A Catalyst for Catholic Writing

With a vision to create synergy among local and regional Catholic authors, Denise Montgomery founded the Catholic Writer’s of St. Louis Group. This effort to share information and encouragement provided networking and friendship opportunities for us fellow Catholic “word nerds.” As her responsibilities with homeschooling and with the formation of the St. Stephen Speech and Debate Club grew, Denise needed to step away from leadership of CWSTL. She was preparing to just dissolve the group and remove the website. I asked her if I could try to take the baton and carry it on in some manner. I knew my time would be extraordinarily limited,  but felt that this link among Catholic authors was worth whatever small steps I could offer to maintain it. In that spirit, I’m here to plant 3 tiny seeds and we can see what grows.

Seed #1:  The Catholic Writer’s Guild Live Conference 

With this conference being as close as Chicago, it is an opportunity you may seriously want to consider. Click on the link and get all the details. It is not too late to sign up. It is such a tremendous chance to gain insights to improve your craft, and to establish your platform using modern marketing mechanisms. Networking with authors at all stages of the writing journey, some highly established and others just emerging, is a rare and precious moment of community for we, often solitary, author types. The theme is The Catholic Imagination…something very dear to my heart. Perhaps yours too? I’ll be there and I’d love to hang out with you. If you can’t make it to the conference, I encourage you to be an active member of the Guild and join the Guild’s fun and informative Facebook group. Check out the Guild website and see what you think.


Dandelion seeds on stemA little over a year and a half ago, God laid a task on my heart…to create a mechanism to enable the work of talented Catholic authors to be discovered and enjoyed by a more mainstream audience. To somehow maximize the power of faith and virtue-rich storytelling to gently evangelize hearts and effectively renew culture. Gradually this work is taking shape in the non-profit ministry of Virtue Works Media. Click the link above and get a look at the preliminary informational website. Click Virtue Works Media Sneak Peek to see a brief video that gives more depth to what the ministry will do. By creating a highly searchable on-line list of quality titles, VWM will make virtue the new standard in reading and entertainment. This fall I will be engaged in some full-throttle fundraising. Creating a Catholic hybrid of Goodreads and Common Sense Media is expensive. If you know someone of means who wants to make an effective Catholic difference in our often spiritually empty and morally misguided culture, please help me connect with them. Email me at CatherineCGilmore@outlook.com. Please also pray for this effort, for the sake of your own writing success and for the sake of the souls that will be blessed by our combined efforts.

Seed #3: Catholic Writers of STL

Trying to establish a ministry of the magnitude of Virtue Works Media is not possible without the help of many hands. One way you might be inspired to help is to take on the role of shepherding this little CWSTL group and blog. I did not want to just let it disappear, but it is obvious that I can not do it justice while I’m building the foundation for Virtue Works Media. Please get in touch with me if this is something you feel nudged by God to do. Otherwise, I will continue to allow it to rest a while, like Sleeping Beauty, awaiting the kiss from our beloved Lord to reawaken it.

head shot with blue sweater

I’m Cathy Gilmore, local St. Louis author, editor, ministry founder and virtue advocate. I’m currently the humble guide for the Catholic Writers of St.Louis. You can find out more about me at http://www.CatherineCGilmore.com or follow me on Twitter @PowerofParable. I’m convinced that the Holy Spirit can use the power of virtue tucked in a story to renew the face of the earth.


Your Word is My Delight

Catholic Writers Guild
Hello Catholic Writers Guild members,

I would like to invite you to our popular Your Word is My Delight, a Catholic Writers Retreat.
Do you need time away to finish or start a manuscript? Work on that proposal?
Organize your writing project? Finish work to meet your editor’s deadline?
On October 25-29, 2015 the Catholic Writers Guild, for the third time, is offering
a writers retreat near Lansing, Michigan.
St. Francis Retreat and Conference Center, 703 E. Main Street, DeWitt, MI, is
situated on a 93 acre site of woodlands, meadows, and prayer gardens.
includes a private room with a single share bath, three meals a day (and all
the coffee you can drink!), internet access, breakout spaces, resource library,
three daily presenters, critique sessions, Mass and reconciliation.
The power of the Catholic Writers Guild is why we can keep the cost so low! This
retreat, offered every other year, is popular because it is a true writers retreat
offering you abundant time to work at writing, and time to critique with other
Catholic writers.
You can register online at http://www.stfrancis.ws/retreats.html; click on the
Other Offerings tab. Or call 1-866-669-8321.
Handicap accessible and dietary needs accommodated.
If you fly into Lansing Capital Region International Airport, a shuttle to the retreat

house-only 7 minutes away-is provided. (You must arrange your own transportation for the two hour drive from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.)

