Click here for Facebook
Click here for Twitter
E-mail Morris at
Morris Workman is an award-winning
writer, journalist, columnist, and editor living in Mesquite, Nevada. The
co-founder and former editor of the Mesquite Local News newspaper and
daily news site recently published his first novel,
Howl of a
Thousand Winds, which is now available at Amazon.com, Barnes and
Noble, Books-A-Million, Abe Books, and Tower Books.
First secret: Morris is a junior, as in Morris Workman, Jr. He was born to
the original, Morris Workman, and Lareine Conner Workman on July 29, 1961
in Havre de Grace, Maryland, where he attended school at institutions
bearing such innovative and creative names as Havre de Grace Elementary
School, Havre de Grace Middle School, and Havre de Grace Senior High
He first discovered a love for writing all the way back in fifth grade,
thanks to an innovative teaching gadget called the "Magic Pencil"
introduced by his teacher, Mrs. Gross. It's a safe bet that Mrs. Gross had
a first name, but back in the 1960's, teachers were barely acknowledged as
human beings, much less permitted to admit first names. The Magic Pencil
was a tube made up of empty toilet paper rolls taped together and covered
with construction paper. Inside, Mrs. Gross would put slips of paper with
story ideas like "how the giraffe's neck got so long." She was obviously a
fan of Tom Sawyer and the famous scene where Tom convinced all the other
kids that painting a fence was a privilege and not a chore, because she
used the Magic Pencil as a reward. If a student finished his or her
classwork early, the student could pull a slip from the Magic Pencil and
write a story about it. The fun of creating stories combined with the
accolades bestowed by the huge-hearted teacher led Morris to finish his
work at the speed of light in order to have a crack at the latest story.
In middle school, a seventh grade literature teacher named Tom Szerentsits
(by the early 70's, teachers had evolved to having first names and
unpronounceable last names) started or ended every class with time for
students to write in their journals. It could be about anything.
Eventually, Workman started writing a novel about machines suddenly
becoming aware and beginning to attack humans. One of the most graphic
scenes involved Disney World, where the Space Mountain ride intentionally
came off its tracks and crashed into the crowd below, killing the riders
and the patrons in line. That was long before the Terminator series hit
movie screens, and before Stephen King penned "Maximum Overdrive" based on
similar premises. Unfortunately, like a lot of 12 year olds, Workman was
prone to losing homework, and that first 90-page novel is long since lost.
In high school, Workman became a devotee of Dr. Gladys Allison, an 11th
grade English teacher who intimidated and terrified most students walking
the halls of HHS, but for some reason had a soft spot for the chubby kid
who played football, worked at the local radio station, and wrote short
stories in his spare time. In his senior year, Mrs. Allison entered
several of his works in a local art show, where one of his short stories
won first place in the writing category, and one of his essays won Best of
Show. Fortunately, his position as a football player kept him from getting
beat up daily. As the department head, Mrs. Allison also selected him for
the Quill and Scroll award upon graduation.
As a senior, Workman decided to forego playing football and began working
for WASA-AM radio, where he worked as the play-by-play announcer for local
high school football and basketball games, and co-hosted a weekly Saturday
morning radio show called High School Highlights with Mike Rueffy.
Becoming A Writer
After high school, rent, marriage, car payments, and other of life's
distractions knocked Workman off the writing path as he worked a variety
of jobs, including a stint in a factory making floor buffers, a job as a
manager in a beer and wine store, a furniture salesman for Montgomery
Ward, and eventually into the insurance business.
In 1986, he moved to Florida, where he continued in the insurance
business. Around 1992, he started a computer consulting company, a
business which he grew until 2001. That year, his wife uttered a
four-letter word with which Workman was unfamiliar: Utah. Suffering from a
brief bout of lunacy, he and his wife Coni moved their family to St.
Back in the insurance business, Workman saw an ad in The Spectrum, the
local daily newspaper, seeking columnists in 2002. It was a non-paying
gig, writing a monthly column, but it was a chance to write something
other than interoffice memos, so he jumped on the opportunity. After being
selected along with 19 others out of a pool of more than 100 who sought
the position, he started writing monthly columns which appeared on the
Spectrum's editorial page.
