Years ago, when I first began writing fiction, I joined a local secular writers group. However, I soon felt like a fish out of water. No one in the group was even Christian, let alone Catholic. They were nice, but I didn’t feel a connection. When I joined the Catholic Writers Guild at the suggestion of my friend, Lisa, I soon realized that it was the best thing I ever did, not only to become a better writer, but to become a better Catholic.
One of the most valuable ways to network with fellow Catholic writers is to attend the annual CWCL conference. A few weeks ago, at the Catholic Writers Conference Live/Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show/Catholic New Media Conference in Arlington, Texas, attendees had the incredible opportunity to meet many like-minded Catholics and Catholic writers in particular. Jennifer Fitz shared some of the events from the conference a few weeks ago when she was blogging live.
For me, it was an overwhelming and enjoyable experience, although it was also exhausting as I’m sure Ann Lewis, (President and organizer of the Conference) as well as Margaret Realy (Volunteer Coordinator) would agree. There were opportunities for book signings at the booth. Some CWG members had a unique opportunity to be interviewed by Doug Keck from EWTN’s Bookmark. At the Conference breakfast on Thursday morning, Doug was given an honorary CALA award for his support of Catholic writers.
New friendships were made and long-time friendships were solidified. Volunteers came forward to help out. Ann, Margaret and I are extremely grateful for their assistance.
On Thursday morning, authors seeking publication had the opportunity to pitch their book ideas to several publishers.
CWCL participants listened to great talks by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, Teresa Tomeo and Gail Coniglio, Sarah Reinhard, Michael Russell, Patti Armstrong, Ann Lewis, myself and several others.
At the sponsored meals, we heard talks from Fr. Michael Gaitley, singer Collin Raye and Dr. John Bergsma. There were also presentations by Immaculee and Jeff Cavins. Author book signings for well-known authors as well as not-so-well known authors happened hourly during the Trade Show. Many of us attended the screening of the new St. Augustine movie, Restless Heart.
If you’re looking to network with other Catholic writers, there’s no better way than to attend our annual conference. Needless to say, I had a great time and I highly recommend attending next year!
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach