Archive for June, 2014

June 22, 2014

2014 Annual Meeting Business Report

At yesterday’s annual meeting, the results of the MWA state board elections were officially announced:

With 59 ballots cast, 57 (98.28%) voted to approve the slate as presented, 1 (1.72%) voted to not approve the slate as presented. One blank ballot was cast. There were no write-in candidates.

Congratulations to the incoming board of the Maryland Writers’ Association!

Elected Positions:

  • President: Lalita Noronha
  • Vice President: Holly Morse-Ellington
  • Treasurer: Mark Prebilic
  • Secretary: Kathleen Young Rybarczyk
  • Communications Chair: Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein
  • Conference Chair: Denise Camacho
  • Members at Large: Carolee Noury, Ally E. Machate

Appointed Positions:

  • Editor, Pen in Hand: Jill Earl
  • MWA Books Co-Directors: Gary Lester, Ally E. Machate
  • Teen Writers’ Club Co-Coordinators: Diane E. Booth, Mark Willen

The attending members also voted to approve the change in wording to Article III of the Bylaws:

Original Text:

“The membership and fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. New members are accepted throughout the year, but dues are not prorated. For those who join between March 1 and June 30, membership is extended through the next fiscal year. Membership dues are not refundable.”

Approved Revision:

“The fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. New members are accepted throughout the year. Membership dues are not refundable.”

June 8, 2014

Submissions Now Being Accepted for Summer 2014 Pen in Hand

Hello, everyone!

We’re now accepting submissions for the Summer 2014 issue of Pen in Hand, the MWA’s quarterly membership newsletter. The issue will be appearing in Mid July 2014.

Pen in Hand publishes:
=   Tips and techniques on the art, craft, and business of writing and publishing
=   How-to advice for writers
=   News items and features on upcoming events of interest to MWA members and friends (please keep the publication date of the issue in mind when submitting dated items!)
=   Interviews with noteworthy people such as MWA meeting guest speakers
=   Short-short stories and poetry

Word count ceiling: 300-400 words for features, stories, and poetry; 100 words for news items and announcements.

Payment: Your story in print. Pen in Hand acquires no rights beyond first publication.

Submission deadline: Monday, June 30, 2014. The newsletter can fill up quickly — especially the fiction, poetry, and memoir section — so don’t wait too long before submitting!

Pen in Hand reserves the right to edit for length, grammar, and spelling as appropriate. Publication will depend on factors such as timeliness, relevance, professionalism, and available space.

Submission Requirements:
=   You must be a current MWA member to be considered for publication.
=   Maryland-based literary journals, publishers, reading series, and writers’ associations are welcome to submit announcements such as calls for submissions and upcoming events.
=   Submissions should be in unformatted text and included in the body of an email message. No attachments, please.
=   Please include a brief bio.
=   If line art or halftones will accompany your submission, please specify that in your e-mail and the editor will provide formatting guidelines.
=   Include “PIH” in the e-mail subject line and send to Jill Earl at Questions and queries are encouraged.

Please note: submissions that don’t follow these guidelines will not be considered!
Our ideal is to match Pen in Hand to the needs and interests of our members. With your help, we can get a little closer to that ideal with each issue. If you’d like us to explore a particular theme, please let us know.

We’re looking forward to seeing your submissions!

Jill Earl
Editor, Pen in Hand

June 2, 2014

Meet the 2014-2016 MWA Board of Directors Candidates

We are happy to announce the slate of candidates for the 2014-2016 MWA Board of Directors. Congratulations to our nominees, and thank you for volunteering to serve the MWA!

Online voting for the slate of candidates will open on Monday, June 9. Current members will receive a ballot e-mail that will allow them to register their votes anonymously. The online election window will remain open for two weeks, until midnight Friday, June 20, and the results announced the following day at the 2014 Annual Meeting, Saturday, June 21 from 1-3 at the Leonardtown branch library, 23250 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (please RSVP; directions at the link). Members who attend the Annual Meeting will also have the opportunity to cast their ballots in person.

Please take a moment to get to know your 2014-2016 board candidates!

