QUICK NOTES, June 2018

by Eileen McIntire, MWA President

Annual Meeting, Election Results

MWA’s annual meeting was held June 23 and began with a recap of the past year’s activities. Current chairs then reported briefly on what’s to come in the next year. The following members were elected or reelected to the MWA board:

Executive Committee

  • President - Eileen Haavik McIntire
  • Vice-president – Amy Kaplan
  • Secretary – Patti Ross
  • Treasurer – Mark Willen


  • Development and Long Range Planning Chair – Jess Williams
  • Conference Chair – Judy Kelly
  • Publications Chair – Barbara Morrison
  • Program Chair – Katherine Melvin
  • Membership Chair - Flo McCahon
  • Communications Chair– Jim Brewster
  • Members at Large: Open – to be appointed


Conference Update: Mark Your Calendars!

MWA’s annual conference will be held March 27-29, 2019, at the BWI Marriott.


MWA Annual Writing Contest Begins July 1

It’s our 30th Anniversary and MWA is celebrating! We want to hear from YOU about Maryland. The 30 winning submissions will be collected into an anthology titled, 30 Ways to Love Maryland.

Submissions must fit the theme, 30 Ways to Love Maryland, and may be fiction or non-fiction. Submissions open July 1. Deadline for submissions is midnight, Oct. 31, 2018.

For rules and guidelines, go to our Contest page.


Opportunities for Writers

The Maryland Writers’ Association does not necessarily sponsor nor endorse the following organizations and events. They are included for your information only.

Third Annual Eat Local Read Local event at Cascades Library in Loudoun County will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 10 am-1 pm. Writers of fiction and nonfiction for adults, teens, and children are invited to participate and sell their works as part of this free event for both authors and the public.

The library will provide one table per author, free of cost. Authors who would like to offer books for sale are responsible for providing the books and for having change available. Children’s authors are invited to participate in special storytime readings that will be held inside throughout the day. Vendors, food trucks, and musicians will be set up outside under tents.
At 1 p.m., awards will be presented for the Write On! Short Fiction Writing Contest.

To participate, e-mail with your name as you would like it to appear in our program, your preferred email address, and your daytime phone number. If you are a children’s author, please let them know if you would be interested in giving a 10-minute storytime – they will send out a survey link for preferred times after August 1st.

Deadline to participate: August 1


The Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers honor the work of writers at the beginning of their careers.

Prizes: $500 prizes will be awarded in both the fiction and poetry categories, and the winning manuscripts will appear in the spring issue of Nimrod. Winners will have the chance to work with the Nimrod board of editors to refine and edit their manuscripts before publication.

Contest Rules
Eligibility: Open only to writers whose work has not appeared or is not scheduled to appear in more than 2 publications in the genre in which they are submitting. (Self-published works or works with a distribution of less than 100 copies are not considered toward the count of 2 publications.)

  • Poetry: Up to 5 pages of poetry (one long poem or several short poems)
  • Fiction: 5,000 words maximum (one short story or a self-contained excerpt from a novel)
  • All work submitted must be unpublished.
  • Work submitted may be on any theme, any subject.
  • The contest is open internationally.
  • Include a cover sheet containing title(s), author’s name, full address, phone, and email.
  • Omit author’s name on manuscript.

Postmark Deadline: July 15th, 2018.

Online Submissions: Work may be submitted online using our online submission manager system:

Postal Submissions: Clearly indicate “Ringold Contest Entry” on both the outer envelope and the cover sheet. Staple manuscript if possible; if not, please bind with a heavy clip. Include SASE for results only; manuscripts will not be returned. The results will be posted on Nimrod’s website.

Mail to:

Nimrod International Journal
Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers--Fiction or Poetry (indicate the appropriate category)
The University of Tulsa
800 S. Tucker Dr.
Tulsa, OK 74104

Entry Fee: Each entry must be accompanied by a $12 fee, which includes both the reading fee and a copy of the spring issue of Nimrod. Make checks payable to Nimrod. Writers may submit multiple entries, but each entry must include its own $12 fee.


North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books

Have you self-published a book? Searching for high-quality ways to honor and promote it? Enter Winning Writers' fourth North Street competition, co-sponsored by BookBaby and Carolyn Howard-Johnson (author of The Frugal Book Promoter).

They've expanded to five categories this year:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction & Memoir
  • Poetry (new)
  • Children's Picture Book (new).

The top winner in each category will win $1,000, one grand prize winner will win $3,000, and all will receive additional benefits to help market their books. Any year of publication is eligible.

Entry fee: $60 per book. Deadline: June 30.

Winning Writers is one of the Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers". Submit your book online or by mail. Please see our guidelines, past winners, and judges' remarks at


Seeking Submissions for the RISK! Live Show

Brad Lawrence is looking for people in our area to pitch true stories from their lives for consideration to be in the RISK! live true storytelling show coming to Baltimore and Washington, DC on August 17 and 18.

Submission deadline: July13 (Baltimore) and July 14 (Washington) respectively

The venue for the RISK! Live Show is Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224
Time: Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Themes: Rabbit Holes, Me Against Nature, Pride

For Washington, DC, the venue is The Black Cat, 1811 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Time: Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00PM
Theme: Power, Barbaric, Opposites

Stories are not required to fit under this theme. It’s just a jumping off point to help you brainstorm about stories you have. Excellent true stories are cast over stories that simply fit the theme but are less compelling.

