Please join us at the Rocky Mountain MWA monthly meeting, which will be held via Zoom on January 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. Members will receive the link and password by email, groups.io, and our newsletter. Non-members may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
Watching the (Legal) Detectives
Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman, a married private eye team, have been “legal investigators” (working exclusively with law firms) for over two decades. Their presentation will cover criminal cases from misdemeanor to murder, as well as civil cases such as personal injury, auto accidents, and premise liability. They’ll discuss the inner-workings of high-stakes homicide cases, finding people who don’t want to be found, interviewing difficult witnesses, premise liability cases, and more. They have taught courses on private investigations to regional and national writers organizations, as well as co-authored several nonfiction books on legal investigations.
Colleen Collins sold her first novel in 1996, and has since had 30 more books published in the romance, mystery, and nonfiction genres. Her noir short story “Look Your Last” is in the September 2020 anthology Coast to Coast Noir published by Down & Out Books.
Shaun Kaufman is a retired trial attorney with nearly four decades experience in criminal justice. He’s the co-author of How to Write a Dick and A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers: from Crimes to Courtrooms. He’s learned that one’s case is only as good as the evidence a PI gathers.
6:30-7:00 Announcements, Introductions, and News
7:00-7:15 Mystery Minute by ZJ Czupor
7:15-8:15 or so: Program featuring our guest speaker
After Party: Stay after the program to mingle and visit.
The winners of the 2020 RMMWA 6-Word Mystery Contest have been revealed!
Entrants submitted brief tales in five different categories. Finalists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, and winners by a vote of the RMMWA chapter membership.
Smooth talking lothario found tongue tied.
by Sue Hinkin
Read on for the finalists and winners in each category:
Enter here starting September 15th
Writers who can boil down a mystery into a half-dozen words are encouraged to enter the fourth annual Six-Word Mystery Contest sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA).
The contest opens September 15, 2020, when instructions and entry forms will be posted here at RMMWA.org. Entries must be received by midnight, Oct. 31, 2020. Six-word “whodunits” can be entered in one or all five of the following categories: Hard Boiled or Noir; Cozy Mystery; Thriller Mystery; Police Procedural Mystery; and/or a mystery with Romance or Lust. The Six-Word Mystery Contest is open to all adults 18 and over. No residency requirements.
Award-winning author and RMMWA Chapter President Margaret Mizushima said, “This is a fun way to boil down your intriguing mystery in six words and be judged by professional writers and agents. Writers from across the nation and Australia have entered our previous contests. We’re excited to see what creative entries we receive this year.”
News and Notes
by Sue Hinkin
In a solitary endeavor such as fiction writing, the importance of involving oneself with fellow travelers in a writer’s community like RMMWA helps keep you motivated, provides inspiration, affords the opportunity to improve your knowledge base though informative presentations and networking with experts in the field, helps the writer understand trends in the publishing industry and demystifies the dynamic world of author marketing. And the most important aspect of membership in RMMWA is that I’ve become a better writer, a published author, who’s even won a few awards. None of this would have happened without the encouragement and support from this amazing group of storytellers and truly stellar people whom I now count as friends. read more…
by ZJ Czupor
Don’t Gobblefunk Around With Words
Children who grew up on this author’s books continue to visit his grave in England and in a show of respect leave toys and flowers. When he died, he was mourned the world over. He was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, medical inventor, and ace fighter pilot. His writing blended fantasy, humor, horror, heroism, and folklore into books that enchanted his readers.
He was a master of inventing new words, which sounded like gibberish but made perfect sense. In the children’s novel, BFG (1982), short for “big friendly giant,” he wrote, “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
Perhaps his most popular invented word is “Scrumdiddlyumptious,” which is still delicious to hear.
A personal tragedy in 1960 prompted him to invent a catheter which treats hydrocephalus in young children. The idea came to him after his 4-month-old son was struck by a taxicab in New York City. The accident left his son brain damaged. But the invention, named the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, helped save the sight of 3,000 children around the world.
I think this a good time to ask, why am I reading about a children’s author when this space is for mystery writers? Fair question. Because Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was also a British spy which set in motion his career as a writer, and furthermore, his mysteries earned him three awards from Mystery Writers of America. read more…