Elected Positions:

President: Lalita Noronha lalita-noronhaBorn in India, Lalita Noronha received a Fulbright travel grant to the US and earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from St. Louis University School of Medicine. She is a widely published research scientist, poet and fiction writer. Her literary work has appeared in over seventy journals, magazines and anthologies. She is the author of an award winning short story collection, Where Monsoons Cry, (Black Words Press) and a poetry chapbook, Her Skin Phyllo-Thin (Finishing Line Press). She has twice won the Maryland Literary Short Story Award, a Maryland Individual Artist Award, the National League of American Pen Women Award, and Maryland Writers Association Awards in fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. She is a fiction editor for Baltimore Review, a nominee for a Pushcart prize in poetry, and she teaches both science and creative writing.
Vice President: Holly Morse-Ellington holly-morse-ellingtonHolly Morse-Ellington’s articles and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in Three Quarter Review, the Baltimore Review blog, Outside In, Baltimore Fishbowl, Smile, Hon, You’re In Baltimore, Urbanite, The Journal of Homeland Security, and The Washington Times. Anthologies include Whereabouts: Stepping Out Of Place and Freshly Squeezed: A “Write Here, Write Now” Anthology. She is a fiction editor for Baltimore Review and will be speaking on a panel of Baltimore Review editors about “Making the Ordinary Extraordinary” at the 2014 Baltimore Book Festival. Holly was a staff writer for Baltimore Fishbowl and has told her true stories for the Stoop Storytelling Series, The New Mercury Readings, and Lit & Art. She holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland Law School and currently writes as a consultant for a Federal grants review contractor, LCG, Inc. When not writing, Holly is an active member of the Gunpowder Garden Club and plays the ukulele. Her publications are available through her website,
Treasurer: Mark Prebilic mark-prebilicIn my day job as a database expert, I have been involved with financial systems for large organizations as well as government agencies. I am currently involved in helping to relieve the VA benefits backlog and helping to speed up the time it takes for our disabled veterans to receive the benefits they are due.
In my personal life, I am currently a chair of the Poolesville High School Post Prom Committee. I own and operate a corporation involved in the information technology services sector. I am responsible for the financial books for the corporation. I also prepare the corporate tax filings for the business. I write fiction, poetry, and opinion pieces. I’m inspired by the natural world around me and my writings reflect that inspiration. I’ve been published in The Washington Post, Yoga Journal, and the Gazette newspapers.
Communications Chair: Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein vicky-pinpin-feinsteinBorn in the Philippines, I came to the U. S. shortly after I graduated from university to work as a research fellow on a five-country study on the portrayal of women in American, British, Korean, Japanese, Filipino television programs. The engagement led me to pursue graduate studies in Communications, Political Science and Public Policy. I then spent a substantial part of my working life in areas such as strategic communications, media research and policy, media assessments and behavior change and the use of information and communication technologies for international development. I worked with institutions such as the Smithsonian, Public Television, the World Bank and other UN agencies and private telecommunications companies. As perhaps you can imagine the kind of writing I did for these institutions tend to be technical and laden with jargon that only those instructed in the codes would understand. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to change that and write differently resulting in a first book, a memoir, last year. I know that joining MWA is a good move: meeting other writers, honing on the craft of writing, and building all manner of ‘writerly’ connections. Thus far, it has been great. It was made even sweeter this year when I attended the MWA conference. I enjoyed meeting so many nice people and learned a lot from the workshops. I have a lot to learn as a writer and being with MWA is a path to that. In turn, I hope that by joining the MWA board, I can use my skills to help the association in improving its communications functions and activities to its members and the community at large as Communications Chair. I hope that anyone who has an interest or experience in Communications will join me and together we can all help in making MWA even more of a success.
Secretary: Kathleen Young Rybarczyk Kathleen Young Rybarczyk lives near Baltimore with her lifemates and two sons. A medical transcriptionist and proofreader by trade, she writes paranormal fiction under the pen name Katherine Fisher Clarke. She loves reading, tabletop gaming, baking and cooking, gardening, knitting, renovating her sixty-year-old house, and running her family-friendly guild in World of Warcraft. She also volunteers at writers’ conferences, science fiction conventions, and at her kids’ schools through their PTAs. She is a proud member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and the national and local chapters of the Romance Writers of America.
Conference Chair: Denise Camacho Denise Camacho is the president of Intrigue Publishing. With over 10 years in the publishing realm, she brings her knowledge and expertise to those wanting to branch out and become published authors. As the president, Denise has the responsibility to review new submissions and make recommendations to the acquisitions team that are worthy of becoming properties under the Intrigue Publishing banner. Her other responsibilities include managing contract negotiations with potential authors.
Member at Large: Carolee Noury carolee-nouryCarolee Noury earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling at George Washington University and is a freelance writer in Rockville. She is Vice President of the MWA and Vice President of the MWA-Montgomery Chapter. Carolee has completed courses in creative and business writing and is currently working on her first novel, tentatively titled Favored.
Member at Large: Ally E. Machate ally-e-machateAlly Machate has represented the interests of MWA members as a Member at Large for five years and would like to continue in this role to help MWA better serve our membership by providing opportunities for education, networking, and exposure. Her MWA experience also includes a term as Vice President, four years as a critique group leader, and an ongoing appointment as co-publisher of MWA Books, through which she spearheaded the production of MWA’s anthologies. Her 15 years of experience in the publishing industry gives her unique insight into what our writers need to succeed in today’s publishing environment, and she enjoys being able to use that insight to help her fellow MWAers.