Send pitches to:

RISK! Is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. RISK! has featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, and regular folks from around the world, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The RISK! podcast gets over 1.5 million downloads each month. called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”

To hear some of their stories, go to For more information about what they look for in story pitches and how to submit, go to


The Kauai Writers Conference: Nov. 5 – 8 2018

What better place to kick off NaNoWriMo than a tropical paradise? What better respite from November weather than Kauai? What better place to find inspiration and to recharge before the holiday season?

The three-day conference offers top authors and industry experts on topics including fiction, memoir, screenwriting, poetry, and routes to publication; talks by well-known authors’ intimate small group discussions; individual sessions with literary agents; group and individual consultations.

There are still rooms available at the Kauai Marriott Resort at the deeply discounted rate. The volcano you’ve heard so much about is more than 300 miles away, so you may be struck by inspiration, but not by lava.

For more information, go to

QUICK NOTES, May 3, 2018

by Eileen McIntire, MWA President

“A Great Success!” This year’s annual conference reaped a host of superlatives from the participants. Whether or not you attended the conference, please fill out and return the survey form to help us plan for next year’s conference. Many thanks to Jess Williams, MWA Conference Chair, and all the people who helped in many, many ways to make this year’s conference a success.


MWA’s annual meeting will be held Saturday, June 23, place to be announced. Nominations for the Board of Directors are now being accepted. If you wish to apply or want to learn more about the positions, email the nominating committee at Please specify the position you are interested in, and describe your qualifications, your interest in MWA and your vision for how MWA can serve its members and the community.


Pen in Hand Deadline: June 15

The deadline for submissions to the July 2018 issue of Pen in Hand is June 15, 2018. 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 next issue of Pen in Hand is June 15, 2018. MWA members and young writers are encouraged to submit – poetry, sci-fi, flash fiction, short stories, drama, memoirs, creative non-fiction, personal essays, travelogue (incl. photos) to or

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
  • Title of ‘story’: place 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 stop and new sentence
  • In general, dialog should be double spaced and in quotation
  • 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.
  •  Below and near the right margin give an approximate word count of your manuscript.                                                 

This is your opportunity to be a published author in a Literary magazine…Be an early bird!


The next MWA board meeting will be Monday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at the Miller Branch of the Howard County Public Library, Ellicott City.


Opportunities for Writers

MWA does not necessarily sponsor nor endorse the following

events and organizations.


Poetry Contest

Loudoun County Public Library would like to invite you to participate in its fourth annual poetry contest for adults ages 18 and up. Rhyme On! will be accepting entries, and we would love to have yours.

Deadline is May 15, you can enter a poem 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!

Submission guidelines and more information are on the library’s website:

Winners will be announced online June 4, 2018 on Loudoun County Public Library’s website and winners will be mailed their prizes.

Please contact any one of the library’s eight branches if you have any questions about Rhyme On!


Politics and Prose bookstore has an open call for an anthology that is "intended to capture a sense of people and place in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding metropolitan areas." Among other things, they're looking for short stories of 3,000 words or fewer. Deadline July 1. More details here:


Submissions are now open for Malice Domestic’s 14th anthology, Mystery Most Edible. The editors are seeking stories up to 5,000 words in length with a significant gastronomic or culinary theme. All submissions will be judged blindly by a panel of Malice Community authors, none of whom serve on the Malice Board of Directors. It will be presented by Parnell Hall and released at Malice Domestic 31 (May 3 - 5, 2019).

The submission deadline is August 31, 2018.

For more information and a complete list of submission guidelines, please visit


The Chesapeake Writers' Conference,  held at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in southern Maryland, hosts between 35 and 45 writers at all levels of experience for a week of lectures, craft talks, readings, and panel discussions, as well as daily workshops in the genre each participant has applied in–fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. These workshops, as well as the other events, are led by exemplary faculty, including National Book Award finalist, Patricia Henley, and PEN/Diamondstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay finalist, Angela Pelster.

The conference will run this year from June 24-30. A few important offerings at the 2018 conference:

  • A multi-genre youth workshop for high school students.
  • Two hours of course credit available for college students.
  • A teachers-only seminar offering two graduate credits that can be used toward fulfilling continuing professional development requirements.
  • A publishing panel discussion, as well as individual meetings, with agent Jessica Papin from Dystel, Goderich & Bourret; Caroline Casey, Managing Director at Coffee House Press; and Gregory Donovan, Editor at Blackbird: An online journal of literature and the arts.

Please see the website for more details,

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

QUICK NOTES, March 21, 2018

THE CONFERENCE! This weekend. Still time to register. We’ll be celebrating MWA’s 30th year! Announcing the contest winners! Offering two outstanding keynote addresses plus practical and inspirational workshops, pitch appointments, and an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues. Go to


MWA 30th Anniversary Writer’s Round Table Program ( Thanks to Board member Jim Brewster, MWA has initiated this program to celebrate MWA’s 30th. This is a monthly program. Writers who wish to participate submit 100 words of a story written in the selected author’s genre to MWA. MWA reviews submission and sends selected submissions back to participating newspapers for publication with the next month’s article.

• Local organizations that promote/publish the Notable Maryland Author articles are called MWA 30th Anniversary Writer’s Round Table and receive a certificate from MWA.

• Any organization (library, high school, college, newspaper, church, arts alliance, Rotary Club, Optimist Club, Lions Club, Starbucks, VFW, elected representative, etc.) may register as a 30th Anniversary Writer’s Round Table.

