The Catholic Writers Guild

Is the Catholic Writers Guild for You?

Are you a Catholic writer loyal to the Magisterium and looking for a group of like-minded writers determined to assist each other in our publishing goals?

Are you an editor, publisher, or illustrator interested in furthering the development of quality faith-filled writings?

If so, the Catholic Writers' Guild may be for you.

The Catholic Writers Guild is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of faithful Catholic writers, artists, editors, illustrators, and allies. We are headquartered in Indianapolis. Our mission is to help build a vibrant Catholic literary culture by offering educational programs that encourage Catholic spiritual growth, teach Catholic writers about their craft as well as how to sell and market their work. We are faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Our regular and alumni members are practicing Catholic writers, while institutional members are persons or companies supportive of Catholic writing; institutional members need not to be Catholic, but sympathetic to Catholic practices and morals.

From Our Blog

  • Why I Freelance

    July 25, 2016 - 11:01pm

    I am scheduled to give a presentation on Freelance Writing at this week’s Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois. I really am pleased to have this opportunity. Part of the presentation deals with why some people choose to be freelance writers.

    I want to address this topic from a personal perspective. Perhaps my take on this will resonate with some who read this blog.

    I retired in 2011 after a 34-year career working with persons with developmental disabilities. In my early career, I was assigned to deal with the behavior clients. I spent many eight-hour shifts breaking up fights and fending off client attacks on myself. In my twenties, I was able to physically handle the job. The injuries I received healed fast. As my career progressed I was able to work with quieter clients, although no day was ever totally without some kind of issue. The people living in the center had been placed there because their own families could not deal with them. There were some individuals who were without families as well. Anyway, the work was tailor-made for me, as there was plenty of variety in my days. As I neared retirement, I realized I had aches and pains developing that had never been there before. I truly believed that once I retired I could exercise more and get rid of these annoyances.

    Now, five years after retirement, I have days when I can barely walk. Standing still is worse. I used to walk five miles a day at work; now walking a half mile is a challenge, not because of a lack of stamina but because of severe leg and back pain. I’m not seeking sympathy by revealing this, merely making a point. At this stage in my life, I physically cannot do the kind of work I did even ten years ago. I need something less taxing.

    Sitting at my computer and pounding on a keyboard meets that requirement. Of course, if I sit too long I get a different kind of pain, so I take breaks and stretch and exercise, looking for the balance that works for me.

    My physical problems are one of the main reasons I choose to freelance. I still have dreams of getting healthy enough to reopen my judo school, but that’s a story for another blog.

    The other reason I choose to freelance is my four youngest sons, all of whom have some type of learning deficit. They range in age from 18 to 22. The two youngest graduated from high school this past June. They, along with their brother Stephen, are all involved with vocational training in the hopes of getting a job.

    The job market is tough for anyone, and even more so for persons diagnosed with a disability. Employers are hesitant to even give them a shot. Ken, the oldest of the four, has found a job at the local Kentucky Fried Chicken. He wipes tables, sweeps floors, takes out the trash, washes windows, and so forth. He has worked there now for over a year. I take him to work and bring him home the four days a week he works, as public transportation near us is very limited. Ken and I have a system in place that is currently running smoothly. For his younger brothers, I have periodic meetings with the providers that are required according to federal and state regulations for vocational training. For one person it would not be too hard, but when I have to do everything three different times it starts to become hectic. If I had to be at a job a set number of hours a week, it would not work. Some meetings are in the morning, others in the afternoon or even the evening. But since I basically work for myself I am free to set my schedule as I need to.

    When you are a parent of a special-needs child, your responsibilities do not end when they reach adulthood. Each child is different, and some become independent earlier than others, while some will never become independent.

    My life now is dedicated to helping my sons reach a point in their life where they no longer need me or their mother. We have journeyed what seems like light years to get where we are now. By choosing to freelance I am able to stay on this journey. I don’t know how much further we will go, but we are not yet done with this pilgrimage.

    Freelance writing can be lucrative, but that is far from guaranteed. It can be fulfilling to those who have an absolute need to share the stories in their soul. Freelancing can be a way to establish a name for yourself while you finish your masterpiece.

    Freelance writing can also be the answer to a prayer, a way to continue to work when other options have faded; a way of working that also provides the freedom necessary to care for more important matters.

