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The Serpentine Muse

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The Serpentine Muse
is a quarterly journal of ASH activities and (mostly) light-hearted Sherlockian and Victorian topics. Contents include event reports, short articles, toasts, contests, poetry, drawings, and photos of and by ASH members and others. It is not necessary to be a member of ASH to subscribe or contribute material for publication in the Muse.

The Muse is published in December, March, June, and September. Susan Diamond and Marilynne McKay have been co-editors since 1997. In 1998 they published their first special January edition to thank the past year's contributors. This summary edition is distributed at the Holmes Birthday festivities in New York (the BSI dinner and the Gaslight Gala) and there is a copy on the ASH website as well.

Muse volumes in review

Birthday edition 1998 -- A Review of Volume 13, 1997 

Birthday edition 1999 -- A Review of Volume 14, 1998

Birthday edition 2000 -- A Review of Volume 15, 1999

Birthday edition 2001 -- A Review of Volume 16, 2000

Birthday edition 2002 -- A Review of Volume 17, 2001

Birthday edition 2003 -- A Review of Volume 18, 2002

Birthday edition 2004 -- A Review of Volume 19, 2003

Birthday edition 2005 -- A Review of Volume 20, 2004

Birthday edition 2006 -- A Review of Volume 21, 2005

Birthday edition 2007 -- A Review of Volume 22, 2006

Birthday edition 2008 -- A Review of Volume 23, 2007



Serpentine Muse Awards

Each year there are two Serpentine Muse Awards: the Annual Birthday Challenge writing contest (which is presented in the January Birthday edition of the Muse and HERE on the website on January 7) and The Jan WHIMSEY Award [Whimsical Humour is My Speciality, Enjoy Yourself!]


(click on the year to see entries from the winners and runners-up)
1998  Susan Vizoskie

1999  Susan Vizoskie

2000  Sandy Kozinn

2001  Sandy Kozinn

2002  Laurie Fraser Manifold

2003  Warren Randall

2004  Trish Pearlman

2005  Laurie Fraser Manifold

2006  Jeffry Bradway

2007  Laurie Fraser Manifold

2008  Warren Randall


The Jan WHIMSEY Award [Whimsical Humour is My Speciality, Enjoy Yourself!] 

In 2007, Al Gregory, BSI, ASH, established The Jan WHIMSEY Award in memory of his wife, Jan Stauber, ASH. Each January the Muse author who has written the most whimsical piece published during the preceding Muse volume year (i.e., from the December to September issues) is announced and honored. The award, a handsome certificate and a check for $221.17, is presented at the William Gillette Luncheon and the winner's name is published in the special “Birthday Edition” of the Muse distributed during the birthday weekend in New York City.

To quote Al: “Articles are to be judged solely on the basis of whimsicality. Scholarship, erudition, logical argumentation, historical discoveries, clever puzzles, etc., are irrelevant. ASH-ness and BSI-ness are irrelevant.” All articles, verse, etc., appearing in the Muse will be eligible for the award except the entries in the annual Birthday Challenge. In addition to the Muse editorial staff of Susan Diamond, Evelyn Herzog, and Marilynne McKay, Jan’s dear friends Francine Kitts and Sue Vizoskie also serve as judges. Judges, of course, are not eligible to win. Many, many thanks go to Al for establishing and funding this award!


(click on the year to see the winning contribution)
2007  Regina Stinson

2008  Warren Randall

2009  Greg Darak

2010  Philip E. Shreffler


The Muse Poet Laureate

In December 2007,  the Muse editorial staff presented Adventuress Dorothy Belle Pollack with a special certificate commemorating her many years of contributions and declaring her “Poet Laureate” for the Muse. A Professor Emerita of Classics from Hunter College, our Poet Laureate has graced the inside front cover of the Muse for more than 25 years with poems and puzzles. We look forward to many more contributions from Dorothy Belle.


Subscriptions to The Serpentine Muse are $15 for 4 issues.
Send cheque (made out to “Evelyn A. Herzog”) to:

        Evelyn A. Herzog
        301 Warren Ave, #203
        Baltimore, MD 21230

Contributions for the Muse from ASH and non-ASH Sherlockians are welcome and may be sent to:

        Susan Z. Diamond
        Muse Contributions Editor
        16W603 3rd Ave.
        Bensenville, IL 60106-2327


Volume One, January 2004


"...Diamond and McKay have done an excellent job... if this compilation is anything to go by, [The Serpentine Muse] is clearly a most diverting and accessible journal. There is scholarship, there is poetry, there are whimsical lists... This is great fun!"

--Nicholas Utechin, The Sherlock Holmes Journal

Volume Two January 2005

“This second selection...  continues what its predecessor had begun. There are toasts, verse, and excellent scholarly essays, along with some pieces about the history of the Adventuresses. That makes it a fine companion to the 2004 BSJ Christmas Annual.”  --Steven Rothman, The Baker Street Journal





Please note that by entering Muse contests or submitting a paper, you give The Serpentine Muse permission to publish your work. The Serpentine Muse is copyrighted by the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, and written permission must be obtained for reproduction of an article in another publication or website.
Contact the Webmistress at mmckayATL@comcast.net