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Writing for children webinar
Big Tent recap
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Presbyterian Writers Guild Board

President: John Underwood

Past-President and Treasurer: Bill Lancaster

Secretary: Jerry Van Marter

Corporate Agent:
Kathy Bostrom

Newsletter Editor:
Eva Stimson

Other Board Members:
Joseph Berry
Cathy Chisholm
Jane Hines
Stephen McCutchan
Emily Enders Odom
Barry Shepherd
Martha Evans Sparks
Duane Sweep
Janet Tuck
Dee Wade

The Writer
August 2013 Edition
Facebook group: Presbyterian Writers Guild

Learn how to write for children

Register NOW for Aug. 20 webinar led by Kathy Bostrom

Kathy Bostrom  

Mining her 15 years as a published author, Kathy Bostrom will share tips about writing for children and traveling down the rocky road to publication in a 90-minute webinar, scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) Aug. 20.


The webinar is jointly sponsored by the Presbyterian Writers Guild and The Presbyterian Outlook.


The webinar includes these topics:


* In the Beginning: genres, formats, dummies for dummies


* Query Me This: writing the perfect query letter


* To Market, to Market: determining the right market for your book


* Secret Agent: finding an agent (when you really need one)


* The Resourceful Writer: print and web resources


Kathleen Long Bostrom has served as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), along with her husband, Greg, for 30 years. She has written more than 30 books, most of them for children. Her books have been published in more than 18 languages. In 2013, Kathy was named a "Distinguished Alumna" by Princeton Theological Seminary.


To register for the webinar ($29.95 for up to six viewers Aug. 20, with on-demand web replay) or to purchase a DVD recording of the webinar ($39.95, plus shipping), visit the website of The Presbyterian Outlook and scroll down to the photo of Kathy Bostrom.


For group pricing and other questions, please contact Jana Blazek at or 800-446-6008, x758.

Big Tent is big success
By Jerry L. Van Marter

The Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) played an important part in the success of 2013 Big Tent, which drew more than 1,700 Presbyterians to Louisville Aug. 1-3 to celebrate Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission and ministry and mark the 30th anniversary of Presbyterian reunion and the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Presbyterian Center in Louisville.


The Guild's signature event at Big Tent was a "Poetry Jam," featuring PWG board members J. Barrie Shepherd and Dee Wade. A large crowd nearly filled the chapel at the Presbyterian Center for an evening of inspired readings by Barrie and Dee. Bill McConnell, director of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and a gifted jazz pianist, punctuated the poetry readings with beautiful musical selections. Several who attended commented that the Poetry Jam was the highlight of Big Tent for them.


The Guild, along with The Presbyterian Outlook, Presbyterian Media Mission and the Office of Communications Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, co-sponsored the Presbyterian Communicators Network conference, one of 10 partner conferences that comprised Big Tent.


PWG board member Bill Lancaster led a workshop on "Electronic Self-Publishing" that drew a large crowd. Bill has enjoyed tremendous success with his self-published novel, The Beast and the Cross.


Barrie Shepherd's workshop on writing poetry, a last-minute addition to the Big Tent schedule, was also well-attended.


Board member Emily Odom moderated a popular workshop entitled "Testimony Time: Techniques for Getting and Telling Faith Stories." She was joined by the Rev. Cheyanna Losey, pastor, and two elders from United Church in Woodhull, Ill., who have collected faith stories from church members and gathered them into a book.


Through a personal connection with the PWG's Bill Lancaster, a workshop on "The Use of Drama in Ministry," led by ruling elder Anthony Greer of Greer, S.C., and his troupe of actors, drew one of the largest crowds at Big Tent. The Guild sponsored Anthony's workshop.


Guild members were also prominent in the Big Tent Communications Center. More than 60 stories were published by a staff of 11 reporters, led by Jerry Van Marter, director of the Presbyterian News Service.


The Presbyterian Communicators Network Conference drew among the most registrants for Big Tent of all the partner conferences, and PCN-sponsored events consistently drew more attendees than were actually registered for the PCN conference itself. This is a tribute to the quality of the workshops and events offered.


Thanks to all Presbyterian Writers Guild members for your continuing support of the Guild. That support lifts up the art and craft of writing as well as the mission and ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Member updates

Robert Crumby, a retired Presbyterian minister and former professor and consultant in medical ethics, announces publication of his book So Falls a Sparrow: Sanctity of Life Pitted Against Quality of Life, which explores making ethical medical decisions at the bedside for the sole good of the patient. The book's thesis, in part is that the Terri Schiavo medical tragedy (1990-2005) revealed a wholesale lack of ethical, legal, and medical knowledge not only among the lay public but also at critically important levels of our nation's sociopolitical infrastructure and leadership. The book is intended to help laypersons, pastors, and health-care professionals engage in conversations or in teaching situations with parishioners, clients, or students. The book is available from  Amazon or Kindle .


Jeanne Choy Tate announces publication of her book Something Greater: Culture, Family, and Community as Living Story. The book explores how living stories of culture and faith, dynamic and filled with diversity, create healthy families, bind a society together and speak to the deep hunger of Americans who long for meaning in something greater than the individual self. Building on her experiences as a Presbyterian lay pastor, partner in a biracial marriage, and parent of a bicultural child, Tate writes of life lived on the borders, in the tension between individual and community, between the longing to belong and being one's self.


Something Greater is available from the publisher by clicking hereAlso check out Tate's new Facebook page by clicking here.

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The Writer is published occasionally by the Presbyterian Writers Guild. Editor: Eva Stimson