Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do You Remember Getting Your 1st Library Card?

I was at the library today and a little boy was getting a certificate commemorating his getting a library card for the first time. I remember getting my first library card many years ago. I'm pretty sure I was eight years old. It was the Aldenville Branch Library in Chicopee, MA. Back then, they were still paper cards and you had to sign out library books. Anyway, I remember that the librarian asked me if I knew what year I would graduate from high school and she was very impressed that I actually knew!

My parents actually weren't very big on going to libraries. The only times I was able to go was for school related research, but it was love at first sight for me. Libraries were (and are) magical places! All those books just begging to be read. Once I was able to go on my own, I became a frequent visitor.

Over the years, I amassed quite a collection of library cards - every library I visited required its own. Of course, now that has been rendered obsolete by a computerized system which my wallet appreciates because I only have to carry one card! 

Do you remember getting your first library card? Share your story here!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What if Your Book Sold a Million Copies for the Wrong Reasons?

Nancy Brandt raises an interesting question - "What if your book sold a million copies because people thought it was the worst book ever?" on her blog What if it sold 1 million copies?

I can see how that would be disheartening. After all, you want people to read your book because they enjoy it and tell their friends how they have to read this book. But, I think I'd still be happy with the money! I could do a lot of good with that kind of money. And I guess I'm really not that proud! LOL

She raises the question of how one can have a writing career after that kind of notoriety - easy! Write under a different name. Writing, unlike most careers, allows for multiple personalities!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Catholic Writers to Convene in August in Valley Forge

The third annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE will take place
August 3-5, 2011, at the Scanticon Hotel Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild (CWG) and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), it will be held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show. The Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic authors with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe.
CWG President Ann Margaret Lewis said this year's conference will, “focus on marketing and selling one’s written work.” Highlights of the conference include:

Over 30 sessions taught by professionals in writing, marketing, blogging and publishing
Pitch Sessions where writers may meet privately with representatives from four publishers
One-on-one coaching sessions. For $35 an author can have a 30 minute private consultation with a specialist who will review their manuscript and guide them toward publication.
• Rapid-fire readings. Published authors will each have five minutes to read a selection from one of their books. A mass book sale and signing will follow.

Lewis says the conference comes at a modest cost. “Registration for the jam packed three days is only $90 for CWG members or $100 for non-members. And we have a special price of $42 for students. Our conference allows you to connect personally with Catholic publishers and retailers, to show your work, learn the craft and network.” Priests and religious are invited free of charge, but must register at the email address:

This year’s conference speakers include:

• Catholic publishing representatives Claudia Volkman of Servant Books/St.Anthony Messenger Press,
• Regina Doman, acquisitions editor for Sophia Institute Press,
• Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, author of Mother Teresa and Me,
• Michelle Buckman, author of the young adult novel Maggie Come Lately and the adult drama Rachel’s Contrition,
• Angela Breidenbach, author of Gems of Wisdom and
• Patti Armstrong, co-author of the best-selling Amazing Grace book series and author of Catholic Truths for Our Children, Stories for the Homeschool Heart.

Past attendees gave glowing accounts of their experiences at the conference:

• Carol Bannon, author of the children’s book “Handshake from Heaven,” said, “Attending this conference has been the best thing I have done for myself professionally.”
• Writer Melanie Cameron concurs, “I recommend this conference as a resource for any author (or wannabe) at any stage. You will walk away empowered!”
• Maureen Martin, a consultant and trainer said she attended to connect with other professional Catholics. “It was such a wonderful, nurturing environment where we could share our faith and our love for literature.”

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization, sponsors both this live conference in August and an online conference in February to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. “Our conferences are totally focused on encouraging faithful Catholics to share genuine Catholic culture and faith in their writing no matter what genre,” says Lewis. “These events are integral to our mission of ‘creating a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters.”

Also at this year’s conference, the CWG will be presenting its first ever Catholic Arts and Letters Awards (called the “Lilies”) for the best in Catholic fiction. This award will recognize one book in the adult market and one in the children’s market for its literary merit.

Information for the Catholic Writer’s Conference can be found on the conference web site:

The CWG is a professional group of writers, artists, editors, illustrators, and allies whose mission is to build a vibrant Catholic literary culture. The organization is loyal to the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church.