• Newspapers participating to date are Brunswick Citizen; Valley Citizen; Cumberland Times-News; Daily Times; Frederick News-Post; Herald Mail; Times Record; Maryland Independent; Enterprise; Calvert Recorder. (10 = 100,000+ readers) plus their online versions.

Here are the prompts for each month:

  • March: Nora Roberts - Romance
  • April: Tom Clancy – Espionage techno thriller
  • May: Elizabeth Howard- Picture books
  • June: E.A. Aymar – Hard-boiled chase
  • July: Sujatta Massey – Mystery
  • August: Phyllis Naylor – Young adult
  • September: Dr. Ben Carson – Non-fiction
  • October: Ron Malfi – Horror
  • November: Anne Tyler, Literary realism
  • December: Sharon Lee, Fantasy
  • January: Ogden Nash, Light verse
  • February: Benjamin Quarles, History


NOMINATIONS: Elections are coming up at the annual meeting in June. Would you like to serve on the Nominations Committee or the Board? Please contact Eileen McIntire,



The following notices are provided as a service to members. The Maryland Writers’ Association does not necessarily sponsor nor endorse them.

The University of New Orleans Press announces its fourth annual UNO Press Publishing Lab Prize is now open. The University of New Orleans Press is looking for full-length fiction manuscripts, either novels or short story collections, for the fourth annual Publishing Lab Prize. The selected author will receive a thousand dollar ($1,000) advance on royalties and a contract to publish their winning manuscript with UNO Press.

The work does not have to be regionally focused. There is no word limit. There is no limit on subjects covered. Submissions are open until August 15. More information, including the submittable link, can be found at:

The press loves to champion new writers. The first winner of the Lab Prize, Margo Littell, published her debut novel with the press, Each Vagabond By Name. Melanie McCabe’s first book of nonfiction, her memoir, His Other Life: Searching for My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams, became the second winner. This fall, UNO Press will publish the Lab’s most recent winner, Meghan L. Dowling’s first novel, A Catalogue of Small Pains.


The Stevenson Summer Teen Writers' Workshop invites rising 8-12 graders to spend one or two weeks on its beautiful Greenspring Campus exploring fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction through small group writing workshops with Stevenson University’s creative writing faculty. Students will attend a multi-genre morning workshop, then will select two specialized afternoon workshops on writing topics of their choice such as flash fiction, character development, interactive digital narratives, or the college admissions essay.

Students will present their work publicly at a reading for family and friends at the conclusion of the Summer Writers' Workshop and will help design an online literary journal of selected writings from camp (optional publication of work). Students will also be visited by guest writers and artists daily.

Tuition: Tuition covers workshops, a journal, all supplies for daily activities (printshop/book-making), and snacks. Students should bring a bag lunch. One Week (5 days): $375 Sibling Discount: 1/3 off second child.

Tuition Scholarship: There are a limited number of full and partial tuition scholarships available. Please open the Tuition Scholarship tab above for information about applying. Registration: Space is limited, so don't delay. Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive a registration receipt by email after submission. Additional information and material about Summer Writers' Workshop will be sent to the email address that you provide during the registration process.

Email Meagan Nyland, M.F.A. ( with any questions about Stevenson Summer Writers' Workshop.


Poetry Workshops by poet & professor emerita Clarinda Harris: She will be teaching three poetry-writing workshops from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Maryland State Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped in April:

  • Wed., April 11--Poetry Workshop I: Ekphrastic Poetry
  • Wed., April 18--Poetry Workshop II: Golden Shovels
  • Wed., April 25--Poetry Workshop III: What's the "Cruelest Month"?

Registration for the workshops is required: please call 410-396-5487 or e-mail to register.


Kauai Writers Conference: Join Sara Gruen, Scott Turow, Alice Hoffman and Garth Stein in Kauai at the Kauai Writers Conference. The conference offers keynote talks by distinguished authors, workshops, as well as master classes, and opportunities to meet one-on-one with literary agents, editors, and other publishing experts. The events are set on Kauai’s beautiful Kalapaki Beach.

The faculty is world-class in talent and diversity of genres, with areas of expertise ranging from fiction and poetry, to screenwriting and playwriting, to narrative nonfiction and memoir. Each faculty member was nominated and selected by their peers as being not only an extraordinary writer, but also as an outstanding teacher of writing.

For more information, contact Kathy Daneman, Follow on Twitter at @KauaiWriConf and on Instagram at @kauaiwritersconference.

Quick Notes, January 30, 2018

By Eileen McIntire, President

One of Hollywood’s top writing coaches and story experts, Michael Hauge headlines the MWA  conference with an all-day workshop on Friday, March 23. Hauge receives rave reviews for inspiring and motivating writers.

Early bird discounts end Feb. 1. Don't miss out on an exhiliarating two days!

Hauge has worked with screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers, consulting on projects starring WiIl Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, and many others. He’s also the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get your Screen play or Novel Read.

How to write a thriller with John Gilstrap, poetry with Maryland’s poet Laureate, writing workshops and panel discussions on a range of topics, agent pitches, keynote addresses at Saturday’s breakfast and luncheon, and editor critiques also pack the two-day agenda.

Register now. Go to for the complete schedule and to register.

Advertise your new book, business or service: Cheap Promo Opportunities:

The vendor table for all-day Saturday is a measly $10.

