Saturday, July 29, 2017

What do Catholic writers write?

Faith, fiction, memoir, devotional writing, all represented at our July 2017 meeting.

What do Catholic writers write? A better question might be, “What don’t Catholic writers write?” Not just the inspirational, devotional, or spiritual kinds of writing you might expect! Murder, anyone? How about close encounters with extra-terrestrials? Memoirs about demonic oppression or personal tragedy? Science, political philosophy, child-rearing, ethics. Children’s books, humorous short stories, tales of mystery, madness, and mayhem. You see, being a “Catholic writer” doesn’t necessarily mean writing “Catholic stuff” for Catholic readers; it often means writing about real, human problems that touch us all—but doing so from a perspective enlightened by the Catholic faith, telling tales of hope in a world that seems to grow more hopeless every day.

Look at those people in the photo above (taken at our July 2017 meeting), and you’ll see the whole gamut of Catholic writing represented, from faith to fiction. (Yours Truly, wielding the camera, writes both fiction and nonfiction.) Why not picture yourself, with your own blog, book, or article, in the gallery of Catholic writers? Join us at our next meeting, Tuesday, August 1, in far north Dallas, and share a bit of your own writing, offer helpful comments for other writers as they share their work for critique, or just gain a little inspiration. Find details of the meeting time and place here. We hope to see some new faces at our next meeting.

Elizabeth Scalia
You might also want to consider attending the Catholic Writers Retreat, Your Word is My Delight, sponsored by the Catholic Writers Guild, to be held this October 8–12, 2017, in central Michigan. (More info here.) Featured speaker will be Elizabeth Scalia, international speaker, award-winning Catholic columnist, and editor-in-chief  of the English edition of, an online Catholic lifestyle magazine publishing in seven languages. Register for the retreat here.

If you want to make sure you never miss a meeting, contact Nancy Ward  to get on the email list. You can also sign up to receive all blog posts by email. Just fill in the form in the left-hand sidebar.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Next meeting: July 11

You may have noticed that Independence Day falls on the first Tuesday of July this year. We don't want to make you choose between celebrating our national holiday and enjoying the camaraderie and critiquing skills of fellow writers, so this month we will meet on the second Tuesday, July 11. Not our usual day, but our usual time and place (Here are the details of time and place). Hope we see you there!

And don't forget, there's still time to register online for the annual Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference, held this year in Schaumburg, Illinois, July 19-21 -- a  great opportunity to meet and learn from other Catholic writers from around the country.

If you want to make sure you never miss a meeting, contact Nancy Ward  to get on the email list. You can also sign up to receive all blog posts by email -- just fill in the form in the right-hand sidebar.

Monday, May 1, 2017

You're Invited to the CWG Conference July 19-21

Although the weather in North Texas has been cool in recent days, the heat of summer is only a few weeks away. By mid-July, temperatures will be blistering — a good time to get away to a cooler northern clime. Fortunately, that is precisely when the Catholic Writers Guild will be hosting their annual conference, this year in Schaumburg, Illinois, the heart of "Chicagoland."

Meet & Learn from Other Catholic Writers

Whether you are a member of the Guild or not, consider yourself invited to the 2017 Catholic Writers Guild Conference Live, July 19-21. As usual, the Guild Conference is scheduled to coincide with the Catholic Marketing Network's annual trade show, which means that conference attendees not only get the chance to mix & mingle with other Catholic writers, and to learn the crafts of writing (and marketing their writing) but also to pitch directly to publishers' representatives. If you have a manuscript ready for a publisher, this is an ideal occasion.

Everyone attending the conference will also have access to the Catholic Marketing Network trade show floor, where you can meet publishers, vendors and book store owners. It’s a great place to network. CMN is offering several events to CWG Conference attendees as well, such as pilgrimages and meal events.

The cost of the conference is very modest — just $75 for members, $45 for students, and no cost at all for clergy, seminarians, or religious. If you'd like to attend, but are not yet a member, you can register for $107.50, which includes a year's membership in the Guild. All attendees can also enjoy discounted group rates on accommodation at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel for $149 a night (plus taxes and fees).

Find more information on the Conference here. Online registration is being handled by the Catholic Marketing Network. You can register online until July 14; after that date, you may simply register on-site at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel. The Catholic Writers Guild Conference truly is a unique week of writing, fellowship and faith — highly recommended.

DFW Catholic Writers Meet Monthly

Meanwhile, our local DFW Catholic Writers Group continues to meet on the first Tuesday of each month (find the details here) -- next meeting Tuesday, May 2. You need not be a member of the Catholic Writers Guild to attend. We hope to see you soon!

If you want to make sure you never miss a meeting, contact Nancy Ward  to get on the email list. You can also sign up to receive all blog posts by email. Just fill in the form in the right-hand sidebar.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Evening meetings at the University of Dallas

It's easy to lose creative steam during the grey, gloppy days of a Texas winter. But I always find my writer's enthusiasm recharged when I attend one of our evening meetings at the University of Dallas. That's because many of the writers at these meetings are UD undergraduates, whose enthusiasm and creativity are infectious. You can find out for yourself if you attend our next meeting this Tuesday, February 14.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: Write One Day at a Time

Happy New Year from Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers Group

The approach to New Year's Day sees a lot of people writing -- lists of resolutions for the new year, that is. Maybe your list includes resolutions to maintain a writing routine this year, or to get that book finished or that article published, etc. Me? I've given up on New Year's Resolutions — not because I don't want to change my life for the better, but for the opposite reason.

You see, I've figured out that grand resolutions are a recipe for failure. I actually get a lot more done by setting short-term goals that will inch me toward my larger goals. So I set daily and weekly goals — very specific ones — and I keep track of my progress so that I'm accountable to myself, if no one else. Since I began this practice a year or so ago, I find that I really am more successful than I was when I aimed at larger, more distant targets.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Do You Have a Writing Vocation?

Do you find you really want to write more, but have trouble finding the time? Perhaps that is because you still think of writing as an avocation, a hobby, rather than a vocation, a true calling.

Those who feel they may have a religious vocation enter deliberately and prayerfully into a period of testing that vocation. As aspirants, they begin to acquire the habits that will allow them to persevere in that vocation. Shouldn't those who feel they may have a writing vocation do the same?

Test Your Writing Vocation

Let's take this analogy a little farther: one thing that makes it possible to persevere in the religious life is an acknowledgment that one's time must be structured, so that it will be well-spent. Traditionally, for instance, monastic life has always depended on a well structured horarium, a daily schedule that makes time for work and prayer, as well as recreation.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Discovery Draft: Permission to make a mess

Permission to suck, John GreenIt's time for our "first Tuesday" meetings — midday at Sacred Heart Books & Gifts in far north Dallas, evening at the University of Dallas in Irving, November 1 at the usual times. Why not bring a sample of something you're working on for peer critique? Don't worry about bringing something that's already polished — you don't need to impress us. In fact, you'll get much more benefit if, instead of bringing a polished draft, you bring a discovery draft.