Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

December 4, 2015

Letter from the Editor

Dear Fellow Writers and Artists,

I am so excited to have the opportunity to introduce myself to you!  I have a Bachelor of Art in Photography from the University of Delaware, and I am a current graduate student in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Lesley University (fiction). I am a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBI), and the Maryland Writer’s Association. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve as editor for Pen in Hand.

The mission of the Maryland Writer’s Association (MWA) is to provide support for emerging and established writers in all genres and disciplines. With that focus,  Pen in Hand will be morphing, transitioning from a newsletter to a premiere literary and art journal devoted to the craft, art, and business of writing.  The primary purpose of Pen in Hand is to provide members and contest winners of the MWA a publishing platform. Artists who are members of the MWA are also welcome to submit black and white photographs to showcase their visual work. Pen in Hand will be published quarterly, and to maximize opportunities for publishing, there may even be special runs and mini-publications sprinkled throughout the year!


The Deadline for Submission is  firm, as follows:

Time: 11:59 p.m.


November 15:     January Edition

February 15:        April Edition

April 15:               July Edition

July 15:                 October Edition

Be sure to check the MWA website, MWA Announcements, MWA Twitter, and MWA Facebook for Calls for Submissions. With that being said, I would like to Announce a Call for Submissions!

Pen in Hand will issue its revised edition in the form a mini-publication in January!

Submission for January 2016 Mini -Edition:

Call for Flash Fiction, Micro-Poetry, and Postcard Art

Theme: New Year’s Resolutions

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2015

Submission Format:

Fiction/Non-Fiction:  500-700 words

Poetry: 25-150 Words, Prose

Art: 3×5 Black and White Photography

Please read the Pen in Hand Submission Guidelines before submitting!

I look forward to reading your work and viewing your photographs. I wish you and your families a very safe and Happy Holidays!


Kirsten O’Neill

Don’t forget that 2015 -2016 MWA Literary Contest is OPEN! The Contest is open to members and non-members, both in Maryland and out-of-state. Visit the MWA website for contest rules and guidelines.

The MWA Literary CONTEST DEADLINE: February 1, 2016 





February 3, 2015

February 2015 talk to the Annapolis MWA – Fraser Smith

Annapolis Chapter of the MWA

Award-winning local area journalist and radio news host Fraser Smith will speak to the Annapolis chapter of the MWA on February 18th, 2015. The title of his talk is “Keep Typing!” and he will speak about the ultimate value of keeping at it. As Fraser says: “We’re all better than we think we are in our dark moments. You have to write and re-write and re-write.”

The meeting is open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. The Annapolis MWA chapter typically meets the third Wednesday of every month in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. However, for October, we meet in room 307. For more information visit:

Fraser Smith has been in the news…

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October 21, 2014


Whimsical Words

The 2nd annual HallowRead will be held October 24th and 25th in Ellicott City, Maryland. On Saturday, Oct. 25th, I’ll be participating on a couple of panels, visiting with fans of urban fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, steampunk, ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc., and, of course, signing my books.

Leading up to this darkly wonderful con, I thought I’d share a few appropriate links, an excerpt from one of my stories, and other HallowReadish odds & ends.

As a fan of “The Walking Dead,” I couldn’t resist making my 1st themed post about zombies. Though I must admit, this season of the television show so far has creeped me out. The whole hunter or prey vibe, while it fits the Zombie Apocalypse, is more disturbing than last year’s Governor and crew.

To survive a Zombie Apocalypse, you might need a fortress like the one in

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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

May 5, 2014

Call for Nominations: MWA Board of Directors

Calling all MWA members:

Would you like to get more involved with the MWA? Would you like to help make decisions that will set the direction of the organization for the future? This is your chance!

2014-2016 Board of Directors Election — Call for Nominations

Monday, May 5 through Friday, May 23

Nomination instructions are at the end of this e-mail.

Serving on the MWA board is a terrific way for aspiring, emerging, and established writers and editors to make your voices heard while making valuable connections that will help you throughout your careers.

We’re looking for candidates for the following elected positions (two-year terms, serving July 1, 2014-June 30, 2016):

  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Program Chair
  • Membership Chair
  • Communications Chair
  • Conference Chair
  • Publications Chair
  • Long-Range Planning Chair
  • Member-at-Large

We’re also looking for people who are interested in serving in the following appointed positions (also two-year terms):

  • Critique Group Coordinator
  • Contest Coordinator
  • Teen Writers’ Club Coordinator
  • Webmaster

Serving on the MWA board is a commitment of time and energy, but it is not an onerous one! Most board members find they spend only a few hours a month on MWA business in addition to board meetings.

Board members are expected to attend regular meetings either in person or remotely via conference call. The schedule and details will be worked out by the new board when they take office on July 1. Outside of the board meetings, the officers remain in touch through a board-only Yahoo group. Board members must be current MWA members.

To nominate yourself or a fellow MWA member, please send an e-mail to with the sublect line “Nominations.” Include your name and the name of the position you are interested in being considered for, a brief bio, and a statememnt about why you are interested in the position. The Nominating Committee will then be in touch.

Nominations will close Friday, May 23. Look for details about online voting and the 2014 Annual Meeting, at which the election results will be announced, later this week!


June 15, 2013

It’s Membership Renewal Time!


A big little membership reminder:

The MWA yearly membership renewal date is fast approaching. Members are asked to renew their memberships by June 30 to enjoy another year of MWA benefits!


Remember, a mere $40 gets you:

  • Free entry to over 75 different chapter meetings throughout the year
  • Access to MWA-sponsored critique groups in various genres and locales across the state
  • A subscription to the MWA newsletter, Pen in Hand (which will soon become a members-only publication)
  • Discounted admission to the annual Maryland Writers’ Conference
  • The opportunity to rub shoulders with a group of writers spanning every genre and experience level
  • . . . and much more!

Of course, if your membership is already paid/renewed through June 30th, 2014, WE THANK YOU!

To renew your membership, go to our online application and renewal form. If you prefer to pay by check, use our printable form.

If you are not sure of your membership expiration date, please contact me at

Always remember: Don’t Fight It — Write It!

Bryan England
Membership Chairperson
Maryland Writers’ Association


MWA is a non-profit association dedicated to the art, business, and craft of writing.
Information can be found at