Program Book ads:

  • A quarter-page (4.5” x 2”) ad is only $25.
  • $50 for the half page Ad size is 4.5" wide X 3.5" tall.
  • $100 for the full page ($150 for full page inside front) Ad size is 4.5" wide X 7.5" tall.


Quick Notes, January 19, 2018

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

The Winter MWA Newsletter is posted on the MWA website. It offers news, views, and tools for you and your opportunity to share what’s happening in your own writing. Read it now.


Book Awards Contest: Still plenty of time to read and vote on your favorites among the submissions. Contest ends Feb. 28. Winners will be announced at MWA’s annual conference


Annual Conference: March 23-24, 2018, BWI Marriott.

DISCOUNT RATES END FEB. 1! This promises to be the best yet! Look at the line-up.

Friday, March 23:

Michael Hauge, Hollywood storyteller, screenwriter, and motivational speaker, presents an all-day workshop. He has worked with screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers, consulted on projects starring (among many others) WiIl Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and Reese Witherspoon. He is also the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get your Screen play or Novel Read.

Parallel Sessions: Half-Day Poetry Workshop with Maryland’s Poet Laureate Stanley Plumly, Maryland’s award-winning poet laureate and distinguished professor at the University of Maryland,

Half-Day Memoir Writing Workshop with popular workshop leader and author Barbara Morrison.End the day by unwinding and enjoying your colleagues at the Purple Prose Dinner.

Saturday, March 24

Keynote Breakfast with John Gilstrap, award-winning, NYT best-selling author of thrillers including a 2016 Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original Novel for his book, Against All Enemies.

Keynote Lunch with screenwriter and storyteller Michael Hauge

Agent/Editor Pitch Appointments (for MWA members only. Not a member? Join for conference discounts and a pitch session.)

Full Day of Workshops. Topics include: • How to Write a Thriller • Plot and Structure • Self-Publishing • Social Media • 20 More!

Panel topics include • Young Adult—Learn from your audience • First Responder—What happens to 911 calls? • How to Begin a Writing Career in Retirement. LOW RATES END FEB. 1!


The next board meeting of the Maryland Writers’ Association will be Feb. 13. 7 p.m. at the Miller Branch Library, Ellicott City, MD. All members are welcome to attend.



The following are not sponsored by nor endorsed by the Maryland Writers’ Association. They are listed here as a service to members.

For mystery writers, join Sisters in Crime members on Friday, January 26, 2018 at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery to see the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Bruce Goldfarb from the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will give a lecture on the Nutshells from noon to 1 p.m. in the Rubenstein Grand Salon on the second floor of the Renwick Gallery. Bruce will share insights into the part these dioramas played in advancing the field of forensics and explain their necessary role in training future investigators. This is a free lecture, open to the public. Come early to get a good seat.

The Renwick is not part of the main Smithsonian Campus. It's located at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, near the intersection of Pennsylvania and 17th Street. There's limited street parking; paid parking is available at several nearby buildings, including: 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. (One Parking) 1750 H. Street 648 18th St. (Colonial Parking)


Writers’ Retreat at Deep Creek Lake: An exact date has not yet been determined, but it will be a Friday check-in to Sunday check-out, with all expenses included at Blue Moon Rising, a tiny cabin community on Deep Creek Lake. The weekend will offer plenty of group or private writing time, a sit-down one-on-one meeting with either a professional editor or motivational coach (both published authors), a group Q&A, two writing workshops and plenty of fellowship opportunities. Cost: Each tiny cabin (which is actually quite roomy) is $495 for a single attendee, $395 for two attendees sharing the same cabin and $295 per person if three people share. If you’re interested, contact Jeannette DiLouie,


Call for Entries: Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2018

Submit your Poetry & Short Fiction and showcase your work to a new international audience and further your involvement in the literary world. Prizes include: £1,000 for the Short Fiction and Poetry winners, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual for 60 finalists, Consultation with Redhammer Management, membership to the Poetry Society, one year subscription to Granta and a selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage. Entries are open until 31 August. Submit at:


The Gulf Coast Writers’ Association (GCWA) is now accepting entries for the 2018 Writing Contest. Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2018.

Entry fees: $10 for first entry for members; $20 for nonmembers. Categories are Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s Stories. The winners’ submissions will be posted on the website and will appear in the summer issue of Ft. Myers Magazine. This contest is open to GCWA members and the public. Winners will be announced at the GCWA meeting April 21, 2018. List of winners will be posted on the website by April 31, 2018.

Entries should be mailed to: GCWA Writing Contest P.O. Box 60771 Fort Myers, FL 33906 Go to for more information.


Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, announces the availability of Apprenticeship Awards and Project Grants to fund folklife activities between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Applications for both programs are open until February 2, 2018.

The Apprenticeship Award supports up to one year of study in folklife, or living cultural traditions. During the study period, a master folklife practitioner passes down her or his knowledge to an apprentice in an effort to support the vitality of folklife in Maryland. Apprenticeships may focus on performance-based forms of folklife, such as storytelling, music, or dance; tangible forms of folklife, such as craft, costume, or food; or occupational forms of folklife, such as those found in maritime, agricultural, or architectural traditions. Project Grants support short-term research and programming focused on folklife. Successful grantees undertake projects directed by professionals, community scholars, organizations, or artists as they identify, document, support, or present Maryland folklife.

