Momentum from CWCLive

2016-07-28 CWCL CMom breakfast

Photo copyright 2016 Nancy Ward. All rights reserved.

As I happily recover from all the excitement of the Catholic Writers Conference Live, I think about those three days and all the hard work that the committees put in to make it such a glorious time for everyone who attended. And what fun we had! A big shout-out to Ann Lewis and Ellen Gable Hrkach who managed all the changes, logistic and people problems, and speakers so gracefully so that we could all enjoy the conference.

The exhilaration continues with news from our committee chairs:

Blog: Kathryn Cunningham and Dennis McGeehanWe still have a few spots open for guest bloggers. By the way, the blog of the day is featured on the home page of our new website, making it even easier to find these excellent posts. If you are a regular blogger, please let Kathryn, Dennis and your editor know when you need to delay your post. Editors need a couple of days to review your post before it goes live.

Book News: Dawn Witzke – Featured in July two religious fiction books. I am Margaret for Young Adults by Corinna Turner and Sisters of the Last Straw Series, three mysteries for children by Karen Kelly Boyce.

CALA (Catholic Arts and Letters Award): Carol Ann Chybowski – It is with great excitement that the Catholic Writers Guild congratulates our finalists for the 2016 Catholic Arts and Letters Award for Fiction! We want to thank all of you who entered the contest. Our judges had many terrific things to say about all the entries this year. The quality was remarkable, and we truly appreciate your dedication to Catholic fiction.

Our finalists in the category of Adult Fiction are:
The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt – WINNER!
Catholic Philosopher Chick #2 by Rebecca Weiss and Regina Doman
The Watson Chronicles by Ann Margaret Lewis

Our finalists in the category of YA/Children are:
A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer- WINNER!
The Tree of Healing by Diana Tabba
I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner

The winners of the CALA, Dena Hunt and Amanda Lauer, were announced July 28th at the Thursday morning breakfast sponsored by CMN at the CMN Trade Show in Schaumburg, Illinois. It was wild!

Facebook: Karina FabianThis private Facebook group is where all the interaction takes place almost hourly. Karina keeps it interesting with theme days. Lots of prayer requests here, but keep it down on the shameless self-promoting.

FB Volunteers Group: Dawn Witzke is the admin for this group. This is a group for CWG members to offer help, give help, get help, find where help is needed. We are a guild, so we give our time and talents for our mission, to promote and educate Catholic writers and Catholic writing. If you are curious and want to know more about how the committees work and what’s available that you are interested in doing, check out this new private group and request to join.

It’s that simple. It’s a great way to network and get to know the committee teams. For example, if you can read one book once a quarter, please consider becoming a SoA evaluator so that more authors can get the Seal of Approval that indicates quality and Catholic values.

Newsletter: Cesar Chacon – We welcome Cesar as our new Newsletter Committee Chair. Cesar, whose pen name is Christopher Roman, will have the first issue of Quill and Cross in a new format coming later this month. Welcome, Cesar!

Zenit: Dennis McGeehan – Two essays and one book review were submitted to for consideration:

Shelter by Kathryn Cunningham
Saved by the Mercy of a Stranger by Judy Klein
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, reviewed by Don Mulcare.

All three of these are outstanding reads by inspiring CWG writers.
Winners will be announced on our CWG private Facebook page.

SoA: Ellen Gable Hrkach, Interim Chair  – The Seal of Approval evaluators are busy reading and evaluating 13 books. Because we need more readers to evaluate the books, the submission period is usually only one day, in fact, we reach our limit in only a few hours. We continue to look for more evaluators, especially now that we have an online training module.

Also, we have moved up the deadline for evaluators to finish reading books; the deadline is now August 5, so that letters can go out in late August. That way, we have one quarter finished before the next quarter opens. (Previously, we were still finishing the July books when we begin another quarter in September).

One other thing has changed. SoA evaluators will only be reading ebooks from now on. Anonymity is crucial. It is too expensive and challenging to send hard copies without the authors knowing who is evaluating their books.

Speakers Bureau/Education Committee: Dennis McGeehan  – If you are new to CWG, we want you to know that we have a database of members who are available to give talks on a variety of topics. The link for the Speakers Bureau is under the Showcase tab on the new website.

For a complete list of CWG committees and how to contact the chairs, check out What’s Your Talent. You can contact me at

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