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!
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).
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.)
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)catholicwritersguild.com
Ellen Gable Hrkach (pronounced her-cash, as in my money)