The Maryland Writers’ Association created the Writers’ Round Table Program to encourage writers, poets, playwrights and authors through monthly articles and activities. |
Articles by prominent Maryland authors and associated Fun With Words writer prompts are the highlights of the program. Each month the Southern Maryland Newspapers features articles from the Maryland Writer’s Association about authors. Marylanders are encouraged to read the articles monthly and try their hand at the writing prompts.
Genre: historical romance. A text focused on romantic relationships from a historical period, usually an independent woman meeting and sparring with a stronger man who eventually wins or gains her love. , is an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.
Reading list example: “Rogues Redeemed” series (6 books), “The Lost Lords” series (8 books), “The Fallen Angel” series (7 books), “Christmas Romances” (11 books).
“Ideas are everywhere. The hard part is turning them into books.” — Mary Jo Putney
The award-winning, best-selling author was born in upstate New York and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in English Literature and Industrial Design.
“I was born with a reading addiction, and there is no known cure for this condition,” says Putney, who eventually settled in Baltimore.
As evidence of her addiction, she read everything in sight, but she especially loved action, adventure, romance, history, and happy endings. These are all important components of historical fiction.
Growing up, Putney’s dream was to become a writer — she always had a story in her head — but it wasn’t until she got her first computer that it felt feasible. She then realized the great benefits it gave writers and inspired her to write her first book, The Diabolical Baron, in 1987. She successfully weaves action, adventure, romance, history and happy endings into her novels.
This led her to become a full-time writer and quit the graphic design business.
Her historical romances are known for protagonists who came from difficult childhoods. contains difficult problems.
Putney is also a versatile writer. Known for her historical romance, she also writes contemporary women’s fiction, young adult romantic fantasy, and historical fantasy. Her repertoire exceeds her fifty books and she continues her writing career to this day.
Her books have appeared on national bestseller lists, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Dancing on the Wind and Rake and the Reformer were awarded RITAs by Romance Writers of America and the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Her advice to aspiring authors is, “Read, read, read, then write, write, write. Talent is not uncommon, so the defining trait of a successful writer is being able to tell a story. It’s a burning desire to want to.”
MWA invites authors who enjoy writing historical romances like Mary Jo Putney. Using only 100 words, it puts a man and a woman who were traumatized in childhood in a historical setting (which period to pinpoint) while they struggle to heal each other and build a better life. Title your work and submit it to https://marylandwriters.org/Notable_Maryland_Authors by her 22nd of the month to receive an MWA Fun With Words Submission Certificate. Selected answers will be published with next month’s article, as well as on her website at MWA.
Last month, readers were asked to write a Tim Cockey-like mystery in 00 words or less, chose a character whose profession had nothing to do with solving a mystery, and started their mystery with what they found under the snow.
Local reactions include:
Soft perfect snow arrived overnight. His grandson Dylan and I went looking for animal tracks. I found footprints of birds and squirrels. A few small footsteps receded.
“What are they?” he asked.
“Little man. Probably a leprechaun.”
“Grandpa, does he have a pot of gold?”
“I don’t know. Could it be?”
I dug along a stable path. Snow was pulled up and replaced to cover what he hid.we didn’t bother
“Did he bury the pot of gold here?”
“Maybe. It’s a mystery.”
“Follow in his footsteps and catch him.”
I sit at my desk while I wait for my students to come back. I keep thinking that the teacher across the hall is gone. No notes, nothing. No one went looking for him. Stand up with your coat on. i’ll go find him I go outside while watching the children line up. Go through the parking lot and walk through the woods. Then you will see dug up snow and a shovel. As I approach, hiding under the snow is the teacher at the far end of the hallway.
“Mr. Nina! Director Nina! I’ve decided on a triple axel combination!”
Nina Myers smiled at the 13-year-old figure skating protégé. “Well done Vivian! Well, that’s all for today. Get off the ice and go home.”
Nina marveled at Vivian’s boundless energy. Teenager Vivian rushed to the parking lot, excited to land the jump.
It snowed while they were training. The asphalt and the cars parked there were all painted white.
Halfway through Nina’s SUV, Vivian suddenly tripped over something under the snow and fell.
“Vivien? Are you okay?” asked Nina.
The young skater didn’t even try to get up. “Um, Coach? It looks like someone lost their boots here and they’re covered in blood!”
The red light from Eusebius “CB” Kant’s headlamps rose and fell over a pair of giant hairy legs. They stuck out from under the snow without tracks.
The amateur astronomer slung the telescope strap of his rucksack over Parker’s shoulder. Could his health department colleague have pranked his secret hill southeast of Bryantown?He’s squeezing toward his head with snow screeching under his hiking boots. crept up.
When the man behind the mask died, his eyes turned white and his forehead had a bullet hole. CB thought that such a costume should have a warning label on it.
– Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf
PEARLBURG — A snowplow driver steps into the final National Snowman. Pearlberg discovers the missing lollipop and an empty safe. Back outside, Pearlberg finds a pink snowshoe under a snowdrift. Pearlberg then followed some tracks (apparently made by getaway snowmobiles) to an ice hideout with a sign reading “Snow Bunny Bandit/Crime is not too small/Estimates are free.” rice field. Pearlberg spotted the gal wearing a fluffy pink hoodie and one of her pink snowshoes. She didn’t look as pure as wind-blown snow, exclaimed Pearlberg. [rim-shot]
Snow-Bunny Bandit spat out a lollipop and retorted. If you think you’re burying me in that snow job…you flake!
MWA is a 35-year-old statewide association dedicated to encouraging and mentoring Maryland’s writers, poets, playwrights, and writers.