Appointed Positions:

Editor, Pen in Hand: Jill Earl jill-earlAs a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association, Jill Earl served as a proofreader and was published in Pen in Hand. She has been a contributing writer for online magazines WOW! Women On Writing and Catapult. She also worked with local media nonprofit Christian Walk Alive on the video production team as well as writer, editor and voice artist for A Work in Progress, the nonprofit’s online radio drama. Jill is an avid reader, a serious foodie who can cook up a storm, and an emerging photographer, and she is always looking forward to her next travel destination.
MWA Books Co-Director: Gary Lester gary-lesterGary L. Lester won his first writing award at the age of 17. He has been involved with various forms of writing ever since, from plays to stories and even a novel. His first book, Ursula the Yellow,  won first place for Fantasy in the Maryland Writers’ Association’s Novel Contest. He currently is the Creative Director for Greyrock Publishing, LLC, and Senior Editor for Channel 37. He co-authored, along with Paul Lagasse, the anthology Season One!, which includes numerous short stories from the Channel 37 website. He also has numerous e-books on Amazon and Smashwords. He has been a member of MWA for many years and held officer positions such as treasurer and vice president on the state Board of Directors, and treasurer, vice president, and president of the Baltimore chapter. He and Ally Machate launched MWA’s publishing arm, MWA Books, which has published the anthologies New Lines from the Old Line State and Life in Me Like Grass on Fire.
MWA Books Co-Director: Ally E. Machate See above
Teen Writers’ Club Co-Coordinator: Diane E. Booth diane-e-boothI look forward to serving with Mark Willen as co-chair of the Teen Writers’ Club. Much of my writing work includes jobs as either reporter, or writer, and/or editor for: Baltimore Sun newspaper, Baltimore Business Journal, Baltimore magazine, Army magazine, Life magazine, and American Legion magazine, among others. Significant awards came from both legal and medical groups. My interest in working with teens comes directly from experience as a teacher for a private high school and for Baltimore County Public Schools Home and Hospital. Relevant volunteer work: president of the U. S. Merchant Marine Mid-Atlantic Parents Club, chairman of the annual All Service Academies Holiday Ball (an event that included all five federal academies), judge for the Ben Carson Scholarship Committee, and chairman of the Maryland Writers Association Writers Conference. I am a member of the National Press Club in DC and reside in Monkton, MD.
Teen Writers’ Club Co-Coordinator: Mark Willen mark-willenMark Willen has been a reporter, columnist, blogger, producer, and editor at The Voice of America, National Public Radio, Congressional Quarterly , Bloomberg News, and Kiplinger. His published nonfiction articles have covered a wide array of topics and carried far-flung datelines, from Washington to Moscow to Cairo to Beijing to South Africa. He has been a member of MWA since 2009, participates in three MWA critique groups, and has led an MWA Teen Writers’ Club for three years. His first novel, Hawke’s Point, will be released July 22 by Pen-L Publishing. He has a Masters of Arts in Writing from Johns Hopkins and lives with his wife in Silver Spring.