Six American authors have been selected to tour US Navy library facilities, schools, and local communities in Naples and Sicily -- and in Rota, Spain.
I'm pleased and honored to announce that MWSA members -- 2011 Author of the Year, Jack Woodville London -- and multiple award-winning author Del Staecker -- are two of that six. Jack and Del will speak before a variety of audiences about history, about reading, and about their books. They will also do book signings. This is a terrific opportunity -- for Jack and Del -- and for MWSA. We are hoping that this will be the first of many activities like this for our members.
Some have asked how this happened. Well, first we were contacted by the Navy MWR Librarian in Naples, Richard Aubrey, that they had received grants to do this program. He found Military Writers Society of America through our website. He wanted to know if we had anyone we would recommend. I submitted nine names of authors with Navy connections -- either through their books or military experience. I included their bios, links to the reviews of their books on our site, links to material they had written, videos of the authors speaking at past conferences, and a little personal note about each person I nominated. Then Mr. Aubrey contacted these members and discussed the opportunity. The process took several weeks. I received an email at 4am this morning confirming that Jack and Del were their choices. Jack and Del got their confirming phone calls first thing this morning.
For future reference, the members that I nominated had participated in our conferences as speakers, they were award winners, they had appeared on various radio shows sourced by MWSA, and they have written blogs or articles for Dispatches. In short, I had lots of material to share with Mr. Aubrey when he came calling. I want to encourage all of you to see your membership as an opportunity -- certainly a free week in Italy and Spain doesn't present itself often -- but who knows what will come down the pike next? Get out on our new site and post to your blogs, participate in the forums -- especially the one hosted by Marcia Sargent last weekend and the one that will be hosted by Walt Shiel the last weekend in April. Put information about you and your books in your profile under "My Account" and "My Activities." Write for Dispatches. Send your signings, speaking engagements, and other events to Dwight (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be posted on our calendar. Vote in the polls. Come to the conferences. Let me know that you want to appear on the radio shows that come our way from time to time. Volunteer to be a reviewer (as a reviewer, you not only help MWSA and your fellow members, but you showcase your own writing.) Volunteer to work on Dispatches staff. Volunteers to help with the Conference. Participate, participate, participate. Get your name out there on our site for when opportunity comes looking for someone like you. That's how we make things like this happen.
Congratulations to Del and Jack. We look forward to hearing about your adventures in Italy and Spain at the conference. Take lots of pictures for Dispatches and bring back something for the buckaroo auction. I'm so very proud of and for both of you.
Joyce Faulkner, MWSAPresident@gmail.com