 per artist per issue. JPG, Gif, PNG, PDF, (B&W, Half-tone, Grayscale) 5x,72 dpi 
  • Please properly format work prior to Submitting. DPI= Image Resolution    3x5, 5x7, 8x10= Image Size, in Inches
  • Please include an Artist Statement, including a brief description, date, and medium. Limited to 250 words.

Cover Art: 

  • 1  per Artist per issue. At the editor’s discretion, submissions not chosen for the cover may be featured in the issue.  Format:  B&W, Half-tone, or Grayscale, 8x10, 72 dpi

Maryland-based literary journals, publishers, reading series, and writers' associations are welcome to submit announcements such as calls for submissions and upcoming events

Themed Issues or Special Runs: Please refer to the directions posted in the Call for Action for Themed Issues/Special Runs. Unless otherwise noted, all Calls for Submissions follow regular dates and publication guidelines. 

All submissions are accepted at the editor’s discretion. Neither Pen in Hand nor MWA provides feedback, critiques, suggestions, reviews, or responds to inquiries of any kind regarding submissions, accepted or declined. You may submit in more than one genre, but accepted work is limited to one genre piece, per author/artist, per publication, (Ie: 2 Post Card Art, 1 Story, 2 Flash Fiction, etc.)

Please allow two to three weeks for a response. 

Editor: Dr. Tapendu K. Basu (Gandharva raja)