Apparently, my muse prefers to enjoy the outdoors and other adventures during the summer months and when it comes to writing,  I am rather at a loss for words (so to speak) during these busy days.  This is the time of year most writers start to question why they continue to work so hard because, in spite of the popular opinion that anyone can write a book…and they probably can…it’s hard work that takes up a huge chunk of your life, especially after marketing is added as a constant obligation.

I happen to be a Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association, joining PSWA Member graphic[1]back in 1994 when Roger Fulton founded it as The Police Writers Club.  This is a wonderful group of writers who are former or present law enforcement officers, firemen, medical first responders, dispatchers or those closely connected to those professions. Once a year, in July, they hold a conference at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas to socialize, confer on various topics and give awards for  the annual PSWA Writing Competition. Of course, not all of us can fly to Vegas and attend this wonderful event, but we can provide entries in the contest to be judged by our peers.  I have entered for the last four years and can tell you I never expect to win anything, but am always anxious to find out who did and what they won for.  So, as soon as the conference ends, we await the e-mail that reveals the winners.

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman with book bag given to Charter PSWA members.

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman with book bag given to Charter PSWA members.

This year, I am honored to have won two awards in the Creative Nontechnical Published category, giving me  nine (9) awards in the last four years. It’s always exhilarating to see your name on the list.  And that, my friends, is what keeps those of us who begin to drag our creative writing feet , hanging in there.  It inspires us to “keep on keepin’ on” to know that other writers and published authors think something  you created is good enough to be recognized in an honorable manner. In addition, awards are a real asset to use in your marketing. There are nine different categories in the competition and this year 27 awards were given to 23 writers. I have no clue as to how many entries were submitted.

To me, the most outstanding feature about the PSWA is, even though we compete with one another in this contest, nobody wants to see another lose and we are all happy when you win.  In addition, whenever you have a question about any subject whatsoever, you can put it on the list-serv and one or more people will give you help immediately. In today’s world, it is a rare attribute to see everyone wanting only the best for others and never, ever  diligently searching to find something, no matter how small or mundane, about which to point out a flaw. This makes me very proud to be listed among the members.

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman


About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief and first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
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10 Responses to WRITERS AND SUMMER

  1. So glad you keep on keepin’ on. Congratulations, again, Jackie!

    • jtzortman says:

      Thanks, Nancy. That gave me a smile. I picked that expression up from my hubby. 🙂 I’m having problems getting my blog to connect with Facebook and Linkedin. Hate it when that happens.

  2. Jud Taylor says:

    Jackie, I enjoyed your blog! I especially love “The Newest Angel” poem and even got misty eyed. It’s just beautiful. I believe It’s through writings such as that we get to know the “real” heart of the writer. Love you, Cuz

    • jtzortman says:

      Love you as well, Jud. It’s always good to hear that someone was moved by something I’ve written. I wrote that poem right after Mother died in 1994. I have an author friend who always tells me that I write from the heart. I try. Safe travels.

  3. marilynm says:

    Hope you can come to the conference one of these days–it’s my very favorite!

    • jtzortman says:

      Marilyn, My good intentions are always to come to the conference, but each year it seems life chooses to intervene. You know what they say about good intentions. July is a super busy month for us, so it’s not the most convenient time. However, I’d love to come and participate, so I shall pencil it in once more.

  4. Barbara Shepperson says:

    Just be sure to keep participating by entering even when you can’t physically be there so others can enjoy your wonderful writing.

  5. jtzortman says:

    Oh, I always do. The entries have to be in by May 1st, so it’s quite awhile before the actual conference.

  6. lynnhesse says:

    As a new member, it’s interesting to learn how PSWA started and wonderful to meet so many wonderful writers at the conference. Nice people. Thanks for the blog, Lynn

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