Call for Presenters for the 2019 Writing Conference

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MWSA and SWW invite you to submit your proposal to be a faculty member of this exciting program.   It will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque, September 12-15, 2019.  The theme of the conference is:

MOVING UP THE LADDER: from Writer to Author

The conference will consist of two full days of panels and presentations that will focus on:

  • developing the skills, devices, and conventions of creative writing,

  • the essence of successful writing in the genres, including  suspense, historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and others

  • strategies and developments in marketing your work, and

  • Fellowship with other writers and published authors who have traveled the path that you have chosen.

How to submit your proposal

Send a written submission by May 1, 2019 by email to: Jim Tritten jimtritten@comcast.net

State in the subject line: “My submission to be a presenter at the 2019 joint MWSA/SWW Albuquerque Writing Conference.”

The submission should contain:

1.              Your name and contact information

2.              A description of what subject or topic you would like to teach, such as a 45-50 minute presentation on the elements of storytelling, writing a memoir or non-fiction piece, working with characters and dialogue.

3.              Your experience in having previously presented on this or a similar topic

4.              Your experience as a writer

5.              Course aids, such as hand-outs, projector and screen, other, that you will need

Notes: please specify the amount of time needed for the presentation to include time for questions and answers. If you previously submitted an RFP to MWSA for the VA workshop and were told the proposal would be included for the joint writing conference, there is no need to submit again.

Deadline:  Please send in your proposals via email by May 1, 2019

If your presentation is accepted, you must agree to register for and attend the conference. Registration prices can be found at https://www.mwsadispatches.com/events/2019/conference#signup

We do look forward to hearing from you and seeing your proposal. 

Thank you for being a part of this conference. See you in Albuquerque,

Jim Tritten, Conference Coordinator

MWSA Review and Awards Book Submission Window Temporarily Closed

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Based on an unexpected—and in fact, unprecedented—surge in demand, MWSA has temporarily closed our Review and Awards Book Submission window.

What happened?

By the end of yesterday (Feb. 20th) we had received our 40th book of the season. Last year, even though we opened our submission window on the same date (January 15th), we didn’t reach that 40-book milestone until the 4th of April!

The bottom line: we don’t have enough volunteer reviewers to comfortably meet the demand of our member-authors.

There are two silver linings to the temporary closure cloud:

  1. The 2019 season is still young, and we have plenty of time to recover. Everyone who has already submitted their book WILL have it read, evaluated, reviewed, and considered for award by our announcement of finalists in mid-August.

  2. The increased demand is a sign that more and more of you want our “product”… which might be seen as a harbinger of growth for our organization.

As soon as our backlog clears, we’ll open up the window again. We’re hoping to do this soon: in a few days, rather than a few weeks.

Is there anything you can do to help? You bet!

We can always use more reviewers. If you have time to complete our online reviewer training (takes about one hour) and are prepared to read and review a book or two during this season, we’d love to have you join us! If you’re interested, please click on the button below and then fill out the contact form to let us know!

February 2019 Blast

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The registration page for this year’s membership conference in Albuquerque is up and live on our website, http://www.mwsadispatches.com, under Events. I encourage everyone to come to the conference and take advantage of our early bird rates. We have a great venue for this conference - it may be our best one yet. Bring your family and enjoy the sights in and around Albuquerque.

Remember, we hold the Awards Banquet during the conference. What better PR is there than having a photo of you being presented with a medal for your award winning book?

In addition to holding our annual meeting and our annual awards banquet during the conference, the bulk of the conference this year will be a joint conference with the SouthWest Writers (SWW), focused on improving our writing skills and getting better as authors. This will also be an excellent networking opportunity as SWW is another large organization of authors like MWSA.

Our last mass email, a request for presenters at the VA Writing Class, also held in Albuquerque the first day of the conference, had one error. The correct email address for one of the responses provided in that message should have read outreach@mwsa.co rather than outreach@mwsa. If you want to be a presenter but had trouble responding, please use this corrected address.  Even if you don’t want to be a presenter, attendees at the conference are welcome to attend this free course.

We continue to look for more book reviewers and volunteers to help out with our social media efforts. One of the projects the MWSA Board is working on this year is to come up with ways we can better exploit social media to benefit MWSA and its members. If you have ideas or want to help, let us know.

