Mystery Writers of America, Inc. (MWA) was established in 1945 by a dozen or so like-minded mystery writers for the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests and welfare of mystery writers and to increase the esteem and literary recognition given to the genre.

MWA is dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre. We provide scholarships for writers, sponsor MWA:Reads (our youth literacy program), sponsor symposia and conferences, present the Edgar® Awards, and conduct other activities to further a better appreciation and higher regard for crime writing.

MWA also works to educate writers and those who aspire to write regarding their rights and interests, and to make writers and readers aware of matters which may affect crime writing through legislation, publishing industry practices, judicial decisions, or in other ways.

The Southern California (SoCal) Chapter

The SoCal Chapter of MWA covers members in California and Nevada below the 36th parallel, as well as all of Arizona and Hawaii.

Chapter Services

  • Regular meetings at which members can network and enjoy the company of other writers.
  • The March of Crime, a monthly newsletter full of publishing industry and market info, member updates, and chapter news. Email us to submit material.
  • An online mailing list through which any MWA member with Internet access can ask questions and trade information with others on a daily basis. Past messages are archived, and the service also includes a calendar, shared files, and a list of Internet bookmarks.
  • A library of members’ works, housed at California State University, Long Beach. Any member may donate submit or produced work in for inclusion.

2024 SoCalMWA Board of Directors

President: Leslie S. Klinger
Secretary: Holly West
Treasurer: Sarah M. Chen

Board of Directors:

  • Fred Andersen
  • Ed Arno
  • Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Terri Nolan
  • Gary Phillips
  • Ona Russell
  • Jennifer Younger

Past Chapter President: Travis Richardson