Quick Notes, November 2, 2016

From Eileen McIntire, President

Important for all MWA members: Please log in to and check your membership information and e-mail address. Your membership and e-mail address must be current to take part in member opportunities and discounts. Check your member profile and make sure that’s current too.

This means you.

Announcing the MWA Annual Book Awards!

The new 2017 MWA Book Awards Contest is now open! MWA members in good standing who have published a novel (50K words or more) in 2015 or 2016 may enter. There is no fee to enter; one entry per MWA member. Application forms are in the member area of the website.
Submission period is November 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016.

Awards will be given in the following genre divisions:

  • Mystery/thriller
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction
  • Literary/Mainstream
  • Historical Fiction

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 a story.


  • Authors should submit an image of book cover and 50-word max blurb indicating the genre division.
  • Authors are not required to submit copies of their book; however, they are encouraged to negotiate a lower ebook price with their publisher for MWA members during the contest period, so members can read their books more easily.
  • Authors must score at least 4 other entries, in a genre division other than the one submitted to. Entries whose authors do not fulfill this requirement will not be considered for prizes.


  • Winners will be chosen by the MWA membership, ranking entries on a 1 to 10 scale. Scores will be averaged to determine winners.
  • MWA members in good standing may score entries, one score per entry (details to come).
  • Critique sheets will not be given.
  • At least 5 qualifying entries are required to award a prize in a genre division.
  • Entries receiving fewer than 5 scores will not be considered for prizes.
  • Awards will be announced at the MWA conference, March 25, 2017
  • Scoring period is December 1, 2016 - March 1, 2017.

This year’s contest was devised by Program Chair Michelle Butler,, with the help of Amy Kaplan, President, Howard County Chapter.

CONFERENCE ALERT!: March 25, 2017

Look for announcements about the Early Bird rates and deadlines coming soon!
Meanwhile, Conference Chair Jess Williams is looking for a few good people to volunteer for the following positions. If you can help, contact her at

  • PR CHAIR: Promotes the conference and the organization
  • VENDOR CHAIR: Contacts and schedules vendors who wish to display a table at our event
  • DONATION CHAIR: Contacts business' in pursuit of donations for the conference
  • BOOKSTORE CHAIR: Coordinates between members and the bookstore, ensuring all the books are ordered and available at our event
  • MODERATOR CHAIR: Coordinates moderators for each workshop. From as simple as signaling when the workshop is over, to reading first page samples in panels
  • REGISTRATION CHAIR: Compiles all registration materials and contacts potential volunteers to assist at the registration tables the morning of the event
  • AGENT/EDITOR CHAIR: Schedules volunteers to moderate pitch appointments, moderates available appointments at conference, assists in registering agents/editors, helps with transportation to and from airport/ amtrack (no shuttle).
  • CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHER: Takes photos at the conference for us to post on social media, generating interest for 2018.



The Constellation's Community Champions program has awarded MWA’s Teen Writers Clubs a grant of $500. The grant was the result of MWA Membership Chair Flo McCahon (who writes mysteries as Millie Mack) being a customer of Constellation Energy. When they sent out a notice to customers that they had grant money available, she filled out part of the form and forwarded it on to Teen Writers Group Coordinator Mark Willin who completed the application.


Dr. Tapendu Basu and Barbara Morrison are now co-chairs of the Publications Committee, which produces Pen In Hand [PIH}, the biannual literary journal published by MWA, and a quarterly newsletter.

More submissions in the following genre are being accepted now for the January 2017 and also for the July 2017 issues of PIH.

  • Poetry
  • Short stories
  • Flash Fiction
  • Non-fiction esp. related to writing, publishing, and Misc. “HOW TO”
  • Essays
  • Short plays
  • Interviews with notable writers

The January issue will have sections on Haiku and Limericks. So get that pen in hand
and submit your best work to PIH.

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE FRONT COVER DESIGN for both Jan and July issues are also needed.

Send submissions with bio, email, and contact information to the Pen In Hand website at or directly to


Katherine Melvin, President of the Montgomery County Chapter, announces the winners of the Montgomery Writes contest held by chapter.


  • Winner: Urvi Chowdhury, On the Run
  • Runners up:
    Melanie Hatter, Malawi's Sisters
    Stephen Sugg, Stanley and Phyllis

Creative Nonfiction

  • Winner: Laura Donnelly Smith, Tree Fall
  • Runners up:
    Suzyn Gonzalez, Sitting in Airports, Waiting for Planes
    Judy Ohr, Sand Never Stops Shifting


  • Winner: Emma Millar, The Osprey’s Nest
  • Runners up:
    Shirley Menendez, A Villanelle to Life in America
    Jennifer Bunch, Apple Pie Ala Mode: A Chronicle of the 1960s


Literary Artist Opportunity for the Maryland Purple Line

Deadline: December 1, 2016 - 8 p.m. EDT
Request for Qualifications (No proposals)

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Project Management Consultant
(PMC) is seeking literary artists and all types of writers to invite to create
a 600 to 1000 word story/ composition/ poem/ literary work that captures
the essence of the corridor to be integrated into the design of the Purple Line
transit stations between Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties
outside of Washington, D.C. .

Selection is two-phased: (1) Request for Qualifications & (2) Procurement.
Invited writers will be paid a stipend of up to $3500 for producing proposals.
For information about Purple Line Light Rail, visit:

Submit Qualifications at CAFÉ call for entry site:
Search: Literary Opportunity for the Maryland Purple Line Light-Rail Project
OR link:


MWA member Stephanie Ann Sarwal announces that her children's school is hosting a holiday boutique and is looking for booksellers to take booths. Fee is $50. The event will be held Saturday, Dec 3 from 4-9 pm in Hyattsville. The school expects 1,000 people through the door.

For more information, contact Stephanie at 301-312-9274.