Winning Veteran Writing Awards in 2019

I am happy to close out the year announcing two prestigious military and veteran writing award winnings in 2019. The Military Writer’s Society of America presented me the President’s Award for exceptionally meritorious contributions to the organization at its annual membership conference in Albuquerque, NM. And in December at the Kentucky Horse Park, the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival awarded my latest book, Believing In Horses, Too, its Winnie Award for Best Veteran Fiction.

President of the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Bob Doerr wrote to me, “Winning the President’s Award requires a lot from a member. It requires dedication, initiative, and hard work. As you know, winning awards is great, but our organization’s primary goal is to be of some benefit to our veterans and their families. I know that is also something close to your heart.

I have volunteered with MWSA since 2013, helping lead veteran writing workshops, assisting with conference planning, and serving as a book awards judge. I also spearheaded MWSA’s Ambassador Program to expand veteran writing workshops from a small cadre to a group of volunteers across the country conducting free veteran writing workshops in their regions.

Regarding the Winnie Award for Best Veteran Fiction, the award means so much to me because the EQUUS Literary Awards recognized my book for its support for veterans and their families. Our military, veterans, and their families often face situations people are unaware of. I had hoped to bring that aspect of military life out through this story.

As a 25-year Navy veteran, the spouse of a veteran, and the daughter of a veteran, I used my experiences to write the fictional Believing In Horses, Too. The book tells a story about a young girl in a military family who matures through her experiences with horses, people, and equine therapy.

Thank you to MWSA and the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival for your valuable support and recognition this year. And a happy “cheers” to all in 2020!

Leadership – General Colin Powell’s Rules

           I recently spoke to a class of graduating seniors at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland about being a consultant. The instructor said, “It would be nice if you could speak for a few minutes on leadership, too.” [Read more…]

Veteran Writing Services Celebrates Five Years in Business!

Who would have known that the first scribblings of a horse book would turn into Veteran Writing Services, now a a successful company for five years?

As crazy as it sounds, I woke up one night in October 2009 with an idea for a book sparked by an idea from a friend. My supportive husband understood, and I went to the living room and took down notes until early in the morning for what became the outline of my first book, Believing In Horses. I also fortunately had former bosses [Read more…]

Carly Kade Creative


I had a chance to visit in person with Carly Kade during the American Horse Publications 2018 Conference, and I don’t think I know of anyone with a more appropriate business name than “Carly Kade Creative.” She does it all – writes, creates videos, does graphic design, takes photographs, and has amazing marketing talent.

I first met Carly virtually when I featured her post on book reviews, which then led me to learn more about her award-winning equine romance novels. Here is my review of her first book, In the Reins. [Read more…]

Creating and Managing Successful Internships

Maryland Horse Council Intern Holden Rafey interviewing Olympian Joe Fargis (photo courtesy of Holden Rafey)

I landed my first professional job at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Md., after serving as an intern while a student at Towson University. At 21-years-old, I became the station’s assistant Public Relations Officer with real duties and responsibilities and had the opportunity to work with industry icons like Oprah Winfrey. I owe that job and experience to my supervisor during my internship, Joyce Kashima. [Read more…]

Military Writers – Julia Maki

As I head off to the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Conference, it seems a good time to recognize military writers.
On September 7, I have the privilege of joining award-winning authors Jack Woodville London and Don Helin to conduct the “Writing Your Story” one-day workshop at the Audie Murphy Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center in San Antonio, Texas. [Read more…]