Northwest Ohio Christian Writers
September 2018

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Next meeting
Thursday, September 27
7 pm – 8:30 pm

We will meet at the Way Public Library (in Perrysburg) in meeting rooms A and B. This will be a critique session, so bring a short sample you’d like to share, along with several (6-8) copies. We all desire our writing to be crisp and clean. Having another set of eyes look over our material is one way to accomplish that. With that in mind, bring your work to share – to be blessed and challenged. In addition to getting feedback, other writers often have marketing suggestions as well, an important part of the support we offer one another.

Fall Seminar
Saturday, October 20
9 am – 3 pm

Another wonderful opportunity we have is our October seminar on Saturday, October 20. Michelle Medlock Adams will be our speaker and she’s got some great information to share with us. Attached to this email is a brochure and reservation form. There is also a one page “poster” which you can put up at your church or share with friends who might be interested in attending.. For a price break, the reservations need to be in by October 10th. Please feel free to share this information. We are excited to have such a dynamic speaker with us this year!

From our President Shelley R. Lee:

After 10 years of serving this sweet group I have been feeling for a while that it’s time to pass on the torch. I am still writing but feel the need to be freer for my semi-retired husband, and for my moving-into-retirement job as a financial representative with Modern Woodmen that I began last year.

Recently our other officers have felt the need to move on as well. Denise Shumway, our secretary for the past several years (and one of the group’s original members), has been caring for her husband while he recovers from a serious fall from a tree (while we were at the June writer’s meeting, in fact). He still has many months of recovery ahead, so her time continues to be limited to life at home.

Martha Willey, our treasurer for the past three years, has enjoyed the season of serving here, and now feels it’s time to devote more time to her writing.

Certainly you are wondering who will fill these positions. So are we! But please don’t feel we are being careless in any way. Allow me to back up for a moment. This time last year we had sent out information on the fall seminar and had so few responses right up to the week of the event that we thought we may need to fold the group for lack of interest. Meetings had not been well attended and membership was very low. We received a nicely worded note from an original founding  member encouraging us, but also helping us not to feel bad if it was time to call it quits. Much to our surprise, the seminar was a huge success! We felt this was a clear answer to keep going, so we retooled our schedule to fit requests and ran with it. We have had some great meetings this year, including a powerful outreach time at Richland Correctional Facility..

With all this in mind, we are again at a crossroads. If the group is to go on, we feel completely confident that God will prompt those who He would have lead it. If He doesn’t prompt anyone, it may be time to say we had a good run (and we have!) and disband. All three of the officers (and our former VP, Kathy Douglas)  are at peace with this. We’re asking each of you to pray and if you feel you want to serve, contact me at We have decided that if we don’t have three or four committed people before the seminar (preferably by October 10, so as to not string this out) that will be our last official meeting. I strongly urge you NOT to act out of guilt or sadness, only with true interest and intention to serve and help the group move forward. If the group continues, the current officers are on board to  help with a period of transition yet at the same time, give you freedom to forge your own path. Either way, a decision will be made by the end of October so everyone knows how to plan for next year.

The positions we currently fill with their duties are:

President: Head up the team of officers to plan the year’s schedule (currently 5 meetings, 5-6 informal lunch bunches, a fall seminar, and spring retreat). Update NWOCW schedule online. Emphasis on TEAM. We all work together and have a system that has worked well.

Vice-President: Assist President and Team (we have not had this spot filled since Kathy Douglas had to step down – but with the other changes, it is a good time to fill it again).

Treasurer: Receive checks and deposit them (usually three times a year, in January for the membership drive, April for the retreat and in Sept/Oct for the seminar). Meet with the officers when necessary throughout the year to help plan upcoming events.

Secretary: Write newsletter with team help, send email and mail (just a few snail mail contacts), keep contact list updated (Excel), make calls when necessary, contact media for events.

