Annapolis Chapter of the MWA

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June at MWAA: Be a Social Media Superstar!

(NOTE: June’s meeting will be held in Room 211 of Maryland Hall.)

Like it or not, social media is a crucial part of building an author’s reading audience, but for many of us, social media remains an inscrutable mystery. Move from mystery to mastery by joining us at the Maryland Hall on Wednesday, June 21st to find out how you can use social media to propel your writing, find your tribe, and grow your own audience with tips and tricks from Amy Mascott. Whether you are new to social media or a seasoned vet, you’re bound to walk away with some tips and tricks that will work for you.

The PLAN: welcome & why we’re here
Step back: blogs; your purpose; your plan
Blog posts–content is KING: structure; SEO; photos; ed cal
Branding: appearance; social; bio
Spreading the word: twitter; pinterest; facebook; instagram; youtube
Growing readership: online; offline; consistency

amy mascott profile 600About the Speaker: Since 2008, Amy Mascott has managed, where she shares tools and resources families can use to be the best teachers they can be for their children. Amy has harnessed the power of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube to build her network from the ground up, now reaching over 5 million users each month.


This and all meetings of the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Writers Association is held the third Wednesday of the month starting at 6:30 p.m. in Room 205 (in June, Room 211) of the Maryland Hall, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD. Meetings are free to MWA members and all first-time attendees; all others may pay $5. To find out more about MWA, visit the website at:

Filed under: Blogging, June meeting, marketing, non-fiction writing, publication, Social media

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.

Filed under: Blogging, july speaker, non-fiction writing, publication

March 2016 at MWAA: James Gossard discusses his graphic novel MOBTOWN

In 1817, German Romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffman (1776 – 1822) wrote the short story “The Sandman”. Hoffman was in the vanguard of the short story movement. He did not anticipate that nearly two hundred years later his work would be the inspiration for a 1959 mobster graphic novel, Mobtown. On the eve of the release of Issue One, James will discuss the journey of his short story “The Enchantress” as it transformed from a pastiche into the graphic novel Mobtown, which also paused briefly in an adaptation as a screenplay. James will peel away the layers of the creative process and venture (the good, the bad, and the ug… er, beautiful). He’ll share the business model that has wrapped itself around what can loosely be labeled as a collaborative, creative franchise property. If you’ve ever wanted to create a graphic novel or wondered just what that beast is, James offers a lively presentation. And he’ll take all questions!

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 5.15.29 PMAbout the Speaker: James Gossard was just on location in the Central Valley of California working as the Script and Continuity Supervisor for the indie film The Drama Club, which wrapped principal photography in September 2015. More recently, he’s co-authored a sci-fi short film, Apocalypse in 9-8, which will be produced in 2016.

Besides penning graphic novels and screenplays, James owns a company that consults and writes for businesses and provides business advice to artists. He created and hosts the web series Writer, write thyself!, which explores topics of interest in the writer’s life. He regularly leads screenwriting workshops that focus on building a screenwriter’s toolbox and understanding the elements that create a rich story in film. His workshops have been held locally at Balticon and for Women in Film & Video in Washington DC. He has also served as a screenplay judge.

Other projects include a rewrite of his Cory McCabe young adult novels, beginning with Grizzly Heart. He is also developing a volume of poetry, James Leslie on James Leslie. James also writes for stage. As a playwright, his plays have been produced and have received multiple awards, including the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award.

James studied creative writing at the University of Montana and received his M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of Women in Film & Video, Maryland Film Festival, and The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. James lives with his wife Ann in Ellicott City, Maryland.


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. The MWA Annapolis chapter meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Filed under: fiction writing, graphic novel, March speaker, marketing, MWA Annapolis Chapter, publication

February 2016 at MWAA: Katherine Pickett Talks Editors and Editing

Plan to join us on Wednesday, 17 February, when award-winning writer and editor Katherine Pickett explains what we need to know to make the very best use of crucial editing resources.

Editors: Who They Are, What They Do, and How They Can Help You

If you plan to publish your work, whether by publishing it yourself or by finding a publisher, you will most likely seek the help of an editor. But what can an editor really do for you? What makes an editor an editor, and how can you be sure you have found a good one?

In this presentation, veteran editor Katherine Pickett will give you the inside scoop on

  • The types of editors you may be working with
  • What qualifies someone to be an editor
  • How to find and hire the right editor for you
  • What your role is when working with an editor
  • How you can save time and money throughout the editing process
© 2013 | Kristina Sherk Photography |

© 2013 | Kristina Sherk Photography |

pickett-PerfectBound-cov1-600x900About the Speaker: Katherine Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services, LLC (, and the author of the award-winning book Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. Through POP, Katherine offers copyediting, proofreading, and developmental editing to authors and publishers across the country. Since 1999, she has edited more than 300 books in a wide range of topics and genres. She is an active member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the St. Louis Publishers Association and is president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association. You can find her blog at Twitter: @KPickett_Editor.


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. The MWA Annapolis chapter meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Filed under: editing, February meeting, publication, self-publishing, writing workshop

December 2015 at MWAA: Polishing Your Work for Publication

Be sure to mark Wednesday, December 16th on your busy calendar! For MWAA’s last meeting of the year, we’ll be joined again by always-popular speaker Ally Machate, whose humorous, practical, and realistic writing advice helps us all to up our game.

Polishing Your Work for Publication

Each year, more than a million new titles are published by traditional and self-publishers. Every writer knows—or soon learns—that it takes multiple revisions to create a piece ready to compete for book buyers’ attention. This talk will introduce you to the most common problems that plague written works and offer simple ways to identify and resolve them in your own novel, short story, or memoir. You’ll receive tips on improving your work to keep readers’ attention, polishing your manuscript at the technical level, and getting objective feedback before you submit or go to press.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.39.57 PMAbout the Speaker: Ally E. Machate is a bestselling book collaborator, award-winning editor, and expert publishing consultant who loves using her insider knowledge of the publishing industry and wealth of experience to help others reach their publishing goals, whether it’s showing a writer how to improve a manuscript, get an agent, or self-publish, or ghostwriting a book to help an entrepreneur skyrocket her business platform to new levels. Since 1999, she has assisted, guided, and supported would-be authors on their publishing journey and takes pride in serving as their books’ best ally. Grab Ally’s free gifts and learn more at and


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. The MWA Annapolis chapter meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Filed under: december speaker, fiction writing, memoir, non-fiction writing, publication, self-publishing, writing workshop

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