Writing Opportunity - “When Intelligence Made a Difference”

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click to visit website

The Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) is beginning a new educational project entitled “When Intelligence Made a Difference.” AFIO invites anyone to identify events throughout history involving any nation or organization when the outcome was affected significantly by intelligence.

AFIO is soliciting authors and plans to publish edited submissions serially in its print only member magazine Intelligencer, the Journal of US Intelligence Studies. The publication appears two to three times a year.

If you are interested in contributing an article, please email peter.oleson@afio.com. Briefly state what event you have in mind and include your bio. [AFIO will identify authors by name and current or former title only — no multi-line biographies.] If your suggestion is a good fit for this project, AFIO will respond asking for your comments on that event, not to exceed 1,500 words (excluding footnotes). AFIO uses the Chicago Manual of Style.

IMPORTANT: When you send your article and bio, please let AFIO know if you have ever had prior employment or contract work within the US Intelligence Community--and, to meet pre-publication review requirements, supply a copy of the official approval letter or email naming the article you are sending us. Without this, we are unable to consider or include your article in the publication.
As with most nonprofit academic publications, contributors will not be paid, however AFIO will publish it under the broad, pro-educational Creative Commons copyright.

Therefore, authors retain the right to use their articles anywhere else they wish, after its publication in Intelligencer. Eight weeks after publication of your contribution in the print-only version of Intelligencer, the article will then appear on AFIO's website for general public/educational access. Since the time of 1) an article's acceptance, and then 2) appearance in print, and then 3) inclusion online can run eighteen months to three years from start-to-finish, a title-author listing of all accepted forthcoming articles (but no summaries) will be included in the printed editions of Intelligencer. So it is imperative authors be patient as these articles are released on this serialized basis, in two or three journal issues per year. By submitting an article authors acknowledge and accept these provisions.

This project would make a good class assignment. Accepted articles would give students a publication credit in a recognized journal.

From the MWSA Outreach Committee

2019 Conference Update (June 8)

Click on image to go to the conference page

Click on image to go to the conference page

Our conference organizers continue to iron out the details for our joint MWSA-SWW conference this September. It looks like this year’s conference will prove to be a very useful experience for everyone attending.

You’ll find more details (about the conference, agenda, hotel, food, and tourist attractions in the Albuquerque area) by visiting our main conference page.

Learn more and register to join us by clicking on the image to the right.

Conference Agenda

You can now have a look at a detailed agenda showing events taking place each day.

Click here to go directly to our conference agenda.

If you’d like to learn more about our presenters and mentors at the joint writing conference, you can find details on SWW’s website:


Conference Mentoring Program

Please look over the list of presenters in the link above for their presentation topics as well as their offer to provide one-on-one mentoring to interested conference attendees on topics listed in their bio. This will be a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences with someone who’s “been there, and done that” regarding various aspects of writing, editing, marketing, etc.*

We’ll provide more details on the mentoring program in an upcoming announcement.

* All conference staff are donating their services pro bono. So, with respect to your conference fees, 100% of the very reasonable costs for the conference go for food.

May 2019 Blast


We continue to be excited with the path MWSA is taking and want to pass along some comments on the following:

Dues & Membership

We hope by now you have all seen the great news about our dues being lowered. Click here to read our announcement.

In preparation for those changes in our dues and membership options, we're asking everyone to verify that the contact and membership information we have on file is accurate.  Please have a look at your Membership & Details at the bottom of this message.

Our 2019 Membership Conference

In just over one hundred days, MWSA will be holding its general membership conference in Albuquerque, NM. While the bulk of this conference will be held in conjunction with the Southwest Writers, http://www.southwestwriters.com/, we will have time set aside for a membership meeting where members can interact with the MWSA’s leadership. Saturday evening we will have our annual awards banquet. It’s a great affair, and we encourage all award winners to try to make this banquet. We have extended the early bird registration discount through June 15.

By the way, Albuquerque is a great place to visit. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60933-Activities-Albuquerque_New_Mexico.html


MWSA is looking for volunteers to help out with our social media efforts and for someone to assist us with maintaining our website. If you are interested in contributing a few hours a month with either of these endeavors please let us know.

Our 2020 conference

We are still looking for a site to hold our 2020 general membership conference. If you are near a venue that you would think would be a good location for a future conference, please let us know. If you do, we might need your help in doing some coordination with the hotel, but the vast majority of the work that goes into the conference will be done by the MWSA Programs committee. So, don’t think helping us find a location means the conference falls on your shoulders.

Book Reviews

Our book reviews window will be closing soon and finalist for the awards will be announced by mid-August. If you haven’t finished your book yet, don’t worry, we’ll be opening the window for new books after the New Year. 

 Thanks, and we hope to see you all in Albuquerque.