We are prayerful regarding the group’s future and appreciate your prayerfulness as well

Other News
There are several other things which will be shared in a week or so. For the time being, we wanted to focus on the future of the group. However, please note the following 2 dates – with details to follow:

November 3 – Writing Workshop and poetry reading at Richland Correctional Institution. This will be in conjunction with the Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) with the Ohio Poet Laureate in attendance. They have again asked our group and the OPA for donations of supplies for writing classes. Please email me if you want that list ( You can bring donations of supplies or money to the September meeting or the seminar. We received a large envelope filled with thank you notes after our last event. (I’ll try to bring those to the September/October events for you to read. They were a blessing!)

November 17 – book signing for Jeremy Holloway’s new (first!) book,

God Wants  You to Smile Today
Location: Intersection Church, Oregon, OH 3 pm – 5 pm
He is looking for help for this event, so email me if you’d like to be involved and I’ll pass the information on to him.

A Final Word

There are quite a few of our members who are dealing with health or family issues right now, please keep them in prayer. Isn’t is wonderful that we serve an amazing God who knows who these folks are even if we don’t.


Northwest Ohio Christian Writers

September 2017

Next meeting: September 22

Blogging and Self-Marketing w/ Shelley Lee

Note – we list member websites and blogs at If you have either and it’s not listed, let me know and we’ll make it happen. If you don’t have those platform pieces, maybe that’s your next step. Come and learn with us!

October 21, 2917

Our Annual Seminar

With Dr. Dennis Hensley

Topics include:

  • The Marketing Process

  • Enhancing Writing Skills

  • Working with Editors and Agents

  • Making 2018 Productive.

    Registration form and flier are attached to this email – please print, use and share! Note: You can bring your registration to the meeting next week – save postage! If you have books to sell, book tables will be available at the seminar for a low fee.

    Another local opportunity – BGSU

Winter Wheat – November 2 – 4

Winter Wheat 2017 is on its way!

From the website: About the Festival:

Winter Wheat, created in 2001, is a festival celebrating writers and readers, produced by Mid-American Reviewand hosted on the campus of Bowling Green State University.

In workshops, students, faculty, and guests from the Bowling Green community and beyond come to learn, discuss, and most importantly write. Through “keynote” readings, special guest authors read their work, sign books, and talk with Winter Wheat participants. Winter Wheat creates the ideal environment for graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, community writers, and those from other states to mingle and create new work, effectively planting the seeds of new writings for future harvest.

Winter Wheat kicks off each year with a Thursday night reading. Friday and Saturday are filled with craft-oriented sessions. Friday’s sessions begin in the afternoon and are followed by a reading by one of our featured readers. Saturday includes a bookfair, where literary journals show and sell their latest issues, and presenter’ books are available. The sessions (four time slots) run all day. There is a reading in the afternoon by one of the featured readers, followed by the annual Open Mic, with a light dinner.

Winter Wheat is sponsored by MAR, the BGSU Ethnic and Cultural Arts Program, the Creative Writing Program at BGSU, Prairie Margins, the Graduate Writers Club, the Creative Writing Alumni Fund, and donations from attendees. The festival would not be possible without our generous donors! Donations for Winter Wheat and MAR can be made online, or through checks made out to BGSU Foundation, with Mid-American Review in the Memo line. Thank you for your support!

Fiction Writers

November is National Novel Writing Month

It’s not too early to be thinking about signing up for this – and figuring out how to build it into your schedule and make it happen! Is this the year you participate? Check it out soon – they have activities before November – and after!

The editor gets the final word – seeking your words

What other writing sites/blogs/contests have you found? Which ones do you follow? Which ones to you participate in – comments, emails, tweets and more? I’d love to make this newsletter more interactive. Please join in the conversation and share some of your favorites. 

2017 NWOCW Seminar Flyer.pdf



Northwest Ohio Christian Writers

July 2017

Next meeting: July 28

All critique session – with Jean Wise facilitating

Bring copies of your (short) work to share for critiquing. We will spend a few minutes on each person’s work – giving gentle criticism, praise, and suggestions for improvement (if needed) along with marketing tips if possible.