Past Project Grants have funded the documentation of food traditions, the production of an album of folk music, and an oral history collection leading to the creation of an exhibit on community life. Technical support is an important part of our work at Maryland Traditions.

For more information, advice on application strategies, or any other inquiry, contact Maryland Traditions Director Chad Edward Buterbaugh at 410.767.6450 or To access the Apprenticeship Award or Project Grant applications, visit

Quick Notes, December 12, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

BOOK AWARDS SCORING ENDS FEB. 28 – Get your reading done now and your votes in! You might even find the perfect gift for someone on your list among the submissions.

REGISTER NOW FOR MWA’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE! Early bird discounts end February 1. This two-day conference looks like MWA’s best ever. Don’t miss it!

Pen In Hand, MWA’s literary journal, is still accepting submissions for the January issue. Deadline is Dec. 31. Send submissions to

Submissions to the next issue of MWA’s quarterly Newsletter are being accepted now. Send your news and articles to Editor Barbara Morrison at



This has been another great year for the Maryland Writers’ Association thanks to a capable, energetic and enthusiastic Board of Directors. Many thanks and holiday hugs are due to:

Janet Ruck, Vice President

Mark Willen, Treasurer and Teen Club Coordinator

Chip Trimmier, Secretary

Flo McCahon, Membership Chair

Jess Williams, Conference Chair

Michelle Butler* and Katherine Melvin, Program Chairs

Amy Kaplan, Chapter Liaison

Tony Russo, Communications Chair

Dr. Tapendu Basu, Editor, Pen in Hand

Barbara Morrison, Editor, Newsletter

Larry Matthews,* Member at Large

Christina Lyons, Member at Large

Eric Badertscher, Member at Large

Angela Dale, Website

Ally Machate, Anthologies

* Michelle Butler and Larry Matthews resigned in mid-term because of personal and professional considerations.

Many thanks are also due to the Chapter officers who line up excellent monthly programs. Here are the presidents of each chapter:

Howard County – Nancy Alexander

Montgomery County – Judy Kelly

Carroll County – Joelle Jarvis and Jo Donaldson

Charles County – Karen McIntyre

Lower Eastern Shore – Stephanie Fowler

Baltimore County – Dr. Tapendu Basu

The next MWA Board meeting will be January 11, 7 p.m., at the Miller Branch Public Library, Ellicott City. All members are invited to attend.



The following announcements are provided as a service to the members. MWA does not necessarily endorse nor sponsor any of the organizations or their events.

The 6th Annual College Park Book Festival will be held Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the College Park Community Center. Registration information will be sent out in January 2018.


The 12th Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is now open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world. Prizes include: £1,000 for the Short Fiction and Poetry winners, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual for 60 finalists, Consultation with Redhammer Management, membership to the Poetry Society, one year subscription to Granta and a selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage.

Entries are open until 31 August. Submit at:


Odyssey Writing Workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror: Held for six weeks each summer in Manchester, New Hampshire, Odyssey is widely considered one of the top programs for writers of the fantastic. Only fifteen are admitted. Top authors, agents, and editors serve as guest lecturers. Advanced lectures, in-depth feedback, and one-on-one guidance help students make major improvements. Fifty-nine percent go on to professional publication.

This summer's program runs from June 4 to July 13, 2018. Class meets for over four hours each day, five days a week, with time split between lectures and workshopping. Lectures explore powerful techniques while feedback reveals the strengths and weaknesses in each writer's work. Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work. The workshop is held at Saint Anselm College, one of the top small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, and students live in campus apartments. They love the peaceful grounds and friendly staff. College credit is available on request. Odyssey is for writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work.

The early action application deadline is January 31, and the regular application deadline is April 7. The workshop is held by the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Odyssey is funded in part by donations from graduates, grantors and supporters, and in part by student tuition. Tuition is $2,025, and housing in campus apartments is $892 for a double room and $1,784 for a single. All applicants receive feedback on their writing sample.

A scholarship covering tuition, textbook, and housing will be awarded to a promising writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.

For more information, go to


Eastern Shore Writers Association - Bay to Ocean Conference: The next Bay to Ocean Writers Conference will take place on March 10, 2018, at Chesapeake College, on Route 50 near Easton, MD. Christopher Tilghman, author of the critically acclaimed novel "Mason's Retreat" and a professor of English at the University of Virginia, will deliver the opening keynote. For more information, go to


Livecanon announces poetry courses available in 2018 and offered through EventBrite. Livecanon is in the United Kingdom and the courses are offered there. It is an ensemble performing, creating, recording, and publishing poetry throughout the UK. So if you’re up for a trip to London in 2018, here is a list of courses. Go to the website indicated for more information.

One day courses

Correspondence Courses


Quick Notes, November 15, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire

2018 – MWA’s 30th Year!

The Annual Conference – March 23-24, BWI Marriott.

Two packed days of writing workshops, panel discussions, agent and editor pitches, speakers, networking and much more. Early Bird Registration is open now! Go to for more information and to register.

March 23:

Full-day Story-Writing Workshop with Michael Hauge, one of Hollywood’s top coaches and story experts. He has worked with countless screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers and consulted on projects starring Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and others. He is also the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read.

Half-day Poetry Workshop with Maryland’s Poet Laureate Dr. Stanley Plumly, award-winning and distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. In addition to teaching at some of the country’s most esteemed institutions, including Columbia, the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa and Princeton, Plumly has received numerous honors throughout the course of his longstanding career, such as a Guggenheim Fellowship; an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and the LA Times Book Prize, among others.

