August 2019 Blast



As August comes to a close, we wanted to get a quick note out reminding everyone that registration for this year’s conference in Albuquerque needs to be made by September 5.  The conference will include our annual general membership meeting on Sunday morning, September 15.

Book Donations

If you would like to participate in our annual book donations drive and donate books this year to the VA med center in Albuquerque, please get them mailed off ASAP as we intend to give them to the med center at the beginning of the conference.  Mail them to Larry Greenly at 2916 Jane Ct NE, Albuquerque, NM  87112-1638, and he will do the legwork taking them to the VA.

Website, Social Media, and More

MWSA has done a ton of work improving our social media exposure and our website—all part of our on-going efforts to enhance and expand the benefits of MWSA membership. However, not everyone has taken advantage of these new benefits. 

 Besides the obvious—most notably, our Facebook pages: Public, Writers Education, and Book Marketing and Open Mic—we have new programs available to our members. The latest addition is our Beta Reader Program. For the time being, this program is a self-help one, involving members helping members.

 Go to the Beta Reader page on our website ( and look for books you’d like to beta-read or post your book to get feedback from your fellow MWSA members. The more of us who end up visiting the page and signing up to help our fellow MWSA authors, the more active and useful our program will become. 

 Of course, the Beta Reader Program is not all there is when it comes to member benefits.  Check out our website and have a look at all the services and programs available under the “Resources” tab at the top of every page.

Help Wanted—Help!

By the way, if you have the time, we need help monitoring our social media outlets or posting content to the website and social media. Every little bit helps, so if you’re interested, please let us know by:

 The vast majority of this work does NOT require that much in the way of Internet savvy or special coding skills. We can have you up-to-speed in a matter of minutes if you’re interested in lending a hand.

 Have a story to tell?

 Have a “lesson learned” or a writing/publishing/editing/marketing trick you’d like to share with your fellow MWSA member-authors?

 Thank you!

 2019 Season’s Final Stretch—Heading to the Awards Banquet

As everyone knows, we announced our finalists earlier this month and will be broadcasting the final medal results during the awards banquet in Albuquerque (Saturday, 9/14). If you can’t join us in Albuquerque, we plan to broadcast the awards ceremony live on our Facebook Public Page:

 If you participated in this year’s awards season, and haven’t already had a chance to go over the applicable instructions/recommendations provided in our “Now What?” series of articles, please have a look.

 For all awards finalists: Please remember that our awards packages include materials for one author. If you have a co-author or collaborator and would like them to be recognized along with you and receive a medal, certificate, or book stickers (either presented during the awards ceremony or mailed later), please have a look at the details provided in the article for finalists above.

 2020 Awards Season

January 15 and the 2020 Season will be here soon—after all, aren’t you surprised that your calendar is about to flip over to September? 😊 

 Due to record-breaking demand for our review and award services, we had to close our book submission window several times during this past season. We expect that 2020 will be as busy or even busier, so please consider joining our reviewer team!

 You can read as few or as many books as you like, and you get to pick the ones you want to read and evaluate.  Our process for assigning review copies to reviewers is “a la carte”—where each reviewer picks from the available list.

2019 Conference Update 


Unless we have some late-breaking developments, this will probably be our last update before the start of our joint MWSA-SWW Writing Conference on September 12.

Other than making your logistical plans and packing your suitcases, we have one extra step that we’d like everyone to take to make sure you’re ready to join us in Albuquerque: a checklist.

Attendee Checklist

The checklist is designed to make sure that all members and their guests have…

  • properly registered and paid for their conference attendance.

  • a name tag (so everyone knows who you are).

  • selected their meal preference for the awards banquet on Saturday.

IMPORTANT: To provide an accurate (and timely) meal count to the hotel, we’re asking everyone to complete the steps in this checklist on or before September 5. The checklist includes links and detailed instructions for both SWW and/or MWSA members.  Click on the button below to download your checklist.

If you’ve registered but haven’t shared your menu preference, you may end up paying for a menu selection that you didn’t want or have a name tag that’s different from everyone else’s (or which includes inaccurate information).

Click here for current name tag and menu selection list.

Registration window closing soon

We’re sorry, but based on the hotel’s requirements, we’ll be closing down our registration window on the evening of September 5. There will be no on-site registrations. 


The hotel no longer has rooms available at our discounted rate.  Click here for details.

What to wear

During the conference: casual & comfy

At the awards banquet: “semi semi-formal,” i.e., most will be wearing cocktail/dinner dresses or coat and tie. Some will substitute a bolo for a tie… or may not wear a tie. Some plan to “glitter,” others will be less “semi-formal” and opt for comfort instead.

Award Winners

A quick reminder: we have crafted our MWSA awards package for one winner (i.e., one medal, one certificate, 100 book stickers, one cover letter—all enclosed in one folder). If you have a co-author/collaborator with whom you’d like to share honors, you can purchase extra awards packet materials on our website’s online store. If you do this early enough, we can present these additional packages during the ceremony.  Although we’ll have a few spare medals and stickers with us in Albuquerque, we won’t be able to print out certificates or letters at the last minute.

FYI, all award winners who cannot join us in Albuquerque can have their awards packet mailed to them.  We only ask that they pay for postage.

You can always purchase extra or replacement awards materials (and postage) on our online store:

Finally, if you’re a finalist and haven’t read our “Now What?” article for finalists, please give it a gander, it’s packed full of useful information.

Dale Dye Named MWSA Writer of the Year for 2019

Click for more details.

Click for more details.

The MWSA board of directors is pleased to announce that they have selected Dale Dye as the winner of the Mike Mullins Memorial MWSA Writer of the Year for 2019.

In addition to being a long-time member of MWSA, Dale is also an accomplished actor, technical adviser in several Hollywood blockbuster movies, and the author of 14 novels.

We’re looking forward to getting to know Dale and his wife, Julia (who is also an award-winning author and MWSA member), in the coming months. Both Dale and Julia will be joining us during our annual membership conference in Albuquerque, NM, where we will present Dale with his Writer of the Year Award.

To read more details about Dale and his body of work, please visit this page (or click on the image above):

Congratulations to our 2019 Writer of the Year!

Announcement of 2019 MWSA Book Award Finalists--Sunday 8/11 @ 9PM Eastern

Click to watch the video interactively on Facebook (Sunday, 8/11 @ 9PM Eastern)

Click to watch the video interactively on Facebook (Sunday, 8/11 @ 9PM Eastern)

Due to an earlier-than-expected wrap-up of the review process for all 2019 season books, we’ve decided to push up our announcement of finalists to tomorrow (Sunday, August 11) at 9PM Eastern.

As a reminder, being designated as a finalist means that the book has scored high enough to win an MWSA medal (Gold, Silver, or Bronze).

We plan to announce our finalists via video on YouTube and Facebook. Also—technology permitting—we’re going to try to do a live “Watch Party” from our MWSA Public Page on Facebook. That way, you’ll be able to make comments or ask questions as the video is playing.

Here’s the link to our Facebook Video Premiere Watch Party: (should be near the top of the page)

To watch the video anytime after 9PM Eastern on Sunday (or in case we have problems watching live on Facebook), you can watch the YouTube version here:

All finalists—books and authors—will appear on our 2019 Season page shortly after the video announcement ends. We will also email all authors who’ve submitted books this season to let them know whether or not they were selected as finalists.

Good luck!

MWSA Mike Mullins Memorial Writer of the Year: 2019 Finalists

MWSA is very pleased and proud to announce the finalists for our prestigious Mike Mullins Memorial Writer of the Year Award for 2019 (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Dale Dye

  • Valerie Ormond

  • Kathleen M. Rodgers

Click on image for more details

Click on image for more details

All three will be joining us in Albuquerque, NM, during our annual conference, where we will recognize the winner during the awards banquet on Saturday evening, September 14.

We’re planning to announce the winner before the conference—as early as August 20—so please stay tuned for details on the announcement. In the meantime, CLICK HERE to read about each of these outstanding MWSA writers.

Congratulations to our finalists!

Albuquerque Conference--Hotel Information Update

Click on image to go to event page

Click on image to go to event page

Our 2019 annual meeting and conference look like they are going to be a great success. Why? Well not only because of the outstanding program but your response. We have more attendees coming than we expected. And because of this, the hotel has already reached the saturation point on at least one night for the advertised conference rate.

First the good news. There are still rooms at the hotel for each night of the conference to include the night of the awards banquet. But these rooms are going fast and if you have not already booked one and want to stay at the conference hotel, you need to act immediately.

Now for the bad news. Saturday night, September 14th, is booked well above the maximum for the conference rate to apply. Yes, there are still rooms, but the hotel will not give you a conference rate that night. Even if you beg them.

And the nearly bad news. There are still rooms available for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but two of those nights are nearly at the cutoff point for conference room rates. If you want to stay at the conference hotel, you need to make a reservation immediately. Once the hotel is booked at 80% capacity on any one of those nights, rooms will still be available but not at the conference rate.

Hotel policy is to honor conference rates until such time as the hotel is booked at 80% capacity. Once that threshold has been crossed, if there are any rooms left, they will be available at whatever rate you can negotiate yourselves – AAA, AARP, Senior, etc.

For those of you who say, well I am an award winner, or I know the president, I’m a speaker, or I know Jim, etc., don’t even go there. Jim has already been to the hotel staff six times and after obtaining another exception today, he was told that was the end of that. No more exceptions. No exception to the no exceptions.

Remember, there are still rooms available (as of 1 August 2019). Not sure how long that will last. You may have to be creative and book different nights at different prices. I have had to do that in the past and it works. As of right now, no one will be able to book the conference rate for all four nights. If you act right away, you might get one of the last three nights at the conference rate and Saturday at whatever you can negotiate.

So, what are your options if you simply do not want to pay the Hotel Albuquerque more than the conference rate? Here are a few ideas – we do not have a contract with any of these places so rates will be whatever you can negotiate:

(1)   Book next door (literally a stone’s throw) and stay there. The Hotel Chaco is upscale and more expensive than the conference hotel, but it is only a few hundred feet away.

(2)   Book a room at the Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn. It is three blocks north of the conference hotel and should be less expensive than the conference hotel.

(3)   There is a small B&B located also within walking distance of the conference hotel.

(4)   There are many other hotels and B&Bs within a very short drive of the conference hotel.

We look forward to seeing you in Albuquerque. It is going to be a great conference.

Jim Tritten
Joint Conference Coordinator

July 2019 Blast


It’s summertime and that means the conference is right around the corner, and this year’s book review cycle has come to a close. If you haven’t registered for the conference or made reservations at the Hotel Albuquerque, please do so soon, as the group discount rate at the hotel may not be available if you wait too long. More info about the conference can be found on our website:

While you're on that page, please fill out your meal selection choice for the awards banquet (if you haven't already done so).  If you'll be bringing guests, you can fill out a separate form for you and your guest(s).

Outreach and Book Drive 

We’re continuing our outreach efforts with planned programs in September in Albuquerque at the VA Med Center and in October in Austin. In addition to these writing classes, we’re having our annual book drive and ask anyone who has books to donate to please send them to Larry Greenly at 2916 Jane Ct NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112-1638, to arrive by September 10. These books will be donated to the Raymond G. Murphy VA Med Center in Albuquerque. Remember to use media mail rates to keep your costs down.


We plan to announce the 2019 season awards finalists on August 15.  We'll be posting details and links on the 2019 Season page of our website.

In addition to these individual book awards, we have three special recognition awards that are presented at each conference at the awards banquet. These are the Founder’s Award, the President’s Award, and the Mike Mullins Writer of the Year Award. To learn more about these awards, please visit this web page:

Mike Mullins Memorial MWSA Writer of the Year for 2019

We are extremely proud of our three finalists for this year’s Writer of the Year Award. These three individuals are Kathy Rodgers, Dale Dye, and Valerie Ormond. All three are more than qualified for the award and have extensive writing backgrounds, along with involvement in other activities in support of our veterans. We anticipate all three will be at the Awards Banquet this year, so be sure to come and congratulate them.