Our meeting begins at 11 a.m. With the speaker starting at noon during brown bag lunch.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 315 S. College, Bowling Green, OH 43402 (south entrance).


Fall Conference with Dennis Hensley

Saturday, October 21 at Holland Free Methodist Church

Begin now, if you haven’t already, to share the news. We’ll have fliers soon to share with friends and put up at local places, along with registration information. It will be a great day and a real boost to your writing. Plan now to attend!

Odds and Ends:

Writing News You Can (hopefully) Use

From Ruth is Writing ( )

No doubt you’ve heard of the free grammar checker called Grammarly. But do you know it’s free to use

And… It comes with a free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox?

You can download the free browser app by going to the Grammarly website and clicking the link.

From Mothers Always Write (

This site keeps coming to mind – not sure if it’s something for me or someone in our group, so I’m sharing it again. It’s a paying market, but only for certain things; and not much. But, it could help build that portfolio and platform we need to have!

The website above gives more details (and will link you back to their online publication), but here’s what they’re looking for in the near future:

Suggested Themes: (Please specify theme in cover letter)

For August, take a poem you have written and turn it into an essay. Send us both! Essays, ideally, will be no longer than 800 words. The theme is open.

For September, write about the Stepping Stones in your life as a mother—Things you’ve stepped on, stepped over, paths you have followed, people or things that have gotten you where you want to go.


From the editor’s desk

Summer – a time to catch up, to rest, to relax, and so forth. Which are you focused on? Please share – it would be nice to have the next newsletter filled with member news!

I traveled a lot this winter and spring, then June found my entire family home for the Father’s Day weekend, followed by yet another trip to Buffalo, NY. (Our preemie is doing great, by the way. Hope is now 5 months old, gaining weight steadily – she’s actually a little butterball – and catching up in all ways! Older sister, Ella, is quite a fan!)

I tried to stake a claim to July – for me; but alas, it has also been hijacked. 2 trips to Cleveland in the next 2 weeks. But these trips include time with family and projects that are near and dear to my heart, so it’s all good. One of the projects even includes writing! So I’m not as far off of my goals as it seems!

I have had a few days to myself – to get my life organized, spend time writing, and consider my next steps. I have made a lot of progress on each of these goals – with lots more to follow.

With that in mind, I will close with some thoughts I read this week in Streams in the Desert, one of my favorite devotionals. These words were a direct speaking from the Lord to my heart and I felt compelled to share them with my dear writing friends.

The moment has come when you must get off the perch of distrust, out of the nest of seeming safety, and onto the wings of faith; just such a time as comes to the bird when it must begin to try the air.

Hath he spoken, and shall He not do it? If you have gotten a word – “a sure word” of promise – take it implicitly,trust it absolutely.

And this sure word you have; nay, you have more – you have Him who speaks the word confidently. “Yea, I say unto you,” trust Him.




Northwest Ohio Christian Writers

Next meetings

11 a.m. Friday

May 27, 2016

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church 315 S. College

Bowling Green, OH 43402 (use the south entrance)

This meeting will be an all critique session led by Jean Wise (writer, speaker and spiritual director), from the Bryan writer’s group will facilitate this session. Bring 10 copies of a piece you have written for critiquing. And come prepared to share gentle and encouraging words with fellow writers on poems/articles/stories they have written.

NOTE: So everyone has a chance to share, please limit what you bring to a couple of pages. If you are working on a longer piece, just bring a sample page or two.

As usual, we will start at 11 with business and introductions. We will eat lunch as we move into the critiquing session so you can bring something to eat or run out and buy something to bring back (or stop on your way to the meeting).

In case I don’t get a June newsletter out – we will have our informal “Lunch Bunch” at the Perrysurg Panera (on Rte 20) on June 24 at noon.

And, mark your calendars for our fall seminar on October 15 in Holland!

Another Good Bye

Long-time member Carol Leonard will be leaving Toledo in a few weeks to join family in Littleton, Colorado. Many of us remember writing prompts from her Attic Treasures talks. (Getting older folks – and us, too! – to share memories from items often found in the attic.) We wish her the best and look forward to keeping in touch by email!

