A Bright New Year

 

Red colorful fireworks on the black sky background (dollarphoto.com}

Red colorful fireworks on the black sky background (dollarphoto.com}

by Nancy Ward, Coordinator of Committees

We begin a bright New Year by celebrating our outstanding committee chairs and committee members who serve us so well! Here’s what’s going on:

Blog: Kathryn Cunningham and Dennis McGeehan –  Dennis reports that the CWG Blog is humming along smoothly. During the holidays and some life issues, a couple of bloggers and blog editors were not always available for their usual contributions. Updates have been made on the CWG Editor and Proofreader spreadsheet as requested by members. It has been suggested that all SOA titles for all years be available on one page for the convenience of bookstore owners. I think this is a great idea and could be a copy and paste type work onto another webpage. We are interested in what others feel about this.

Catholic Book News: Dawn Witzke – The December issue of the Catholic Book News went out December 21 and featured Stay with Me by Carolyn Astfalk and 8 Notes to a Nobody by Cynthia T. Toney. Over the past couple months, I have cleaned up the email lists. We had about 200 emails that regularly bounced. Of the remaining, we still only have about a 25% open rate. I am looking for ways to get that number up. Any help would be appreciated.

CALA (Catholic Arts and Letters Award): Carol Ann Chybowski – CALA is going well from the invitation standpoint. Five of the six judges have agreed to judge again, with one needing to wait until mid-January to confirm. Our two volunteers, Cheryl and Elaine did a wonderful job inviting the eligible authors and fielding their questions. Inviting authors directly caused minor confusion because the 2013 blanket call for entries still is on the main website, but we were able to sort that out with those who inquired. We are resting now until it is time to help with publicity.

CWCO: Ann Lewis, Karina Fabian and Laura Lowder – We had a brief pause in the CWCO while I tried to find better webinar software, but it looks like AnyMeeting is the best for what we want. We’ll be planning a big campaign in Jan and in Feb to get attendees.

CWCL – Ann Lewis and Ellen Hrkach –  planning begins soon for our Live Conference in Chicago, July 27-29.

Facebook- Karina Fabian –  Karina is back from her sabbatical!

Membership: Maureen Smith –  Membership is going well; we had quite a few new members in the last months with 4 in October, 5 in November, and 1 in December.

Newsletter: Barb Szyszkiewicz –  Our newsletter for December is coming soon!

Retreat: Ann Lewis and Margaret Rose Realy –  Retreat was a huge success!

SOA: Erin Cupp –  The SOA Committee will be taking a hiatus from evaluating for the First quarter of 2016. We are working on preparing new, more convenient training modules for our evaluators. We are in need of the following:

  • Forms and Entry Coordinator: This requires familiarity with Google Docs and Google Forms. Time commitment is about 2-5 hours spread out over the beginning of each quarter, with the quarter’s workload usually wrapping up three weeks into the quarter. At this time we thank Laura Nelson for having served in this position in years past, and we wish Laura all good in her latest endeavors!
  • Evaluator Training Coordinator: Help design training modules; connect with evaluators on how and when to complete training; make sure evaluators have completed training before they receive books to evaluate; recruit new evaluators. This is a new position, so we don’t have a time commitment yet. Please contact the committee at soa@catholicwritersguild.com for more information.

Last but not least, we welcome K. Ann Seeton as our new hard copy coordinator; Ann’s job will go a long way towards improving evaluator anonymity. Many thanks to the 2015 SOA Committee members who helped me take on the committee chair position: past-president Ellen Gable, author coordinator Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, evaluator coordinator Carolyn Astfalk, and awarding coordinator Jennifer Gladen.

Speakers Bureau – Dennis McGeehan – names added to Speakers Bureau as requested.

Volunteer Committee: Nichole Latif –  See Catholic Book News and SOA needs

Zenit – Dennis McGeehan – Michael Seagriff and I continue to choose posts from the CWG Blog for submission to Zenit. December’s offerings were two book reviews and two essays culled from our blog.

CWG Fiction Critique Group – Contact Don Mulcare.

CWG Non-Fiction Critique Group  — Contact Nancy Ward or Connie Rossini.

For other concerns and suggestions about our fabulous committees, contact Nancy Ward, Coordinator of Committees.

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