February 11 — Being on the MWA Board

It’s a little daunting, being on the Board of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

The road to this started two years ago when Julie Hyzy, a fabulous author and a great friend, asked me to run as her vice president for the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).  When I did so, I knew the expectation would be that I would make my own run for the presidency two years later. That’s the way it usually works in the Midwest Chapter–a president runs for two years, and then the vice president runs for president.

Anyway, Julie did a great job in her two years, and and I ran and was elected president for 2010. And because all chapter presidents also sit on the MWA Board, I had the privelege of going to New York a few weeks ago and was indoctrinated into how things run on the national level.

All I can say is — Wow!  This is a great organization, and the people who are on the national board are a dedicated group of published mystery authors who love the genre and want to advance the field of mystery writing and help the authors who are in it.  If you are a mystery author or fan, I recommend that you look into membership.  Non-published authors and fans can be affiliate members, and published authors can become active members.  (Go to www.mysterywriters.org for more information.)  As a member, you are automatically assigned to the chapter that covers the geographical region where you live.  Chapters hold meetings with interesting speakers, have a message board to keep members in touch with what’s going on regionally and nationally, and make it possible to network with other writers and fans, among other things.

The Midwest chapter (www.mwamidwest.org) just held its first board meeting of the year, and we’re looking at upcoming meetings not only based in Chicago, our hub, but also in St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis this year.  For more information, check the Midwest chapter’s site.

The daunting part for me is two-fold–first, to keep things going on both a regional and national level, and second, to keep up the quality of my writing as a member of such a prestigious board!

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