Yesterday we had our first official meeting of the Frederick chapter of the Maryland Writers Association, and I thought it went smashingly. If you’re a Maryland writer and you’re not currently a member, please click on the web link and consider joining. They do a ton for writers in Maryland, sponsor a yearly conference in Columbia, and are generally a great resource to help you get started in the craft, especially if you intend to become a published author and hope to make it a career.

We’ve got a great team as chapter leaders. Lisa Proulx is our president, a gregarious and energetic leader, which I think bodes really well for our group. Trust me, I’d much rather she be doing the job than myself, she’s got a great “take charge and forge ahead” attitude. She has experience as a self-published and award-winning author, as well as provides writer support services, so she brings a ton of experience to the table.

Kari Martindale is our vice president, and full of energy. She also provides editing services, so check out her website if you’re looking for that type of work as you prep your novels.

Pattie Hughes is our secretary, organized as hell, and the nicest person you’ll ever meet. She worked hard to keep us focused as all of us were rambling on about writing stuff! That’s the benefit of groups like this, you get to finally talk shop with like-minded folks. She came prepped with a list of things we needed to sort out, and I think we managed to get through all of them before we parted ways

And then there’s me, the treasurer, and you’re already on my website so you must know me. Right now my responsibilities seem a little lax, mainly because we don’t have any money as a new chapter. We won’t get a budget outlay until the next fiscal year, but we’ll make due without it for now. I’ll see what I can do to get a chapter web-page setup, which the MWA provides as part of their main web page (so it’s free!).

I’m a firm advocate of hanging with your people. Finding groups that will support you in what you do. Having a local chapter of the MWA gives us that opportunity, and the members bring a wide range of interests and writing styles to our group. We’ve got several poets, children’s authors, mystery writers. Diverse backgrounds, from firefighters to a beatnik performer (and that man stunned us when he spoke with his deep, sonorous, cambridge accent. . . definitely need to see him perform). You’re going to learn tons from people outside your own interests.

So hey, if you’re in the Frederick area, check us out! I’ll have more info soon as we get organized. For now we intend to hold meetings on the third Saturday of every month beginning at 1:00. Location is still a little up in the air, but we’re leaning towards Urbana library for their large conference room and ease of access (parking in particular, which is a bit more of a hassle with the Frederick library). And if you are a speaker who has an interesting topic, get in touch, we’re looking for folks to give talks at our monthly meetings. Any topic of interest, from writing subjects to sword fighting to your experience with the elderly in a home care setting.

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