Military Writers to gather in Pittsburgh for Annual Conference

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Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Invites Students, Journalists, Historical Societies, Military and Veteran Organizations, and Book Clubs to an Evening of Theater Based on the Award-winning Novels of John Takacs, Michael Angley, Erin Rainwater, and Kathleen Rodgers. Other Events Open to the Public are Oral History Day and Open Mic!

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“Published authors and aspiring writers will benefit from the variety of workshops on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2, at the Wyndham,” said Joyce Faulkner of Bridgeville, PA, and President of MWSA.

The Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) announced today that Pittsburgh is the site for its 2010 Conference and Award Banquet. Based at the Wyndham University Place Hotel in the Oakland neighborhood, the conference is scheduled for Sept. 30 – Oct. 3.

The conference begins on Thursday, Sept. 30, with a morning ceremony in South Park’s “By the Dawn’s Early Light Flag Retirement Plaza.” Organized by former Marine John Kovach, the plaza, for patriotic reflection, features flags for each of seven military branches as well as the American flag. This ceremony, MWSA’s Thursday evening theater production and Friday’s Oral History activities are open to the public.

The theater play, “From the Printed Page to Production Stage: Highlighting the Works of Prize-winning MWSA Authors, is set for the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. Staged by Charlayne Henry Productions and MWSA, the authors and books represented are John Takacs of Pioneer, CA, The Take-Us; Mike Angley of Colorado Springs, CO, Child Finder; Erin Rainwater of Lakewood, CO, True Colors; and Kathleen Rodgers of Colleyville, TX, The Finale Salute. Admission is $20.

Two Saturday events at the Wyndham Hotel are free to the public: “Oral Histories” and “Open Mic.” For the histories segment, hosted by Georgia’s Craig Anderson of “Our History Project,” members will spend the day telling stories. “Starting at 9:00 am, someone will take the stage every thirty minutes to tell about a little known historical event or personal experience,” Anderson said. “For example, World War II veteran, Tom McGraham, will talk about his 12 days on Iwo Jima, Maggie Abbott will tell the story of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and Carmen Stenholm will describe how she and her mother escaped from East Germany in 1958.” That evening at 6:00 pm, continuing with the theme of oral history is MWSA’s annual “Open Mic” where each author takes five minutes to read from his/her book, recite a poem, tell a joke, sing a song, and more. MWSA’s Vice President, Mike Mullins of Windfall, IN, will emcee.

Highlight of the Writers Conference is the Awards Banquet which takes place on Saturday night, Oct. 2, in the Forbes Ballroom of the Wyndham University Place. Aside from book awards, the organization gives out the People’s Choice Award and the William E. Mayer Prize for Literary or Artistic Excellence.

Pittsburgh’s Joseph Beth Bookseller, 510 S. 27th St., is the official conference bookseller. The store will carry MWSA members’ books and host eight noted MWSA authors for book signings, 1:30 – 4:30 pm, Sunday, Oct. 3. These authors include Richard Lowry of Orlando, FL, New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah; Dwight Zimmerman of Brooklyn, NY, Uncommon Valor; Bruce Gamble of Lynn Haven, FL, Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January, 1942-April, 1943; William Peterson of Piney Flats, TN, Missions of Fire and Mercy; Tom Ruck of Rancho Cucumonga, CA, Sacred Ground; Dan Farrinaci of East Northport, NY, Truman and McArthur; and Duke Barrett of Henderson, NV, The Wall of Broken Dreams.

For more information about MWSA, see our new Magazine, Dispatches.

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Joyce Faulkner

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