Friday, January 11, 2008

Shocking! Another Post... Mystery Writers of America

For a mixture of reasons (pride, self-motivation, seeking pragmatic information and guidance), I joined Mystery Writers of America (paid my $95) once my story "Wilson's Man" hit the stands in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. It is a professional organization, and I qualify because I have been paid cash money by a third party for crime/mystery fiction. I appeared in the January 2008 "Fresh Blood" section (a list of new members) of MWA's newsletter, The Third Degree. I am also automatically a member of the Northwest Chapter, though its activities seem to take place almost exclusively in Seattle (which would mean a three-hour drive for a dinner meeting). I may try to go to the main MWA symposium and banquet in New York in late April/early May. My unlikely goal would be to finish a draft of a full-length caper that I have been working on in advance of the event.

For me, the jury is still out on MWA. I am hoping that it will provide more opportunities to submit to anthologies (I have a few good stories completed and waiting in the wings). I am on one MWA listserv and can get on another (I just have to contact the national office). The organization seems active and positive, a real community--more rewarding than the National Book Critics Circle to which I pay dues as well. Many of MWA's active, visible members seem to be more accomplished versions of myself: published by smaller presses, active as writers in their communities, etc., but not well known and usually without a major publisher.

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