This week, I've had the pleasure of "attending" the Catholic Writers Conference Online. While I was raised Catholic, I am not a practicing Catholic. This doesn't mean I can't gain some useful information from this conference. In their promotional materials, The Catholic Writers Guild specifies you don't need to be Catholic to attend. While there is some preference given to Catholic writers, such as first choice for certain pitch sessions, there is something for everyone here at this free conference.
Many of the presenters here also present at the Muse Online Conference in the fall. While the CWCO is a much smaller conference, it has the potential to grow. For those of the Catholic faith, there are morning prayer chats and chats relating to how faith connects with one's writing. There are many more chats dedicated to the general population with chats about query letters, Twitter, blogging, newspaper writing, writing historical fiction, and finding a literary agent. The chats are run on EST and go from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily for a week.
In addition to the chats, there are a number of workshops available 24 hours a day where attendees can post homework assignments, chat with the presenters and ask questions of the presenters. Several editors and agents agreed to do critiques for a limited number of attendees based on first to apply for the privilege.
I found out about this conference from a post on a writing forum to which I belong. I checked out the website and decided it was an opportunity worth taking. Keeping oneself educated and being open to new experiences is important to writers. If this information comes at low or no-cost, all the better in this tight economy. Of course, the presenters ask for a donation to help defray costs, but in return people who do give money are sent a PDF of the chats and forum handouts.
If this sounds like something you might find worthwhile, check out the website and bookmark it for next spring. You can find information at http://www.catholicwritersconference.com/