       Also, to those who haven’t seen our prior correspondence on this, MWSA Education Director, Jack London recently uploaded a video to YouTube outlining his experiences at the Meuse Argonne Cemetery on November 11th last year.  Technical problems kept us from seeing Jack’s live transmission during our annual conference in Charleston, but you can see the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrHjNTeb_7o&feature=youtu.be

Don’t forget to take advantage of the early bird special discount for the conference.  See you all in Albuquerque!

Southwest Writers Prose & Poetry Contest

A short prose and poetry contest will be managed by Southwest Writers (SWW) and kicked off on February 1, 2019.

MWSA members will be able to enter without being members of SWW if they pay the $10 entry fee per entry. Awards will be presented at the joint conference awards banquet.

SWW also expects to have published an anthology with winning entries and have the book available at the conference.

For more details and to enter the contest, visit the SWW contest page:

https://www.southwestwriters.com/2019-writing-contest/

December 2018 Blast

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The MWSA Board of Directors hopes that this holiday season is finding all of you in good health and joyful spirits. Following a pleasant membership conference in November, we believe MWSA is ending the year in a high note.

While our conference was ongoing, Jack London represented MWSA for the centennial celebration (WWl) at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery, in France. He recently uploaded a video to YouTube outlining his experiences that we recommend you watch when you have a few minutes, https://youtu.be/5HdkZ0Kt6jM

We are already working on our next conference in September in Albuquerque, NM, and we hope to see many of you there. The conference will be held jointly with the South West Writers group based in Albuquerque. In addition to holding a banquet for our MWSA award winners during the conference, we are looking at ways that MWSA members may participate with their members in a writing contest of short stories and at possible ways SWW members can participate in ours. More to follow on this.

Speaking of our annual Book Review/Awards program, we will begin accepting books for 2019 on January 15. Significant detailed instructions and guidance is available on our website,  https://mwsadispatches.com/awards/ 

Speaking of our website did you know we have a Resources page.  Check it out.  https://www.mwsadispatches.com/member-resource-directory

We are currently looking for a volunteer or two to help us out with the MWSA webpage. The work would mostly entail posting things on the webpage and updating or deleting expired items. You would be working with John Cathcart who is doing a lot of this on his own right now.

We are always looking for more book reviewers, so if you think you might want to help out, let us know. Finally, if you would like to help host our 2020 conference at a location near you, please let us know that, too.

Thanks.

MWSA Social Media News

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MWSA members now have several new ways to interact and find out what’s going on with your organization.

A few days ago, we created two new social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. These new accounts add to our existing presence on Goodreads and YouTube.

Please visit our new locations and help us spread the word about MWSA:

  • Like us

  • Friend us

  • Retweet or share stories of interest with friends or on your own social media platforms

Each of the above actions helps increase MWSA’s online visibility… and that helps us find and attract new members.

You’ll find links to all MWSA social media connections at the bottom of every page of our main website. Just click on any of those links—or the ones below—to see what’s going on and to participate in the action.

Please remember that we’re a volunteer organization. If you can spare a few minutes each month to help us with these various social media platforms, please consider doing so. Let us know you have a question or comment—and especially if you’re interested in lending a hand—by clicking on the button at the end of this page.

How can you help?

You can…

  • help us with content

    • share your research, writing, editing, publishing, and/or marketing tales of success… or your horror stories

    • ask a question

    • make a suggestion

  • help us with management and oversight

    • Help us manage a particular page or platform

    • Find and let us know about unanswered questions or inappropriate posts or comments

  • learn how some of these platforms work—even if you’re a “social media neophyte”—which will help in your own social media/marketing efforts

Just visit our Contact Page and click on the “Volunteer Form” button—we’ll try to answer as quickly as we can.

2018 Election Results

Click here for more details on our new MWSA leadership

Click here for more details on our new MWSA leadership

Winners of the recent MWSA directors election are:

President - Bob Doerr
Vice-President - George Jackson
Secretary - Joe Epley
Treasurer - Hugh Simpson

Members-at-Large:
Larry Greenly, Phil Keith, John Cathcart, Jim Tritten

Visit the MWSA website, http://www.mwsadispatches.com/structure-documents/#Committees, for more information on the offices and duties.

Be sure and visit the MWSA website, http://www.mwsadispatches.com/2018-season, for the 2018 Book Awards winners.

