Our History

The Catholic Writers Guild began in 2007 with about 30 members: writers that came together in an online forum to help each other with writing, marketing, and support. In August 2009, we ran the first Catholic Writers Conference Live in Somerset, NJ as well as the first Catholic Writers Conference Online.

That first online conference took place through an online forum and chat room, and it included 47 presentations--more than the number of members just 2 years before!

Now, a decade later, our online conference has moved to video conferencing and our live program continues going strong. We have hundreds of members, including both laypeople and religious. Our members are writers, illustrators, teachers, editors, publishers.. and just fans of great writing. And while we're mostly USA-based, we also have members in Canada, Mexico, Trinidad, UK, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, and Australia.


CAROLYN ASTFALK writes contemporary Catholic romance and is a Catholic Teen Books and Catholic Mom contributor. The Guild has been the organization most instrumental in helping her to improve her craft and bring her stories to publication, and she wants to facilitate it doing the same for every Catholic author.

Vice President

BARB SZYSZKIEWICZ is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com and author of The Handy Little Guide to Prayer (OSV 2021). Barb appreciates the encouraging, helpful spirit of the CWG and wants to keep that spirit alive at conferences and in the Guild's online presence for new generations of Catholic authors.


MICHAEL SHELTON primarily writes YA science fiction for secular audiences. He's married with four kids, and he is excited to help fellow Catholics grow in their skills and extend the Kingdom.


CESAR CHACON is a father of three and has worked in the banking and finance industries for almost 20 years. He recently finished the first draft for his first Science Fiction series. He is a big believer in the need to bring the Catholic Literature of our authors to a world that needs it.

Committee Coordinator

PATRICE FAGNANT-MacARTHUR has worked as a Catholic writer and editor for over 15 years and has been a member of the Catholic Writers Guild since it began. She has previously served on the Seal of Approval committee and as a Catholic Arts and Letters Award judge.

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