Half-day Memoir-Writing Workshop with Barbara Morrison. Barbara is a popular leader of writing workshops and the author of Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother.

March 24:

Keynote Breakfast with John Gilstrap, NYT best-selling author of thrillers and winner of multiple awards, including a 2016 Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original Novel for Against All Enemies.

Keynote Lunch with Michael Hauge

Agent/Editor pitch appointments (for MWA members)

Workshop Topics include: How to Write a Thriller Plot and Structure, Self-Publishing, Social Media + 20 more! Panel Topics include: Young Adult – Learn from the audience you write for, First Responder – What happens with 911 is called? How to Begin a Writing Career in Retirement


BOOK AWARDS CONTESTCast your scores now. Scoring closes February 28. Enjoy reading any or all of the submissions in the following categories then score them. The categories are: • Mystery/thriller • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction • Literary/Mainstream • Historical Fiction MWA members may score each entry once. Once a score has been submitted, it cannot be changed or withdrawn.


The Special Collections Library Association is holding its annual conference at the Baltimore Convention Center in June. They are asking MWA to provide an hour-long panel discussion at lunchtime to introduce attendees to Maryland. If you’d like to be on the panel, please submit a proposal to MWA Vice President Janet Ruck,


ISO Graphic Designer: MWA is seeking a graphic designer to design its literary journal, Pen in Hand. The journal is published twice a year in January and July, is 6” x 9” and generally contains about 65 pages. Payment in contributor copies and acknowledgement and credit on the copyright page plus our heartfelt thanks.


Speaking of Pen in Hand, editor Dr. Basu is seeking more submissions for the January issue. Deadline is Dec. 31.


MWA needs an archivist to bring order and efficiency to its files and records. This would include scanning records and downloading files to put in a digital format. If you can help, contact Eileen McIntire,



The following is presented as a service to MWA members. MWA does not necessarily endorse or sponsor these organizations.


2018 WILLIAM SAROYAN INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR WRITING -- Call for Submissions -- Deadline for entries: January 31, 2018. Submissions are now being accepted for this award given by Stanford University Libraries in partnership with the William Saroyan Foundation. The award recognizes newly published works of fiction and nonfiction with a $5,000 award for the winner in each category. The prize is designed to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation. Entries must be received by January 31, 2018. For entry forms and more information on the prize, visit the Saroyan Prize website:


Takoma Park Book Fair: A few places are still available. Busboys & Poets is hosting this year’s event on Saturday, December 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. They have a dedicated event space and will actively promote the event, which is free and open to the public. Participating authors must be Takoma Park (or nearby) residents—and have published within the last two years. They ask for a $20 contribution from each author to cover costs. Busboys has assumed ownership of the bookstores in their restaurants (some were previously under Politics & Prose management). They plan to organize a variety of book events during the coming year.

SIGN UP FOR THE BOOK FAIR BY NOVEMBER 25. Email the following information to · your name, address, and phone number,· title and publication date of your book, brief description of your book (1 or 2 lines). Attach a jpg of your cover.

Quick Notes, October 18, 2017

By Eileen McIntire

MWA’s Fall Newsletter is now available online. Editor Barbara Morrison reminds members to keep your news in the news. E-mail her about your triumphs, new book launchings, and other happenings. Tips, how-tos, and craft articles are also welcome. E-mail Barbara at The Newsletter comes out quarterly.

Congratulations to MWA’s Teen Writers Groups for receiving their second grant of $500 from the Constellation's Community Champions program! Constellation is an alternative energy supply company. Membership Chair Flo McCahon made the connection and Mark Willen, MWA Teen Writers Groups Coordinator, received the grant, which will be used to fund MWA conference scholarships for selected teens.

MEMBER ALERT: Quick Notes and other MWA announcements are sent by e-mail. Please check your member profile on and make sure your information, including your e-mail address, is correct. You don’t want to miss out.

Critique Groups are a valuable and popular benefit of MWA. If you would like to find a critique group for feedback on your writing, please add yourself to the critique group database. You can also contact open critique groups listed on the website. Here’s an ISO from a member who is looking for a critique group in the Harbor East section of Baltimore. She writes historical mysteries. If you are interested in joining a group in that area, e-mail me ( and I’ll put you in touch. Critique groups are always forming, and you can start one with a small nucleus.



The following announcements are for your information and are not necessarily endorsed nor sponsored by MWA.

Baltimore Screenwriters Competition now accepting submissions. Entry deadline January 24, 2018.

The Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is now accepting entries for the 13th annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. Applicants can submit screenplays in the feature or shorts categories. The top entries in both categories win cash prizes, and feature winners also receive all access passes to the 2018 Maryland Film Festival and passes to local movie theaters.

The application and guidelines are available online at The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is a project of the Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in conjunction with film programs at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. Funding is provided by The Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Parr. Additional support is courtesy of the Maryland Film Festival, NEXTCAR and Visit Baltimore.

