Last Friday was my scheduled quarterly slot for writing a message from your Vice President, and for obvious reasons I opted to push out my post until a more suitable time. Happy Easter!
I want to open with a bit of good news from Leslie Lynch, whose professionalism sets the standard here on the blog. I’m truly blessed to be able to work with so many dedicated CWG members — at every turn I’m surprised by the talent and enthusiasm of the Catholic writers I’ve gotten to know over the last few years.
I just found out today that I finalled in the Romance Writers of America® and Golden Heart® Finalist contest for unpublished book-length manuscripts!!! This is the most prestigious contest (worldwide) for authors in the romance genre. The category I finalled in is Contemporary Single Title Romance. The winner will be announced at the RWA® national conference awards dinner in Atlanta on July 20. I am really excited and honored. For what it’s worth, I know that a lot of CWG folks look down their noses at romance in general, but I want to make it clear that mine is very clean (no bodice ripping and no gratuitous sex), although it doesn’t fall into the Inspirational category for a number of reasons.
Anyway, I just wanted to share!
I love the diversity of the writing in the Catholic Writers Guild. Our writers work in every genre, and I think that’s part of the genius of the CWG — even when we find ourselves groaning about so-and-so’s work in that genre we don’t love so much. (Personally I lean towards the lowbrow — the kitschier the better. Give me the Hardy Boys over Thomas Hardy any day. I’m sure my English 102 professor just cried to see me write that.)
When I’m reading for the Seal of Approval, I always volunteer for books that appeal to me, in genres I enjoy. I want to be sure I’m judging a book according to the standards of its genre, which means I need to know the genre well. That’s why we use multiple readers for each book, and have a generous appeals process — so no author is beholden to the tastes of any one reader.
What does a CWG Vice President do? Pray for the president, mostly. In a lot of ways the VP is the “spare officer,” and over the past few months, my focus has been mostly on continuing with managing the blog. It remains my goal to steadily improve the blog, and to that end I’m grateful for the members who’ve identified problems as they arise, as well as the volunteers who’ve stepped forward to help out at the blog.
In the next few months we’ll be rolling out a new website (same address, new platform). As we get the hang of the new site, one of my priorities will be on improving communication and community among members. There’s so much talent in the CWG, and too often it goes unknown and unnoticed. To that end, please participate in Charlotte Ostermann’s monthly blog round-up, a chance to share with others what you’ve been up to!
Representing the CWG
Later this month, I’ll get to represent the CWG at a small gathering of Catholic leaders seeking the on-going renewal and reform of the Church — exactly our mission here at the CWG. Question for you: As a group of Catholic writers faithful to the teachings of the Catholic faith, what is our part?
What is the one thing, or two things, the CWG should be doing most? Something we’re already doing? Something we need to start doing? Or do more? What’s your vision for the place of Catholic writers in evangelization — both inside the Church and beyond her walls? What part do you feel called to play, and what can the CWG do to help you play that part?