American Night Writers Association (ANWA, pronounced "ann-wah") is a unique network for LDS* women interested in writing. It was organized in Arizona by Marsha Ward in October, 1986. The purpose of our Association is to encourage, assist, and motivate members to write, and if they desire, to publish their work. LDS women writers, from beginners to published authors, are invited to join.
ANWA was created out of the founder's search for a compatable group where she could find help with her writing. She attended many other writing organizations, both large and small. Some of her experiences were comfortable, but she soon outgrew the other members' abilities to teach her. In several instances, the topics and tone of work shared offended her religious values and world view. A couple of encounters were just plain bizarre!
A few years passed before Marsha realized that what she was looking for didn't exist. During this time, she collected the names of five other LDS women who were interested in writing. She spent hours on the phone, talking to them individually about writing. One day, she felt inspired that they needed to meet together. They gathered in a small conference room in the basement of the old Gilbert Public Library, six strangers. When they left two hours later, they were sisters. Of those charter members, three are still active in what eventually became ANWA: Marsha Ward, Sarah Hinze, and Peggy Shumway.
ANWA is exclusively for LDS women writers. Experience has shown that men and those not of the LDS faith do not integrate well into our membership. We've tried it. It doesn't work. Not for them. Not for us. Don't ask to change our core structure and purpose as a safe haven where LDS women writers can grow.
To learn more about ANWA, visit the website here.
* LDS refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.