So You Want to Be a Writer… You Should Attend the Catholic Writers Conference This Summer!

So You Want to Be a Writer… You Should Attend the Catholic Writers Conference This Summer! June 26, 2014

Secretly, you’re a writer.

  • You bury yourself in historical novels, and you think, “Someday I’d like to write like that!”   or…
  • You love a good mystery, and you daydream about complex and unexpected plotlines;  or…
  • You have a remarkable personal story of your own conversion, your mother’s love even through the long, lingering goodbye of Alzheimer’s, your family’s unorthodox vacation memories;  or…
  • You have been successful in creating a small home-based business, and you think other families could benefit from your experiences, your successes and your failures…

Then you should attend the Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE this summer!

I remember the first time I attended a CWG conference:  There, in person, were the popular Catholic writers whose books lined my shelves–and they were offering tips on working through a roadblock and approaching a publisher, sharing their own faith stories, teaching us how to maximize our use of social media.  There were panel discussions with editors and publishers, and pitch sessions for those who hoped to sell their manuscript.  And the fellowship!  The great interaction with other writers and soon-to-be writers over lunch!  The great liturgies!  The excitement of the exhibit hall, where the Catholic Marketing Network’s annual retailer trade show had assembled so many Catholic publishers and artisans and media outlets, all in one place!

This year’s CWG conference will be focused on “Perseverance.”  How do you continue to write your faith through the tough times? How do you run that race as our Lord asks?  The conference allows you to connect personally with Catholic publishers and retailers, to learn more about the art, show your work, learn the craft and network.  You’ll enjoy:

•workshops on marketing and writing
•presentations on marketing and selling your work
•in-person pitch sessions
•group critique sessions
•national CWG Members meeting (guests welcome, of course)

The Catholic Writers Conference will be July 30-August 1, 2014 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel in Chicago, in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show. 

Speakers at this year’s conference will include Lisa Hendey (A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms), award-winning science fiction/fantasy author Gene Wolfe (The Book of the New Sun), inspirational speaker Lizzie Velasquez, Gary Zimak (From Fear to Faith), Claudia Volkman (editor, Servant Books), Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (EWTN, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers), Ellen Gable Hrkach (Stealing Jenny), blogger Rebecca Hamilton (Patheos’ “Public Catholic”), and many others.

I’ll be participating on a Bloggers’ Panel with some great Catholic bloggers you’re sure to recognize.

The conference will give authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Ave Maria Press, and Servant Books. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for fiction critique workshop with award-wining short fiction writer Arthur Powers, a non-fiction critique group with Nancy Cook Ward and attend a writing workshop with novelist John Desjarlais. Information for these events can be found on the conference website.

Registration costs $80 for CWG members, $85 for non-members and $45 for students. There’s also a discounted combined membership. To register or for more information, go to

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  • Nancy Ward

    I’m looking forward to meeting you and hearing you on the panel. My gig is non-fiction critique workshop on Friday morning. Fun!

    • kathyschiffer

      I look forward to meeting you, too, Nancy! I’ll be putting faces together with names of so many friends: You, Gary Zimak, Rebecca Hamilton…. What a great conference it will be!