Included at the beginning of the retreat on Sunday night is the Writer’s Meet and Greet. This wine and cheese gathering also includes an opportunity to sell your books, so be sure to bring them along!

It will be a wonderful retreat, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Retreat space is limited so register soon!  October 19th is the registration deadline!

In Christ,

Ellen Gable Hrkach
President, CWG

Breathing Realistic Personality into Your Fictional Characters

On Saturday the 28th of February, almost thirty local Catholic writers attended the CWStL’s two-hour special presentation and workshop: Enliven Your Writing with an Understanding of Clinical and Spiritual Psychology.

The meeting was held at All Saints Catholic Church in St. Peters, Missouri. Author Cathy Gilmore of the CWStL welcomed guest presenter Dr. Richard P. Johnson who invited all attendees to broaden their understanding of “personality.”

With a deep understanding of and a heart for the Catholic Faith, Dr. Johnson explained and illustrated his paradigm of personality (based on years of research, study, and development). Then, he defined with his unique terminology and further elucidated with anecdotes how writers can use this understanding of personality in order to create and develop vivid, believable characters.

“Writing accurately, and especially writing in the light of Jesus and
with the hand of the Holy Spirit, demands that we describe the redemptive process
as it unfolds in the spiritual personality of the characters we create.
For this we need to know what constitutes human personality
and how the Spirit works to bring us closer to God.”
-Dr. Richard P. Johnson

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After a coffee/tea and pastries break, Cathy Gilmore then lead the group in a writing workshop. She asked the writers to take 15 minutes in silence and put pen to paper using their newfound understandings as presented by Dr. Johnson. Attendees sketched scenes, developed characters, and composed poetry; and some even shared their unique results.

It was a spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating morning!

To learn more about Dr. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, LPC, NCC and his nationally recognized pioneering work in Healing and Medical Behavioral Sciences, visit his website: www.HealYourIllness.com

Dr. Johnson is an award-winning author of numerous books focused on spiritual growth. He published his first novel, The Nun and The Doctor, in 2004.

Enliven Your Writing 
with an Understanding of 
Clinical and Spiritual Psychology

Catholic Writers of St. Louis

The Catholic Writers Group of All Saints

Invite You to Attend
a Special Presentation and Writing Workshop

“Enliven Your Writing
with an Understanding of
Clinical and Spiritual Psychology”

Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, LPC, NCC

Saturday the 28th of February 2015
8:30 – 11:00 am

(Presentation begins promptly at 9:00)

All Saints Catholic Church
in the Parish Center

7 McMenamy Road
St. Peters, MO

RSVP to Denise Y. Montgomery
at dymontgomery@gmail.com

The Catholic Writers Conference: July 30 – August 1, 2014

ConferenceIt’s that time of year…time to register and prepare for this year’s Catholic Writers Conference.

The Catholic Writers Conference will be July 30-August 1, 2014,  at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel (in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show.) As far as writers’ conferences go, this event is a deal!

CWG Member Registration     $80.00
Guest Registration -i.e. additional registrants you are paying for (member)     $80.00
Non-member Registration     $85.00
Guest Registration i.e. additional registrants you are paying for(non-member)     $85.00
CWG Membership + registration     $110.00
Deacon, Priest, seminarian, or other religious    No Charge
Deacon – guest registration No charge
Student Registration    $45.00
Volunteer (must have approval from conference staff)     No Charge
Presenter (must have approval from conference staff)     No Charge
CMN Thursday Breakfast (optional) Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC    $16.00

This year’s conference will be focused on “Perseverance.” How do we continue to write our faith through the tough times? How do we run that race as our Lord asks? This conference allows you to connect personally with Catholic publishers and retailers, to learn more about the art, show your work, and network. 

This year the CWG is hosting:
• workshops on marketing and writing
• presentations on marketing and selling your work
• in-person pitch sessions
• group critique sessions
• national CWG Members meeting (guests welcome, of course)


The Write Stuff: Keep the Customer Satisfied: Dos & Don’ts of Successful Freelance Book Editors

Keep the Customer Satisfied: Dos & Don’ts of Successful Freelance Book Editors

Saturday, March 8, 2014 • 1–4 PM  Instructor: Dianna GravemanRegister Online

With the upswing in indie publishing, more authors are seeking freelance editors to help them polish their manuscripts. And many accomplished authors have found that editing as a sideline has helped them hone their writing skills by learning to cut redundant words and phrases, watch for inconsistencies, and listen for awkward-sounding dialogue. Blogs abound with advice for authors on what to expect from an editor. But what should you, as an editor, expect from your clients? And what can you realistically provide? Learn or revisit some dos and don’ts successful book editors use to gain a following and keep authors coming back for more.