Meet the Neighbors: Q&A with Patti Ross of the Maryland Writers’ Association

Patti Spady Ross graduated from American University with a degree in Journalism. Having published several articles in the Washington Times and the Rural America newspapers, Patti settled on a career in the corporate technology arena and the raising of her two daughters.

Thirty years later she is sharing her voice as a spoken word artist, “little pi,” throughout the region and working on her debut chapbook. She is the current secretary for the Maryland Writers’ Association. You can follow and or read more on her blog at

We’re very grateful she’s willing to answer a few questions for us.

Q: What’s the mission of the Maryland Writers’ Association?

The Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the art, business, and craft of writing in all its forms. We work to support aspiring, emerging, and established writers of all genres and disciplines. We hope to serve as an information and networking resource for members throughout the state to reach their full writing potential including publication. Please see our website for more details on the service’s membership provides.

Q: What’s the role of the different county chapters?

The county chapters are created to allow writers from a geographical area to network and support each other through monthly meetings, readings, and local chapter events. Any member of MWA can attend any chapter meeting. Often meetings cover genre specific topics; thus, members may travel between meetings to learn and share writing experiences or opportunities.

Q: How did you get involved with the MWA?

I have been writing poetry for a long time. A few years back I shared some of my work with a dear friend who was a MWA member. As I began to look to further develop my spoken word talent, my friend suggested I seek out the Howard County chapter of MWA. After attending a few meetings I joined. The professionalism of the members and the depth of the presentations were wonderful. Members were serious in their writing but not stodgy. It was a good fit and put me back in to the world of journalism I left a few years after college graduation.

Q: I notice that the MWA’s annual conference is coming up in March. As a writer, why might that be something for me to think about?

The annual conference is always loaded with wonderful learning and networking opportunities. The presenters are leaders in their genre area, and the ability to sit in a relatively small group session with a successful published author and receive specific feedback is not easily accessible. Additionally, having the opportunity to meet agents and publishers face to face at lunch or a Pitch or Critique session can be invaluable to a writer no matter where they are in their writing career.

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