From the President’s Desk – Memorable Moments from the CWCL

The 2013 Catholic Writers Conference Live is over and those of us who attended have been re-energized with new ideas from the varied and inspiring presenters and panel members. This year’s conference was a great success with over 100 attendees and many volunteers. Special thanks to Ann Lewis, Conference Coordinator, who did an outstanding job! Also thank you to Rebecca Willen, Ann’s assistant, who in Ann’s words, “was absolutely terrific…and the best minion ever!” And to my assistant, AnnMarie Creedon, for making my job a little easier!

Four of the five board members were present at the conference L to R: Ellen Gable Hrkach, Ann Margaret Lewis, Jennifer Fitz, Karina Fabian

I enjoyed being physically present and socializing with the other board members. While we speak frequently over the phone, we only have an opportunity to see each other once or twice a year.

Interestingly, I experienced at least one awkward moment during this year’s event. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m short (several inches under five feet). Just before I was called to come forward to present the CALA awards at the CMN breakfast, I realized the podium was kind of high and without much time to consider the possibilities, Alan Napleton introduced me. I walked onto the stage and over to the podium and was relieved that it wasn’t as high as I thought, until I realized that I could not reach the high microphone. There was chuckling from the audience, but quick thinking from the CMN audio professionals soon produced a cordless microphone and the program continued without incident (congratulations to Carol Grund and Ruth Apollonia, this year’s winners).

The delightful Mother Dolores Hart

My favorite moments from the conference/trade show included listening to the delightful Mother Dolores Hart, hearing Fr. Don Calloway’s inspiring talk on Mary and Fr. Mike Gaitley’s enthusiastic presentation on the newly restored image of the Divine Mercy. I also enjoyed eating scrumptious tomato pie (courtesy of author Erin McCole Cupp), watching and taking part in the CWG Booth EWTN interviews, being interviewed on EWTN Live radio, posing with the “Pope,” meeting a few longtime online friends in person (like Catholic Fire’s Jean Heimann), the Author Reception… and working with the most caring and energetic group of Guild volunteers…ever! Thank you, volunteers, and volunteer coordinator, Margaret Realy! (By the way, so many members asked me how to pronounce my last name that I have included an easy phonetic guide below.)

Erin McCole Cupp giving out delicious tomato pie

EWTN Bookmark interviews at the CWG Booth

The 2014 Trade Show and conference will be held July 29-August 1 in the Chicago area. If you need any more incentives to come, please read Karina’s article here!

One last important thank you goes to my husband, James, photographer extraordinaire, whose photos can be seen on the Guild Facebook page.

And…don’t forget about our Catholic Writers Retreat which will take place in Michigan this October. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me: president(at)

God bless,

Ellen Gable Hrkach (pronounced her-cash, as in my money)
President, CWG

About Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ellen Gable Hrkach is an award-winning, Amazon bestselling author. Her five books have been downloaded over 620,000 times on Kindle. Currently, she works as the Marketing Director for Live the Fast, a non-profit Roman Catholic apostolate based in Boston. She does freelance writing and editing for a variety of other websites, she blogs at "Plot Line & Sinker" and is also self-publishing book consultant and a publisher. She and her husband are the parents of five sons ages 16 to 28 and live in Pakenham, Ontario. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing board games with her family, watching classic movies on TCM and reading on her Kindle.
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2 Responses to From the President’s Desk – Memorable Moments from the CWCL

  1. Laura Pearl says:

    Hi Ellen,

    Thank you so much for encouraging me to attend the CWG conference. It was wonderful to meet you, finally–along with many other Catholic writers. In general, it was a fantastic experience for me.

    Do you happen to know when the “Bookmark” episode will air?

    I hope to see you again…maybe at the next conference?

    • Hello Laura! It was wonderful meeting you a well! I’m not sure when the Bookmark episode will air, but when EWTN lets us know, we will pass that information on to all the authors that took part in the CWG Booth interviews. (And the next conference is in Chicago, so it would be great to see you there!)