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04: Chat Rooms
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Why a free conference? Why Catholic?
The Catholic Writers Guild is dedicated to helping writers and editors further their craft and to grow and proclaim the Catholic faith with their craft. This is one of our many service projects, and we chose to open it to all writers in the spirit of charity. Because an online conference requires little cost to organizers, we chose to offer make it free. However, we'd like to add that the presenters and coordinators have devoted hundreds of man-hours to make this possible.
Is this for Catholics only?
No. We welcome other writers and have some presenters who are not Catholic. While you will find many Catholic-oriented presentations, the principals of writing and marketing are common to all. Thus, we welcome writers who wish to learn.
However, we ask that non-Catholic writers understand that the majority of attendees and presenters are Catholic, and that this conference has a faith-focus as well. We ask that non-Catholics respect our beliefs. We will also have a forum available for non-Catholics with respectful questions about our faith.
Anyone found harassing or insulting other members based on faith or engaging or attempting to engage in a religious debate will have their registration terminated. There are other forums and chats where this is allowed; here we ask that all concentrate on writing.
How do I participate?
All you need to do is register for an account on the website. Click here to register.
Is there separate registration for the workshops?
Most workshops are open to everyone with only a few with participation limits to accommodate demand (special critique workshops, for instance). We do not anticipate that any single chat or workshop will have too many people; however, chatrooms do have a limit of 50 people, so be sure to get there on time. Presenters may choose not to critique every assignment if they have too many participants, so please give them your best work as quickly as possible.
Do I have to register for the chat room?
No. All you need to do is go to the chat room, type in a name (any name will do--your username, your pen name, etc.) and (if prompted) click ENTER WITHOUT PASSWORD. (If you put in a short or common name, the chat room may add some numbers after it, so do not be surprised if you enter Abby and get Abby5876.)
What about pitch sessions?
Pitch sessions are special times when authors can pitch a specific manuscript to a participating editor. They run similar to pitch sessions at live conferences--you need to have your materials ready and will have limited one-on-one time with an editor in the chat room to sell him on your work.
Separate registration is required. We will take the first 5 registrants and two alternates. We require that people please check the publishers' guidelines to be sure your manuscript fits their needs. Guidelines are listed in the pitch session page. If you pitch a work not suited to the publisher, you have robbed someone of an opportunity, and made yourself look bad in front of a publisher. Please check guidelines before registering.
Registration runs Jan 1-Feb 22 or until each spot is filled. You will register by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put PITCH and the publisher in the subject line.
What's the difference between a chat and a workshop?
Chats: Scheduled, one-hour lecture/moderated Q&A with a presenter. These are held in the chat room. There is not homework and no lessons. There may be a handout for reference; these are found in the handouts section. There may be a second chat at a separate time, but otherwise, there is no further planned discussion.
Forum: Week-long, "unscheduled" courses run via a message board. Although the presenter may have daily assignments, you are not required to show up on the forum at a particular time. You may read the coursework, do and post the assignments, and receive feedback at any time during the conference. (Just remember: the sooner you get your assignment posted, the easier it is for the instructor to comment.)
I don't know how chats or forums work!
Don’t worry. We'll be sending an orientation package with the basics shortly after Jan 15. We also have a wonderful how-to document, complete with illustrations. In addition, we will be available online during the conference to help you out.
How do I know when the chat are?
We'll have a schedule posted once it's finalized.
Are there give-aways like last year?
We leave that up to the individual presenters. However, in the interest of fairness, we're asking that anyone who wins something in a chat not accept another prize. Let's share the wealth of stuff as well as information!
There's too much for one week here!
Don't despair! We'll be selling a conference e-book with the chat transcripts, forum lessons and handouts. We'll be posting a link to pre-order.
Why is there a donate bar?
Although on-line conferences are not very expensive compared to live ones, there are still some expenses: the domain name, the website (including programming and upkeep), the rental on the chat rooms... We ask that if you found the conference useful that you consider helping us with these expenses.
We will also use this fund as seed money for the next Live Conference.
The Catholic Writers Guild is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations for our organization and its conferences and activities are tax deductible.
To donate through Paypal, click the donate button below, or send a check made payable to the Catholic Writers Guild to:
Catholic Writers Guild
PO Box 39326
Indianapolis, IN 46239
Please consider sponsoring our conferences!
Purchase and download one of our previous Online Conference E-Books instantly!
(2012 and 2013 conference e-books are not available.)
To donate $15 or more and get on the list to receive the 2014 Online Conference E-Book (when available), please click
the Donate button below or mail a check to:
Catholic Writers Guild
PO Box 39326
Indianapolis, IN 46239
Please make the check to Catholic Writers Guild, but put "sponsor" in the memo.