The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is open to all screenwriters. Submitted scripts receive coverage from students in the Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University screenwriting programs and by local screenwriters and producers. The final screenplays are judged by film industry professionals including writer Norman Steinberg (“Blazing Saddles,” “My Favorite Year”), producer Nina Noble (“The Deuce,” “Treme,” “The Wire”) and producer and studio executive Larry Kostroff (“The Gumshoe Kid,” “When A Stranger Calls”). Winners of the competition are announced during the 2018 Maryland Film Festival on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

In the feature category, the first place winner receives $1,500, an all access pass to the 2017 Maryland Film Festival, a Weekend in Baltimore Package, a rental car for the weekend and passes to area movie theaters. The second place winner receives $750, an all access pass to the festival and movie passes. The third place winner receives $350, an all access pass to the festival and movie passes. In the shorts category, winners will receive cash prizes.

For more information on the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, call 410-752-8632 or visit


Fall Fiction Contest - Deadline: Nov. 15

The Masters Review announces its Fall Fiction Contest. The winning story will be paid $2000, awarded publication online in The Masters Review, and receive a note from the judge on why the story was selected. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $200 and $100, respectively, as well as correspondence from the judge. Fifteen finalists will be acknowledged in December and the winners will be selected from that pool.

The Fall Fiction Contest winner last year, Ruth Joffre, just sold her story collection to Grove Atlantic. Her winning story, "Night Beast," is the title story in her debut collection.

GUIDELINES: • Submissions are open from Sept 15 - Nov 15. 7000 word limit • Fiction only • Emerging Writers only. (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Self-published writers and writers with story collections and novels with a small circulation are welcome to submit.) • $20 to enter • Previously unpublished work only • Multiple and simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please notify us if your story is accepted elsewhere • International submissions allowed.

Finalists will be announced by Dec 21, and winners will be announced in January.

The contest judge will be BRIAN EVENSON, author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection, A Collapse of Horses. He is one of fiction's best literary writers with a stellar eye for gothic and dark literary fiction. A Shirley Jackson, International Horror and Edgar Award finalist, as well as the winner of three O. Henry Prizes, this contest is in the very best hands.

For more information, visit the website,



Nonfiction Writers Conference Online – Nov. 9-10

"Marketing Mastery for Authors" is the theme of the Fall Nonfiction Writers Conference, November 9-10, 2017. It will be a virtual event conducted entirely by teleseminar—no travel required.

For MWA members, they offer a special 33% off discount. The Nonfiction Writers Conference, and its sister organization The Nonfiction Authors Association, both aim to bring much-needed support and education to the nonfiction writer community.

To find out more, go to and

Quick Notes, September 23, 2017

By Eileen McIntire, President


MWA’s literary journal, Pen in Hand, is now accepting submissions for the January issue. Deadline is Dec. 1. Categories are fluid and may include short plays, short stories, poetry, first chapters of unpublished novels, memoirs, etc. Please go to for submission guidelines and more information.

Pen in Hand is available on the website and as a printed book for sale on It is given to agents, editors, and speakers at the conference and chapter meetings.

MWA’s Quarterly Newsletter deadline is September 30. Let your fellow writers know what’s happening in your writing, your activities and latest triumphs. Editor Barbara Morrison is also looking for questions for the writers’ advice columns, reviews of writing craft books, a contribution to the “Why I Write” column, interviews, articles on the craft of writing, and other items of interest to writers.

CONTEST DEADLINE: Sept. 30. Still time to submit your novel: Awards will be given in the following genre divisions: • Mystery/thriller • Romance • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction • Literary/Mainstream • Historical Fiction • Young Adult / New Adult

THE 2018 CONFERENCE: Not to be missed! Dates: March 23-24, 2018, BWI Marriott, Baltimore.

Registration for this two-day conference opens Dec. 1. Here's what's happening.

On Friday, March 23, choose from three dynamite sessions:

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Intensive Writing Workshop with MICHAEL HAUGE, a script consultant, story expert, author and lecturer who works with writers, filmmakers, marketers, business leaders, attorneys and public speakers, both in Hollywood and around the world. He has consulted on projects starring Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon, and for Overbrook Entertainment, where he consulted on the scripts for (among many others) I Am Legend, Hancock, The Karate Kid, Suicide Squad and Bright, which is currently in production. Michael is the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, as well as the 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book, Writing Screenplays That Sell. Michael has presented seminars, lectures and keynotes in person and online to more than 80,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”

Two half-day workshops:

Intensive Poetry Workshop with Maryland Poet Laureate STANLEY PLUMLY. He is the author of nine books of poetry, including Old Heart (Norton, 2008), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Most recently, Mr. Plumly has authored Posthumous Keats (Norton, 2008), a “personal biography” of the English poet, John Keats, which has received widespread critical acclaim by reviewers for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, among others, and his poems, essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in many of the country’s best periodicals and newspapers.

Stanley Plumly is the recipient of numerous awards including eight Pushcart Prizes, the Paterson Poetry Prize (2007), an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002), and a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation (2001).

Intensive Memoir-Writing Workshop with BARBARA MORRISON. She writes under the name B. Morrison and is the author of two poetry collections, Terrarium (2013) and Here at Least (2006), and a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. Her award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She conducts writing workshops and speaks on women's and poverty-related issues. She is also the owner of a small press and speaks about publishing and marketing. She has maintained her Monday Morning Books blog since 2006. For more information, visit her website and blog at

Saturday, March 24: Workshops on how to write a thriller, plot and structure, self-publishing, social media plus 20 more; agent/editor pitch appointments and two keynote speakers.