In 2004, the newspaper ran another ad - this time for a sports writer at
one of The Spectrum's weekly newspapers in Mesquite, Nevada. After
encouragement from his wife and family, Workman made the decision, took a
50 percent pay cut, and began writing for the Desert Valley Times. During
that time, he began a weekly humor and opinion column called The Workman
Mesquite Local News
During that time, he had put his broadcasting skills to work by joining
with Cindi Delaney and Sue Hurley to create RadioMesquite, a non-profit
internet radio station. They didn't mean for it to be a non-profit
endeavor, but you know how it goes.
After leaving the DVT, Workman, Delaney, and Hurley created
MesquiteLocalNews.com, a daily internet newspaper. As editor, Workman had
the freedom to go after the hard stories, exposing local corruption and
writing hard-hitting articles about things which had previously been
hidden or covered up in the tourist town. The effort won him both fans and
enemies. In September of 2006, the trio took the online venture into
print, producing the Mesquite Local News newspaper which published and
distributed on Thursdays. In October of that year, a disgruntled football
player tore up his lawn with his car. Workman considered it a badge
In 2007, Workman, Delaney, Hurley, and Kip Kuroski created Mesquite
Lifestyle Magazine, the town's first independent magazine, which they sold
to Kuroski in late 2007. Workman, Delaney, and Hurley also ran the Lincoln
County Record newspaper for the first few months of 2007 under a
In 2007, Mesquite Local News won its first awards from the Nevada Press
Association, including the coveted Freedom of the Press award for
editorial writing. Workman also won first place for Best Editorial
Writing, and Best Sports Feature, along with several other second and
third place awards. Rumors that there were only two or three entries for
those categories have never been proven.
In 2008, Workman was awarded first place for Best Local Column from the
NPA for his Workman Chronicles, which he had continued writing and
publishing after leaving the DVT. He also won first place for Best Local
Sports Story and Best Local Sports Feature. His wife, who worked as a
cartoonist for Mesquite Local News, won first place for Best Illustration.
Also, in the first year the category was offered by the NPA, Mesquite
Local News won first place for Best Newspaper Website.
In 2009, the paper repeated as Best Newspaper Website, and won first place
for Best Page One Design. Workman took top honors for Critical Writing,
Business News Coverage, and Best Spot News Photo Coverage.
In 2010, Workman again took first place for Best Editorial Writing and
Best Local Column, along with a first place award for Best Investigative
In 2011, he won seven NPA awards, including the prestigious Freedom of the
Press award for the second time. He also repeated first place wins for
Best Local Column and Best Editorial Writing.
In late 2007, Workman and Delaney bought out partner Sue Hurley's interest
in Mesquite Local News. In 2009, with the economy circling the drain and
other newspapers across the country investing in "going out of business"
signs, Workman and Delaney sold Mesquite Local News to Stephens Media, the
company which owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal as well as a number of
other smaller weekly newspaper around the state and country. As part of the agreement,
Workman was required to remain as the editor of the paper for another two
In June of 2011, after numerous battles with management over content and
the direction of the newspaper, Workman's contract was not renewed and he
was released as editor of Mesquite Local News. He didn't cry.
Since seventh grade, Workman has wanted to be a novelist. Now free to
pursue that dream, his debut horror novel Howl of a Thousand Winds
has been published by Sunbury Press. It's a ghostly story of a
mother's love and a murderous creature that comes with the winter storms
to cause death and destruction. It was number one on Sunbury's
Bestseller List in April and May.
He is also working on two other novels, as well as a collection of 10
short horror stories entitled "Tenz To Scream." Workman is also
co-authoring a non-fiction book on negotiating and deal-making.
In addition, Workman plans to market a compilation of previous Workman
Chronicles columns to a regional publisher in hopes of having the book
available for purchase in 2012.
Workman also continues to write his weekly humor column online at
www.morrisworkman.com, rebranded as the Workman Chronicle. It also
appears every Wednesday in the Mesquite Citizen Journal online newspaper.
He also writes a
weekly editorial blog on local issues called Mesquedia, along with several
other humor and issues blogs.
Workman is overweight, balding, and married, but still manages to be
happy living in Mesquite, NV. His mother also says she loves him. His
wife's cat issued a "no comment."