    For me, those more important matters are not an obligation but a vocation. It’s a vocation that I happily embrace and thank God for the opportunity to participate in. The success I most dearly strive for is the success of my children, their ability to reach goals that they choose to seek out, and the capability to care for themselves, even if they need some guidance from their older siblings.

    Time is what is needed most of all. If I had a regular job, the time I could dedicate to them would be reduced. That is too high a price no matter how sweet the paycheck.

    So now you know why I freelance. How about you?

  • CWG Prayer Chain Post: July 24, 2016

    July 24, 2016 - 5:53pm

    The CWG Prayer Chain Post is a weekly post for members to include their special intentions by adding a comment.

    Gospel, Luke 11:1-13

    Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, this is what to say: Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.’ He also said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;” and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship’s sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants. ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened. What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

     

    The power of prayer and the power of people praying.

    JULY INTENTION PRAYER (from Psalms 103)

    Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
    bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
    He forgives all your offenses, cures all your diseases,
    he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
    Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
    his indignation does not last for ever, nor his resentment remains for all time;
    he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offenses.
    As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.

    Please leave a comment with your intention. If you have problems adding an intention, email it to Mike Hays at coachhays(at)gmail(dot)com and I will add it.  God bless.

  • Launching the new CatholicWritersGuild.com

    July 22, 2016 - 3:07pm

    We’re just a few days away from launching a brand new CatholicWritersGuild.com website. This is one outward sign, one first step, in what I hope is ongoing growth for our Guild. Our membership is increasing. Our visibility is increasing. And from my own limited perspective – and perhaps with some bias – I see our quality increasing.

    These are, of course, the right directions to move in. But steering in the right direction sometimes puts you over a few bumps. They’ll happen, and I have faith in our ability to handle them.

    I’m looking forward to speaking to everyone more, both at the live conference and by video, in the coming week. I want to tell you more about the state of the Guild, talk about our current and future projects, and I very much want to hear from you. But for now, I’ll focus on what you need to know about our new site:

    For current members:

    You should have received an email from me with information about Paypal accounts. When the site launches on Wednesday, you’ll be able to log in with your email address.  The first time you log in, you’ll need to click “Forgot my password” so you can set a new one.

    On Wednesday, July 27, you can view a video (or attend live, if you’re at the Catholic Writers Conference) where we’ll launch the new site. Keep an eye on your email and on our Facebook group on Wednesday.

    For visitors:

    On the new site, you’ll find information about our conferences, awards, and members in a new, easier-to-navigate layout. And we’ll be adding even more in the coming months!

    For those joining:

    Starting on Wednesday, July 27, you’ll be able to join the Guild through the new website. Just click the Register button on the new site, and it will take you through everything. You can always contact us if you have any questions!

    Thank you. I’ll have all of your intentions – our visitors, our readers, our members – in my prayers this coming week at the Catholic Writers Conference.

    Christus Vincit!
    Joe Wetterling

  • But…..It’s Just Me!

    July 19, 2016 - 12:13am

    So we have arrived at the place that Bishop Fulton Sheen, John XXIII and JPII told us was imminent.  We’re there, the society that scoffs at all forms of life, ridicules God and has named every sin as good if it suits your pleasure and “hurts no one”.  Wow.  I don’t know about you but three slayings of black citizens by those who are supposed to protect us and the “reciprocal” slaying and wounding of a dozen police officers in the same week-end has left me feeling helpless, hopeless and just wanting to hide in my closet while permanently wringing  my hands and keening. Even in urban centers like Chicago, this is not a safe place!  Exhausting, confusing!

    Almost everyone I know has a similar response:  When is someone going to DO something?  Me too.  We need the system, the politicians, civic leaders, law makers, those in charge to take action and make us feel safe again!  Solutions seem so impossible and far away in this maelstrom of violence gone mad. Can’t God just take charge?  I don’t want to live in this kind of world.

