Grand Prize

Caroline Tung Richmond

Romance / Historical

First Prize

And Then I Love Him
Kathleen Bittner Roth

Second Prize

Love's Agent
Emilee Hines

Mainstream / Literary

First Prize

Broken Laces
Rodney Walther

Second Prize

Prodigious Savant
John J. White

Mystery / Suspense / Thriller / Action / Adventure

First Prize

The Cambrian Factor
Rob Niccolini

Second Prize

Played to Death
B.V. Lawson

Science Fiction / Fantasy / Speculative

First Prize

Caroline Tung Richmond

Second Prize

Minerva's Lure
Rob Niccolini

Young Adult

First Prize

Sweet Glory
Lisa Y. Potocar

Second Prize

The Turning Glass
Marcia G. Moore

MWA 2009 Novel Contest Judges

Risa Aratyr

Risa Aratyr received her degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked at an assortment of jobs including stage manager, vocalist-percussionist, ASL interpreter, astrologer, waitress, pre-school teacher, housepainter, freelance copy-editor, and administrative assistant. She now lives in Sonoma, California, where she practices martial arts, teaches theatre management at Santa Rosa Junior College, and, of course, writes. Her first published work was a brace of poems in a slim, cheaply-made anthology -- VOICES OF POETRY -- for which she was paid in copies. Her articles on families and children appeared in Mothering Magazine and BabyTalk. She wrote a few features for the local newspaper, a 28-piece series on the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 for the San Francisco Chronicle and two educational supplements for the New York Times, one of which ("Children Who Built America") recently won first place in the Best Original Curriculum category at the Newspaper Association of America's "Newspapers in Education" awards. Her first novel, the high Celtic fantasy HUNTER OF THE LIGHT, was published in 1995 by HarperPrism. HUNTER OF THE LIGHT received praise from luminaries in the field and continues to enjoy popularity within the genre, popping up on "best overlooked fantasy" and "favorite book" lists. It garners 5-out-of-5 star ratings in's reader reviews, and inspired a fantasy RPG scenario. She has completed her second irinn novel, SHADOW'S ROAD, three years ago, and hopes to sell it. She currently has a space-noir novel-in-progress, DARKDAYS.

Jenny Brown

Victor Brown

Mindie Burgoyne

Mindie Burgoyne is the author of two books published by Arcadia Publishing -- each focusing on an Eastern Shore historic town. Additionally she is a freelance writer who has authored a monthly column for a Gannett newspaper as well as published articles with Gazette newspapers, Shore Living MagazineMetropolitan MagazineMusic NewsNational Catholic ReporterConnaught Tribune, and many online publications. She lives in Marion Station in rural Somerset County, MD.

Tony Burton

Tony Burton is a published author with over twelve years of experience writing both fiction and nonfiction. His short stories and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines, including em>Great Mystery and Suspense, The Writer's JournalWoman's WorldThe Calhoun Times and others. With two published novels, he has edited six anthologies of short fiction, and has appeared in two other anthologies as well. He is the owner/chief editor of two small presses, Wolfmont Press and Honey Locust Press, and teaches creative writing classes both online and at the local Arts Center where he lives. Tony lives in Northwest Georgia with his lovely wife, Lara.

Eric Edwards

Eric Edwards has over 20 years of experience in professional writing and editing. He is currently the leader of the Technical Publications Team at the SURVICE Engineering Company in Belcamp, MD, where he is responsible for preparing and publishing a wide range of documentation, including technical reports, conference papers, magazine/journal articles, books, user manuals, marketing materials, and website text. In addition, Mr. Edwards writes and edits through his freelance company, Deer Creek Documentation, in Forest Hill, MD; and he teaches a seminar on effective writing for corporate, government, and school groups. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from Bob Jones University and a master of science degree in professional writing from Towson University. He is also a member of the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences and a Senior Member of the Society for Technical Communication.

