New President of St. Mary’s County MWA Chapter!

A Note From Your President…

Hello Fellow MWA Members,

Let me introduce myself to those who do not know me well.  I am Linda Ann Stewart, author of the Snow’s Maryland Mystery Series.  It is my honor to accept the position of President of the Maryland Writer’s Association, St. Mary’s Chapter.  I am grateful to the members for their confidence.  After discussion at the June meeting, our chapter decided to change the meeting location to Leonardtown Library Meeting Room for the later part of the year.  Meetings will be on the fourth Monday of each month at the Leonardtown Library from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The dates are July 27, August 24, September 28, October 26, November 23, and December 28.

We are excited to announce that Ellynne Brice Davis, author of Ellynne’s Top Tomato Cookbook has agreed to be our presenter on July 27th.  Ellynne’s recipes have appeared in many publications including the St. Mary’s County National Oyster Festival Cook Off cookbook.  Her prize-winning recipe, ‘Tomato Stack Salad’, was featured in The Washington Post.  Ellynne and illustrator Joyce Lemontree Judd have published numerous children’s books including The Chesapeake Cats and The Easter Surprise.  At the June meeting, members requested our chapter address possibilities for publishing.  Ellynne will be able to provide us with many important strategies.  Hope to see you at this informational event.

Your fellow author,

Linda A. Stewart

The proposed agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting on Monday, July 27th will be as follows:

  •  7:00 Opening
  •  7:10 Presentation By and Discussion With Author Ellynne Brice Davis
  •  7:40 Business Meeting and Member Survey
  •  7:55 Closing

Missed the Mind Meeting?

brainThe mind was demystified at our October meeting. It was a scientific exploration of self-discovery —  we learned some really cool technical stuff, along with logical reasons why we do what we do. There is always a method to our madness. If you missed the meeting, we’re hoping to schedule another visit with Julia Bates in the spring.

All future meetings will be on the last Tuesday of each month at the Lexington Park Library. Next meeting: Tuesday, November 25 – Critique Group and Write-In at Lexington Park Library.

Writer’s Block!? Not me!

Did you miss our September meeting? If so, here’s a recap:

Guest speaker author Alix Moore kicked off our September meeting by asking attendees about their struggles with writer’s block. She then took us on a “field trip to creative flow,” an exercise designed to recreate a moment when we were completely immersed in an activity. By focusing on the positive feelings (emotional, physical, and mental) associated with this immersion, Ms. Moore explained, “The goal is not to get over writer’s block; the goal is to get writing again.”

Ms. Moore went on to explain that when we are feeling blocked, one of the following four places in our lives is not in balance: physical, mental, ego, emotional. An example of a physical block is a cluttered or ugly work space. The solution: Take the time to clean up, organize, and beautify. An example of a mental block is the intrusion of “hamster-wheel mind,” requiring an effort to settle ourselves mentally. An example of an ego block is procrastination, which may require affirmations or physical movement to get us writing again. Finally, emotional blocks can be dissolved simply by honoring the emotions.

After her presentation, Ms. Moore kindly stayed afterwards to answer individual questions. If you were unable to attend and want to learn more, check out

Meeting Recap and Election Results!

Last night’s Open Mic Night was a great success. We heard a variety of work from members, ranging from poetry and fiction to memoir and essay. We shared great feedback and learned from one another. As the outgoing president, I’ll throw out there that I’m thrilled to have ended my term on what I considered to be a high note. THIS is what the MWA is about — supporting and sharing, networking and improving!

We also collected ballots to approve the officer slate for 2014-15, and gathered feedback through a survey to help determine what kinds of programming we might feature locally going forward. Lastly, we offered some small tokens of appreciation to those members who have attended most regularly and to incoming officers, as a celebration of our first successful year here in St. Mary’s County.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our new officers:

President – Lisa LaPaglia

VP – Wendy Kibler

Secretary/Treasurer – Nancy Smay

Wendy and Lisa will be splitting the responsibilities for planning and opening meetings, essentially acting in a co-president capacity. They are already planning lots of great things for the upcoming months!

Thanks so much for a great year, and here’s to another!


Officer Positions

Local writers, it’s time to elect new chapter officers! The current board positions are up for re-election.

Please look over the descriptions below and get in touch if you have interest in learning more! Don’t forget that holding a board position with your local MWA chapter is an excellent resume boost and a great way to gain experience in an area you like to know more about! (Event planning? Budget management? Social Media Marketing?)

Here are the basic officer descriptions:

President –

The President shall: preside at general, special, and officer meetings; delegate and direct ongoing projects of the chapter; fill by appointment any vacancies in office that may occur (said appointee to serve until the next election) ; serve as ex-officio member on all committees; prepare and give monthly and annual reports to the State Board, to include highlights of the year’s activities, reports from all officers; accomplishments and suggestions for the future; and perform such other duties as are beneficial to the chapter. The President sets the tone and direction for the chapter, promoting the programs and services most likely to help the organization grow and strengthen.

Vice President –

The Vice President shall: preside at meetings in the absence or disability of the President and shall perform all regular duties of the President in such instances; perform such duties as the President or chapter officers shall prescribe; perform as leader/liaison for committees dealing with chapter activities; contribute to monthly and annual reports for presentation to members and the State Board; and assume the office of President in the event of resignation, expulsion, or disability of the President.

Secretary –

The Secretary shall: maintain a record of general, special, and officer meetings of the chapter and distribute the minutes to the State Board for inclusion in Pen In Hand; assist in running chapter meetings, potentially including staffing a sign-in table, providing name tags, and monitoring sign-in sheets, and generating such correspondence as authorized by the chapter officers.

Treasurer –

The Treasurer shall: account for all funds of the chapter; deposit funds in a bank approved by the officers; pay expenses and debts incurred by the chapter, advise the chapter officers on financial decisions and control of expenses, prepare a financial report upon request and submit an annual financial report for presentation to the membership and the State Board.

May’s Meeting – Find a Market for Your Work!

EVENT (1) Come out in May to learn to use Duotrope and to find markets to sell your writing! Poetry, prose, fiction, and memoir will all find a place in this hands-on discussion and demonstration. Get the information you need to continue using these tools on your own, and find a market for your work!

We’ll be at the Lexington Park Library, meeting room B at 6:30pm on Tuesday, May 20th.


Our First Open Mic

March’s meeting was our first “Open Mic” night, and it was a huge success! We had a big group of writers come out to share their work and support each other. We heard from poets, bloggers, novelists, short story authors and non-fiction writers, and had a really good time learning more about each other and what we’re all working on.

Each writer had four minutes to share whatever they wanted to share, and it was a great time.

If you missed it, never fear! We’ll have “Open Mic” night twice a year, so we’ll do another one in August!

Poet Laureate Michael Glaser Speaks in February!

Join us in February for a hands-on and engaging session with Michael Glaser, former Poet Laureate of Maryland and professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College. Glaser will help writers from all areas discover the key to finding a powerful voice.

We’ll be meeting at 6:30 at the Lexington Park Library. There will be a door prize and snacks!

More about Michael Glaser: