August at MWAA: Bringing Local History to Life with Lauren Silberman

lauren SilbermanJoin us on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 as local author Lauren Silberman takes us on a journey through her work to capture the quirky stories of local Maryland history. Lauren plans to share the research methods she uses, such as networking/crowdsourcing, databases, primary vs. secondary sources, bibliographies, googling, interviews, how much can be found for free, and determining the academic value of a source.

About the Speaker: Lauren R. Silberman is the author of local histories, including Wild Women of Maryland: Grit and Gumption in the Free State (History Press, 2015), Wicked Baltimore: Charm City Sin and Scandal (History Press, 2011), and The Jewish Community of Baltimore (Arcadia Publishing, 2008). She serves as the deputy director of Historic London Town and Gardens, a 23-acre museum and gardens just outside of Annapolis, MD. Previously, she was a program officer for the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, DC and the education and program coordinator for the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. She has served on the boards of the Small Museum Association and Friends of the Greenbelt Museum. She has a B.A. in painting and art history from George Washington University and has completed graduate work towards a MSM in Management with a specialization in Nonprofit and Association Management from University of Maryland, University College. Currently she lives in Greenbelt with her husband and a forthcoming son. Learn more about her at


This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWA meetings meet the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm in room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.


July Chapter Meeting: Writers Wanted for “Destination” Websites

Looking for opportunities to grow your social media network and expand your portfolio of published works? Of course you are! Then you need to come to our July chapter meeting to hear our speaker, Tony Russo, who is looking for writers to contribute on a regular basis to a set of websites aimed at drawing visitors to specific locales. Here is Tony’s overview:

I am the editor for a company that owns different destination websites, which we are in the process of developing. The principle sites that are either up and running or soon will be  are,, and The company also owns multiple state sites including, which we hope to develop over the coming year.

I would like to share my experience with writing for these popular websites, which has increased my social reach and profile. It has helped with book sales for sure, and I am confident that blogging for in particular gave me the credibility to get my first book contract.

Over the last several months, I have been experimenting with contributors to and have noticed that they are doing well socially too. has a massive following (more than 150,000 unique site users) for a site that is pretty niche, but the readership has responded positively to more lifestyle stories than I would have imagined.
My hope is to apply this model to and, eventually, to I would like to work to put together a collective of bloggers who use these sites as a way to boost their own work, as well as to support each other’s.

Although many of my current contributors are fiction writers, we have worked out a plan for channeling their creative energy into nonfiction, mainly journaling and travel writing. I workshop and edit and accept and refine pitches so that not only are writers doing better work than they would on their own, they also are getting positive feedback and experience working with an editor as one might in a newspaper. People may contribute as much or as little as they choose.

t_russoAbout the Speaker: Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies and dailies before joining the team that produces and, among other destination websites. In addition to having documented everything from zoning changes to art movements on the Delmarva Peninsula, Tony has written a couple books on beer culture for The History Press. He cohosts the writing podcast “So What’s Your Story?” and the beer culture podcast “Beer with Strangers.”

Tony lives in Delmar, Maryland with his wife, Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn’t moved out. Together they keep their two dogs comfortable.

Follow Tony at @Ossurynot on most social media, although he’s meanest on Twitter.

Your State and Chapter Officers

The new state board was elected on 11 June and began its two-year term on 1 July. We are thrilled to have a well-rounded slate of officers at the state level, and here they are:

President: Eileen Haavik Mcintire
Vice President: Janet Ruck
Secretary: Chip Trimmier
Treasurer: Kimberly Goon
Communications Chair: Rus VanWestervelt
Conference Chair: Jessica Williams
Program Chair: Michelle Markey Butler
Membership Chair: –Vacant–
Publications Chair: Kit O’Neill
Member-at-Large: Flo McCahon
Member-at-Large: Larry Matthews

For the Annapolis chapter, we are very excited to welcome two new officers this year, and we’re looking forward to a vibrant year of discussing, learning about, practicing, and reading lots of great writing! Your chapter officers are:

President & Program Director: Jenny Yacovissi
Secretary: Victoria Clarkson
Treasurer: Linda Wood