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April 2019 Notable Maryland Author Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter

"Because I'm too old for tragedy. I like a nice happy ending too." Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter is an award winning American novelist, essayist, and film critic. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in Evanston, Illinois. His mother wrote children's books. The Army drafted him for two years after he graduated from Northwestern with a degree in journalism. He serving in The Old Guard in Washington, D.C., and wrote for the Pentagon News. He joined The Baltimore Sun in 1971, working on the Sunday edition. He became its film critic in 1982, and held that position till he moved to The Washington Post in 1997. In 1998 Hunter won the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award in the criticism category, and in 2003 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

Hunter is a firearms enthusiast who expertly weaves his knowledge of rifles and pistols into each thrillers as he describes in detail the features and capabilities of the weapons used by his main character, Bob "the Nailer" Swagger, who is a Vietnam War veteran and sniper. Stephen Hunter has written over twenty novels and still lives in Baltimore.


Thrillers are characterized by their ability to give readers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation, and anxiety. Thrillers generally keep readers “up all night” as they wade through red herrings, plot twists, and the cover-up of important information on their way to the plot’s climax. Crucial to a thriller’s plot is a prominent villain who creates the obstacles that the hero must overcome.

A partial reading list includes: Bob Lee Swagger Series: Point of Impact, Time to Hunt, Night of Thunder, The Sniper, Dead Zero, The Third Bullet, Sniper's Honor, Game of Sniper.

Writer's Prompt - Fun With Words

Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) invites you to have fun writing part of a Thriller using just 100 words.  Create a hero and a villain, combine with a plan and device to contaminate ground water, mix in a Maryland historic site, and garnish with one red herring.

Submit Your Writers' Round Table Prompt

Submit by the 20th of the month and receive an MWA Fun With Words Submission Certificate.  Selected submissions may be published the following month.

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