Breakfast Keynote Speaker: JOHN GILSTRAP is the New York Times bestselling author of Final Target, Friendly Fire, Nick of Time, Against All Enemies, End Game, Soft Targets, High Treason, Damage Control, Threat Warning, Hostage Zero, No Mercy, Nathan’s Run, At All Costs, Even Steven, Scott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom. Four of his books have been purchased or optioned for the Big Screen. In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris. He will co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom, which should begin filming in 2018. A frequent speaker at literary events, John also teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution. Outside of his writing life, John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, weapons systems, hazardous materials, and fire behavior. John lives in Fairfax, VA.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Michael Hauge.(see above).




MWA does not sponsor or necessarily support the following organization.

The RISK! live true storytelling show is coming to Baltimore on November 3, 2017. The show producers are looking for people to pitch their stories for the chance to perform in the live show.

Submission deadline is  October 3. Send pitches to:

The show will be presented at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, at 7:30 p.m.

Theme: Obsession (Stories are not required to fit under this theme. It’s just a jumping off point to help you brainstorm about stories you have. We cast excellent true stories over stories that simply fit the theme but are less compelling.)

RISK! Is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. RISK! has featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, and regular folks from around the world, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The RISK! podcast gets over 1.5 million downloads each month. called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.” RISK! is not like other storytelling shows. It’s “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” RISK! encourages storytellers to step out on a limb, be brutally candid and emotionally raw. This is an uncensored show where taboos are tackled and people talk about things they ordinarily might not share in mixed company, but might save for their therapist.

To hear some of their stories, go to For more information about what they look for in story pitches and how to submit, go to

Quick Notes, August 18, 2017

By Eileen Haavik McIntire, President

Contest Deadline Extended! The 2018 MWA Book Awards are open to all MWA members in good standing who have published a novel (50K words or more) in 2016 or 2017. There is no fee to enter; one entry per MWA member. Awards will be given in the following genre divisions: • Mystery/thriller • Romance • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction • Literary/Mainstream • Historical Fiction • Young Adult / New Adult •

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. Novels entered in last-year’s contest are not eligible. For more information on rules and how to submit, please visit MWA’s Contests page.


MWA is now accepting workshop proposals for the 2018 conference, March 23rd & 24th at the BWI Marriott. Conference theme is “From Brain to Bookshelf.” All 50-minute presentations will be scheduled on Saturday, March 24th.

Do you have a creative workshop that will jog the writer's mind? A unique workshop to bring to the conference circuit? Send us your proposal!

Send proposal and bio to or Proposals sent by September 1st will receive priority consideration. Proposals will be accepted until September 30.


The latest issue of the MWA quarterly Newsletter and the July Pen in Hand are available online at Pen in Hand is also available on

The Newsletter prints your news and your brags. Send items to Barbara Morrison, Editor, at


New Program Chair: We are sorry to lose Michelle Butler as Program Chair. Her innovative “people’s choice” Book Awards Contest was a great success last year and continues this year. Stepping into the position is Katherine Melvin, past president of the Montgomery Chapter. Welcome, Katherine!


Critique Groups Coordinator is Angela Dale, who is also MWA Webmaster. The website lists critique groups around the state. MWA will also help you form a new one if there isn’t one convenient to you.


The MWA Board of Directors meets monthly. Members are invited to attend. The next meeting is Monday, September 18, 7 p.m., at the Owen Brown Community Center, Columbia, MD.


Speaking of meetings, as an MWA member, you are welcome at any monthly chapter meeting in the state without charge. Check the MWA website for information on dates, times, places and programs.

This month I had the pleasure and the opportunity of attending the following meetings:

  • The Lower Eastern Shore Chapter, an informal group that meets for fun, fellowship, and support on the second Tuesday, 6 p.m. at the offices of Saltwater Media in Berlin, MD.
  • The Annapolis Chapter, which meets the third Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Maryland Hall, Annapolis. The program featured Jill Bernstein, speaking on working with a publicist.
  • The Howard County Chapter, which meets on the third Thursday, 7 p.m., at the Owen Brown Community Center, Columbia, MD, featured Keith R.A. De Candida on “How to Write A Fight Scene.”


Vice President Janet Ruck has submitted the final report for the 2017 grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.


Volunteers Needed:

Graphic designer for MWA’s biannual literary journal, Pen in Hand. The journal is published in January and July. It generally runs about 66 pages, In a 6” x 9” format. It is distributed in a pdf format online and also printed as a Print-on-demand document with Lightning Source, for which a pdf is also needed. Editor is Dr. Tapendu Basu, who is easy to work with.

Archives Manager to keep our documents in order. We are hoping for someone to scan and digitize our files for posterity.


Opportunities for Writers

These announcements are provided as a service to you. MWA does not necessarily endorse nor sponsor them.

The summer months offer many retreats for writers. Here’s one you might consider for 2018. “A Writer’s Retreat in England,” sponsored by Ardent Writer Press, Brownsboro, AL, will be held from August 10-18, 2018, at Worton Park, The Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, England. Featured guests will be New York Times best-seller Ruth Downie, Dr. Heather Corbaly Bryant, The Writing Program, Wellesley College, and Jamie Dodson, author of the YA books of the WWII era, the Nick Grant Adventure Series. For more information, go to Email contact is or 256-694-6744.


I will be joining mystery authors Flo McCahon, Marcia Talley, Sujata Massey, and Maya Corrigan for a panel discussion of “Books and Authors of Mystery,” sponsored by Sisters in Crime and the Enoch Pratt Library. 2 p.m., September 16, Light Street Branch Library, Baltimore.