Jack London's Meuse-Argonne Cemetery Report & Video

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Click for website

MWSA Education Director, Jack London recently wrote a report and uploaded a video to YouTube outlining his experiences at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery on November 11th this year.  Although technical challenges kept us from seeing Jack’s live transmission during our annual conference in Charleston, you can learn about his experiences by clicking on the buttons below:


A Message From Jack

It is an honor to be a part of such an event and to be able to do so in the name of our group.  My preparation for the experience, the experience itself, and the back-at-home now work on the report and video have made a profound impact on me.  They are mixtures of pride, humility, work, and especially the emotional component that came over me as I prepared for the event (you’ll know what I mean when you read the report) and the event itself.

I did not do these alone. In addition to my wife Alice’s support and incredible work on film and video, and the companions who helped along the way, I must add that you helped.  I could not have done this without your encouragement and support, your advice and suggestions. 

I truly hope this experience adds to MWSA and that our members, especially those who asked us to recognize their ancestors at their graves, are rewarded by our efforts.

Thank you,
Jack Woodville London

Joint Writing Conference September 2019

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The Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and SouthWest Writers (SWW) will co-host a joint writing conference at the Hotel Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Thursday September 12th through Sunday September 15th 2019. Program details are still being developed but the concept will be to share the strengths of both organizations in a series of classes and workshops designed to help writers learn from specialists they would not normally encounter.

 Albuquerque, New Mexico, is known for the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, chile [red or green is the state question], Native Americans living in close proximity, Breaking Bad, and its extraordinary Spanish culture. New Mexico is known officially as the “Land of Enchantment,” but locals refer to the state as the “Land of Entrapment” – many who come to visit stay. Here are some links to what to do while in Albuquerque.

 https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60933-Activities-Albuquerque_New_Mexico.html

 https://www.visitalbuquerque.org/things-to-do/

 https://www.thecrazytourist.com/top-25-things-to-do-in-albuquerque-nm/

 MWSA is a nation-wide association of some 279 authors, poets, and artists, drawn together by the common bond of military service.  Most of its members are active duty military, retirees, or military veterans.  A few are lifelong civilians who have chosen to honor our military through their writings or their art.  Others have only a tangential relationship to the military.  MWSA will take the lead on teaching a free day-long writing class at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque on Thursday, September 12th, 2019.

 SWW brings a wealth of expertise to the conference. This would include memoir, southwest setting, mystery/thriller, poetry, short stories, romance, sci-fi, westerns, non-fiction, fantasy, action, history, humor, etc. SWW is devoted to helping both published and unpublished writers improve their craft and further their careers. SWW serves its 329 members and all writers of all skill levels in every fiction and nonfiction genre. 

 SWW knows a bit about MWSA. This year, nine SWW members are finalists in the annual published book contest and will be awarded medals in Charleston, SC. In the past, the MWSA director of education, Jack Woodville London, spoke and taught classes at SWW. Similarly, members of SWW have spoken and taught classes at MWSA conferences. Jim Tritten, Larry Greenly, Jack London, Joe Badal, Brinn Colenda, Pat Walkow, and Tom Neiman are all members of both organizations and have volunteered their services to develop a program that is sure to inspire everyone.

 Next year’s joint conference in Albuquerque will also include an awards ceremony where MWSA recognizes highly talented authors who have published a book. SWW is considering holding an awards ceremony at the conference. Writers interested in participating in the annual MWSA contest can do so by applying at http://www.mwsadispatches.com/ after the first of the year.

 Anyone with specific recommendations for the program are welcome to contact the Conference Coordinator, Jim Tritten, at jimtritten@comcast.net. Of course, Jim welcomes hearing from anyone interested in helping at any level.

Veterans Writing Workshop 2018

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The Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) is conducting a "Writing Your Story Workshop" to assist veterans and their families by helping them write their stories. The event will be held at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Robert H. Johnson VA Medical Center, 109 Bee St., Charleston, SC, on Nov. 8, 2018 from 9:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The workshop is geared to storytelling whether the student may be working on a novel, a memoir, a short story, or an article, both fiction and nonfiction.