Newton Love

Newt Love, "The most famous person nobody has heard of," has Lakota Sioux and Scottish ancestry. Neutron's closest friends describe him as a "wildman." Born in Texas, he grew up in southern California, where he left home at sixteen. At eighteen he joined the US Marines, hoping to help the South Vietnamese secure freedom, but it was over before he went over. He read theology at a private college, but changed his major to physics, then later dropped out to join a Silicon Valley start-up. After they went public, Newt quit and surfed a southern Florida hurricane season. He watched every sunset of 1981, ending his youth at twenty-three. Newt returned to school, attending USC and UCLA, taking a degree in math and economics. He wrote classified war-gaming software at the Lockheed Skunk Works and the McAir Phantom Works. He is now a Northrop Grumman Technical Fellow. A composer, he's sold a contata for double choir and cathedral organ and is working on an opera about Sitting Bull. As an author, he's sold 3 novels to 2 publishers.

Dana Kollman

Dana Kollmann holds a BS degree in anthropology from Towson University, a MFS from George Washington University, and a MA and a Ph. D. in anthropology from American University. Dana's experience in forensic archaeology and anthropology has been obtained primarily through her training at the Smithsonian Institution. She has worked in museums throughout the United States performing examinations of curated skeletal collections. Her field experience includes mass grave exhumation and victim identification in the former Yugoslavia; grave identification and exhumation of Texas gunfighter Wild Bill Longley; work on the human remains aboard the Hunley Civil War submarine; analysis of Roman plague victims in Croatia; and examination of Mayan remains excavated from tombs in the Petn region of Guatemala. In the past 10 years, Dana has performed exhumations of at least 35 different archaeological and clandestine grave sites throughout the country. She has 11 years of crime lab experience, 10 of which was obtained through her work as a Forensic Services Technician with the Baltimore County Police Department where she completed all but a few hours of her training as a footwear and tiretrack examiner. Dana has authored and co-authored a number of journal articles, technical reports, and most recently published Never Suck a Dead Man's Hand: Curious Adventures of a CSI, which details her rather unusual experiences as a CSI. Dana is currently an Assistant Professor at Towson University, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice and works part-time for an archaeological consulting firm, TRC Garrow Associates.

Loree Lough

Award-winning author Loree Lough has 64 books, 59 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Since 1990, she has developed and taught online, for area colleges and professional organizations, and travels the U. S. and abroad to lead workshops on a variety of how-to-write topics. In 1999, she developed Leading Edge Writers' Studios, 1-3 day seminars designed to enhance writers' careers regardless of genre or skill level. Over the years, Loree has judged hundreds of contests and mentored thousands of writers, more than 500 of whom are now published authors. (For more details about Loree's recent releases and teaching credentials, visit

Margaret Meacham

Margaret Meacham is the award-winning author of fourteen novels for children and young adults, including Oyster MoonSecret of Heron CreekQuiet! You're Invisible, and A Mid-Semester Night's Dream, as well as reviews, articles and short stories for numerous publications. Meacham teaches writing and children's literature at Goucher College and Gotham Writer's Workshops. She has lectured at schools, universities and conferences throughout the nation. Her newest book, A Fairy's Guide To Understanding Humans has just been released from Holiday House Publishers in New York. She is currently at work on a new novel.

Lucy Moran

Jill Morrow

Jill Morrow is the author of ANGEL CAFE and THE OPEN CHANNEL. Past careers include singing in bands and practicing law. She is currently a freelance editor who lives in Baltimore.

Mohammed Mughal

Mohamed Mughal is an American of Indian heritage, born in Africa and raised in Maryland. Mohamed has published a number of non-fiction articles on chemical warfare and biological terrorism. He published his debut novel, Resolution 786, in January 2009. Mohamed holds a B. S. in Chemical Engineering, a M. S. in Engineering Management and a PhD in Public Policy and is a former U. S. Army Commissioned Officer.