 Best Regards,
Bob Doerr
MWSA President

A Special Message from MWSA President Bob Doerr

Great news on the membership front—paying less and getting more

Click here for more details

Click here for more details

One of my main goals as your MWSA president has been to encourage growth in our membership rolls. One of the most effective ways to do this is by lowering the cost of membership.

Over the past six months, our membership and finance committees have been looking for ways to reduce our operating costs while also improving services to our members. As a result, we have been able to identify efficiencies in our operations and increased volunteer participation in our membership management area. These cost-cutting initiatives have led to a significant reduction in our annual expenses.

At the same time, we’ve introduced many new member benefits and programs to increase the value of your MWSA membership. Over the past several months, we’ve added author interviews, review-swap and writer’s forums, free online library listings (with expanded social media presence to help increase our members’ book sales), beta readers, member resource directory, to name just a few—and there’s much more to come.

I’m therefore very happy to announce that your MWSA board of directors has approved a reduction in annual dues from $75 to $50 per year. We’re also creating further opportunities for savings by introducing new membership options:

• 1-year membership @ $50 per year

• 2-year membership @ $45/year ($90 or 10% discount)

• 3-year membership @ $40/year ($120 or 20% discount)

We plan to implement these new membership options and pricing on July 1 this year.

As we iron out the technical details, we’ll be providing everyone with further information about how and when you’ll be able to take advantage of these new ways to save money as an MWSA member. We'll be posting these details on the membership page of our website (https://www.mwsadispatches.com/membership) in the coming days.

These are exciting times for MWSA. I'm optimistic about our future, and I think this new membership initiative will help set our organization on a path toward sustainable growth and ever-increasing value to our membership.

Bob Doerr
MWSA President

2019 Conference Update

Click here for more details on the conference

Click here for more details on the conference

We received 36 proposals to present at this September’s joint MWSA/SWW writing conference. The Program Agenda and Scheduling Committee is busy evaluating all submissions, coming up with a draft conference program, and discussing those submissions amongst themselves and the submitters. We expect to have a solid program ready for review by both presidents by the end of May (more or less). The quality of the submissions has been extraordinarily high and attendees will have the opportunity to participate with numerous award-winning published authors who will be in Albuquerque for the conference and the VA workshop. Early-bird registration has been extended to mid-June.

A sign-up registration page for the VA workshop will be available on Facebook within a few weeks. The VA workshop is free for all veterans and, space available (which should not be a problem) for individuals who have paid to attend the main conference.

Conference costs cover food only – all speakers and program staff are volunteering their time to run the program and make presentations. The early-bird pricing for the following meal selections make this conference one of the most affordable writing conferences in the nation. Click here to see the menu.

New Member Benefit: Beta Reader Forum

Click to go to the Beta Reader Forum page.

Click to go to the Beta Reader Forum page.

As a new service to our members, MWSA announces our Beta Reader Forum. The idea is to easily expand our authors’ pool of potential beta readers—an important part of our creative process for books nearing completion.

As with our review swap program, MWSA is only providing a venue to get authors and beta readers together. Once there, you might also agree to swap reviews once the book is published.

The page is available to members only (username and password required).

Here are the details (which are also posted at the top of the forum page):


  • Use this forum to line up beta readers for your book.

  • This is a member-to-member program, MWSA will not monitor any individual agreements made via this system.


  • Provide a short paragraph describing your book

    • Include title, author, genre, expected publication date

    • Keep your initial posting short--you can always share more details once another MWSA member responds to your request

  • What format(s) you'll provide your beta readers

    • Paper copy: manuscript, proof, etc.

    • Digital format: Word document, PDF, eBook format (.mobi, .epub)

  • How you'll collect feedback--i.e. via paper questionnaire, online form, email responses

  • When you'll collect feedback--i.e. your expectation on how long beta readers have to read and provide feedback.

  • Whether or not you'll be posting beta reader names into your book's acknowledgment section.

    • MWSA recommends that authors acknowledge beta readers... and that they allow the readers to opt in or out!

Publishing Opportunity – SHIFT Literary Journal

SHIFT, a literary journal published at Middle Tennessee State University (MSTU) is looking for submissions for its next volume. The journal has invited members of the Military Writers Society of America to submit their work. SHIFT welcomes all forms of the written word, including, but not limited to, short stories, memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, plays.

Click here for a PDF with submission instructions, and note the deadline is March 31, 2019. If you have any questions, please visit MSTU’s website: www.mtsu.edu/write, or contact Jordan Russ at jnr3w@mtmail.mtsu.edu.

Call for Presenters for the 2019 Writing Conference


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


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


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:


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:


December 2018 Blast


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.


MWSA Social Media News


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

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

Click for website

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


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.




 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


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:


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


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.

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.

 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.

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.