Writing Retreat

Once again, we had a wonderful writing retreat at the Lial Conference Center. Our theme was Let Your Writing Take Flight and we looked at our writing in comparison to birds: preparing their nests, building them, laying their eggs, incubating them, the hatching of the eggs, the growth of the baby birds through to the first flight and beyond! Our final session focused on the empty nest – what to do when our birds (poems, stories and articles) have “flown the coop” (to use an expression my mother often said!). It was a great time of learning, writing and networking!

From Martha Willey:

Attending the retreat at Lial is something I look forward to every year. The retreat is a time of fellowship and writing and laughter and food. It’s also an opportunity to be strengthened not only in your faith, but in your writing.

We accomplish a lot in the two days we’re there. There are devotionals and presentations and information gleaned through conversations with others. There’s comfort and encouragement to be had when you’re with a group of people who share a passion for the Lord and the written word.

For me the retreat this year was another step in the healing process after a rough winter. Surrounded by old and new friends, challenged to keep God in mind with my writing goals and seeing faith in action, I left after my two day stay at Lial with a song in my heart, and a pen ready in my hand.

Upcoming Conferences

Are you looking for a Christian writing conference that you can attend this summer? Just a couple of days? Great price? Taylor University announces its first writing conference, Taylor’s Professional Writing Conference.

Check out their website:

Agents, acquisitions editors, publicists, and editors are all coming to teach and meet you for one-on-one appointments.

Mark your calendar for August 5-6 at the Taylor University campus in Upland, Indiana. Just $99 gets you two days of sessions!

NOTE: If anyone wants to go to this, let me know and I’ll connect you to others so we can share rides and rooms. I’m definitely interested! Who else?

Write to Publish

June 8-11, 2016
at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois


This one is quite a bit more expensive, but offers a lot! There is a slight discount if you register before June 1. Again, if anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll connect you to others who want to go.

Writing Contests

Guideposts: Tell us Your Story


Win a week with us at the famous Guideposts Writers Workshop (all expenses paid), where you’ll learn all about inspirational storytelling. Your story could be read by millions in one of our magazines, Guideposts,Angels on Earth or Mysterious Ways . We’re looking for true, first-person stories, not sermons or essays. It can be your own story or something you’ve written for someone else. We’ll pick 12 candidates for the workshop in Rye, New York, October 17-21, 2016, taught by the editors of Guideposts.

Read what previous winners have to say about the experience. It changed their lives. It could change yours. Get started on your story today!

How to enter: Submit an original, unpublished, true first-person story in 2,000 words or less, typewritten and double-spaced, about an experience that changed your life. Show us how faith made a difference. Or you can ghostwrite for someone else. Tell us about yourself and your life experience as well.

Send your entry, postmarked by June 10, 2016, to Guideposts Writers Workshop, 110 William Street, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038. You can also e-mail your entry to Attendees will be notified by mid-August 2016. We only acknowledge winners’ entries. Writers who have attended previous Guideposts workshops are not eligible.

For more info:

Christian Communicator (magazine) is having a Short Story Contest. Details:

First place: $100
Second place: $50
Third place: $25
First- and second-place manuscripts will be published in a future issue.

Entry fee per manuscript: $10

Deadline: June 15

Topic: fiction about writing and/or getting published

Length: 650-1,00 words

Submission Guidelines
• Entries must be unpublished.
• You may enter multiple times.
• Email each manuscript (in proper format with all contact information and exact word count) as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or rich text format (.rtf) to Put “Short Story Contest” in the subject line.
• Before sending your manuscript, submit your your entry fee via credit card by calling 615-331-8668, or via check to Contest, P.O. Box 110390, Nashville, TN 37222. Entry fees are nonrefundable.
• Failure to follow these guidelines will disqualify your entry

Information You Can Use

How to Best Use Facebook as an Author

Shelley Lee sent this article, related to information she presented at the retreat. We thought you all might like to read it:

Let me know what you think! And/or what you do that is similar or different!