MWSA member Don Helin will be leading this workshop assisted by MWSA member Valerie Ormond. Lindsay Strehl will also provide information on the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) Programs. MWSA welcomes all veterans, military, and family members at all levels of writing from beginners to seasoned writers. The VA Medical Center will determine final onsite class location closer to the venue. Information will be posted to this website or by calling (843) 577-5011.

Announcement of 2018 Season Awards Finalists

MWSA will be announcing our 2018 Season Awards Finalists this evening (Sunday, September 16th) at 9PM Eastern Time.

The announcement will first be broadcast via YouTube video—a link to that video will be provided on our 2018 Season page:

https://www.mwsadispatches.com/2018-season/

After the video announcement, the finalists will be posted on our website (same page as above).

All 2018 season authors, who haven't already been notified, will receive email notifications by Sunday night or Monday morning.

May 2018 Info Blast

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NEW MWSA OFFICERS and DIRECTORS
Nominating committee lead Rob Ballister wants to remind everyone that elections are coming up, and that we are always looking for motivated individuals to serve in our all-volunteer organization.  This year we will be holding elections to the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, as well as four additional at large Directors.  If you wish to throw your hat into the ring, or have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to contact Rob at rballister@verizon.net.

ARMISTICE DAY
November 11, the day the guns went quiet.  MWSA will honor the memory of the men and women who served in WW1 on the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in the Great War.  Our member Jack Woodville London, MWSA Director of Education, will represent MWSA at the memorial service at the Meuse - Argonne American Military Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France on that day. 
Is one of your ancestors, family friends, or other man or woman who is special to your history buried in that cemetery, the largest American military cemetery in Europe?  Please share the name of someone you would like to be honored and Jack will do his best to place a flag or poppies at the headstone and offer our gratitude for such sacrifice; jack@jackwlondon.com.

MAKE PLANS NOW FOR CHARLESTON
 A city rich in history, tradition, and restaurants, Charleston awaits you November 8 through 11 during MWSA's Annual Meeting.  Whether a novice or seasoned pro, you will benefit from gathering with kindred spirits and participating in inspirational workshops. Take advantage of the early bird special of $195 to register for the conference  (www.mwsadispatches.com)  and the low hotel rate of $125 a night at the Hilton Garden Inn, Mount Pleasant (843-606-4600).  Be sure to tell the hotel you are with MSWA.

In addition to the book awards banquet, there is much to do and see in Charleston.  Its fun, entertaining, and educational.  Make your reservation now.

NEW MAILING ADDRESS
On April 1st, the Military Writers Society of America, or MWSA, mailing address was changed to:
          1906 South 70th Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903
The web sites and correspondence reflect this address change. 
 

MWSA Goodreads page

Click on image to visit our MWSA page on Goodreads

Click on image to visit our MWSA page on Goodreads

In an effort to expand our MWSA "internet presence" and credibility--as well as get our members' books "out there"--we've created our own MWSA page on Goodreads.

We've just updated the page so that all books and reviews since 2017 are now posted.

Please visit our Goodreads page and become "friends!"

If anyone would be interested in helping maintain our Goodreads presence, please let us know. 

New Member Resource Directory

Click on image to go to our new Member Resources Directory page.

Click on image to go to our new Member Resources Directory page.

As a service to its members, MWSA has created new member resource directory page on our website. 

The page is meant to provide information and contact details for organizations offering services to writers and veterans.

We encourage all MWSA members to offer (or recommend) services to other members--whether their own services or those of other private or governmental organizations.  The page includes an easy-to-use online form to submit a new organization or company.

In order to list your own services, you must be an MWSA member in good standing. 

MWSA is offering this page as a service to our members.  We are not specifically endorsing any company or organization listed on that page.

March 2018 Info Blast

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NEW MWSA OFFICERS and DIRECTORS
We'd like to remind everyone that this is an election year for MWSA.  In August we will be sending a ballot to all members with candidates so you can cast your votes. Between now and the beginning of August, we will be seeking volunteers to run for office.  Elections will be held for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and for four additional at large Directors.  Please get involved, and if you'd like to run for office, let us know.  More information will be forthcoming, but for now, think about stepping up and running for office or for a position on the board.
 

BOOK REVIEWERS WANTED
We are receiving a steady stream of books for our "Review & Awards" program. Our present book reviewers  have their plate full, so we are asking for more members to volunteer for this rewarding endeavor. Just respond to this Blast! with your intentions and you will be contacted with details for reviewers.
 