Membership Poll--Location of 2020 Conference

Want to have input on the location of our next conference?  Let us know by filling out a few questions here:


We continue to need volunteers, especially to help us with our website and social media efforts.  If you're interested in helping out, please use one of the emails listed below to volunteer.


As a reminder, if you're interested in keeping up-to-date with MWSA news and information, you can sign up for our free newsletters on our website:

On that page you can sign up to receive monthly updates for news, tips and tricks, or online library updates.  You can also sign up to receive notification when the latest edition of our quarterly Dispatches magazine is available.


Finally, if you are in San Antonio on Aug 10, there will be a 12:30 and a 4:00 showing of the film Trooper at the Lackland AFB theater. AAFES will begin distributing free tickets in the AAFES Main Exchange food court starting on July 29th. This film has a long history with MWSA as it was screened at the MWSA conference in 2009 where the MWSA attendees made a variety of suggestions, edits, etc. that influenced the film’s final production. More information about Trooper and the showings at Lackland AFB can be found at

Hope to see you all at the conference!

June 2019 Blast


Book Reviews & Awards

Our 2019 Season submission window closed almost three weeks early due to record demand.  We had 85 books submitted, which was six more than we’ve received in any prior season.

Highlights for the remainder of the season: we hope to announce our 2019 awards finalists on August 15 and then present medals and certificates to our winners during our awards banquet on September 15 in Albuquerque.

As always, MWSA can use your help reviewing for us.  If you’re interested, please contact the awards directors at

Mike Mullins Memorial MWSA Writer of the Year for 2019

Make your vote count by letting us know who you think should be the 2019 Writer of the Year.

Learn more about the award and submit your nomination here:

Membership News

Per our last blast, you know we’ll be lowering our dues and offering tiered membership lengths beginning on July 1.  Those members wanting to take advantage of the new, reduced dues amounts will be able to do so by visiting our existing members' and FAQs pages.

As you can see on the pages above (and in your membership details section below) the new rates and membership options are available now.

Membership Poll--Location of 2020 Conference

Want to have input on the location of our next conference?  Let us know by filling out a few questions here:


We continue to need volunteers, especially to help us with our website and social media efforts.

MWSA Outreach

MWSA goals include increasing outreach efforts to reach more veterans, family members, and those interested in recording our rich military history. The following are current opportunities developed by or presented to MWSA members.

  • MWSA Ambassadors Program: The MWSA Board of Directors officially approved the MWSA Ambassadors Program in May. This program’s mission is for MWSA’s qualified instructors to reach veterans, military, and families throughout the United States to assist them in sharing their important stories through a positive writing workshop venue at no cost to attendees. For additional information or to volunteer, please find details at veterans outreach programs.

Every year, when we have a membership conference, we also try to support the local VA Med Center. One thing we do to support them is to ask our members to donate to the VA Med Center a book or two or ten. This year Larry Greenly has offered to receive all the book donations from our members. He will take them to the VA Med Center in Albuquerque right before the conference. So start identifying a book or two to send, and we'll provide you Larry's address in July.

2019 Membership Conference

Summer is upon us, and as usual, it brings us closer to our general membership conference. It is still not too late to register and get the early bird rate.  A  final agenda for the conference is available for everyone to review along with menu items, things to do in Albuquerque, etc.

Also, we've recently learned about a glitch in the hotel's billing system that may cause your hotel stay to appear to be more expensive.  Don't worry, our MWSA rates are still guaranteed to remain the same.  Please visit the  conference page on our website for the details.  

Writing Opportunity - “When Intelligence Made a Difference”

click to visit website

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 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,, 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.


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 ( 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:, or contact Jordan Russ at

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

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

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,, 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 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,

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, 

Speaking of our website did you know we have a Resources page.  Check it out.

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.