Background Information & Process
In December of 2017, the MWSA Board of Directors approved the dedication of our organization's Writer of the Year award to honor long-time MWSA member, Michael D "Moon" Mullins.
1. The Award and Medal shall be awarded annually to the Writer of the Year (WOY) for distinguished contributions to the Society in consideration for that year.
2. The Awards Committee and the Board of Directors in their deliberations will consider the following (click to expand text):
- The Committee shall consider all forms of writing—fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
- The author’s work displays respect for the military and military family understandings, abilities, and appreciations.
- “Distinguished” contributions are defined as:
- Marked by eminence and distinction; noted for significant achievement.
- Marked by excellence in quality.
- Individually distinct.
- “Writer/Author” may include co-writers and co-authors. The writer(s) may be awarded the medal posthumously.
- Candidate should have a “significant body of work.” This requires a minimum of four books, articles, or works in publication, and must include award/recognition at a minimum from MWSA.
- Candidate must be a recognized active member of MWSA.
- Candidate should attend the MWSA Conference to receive the award (if not posthumously awarded).
- MWSA Officers and Members of the Board of Directors currently serving cannot be considered for Writer of the Year.
+ Responsibilities of the Award
Candidates must be aware of and agree to active participation in MWSA by giving back, and recognition of MWSA members. The award recipient will fulfill stated/assigned responsibilities to assist and promote the MWSA organization in some manner, including but not limited to:
- Providing articles for the MWSA newsletter.
- Presenting or sharing the responsibility of presenting a minimum of one seminar at the following year’s conference.
- Being amenable to represent MWSA on radio/TV when asked, and to take on other opportunities that may arise.
- Any member of MWSA in good standing may nominate candidates, in accordance with the established criteria, for the WOY Award by June 30th annually.
- Members may nominate via the online form in the Awards Page of the MWSA website.
- The MWSA Awards Committee will also solicit inputs via Dispatches and email blasts.
- The Awards Committee will receive nominations and recommend them to the Board of Directors by July 15th annually.
- The Board will qualify a maximum of three candidates. The President will select a Board member to contact each candidate, and the Board member will then contact each potential candidate to make them aware of the requirements to accept to become an official WOY candidate.
- Following the results of the three candidates, the Board will vote on the candidates who have agreed to the requirements on a specified day by email at least 60 days prior to the annual conference.
- The WOY will be notified at least 10 days following the vote to assist in his/her preparations for the annual conference.
- Must be a member in good standing
- Only one vote per member
Excerpts from a few of Mike's "Moon's Mutterings" column:
Each month it seems harder for me to do my column. Too often I feel repetitive. There are things about writing that do not change for me, while I set about evolving into a consistent and well-rounded author. Writing is art. Writing is an obsession. Writing can influence lives. Writing becomes history to one degree or another, but always lands there with a resounding thud. I watch television shows and grow irritated at the amateurish material I see and hear, in terms of the use of our language. I wonder who is teaching what to our students. People we consider polished professionals often cannot even adhere to basic principles such as comparative and superlative statements. I listen to broadcasters match verbs to the objects of prepositions rather than the sentence subject. I studied the evolution of language, but never the dissolution of same. I won't shop in stores that say men's room. They can pay to do it right. They are setting examples for young people. I know I am silly. Most only want to see the word "sale" and "% reduced." The point is I take language seriously. I understand that we speak in the vernacular. I understand that we use colloquialisms. We often write in the same, but when we do there is a purpose, often tied to dialogue. Mistakes, which we all make, are not my concern. Quality, and the effort it takes to sustain it, are. That is one of the reasons I am proud of MWSA. Quality is a core value and the programs we put together are meant to help us all maintain a higher than usual level of that disappearing goal.
The criticisms I have gotten within this family have helped me evolve into a better writer. The support I get here has turned my educational training into something more creative and flexible. I continue to learn. Every time another educational opportunity is offered to us, it is a chance to be something more than I was before. Our membership forces me to think about what I do. I doubt I will ever be satisfied. I doubt anyone here will be. We push each other at the same time we offer a word of support. It is a pretty good deal for a few bucks a year.