To the Awards Committee:
In constructing this portfolio, I will allow myself to be immodestly proud of the breadth of my creative work since my first published story in March, 2000, in Byline Literary Magazine, out of Oklahoma. In the two decades since, I have published sixty-nine short stories and essays in a wide variety of magazines, journals, and newspapers, from obscure lit mags to mass-circulation periodicals such as U.S. News & World Report, Real Simple Magazine, and the Baltimore Sun. Several of these short stories have been anthologized into larger works. Many of the essays are travel writing, a content area in which I have won several awards and routinely lecture. During this time, I have also published ten books with seven different publishers. These include two novels (with another forthcoming in 2021)—one of which was a middle grade novel inspired by my daughters and the girls soccer teams I have coached over the years—a biography of a 16th century conquistador (University of New Mexico Press), four guidebooks to Baltimore and Maryland, a collection of essays on shipwrecks, and another collection on vanished explorers. Additionally, I not only teach screenwriting, but write screenplays as well. I have won multiple competitions, fellowships, and scholarships for my scripts. I tend to be resistant to singing my own praises; talk of my publication record and awards makes me uncomfortable. But here, in applying for a Baker Award, I realize I need to sell myself and, yes, I am okay admitting on a computer screen that I am proud of the above.
Thank you for looking at my portfolio and projects.