Archive for January, 2012

January 23, 2012

Latest on 2012 Maryland Writers Conference, MWA Writing Contests

The Maryland Writers’ Association has announced that the theme of its 2012 Maryland Writers Conference will be “Writing in Times of Change.” The conference, which will be held October 20, 2012 at The University of Baltimore, will feature keynote speaker Marita Golden. Golden will also present a workshop at the conference.

Conference and keynoter details will be posted at the Maryland Writers Conference website, Applications for panel sessions and workshops will be posted there and on the MWA website. Members of the MWA’s Facebook group can download the application form now.

The change in date for the Maryland Writers Conference date means that the dates for the MWA’s annual writing contest have changed as well. Entries for the Novel Contest, “Great Beginnings,” will now be accepted by email from May 15-June 30, 2012. Entries for the Short Works Contest will be accepted by email from June 30-July 30, 2012.

Novel contest entries will be judged on the first 7,000 words of the novel. Categories this year are Mainstream/Literary, Young Adult, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Historical. Mystery/Suspense/Thriller and Romance will return in 2013.

For the short works contest, fiction and nonfiction entries should be 3,000 words, while poetry submissions should be up to 50 lines in 1-5 poems.

Contest submission guidelines will be posted on the MWA website, the Maryland Writers Conference website, and on Facebook by March 1, 2012. Keyboard in Hand will post links when they are available.

January 19, 2012

Are These Conferences and Workshops on Your Calendar?

At last night’s meeting of the Annapolis Chapter, author Laura Oliver provided attendees with a list of upcoming conferences and workshops that will be of interest to MWA members. Be sure to mark your calendars for these great events:



  • “Elements of Fiction,” with Laura Oliver, February 11 at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. $50. To register, call (301) 654-8664
  • “Everything You Need to Know about Publishing,” with Laura Oliver, April 14 at The Writer’s Center in Annapolis. $50. To register, call (301) 654-8664
  • “The Story Within,” with Laura Oliver, June 1 at The Writer’s Center in Leesburg. For details, e-mail Laura at in the spring
  • “Showing vs. Telling Craft Workshop,” with Laura Oliver, June 9 from 9:30-noon at St. John’s College in Annapolis. $50 (includes breakfast). To register, call (410) 626-2881 or (410) 626-2530.
  • “Writing Humor Workshop,” with Laura Oliver, June 23 at St. John’s College in Annapolis. $50 (includes breakfast). To register, call (410) 626-2530.

Know of any upcoming conferences? Are you teaching a writing workshop or know someone who is? Let me know by e-mail or in the comments below.

January 7, 2012

Little Patuxent Review Co-Sponsors Poetry Contest with Pratt Library

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for Little Patuxent Review (LPR), a biannual print journal devoted to literature and the arts. One of the highlights: to celebrate National Poetry Month in April, LPR is co-sponsoring a poetry contest with Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library and the CityLit Project.

According to LPR editor and MWA member Laura Shovan, the winning poem will be published in LPR, prominently displayed in a show window at the Pratt Central Library during National Poetry Month, and featured in a reading at the 2012 CityLit Festival in April. The full contest rules are available on the Pratt website here.

LPR’s Winter 2012 issue, on the theme of “Social Justice,” will launch on January 28, 2012 with a reading at 2:00 p.m. at Oliver’s Carriage House in Columbia. The issue, which had a record-breaking number of submissions from writers, poets and artists from around the country, features the art of Theaster Gates and and interviews with Tony Medina, poet, activist and professor at Howard University, and American Book Award winner Martin Espada.

The issue also includes work by MWA members Ann Bracken, Melinda Bennington, Kathleen Hellen, Patricia Jakovich VanAmburg, and Jill-Ann Stolley.

Social Justice readings will also take place at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda on March 3 and a special partnership reading with the Enoch Pratt Library Contest winner at the CityLit Festival on April 14. Copies of the issue will be available at local booksellers in Howard County and online for $10 per issue. Subscriptions and student discounts are also available; find out more here.

Submissions for LPR’s Summer 2012 issue, on the theme of “Audacity,” opened on December 1. Poetry, prose, and artwork will be accepted through March 1 through LPR’s online submission system. See the submission guidelines here.

Submissions for LPR’s Winter 2013 issue, “Doubt,” will open August 1.

January 5, 2012

Pen in Hand Winter 2012 Issue Now Available

The Winter 2012 issue of Pen in Hand, the quarterly newsletter of the Maryland Writers’ Association, is hot off the presses! The issue (PDF) is available for download from the MWA website here.

In this issue, you’ll find:

  • David Joyner interviews Maryland filmmaker Kevin Kangas
  • Tom Glenn on crafting fiction dialogue
  • Reviews of recent meetings and previews of upcoming speakers at MWA Chapters
  • Poems and short stories by W.M. Rivera, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, Catherine Solomon, and Mare Cromwell
  • . . . and more!

Download your free copy of Pen in Hand here. Back issues are also available on the Publications page.

January 3, 2012

The Delmarva Review Announces Short Story Prize Winners

Yesterday, The Delmarva Review announced the winners of the 2011 Delmarva Review Short Story Prize:

  • First Place: Iain Baird, Annapolis: “The Flight”
  • Second Place: Hildie Block, Arlington, Virginia: “People”
  • Third Place: Caryn Coyle, Baltimore: “Insignificance”
  • Honorable Mention: Ellen Wise, Galena: “Bridgeville”

Baird will receive a cash prize of $500 and his story will be published in the 2012 edition of The Delmarva Review. Block will receive a $200 prize and Coyle’s prize is $100.

The contest was judged by author and National Endowment for the Arts fellow Barbara Esstman, who said, “The winning stories distinguished themselves by their tight structure, precise language, textured scenes, and accurate description of some aspect of the human condition. They show pivotal moments in their protagonists’ lives with such great clarity that I could share in the characters’ epiphanies.”

Ian Baird is a memoirist and writer of short fiction and creative nonfiction. Twice a Pushcart nominee, his stories have been published in Seven Hills Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Timber Creek Review, and Oracle, among others. A memoir, Two Storms, was published in 2010.

Hildie Block has published over 50 short stories, and her book Not What I Expected was published in 2007. She has taught creative writing workshops in the Washington, DC, area since 1996.

Caryn Coyle writes about arts, culture, and food for the websites CBS Baltimore and Welcome to Baltimore, Hon. Her fiction has been published in Gargoyle, Little Patuxent Review, Loch Raven Review, Midway Journal, The Santa Fe Journal, and City Sages: Baltimore (2010).

Ellen Wise is the recipient of a 2011 Maryland Individual Artist Award and was a semifinalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize, and she was named a Mid-Atlantic Creative Fellow in poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous journals.

The first Delmarva Review Short Story Prize, to encourage the writing of new literary fiction, was made possible by an anonymous contribution matched by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Printed copies and subscriptions can be ordered on the Review’s website. A digital edition is also available on

The submission period for the 2012 issue is open to all writers until February 28; submission guidelines are available on the website at the link above. For more information, contact Wilson Wyatt at or (443) 786-4536.