I knew that networking is essential in any business and especially so with writers. I was fighting isolation when I discovered the Catholic Writers Guild with many ways to network through their website, volunteer opportunities and conferences.
At my first CWGLive conference, the resources on display, the fun workshops and so many friendly people impressed me. They motivated me to create a blog, venture into social media, and pitch to an editor. Soon I was ready to find a critique group.
Then the CWGLive Conference came to my town! This was my chance to connect with local writers and form a local Catholic writers group. So, at the introductory session, I just stood up and announced the formation of a Dallas-Fort Worth Catholic Writers. I asked those who lived in the area to meet with me in the hallway after the session. We exchanged cards and I contacted them for a planning meeting.
Three enthusiastic writers came to this first meeting, but it was a start. By word of mouth and PSAs on our local Catholic radio station, we launched our group. It took a few months to settle on a place and time to meet. Two years later we meet twice a month, once at lunchtime at Half-Price Books in one area of town and again at night at the University of Dallas across town. With 20 on the mailing list, we average about 5 people at each meeting. What a variety! Our work ranges from children’s books to science fiction to parenting books with lots of Catholic spirituality in all of them. We even have a blog: DFWCWG.
This year’s conference, as previously, will be in conjunction with the CMN’s annual trade show for Catholic publishers and bookstores. We’re meeting in Chicago for workshops, pitch sessions with publishers, opportunities for members to market their books directly to bookstores, and more fun than you can get out ofbucket of ice cream. Clear your calendar now, this is a don’t-miss event. Join us for our next in-the-flesh writer’s conference, July 29 – August 1, 2014.
I’ll see you there, and if you need any help organizing a local group, let me know. To register for the conference, visit CatholicWritersConference.com.