MAKE PLANS NOW FOR CHARLESTON
 A city rich in history, tradition, and restaurants, Charleston awaits you November 8 through 11 during MWSA's Annual Meeting.  Whether a novice or seasoned pro, you will benefit from gathering with kindred spirits and participating in inspirational workshops. Take advantage of the early bird special of $195 to register for the conference  (www.mwsadispatches.com)  and the low hotel rate of $125 a night at the Hilton Garden Inn, Mount Pleasant (843-606-4600).  Be sure to tell the hotel you are with MSWA.

In addition to the book awards banquet, there is much to do and see in Charleston.  Its fun, entertaining, and educational.  Make your reservation now.
 

NEW MAILING ADDRESS
Come April 1st, the Military Writers Society of America, or MWSA, mailing address will be changing to:
          1906 South 70th Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903
The web sites and correspondence will reflect this address change shortly. 
 

Online Library -- Progress Report

Click on image above to visit our library

Click on image above to visit our library

The MWSA Online Library has recently completed transferring all award-winning books going back to the 2004 Season.

In the future, we hope to add all books submitted to MWSA... but this is going to take some time.

Please let us know if you'd like to help out with this project.

We've also created a new, cover-only page that allows you to quickly peruse each season's books.  

February 2018 Info Blast

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We are starting the year off with a bang.  Books are flowing in to be reviewed, membership renewals are coming in as expected, plans for the conference this November 8-10 in Charleston, SC, are being made, and we ended 2017 in good financial shape.

MWSA will hold elections this year for all officers and board positions.  A call for volunteers to run for office or the board will be sent out in the next month or two.  If you want to participate but not hold a formal position we have a number of committees that could always use additional help.  Our website MWSADispatches.com is becoming better and better every day. 

Remember to mark your calendars and save the dates for our conference in November this year. We have kept the rates down again making it one of the least expensive conferences of its kind.  If you want to participate in a panel, or do a presentation, or have a subject you would like to be discussed at the conference, let us know. A conference registration form has been posted on our website under "NEWS & EVENTS." Again, there is an "Early Bird Special" for registration. You may pay through PayPal after completing the registration on-line.
We hope to have representation at the Aisne-Marne American WWI Cemetery in France this year for its centennial celebration of the Armistice.  As part of this effort, we would like to know if any of our membership have relatives who were buried there or elsewhere in France during WWI.  If there are any, we would like to acknowledge them.  

If you have a response to any of the above, please send your response to Bob Doerr at rddoerr@cs.com.

The MWSA WWI Anthology is in the design process . . . no more submissions are being accepted. Plans are for publication in early April.

In memoriam:
Member and author, Albert Ashforth passed. He was a book award winner and contributor to earlier MWSA Anthologies. His wife, Erika, has continued with MWSA membership for the year.

Prior Season Books being added to our website

Click on image to go to our brand new "Covers Only page"

Click on image to go to our brand new "Covers Only page"

MWSA is finally getting around to a long-overdue transfer of books and reviews from prior awards seasons.  We will continue to add books to our library as time permits.

As of today (1/28/2018), we've added about 260 books, which used to be available only on one of our old (and outdated) MWSA websites.

Our focus is on transferring books that have won awards from MWSA.  Eventually, we hope to transfer all our members' books and reviews.

As part of this process, we've also added a new feature to our MWSA online library: "All Seasons, Cover-Only book pages."  Books are grouped by Review & Awards Season.  As with all our library listings, you can click on a books cover to go directly to the book's details page.

Click here to go to the Main Covers Page. 

If you'd like to help out with this transfer process, please contact the MWSA Awards Director.

2015/2016 Season Books and Reviews now available in our online library

Click on the image to go to a listing of all books submitted for the 2015/2016 season

Click on the image to go to a listing of all books submitted for the 2015/2016 season

It's taken a while, but we've finally uploaded all books and MWSA reviews for our 2015/2016 Season.  As a reminder, books submitted for this period were combined into one awards season.

We're very glad that we were able to recognize many of the award winners from this season in a joint awards banquet, which was held in San Antonio, Texas this past September 2017.

A list of the award winners for this season has been available on our website for some time (click button below to see that list).  Now, you'll also be able to learn more about each book and read our MWSA review for each one.