Bob O'Connor

Bob O'Connor writes books about the Civil War. While director of Tourism in Washington County, Maryland, he became involved in touring local places like Antietam Battlefield and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and became hooked on learning more about the Civil War. His first novel, "The Perfect Steel Trap: Harpers Ferry 1859" was named a Finalist in the 2006 Best Book Awards by USA Book News. His second novel "The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln" brings to light Ward Hill Lamon, a close friend of President Lincoln that most people have never heard of. The audio book version has been given two national awards -- it was named runner-up in the National Indie Excellence Awards and was named a finalist in the 2009 Best Book Awards by USA Book News. His third book, "Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War" has been called "the Forest Gump of the Civil War". His latest book, "A House Divided Against Itself" is about William and Wesley Culp, brothers who fought against each other in the war. He lives near his children and grandchildren in West Virginia. Besides writing, he work part time for both the Jefferson County CVB and for the City of Charles Town. He volunteers at the Harper s Ferry National Historical Park and writes for several local and regional publications.

Christa Parrish

A winner of Associated Press awards for her journalism, Christa Parrish's first novel, Home Another Way (Bethany House, 2009) is a finalist for the ECPA Christian Book Award. Her second novel, Watch Over Me (Bethany House, 2009) releases in October. She now teaches literature and writing to high school students, is a homeschool mom, and lives with her family in upstate New York, where she is at work on her third novel. Her debut novel - Home Another Way (Bethany House) - now available! Coming soon - Watch Over Me (Bethany House) - October 2009

Patricia Punt

Patricia Punt is a freelance writer and creative writing instructor at Harford Community College. She also provides coaching and editing services for writers. She is currently working on a mystery novel.

Melanie Rigney

Melanie Rigney's thirty-year career as a communications professional includes nearly five years at Writer's Digest magazine. Her consultancy, Editor for You, has assisted more than two hundred authors, publishers, and literary agents since 2003. Melanie is the co-author of the forthcoming Shepherd's Embrace (Twenty-Third Publications), a guide to setting up parish programs for inactive Catholics. A publisher is considering a devotional book she coauthored with her best friend, Patricia Lorenz. Melanie also is at work on a novel. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Lucia St. Clair Robson

Lucia was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in South Florida. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela and a teacher in Brooklyn, New York. She has also lived in Japan, South Carolina and southern Arizona. After earning her master's degree in Library Science at Florida State University, she worked as a public librarian in Annapolis, Maryland. She now lives near Annapolis. The Western Writers of America awarded her first book, Ride the Wind, the Golden Spur Award for best historical western of 1982; it also made the New York Times Best Seller list and was included in the 100 best westerns of the 20th century. Since then she has written Walk in My SoulLight a Distant FireThe Tokaido RoadMary's LandFearlessGhost Warrior(finalist for the 2003 Golden Spur), and her newest, Shadow Patriots. Her latest manuscript, Last Train from Cuernavaca, will be published in the spring of 2010.

Carole Fungaroli Sargent

Carole Fungaroli Sargent is the author of two books with Farrar, Straus & Giroux that received notice in many national media outlets. As the Director of Georgetown's Office of Scholarly and Literary Publications, she guides its faculty and select Washington professionals to book publication. She is working on a third book with an 18th-century theme.

D. L. Wilson

D. L. Wilson worked his way through the ranks of engineering and management to become president, CEO, and Managing Director of U. S. and international companies, consultant to industries and governments in 32 countries, and a university professor. Wilson's extensive international travel as an executive and consultant spawned his fascination with world cultures, exotic locales, diverse religious beliefs, and foreign governments. He found the perfect outlet for his interests in the captivating world of fiction. His first novel, UNHOLY GRAIL, is a national bestseller translated into five languages. Wilson and his wife Miki, his muse and research trip partner, divide their time between Bucks County, PA and Baltimore County, MD.

MWA 2009 Novel Contest Winners