    When madness is present people often say things like: How can a supposedly good God allow this?  What good is faith anyway?  All of that “religion stuff” is useless!  In light of that thinking here is a question:  If God gave you the job of cleaning up the mess along with all the skills you would need and twelve (not so able) assistants, what would you say?  No not me, Lord, I can’t, I’m busy, I’m scared!  You know what’s coming next: If not now, when?  If not you, who?  As they say, we are all in the row-boat together.  “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Whom shall I send?  Who will go for us?.’ ‘Here I am,’ I said; ‘send me!’” (Is 6:8 NAB)

    When hate rises, when violence manifests, those are not things that occur “en masse”.  These are things that occur one person at a time and then get passed/taught  from person to person.  Every minute of every day, you have choices.  Even if you are sitting in a location alone, you have choices.  Violence and hate are not things that you’re a powerless victim to, you have choices.  The idea that you and I are powerless in the face of these evils is the lie.  Belief in the lie is what creates powerlessness.

    What it comes down to is pretty basic.  Who are you in the world and what do you bring?  When you are confronted with a choice between something that is for God or against God which do you choose? The occasions to make that choice are not as rare as you might think.  They happen in the most sacramental environments of all; the world where you and I function every day. Do you have a prayer discipline that meets God daily as you prepare for the world?  When you are with family do you choose to be helpful and positive or cryptic and negative?  When something does not please, which do you choose: loud complaining or thank you for any favor done?  When you pass a homeless person or beggar, do you judge them in your attitude or are you generous?  Do you ever go out of your way to be inconvenienced in order to help a stranger? Do you recognize your own attitudes of judgement and do your best to “work on them”?  Do you gladly type foul and/or negative things on social media and hide in the anonymity? Do you pray, say grace and give thanks in public places? We all have countless opportunities to “serve God” every day. Acts of kindness and service are cumulative.  Many of them happen when those who know us are not present.  Others, though, observe us, hear us, watch us. Every act that we do, no matter how small, has an effect on the world.  The truth about who will fix the mess that we have arrived at is not complicated.

    We know that bread is the simplest food in the world and feeds billions. Did you ever bake bread?  All you need is flour, water, a little salt.  Beat up the dough, bake. No fancy tools, no rare ingredients.  Even nomadic people bake it on the rocks of a camp fire.  There is one additional thing, the yeast which causes the bread to be leavened. The dough literally becomes “polluted” by single-celled organisms which transform the inedible flour into life-sustaining bread.   Even at that level Jesus puts us to the challenge; “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” (Mt 13:33)

    We are not supposed to be waiting in despair for a super hero to slap down all the bad guys and elevate all the good people.  Look in the mirror, the simplest of truths is right there, looking at you.  Evil is defeated one person at a time. Ridiculous you say? Mmmmmmm, Catholicism, one member at the start, Mary. Today; two billion worldwide!  Wonder how that happened?

    ©2016, Kathryn M. Cunningham, All Rights Reserved

  • CWG Prayer Chain Post: July 17, 2016

    July 17, 2016 - 7:33pm

    The CWG Prayer Chain Post is a weekly post for members to include their special intentions by adding a comment.

    Genesis 18:1-10

    Yahweh appeared to him at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them, and bowed to the ground. ‘My lord,’ he said, ‘if I find favour with you, please do not pass your servant by. Let me have a little water brought, and you can wash your feet and have a rest under the tree. Let me fetch a little bread and you can refresh yourselves before going further, now that you have come in your servant’s direction.’ They replied, ‘Do as you say.’ Abraham hurried to the tent and said to Sarah, ‘Quick, knead three measures of best flour and make loaves.’ Then, running to the herd, Abraham took a fine and tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. Then taking curds, milk and the calf which had been prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree. ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘She is in the tent,’ he replied. Then his guest said, ‘I shall come back to you next year, and then your wife Sarah will have a son.’ Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.

    The power of prayer and the power of people praying.

    JULY INTENTION PRAYER (from Psalms 103)

    Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
    bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
    He forgives all your offenses, cures all your diseases,
    he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
    Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
    his indignation does not last for ever, nor his resentment remains for all time;
    he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offenses.
    As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.

    Please leave a comment with your intention. If you have problems adding an intention, email it to Mike Hays at coachhays(at)gmail(dot)com and I will add it.  God bless.

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The CWG Prayer

Holy Family, guide our minds, our hearts, our hands, as we write, speak, illustrate – help our words to live in union with the Word.

Teach us discipline and skill to use the talents God gives us.

Give us also insight and courage to convey God's love through our craft, and humility to be open to His divine will, shaping our lives, in loving loyalty to His Church.

In Christ's name,

Amen.

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