Northwest Ohio Christian Writers is a chapter of the American Christian Writers
NWOCW 2013 Update
By Katherine Douglas
The NW Ohio Christian Writers, now in its 36th year, continues to serve writers and speakers who hone their craft from a biblical worldview. In addition to our website, you can also find us on Facebook, NW Ohio Christian Writers. Many of our members have their own websites and blogs. Go to links under Member Sites. We hope to offer more links to add on NWOCW.org in the near future.
Meanwhile we continue our regular meetings and more and more of our members continue to get published in a variety of genres. Our annual Spring Retreat offers generous amounts of fun, information, and food. We continue to host super seminars in the fall of the year at a reasonable price.
You are always welcome to join us for our meetings and seminars, which are open to the public.
Here we are, over 30 years old as a group. Funny, we don't look that old! In many ways we are ageless, yet looking back through our membership list, many faces are no longer on this earth with us. Yet because of their love of writing, we have an important heritage and a group that continues to grow and help writers develop their God-given gifts.
I found it interesting that Betty's article on our 25th anniversary had so many vague references - "various places" … "at some point" and so on. How ironic that as writers we documented so little of our own history. I guess we were busy writing and enjoying meeting other writers so that we never thought to keep a careful record. Actually, we have a fairly complete record of our history which even includes a few photos. I have a collection of most of the newsletters we have produced through the years so a more accurate history could be written. It's on my list of writing projects, but don't hold your breath waiting for it. I was named the group historian at one of our retreats a few years ago, and I actually got off to a good start collecting things - but, like so much of my writing, it fizzled after the good start. But I still fully intend to complete it. Stay tuned.
I joined the group sometime in those early years which Betty has so concisely written about. I was a student at BG from 1977 to1979 and I recall meeting with Betty, Anne and Marcia (and others, I'm sure) in the Student Union on the BG campus. My earliest recollection is of a seminar in a small church in Paulding. That is where I met Anne and Betty. I remember Anne thanking Betty for mentoring her, then saying she hoped to pass that on to other young writers and she looked significantly at me. I always felt that she did serve in that capacity as we exchanged letters fairly frequently in those first few years. As a college student, then young wife and mother, my attendance was sporadic for many years, yet I always considered myself a writer and viewed the group as my support system. I remember bringing my twins as babies and enjoying watching Bonnie Smith happily rocking each of them - probably at Beve Schwind's home where we had our meeting each summer.
I could continue and bore you with many more stories, but I'll stop with that one.
In addition to Betty Everett, Nancy Kintner, Linda Tippett and Judy Gyde, Chuck Miller served as president after Judy. Kathy Douglas now holds that position. Our regular mailing list now contains 45 and our membership sits at 33. We send over 500 brochures out for our annual seminar.
This year will be our 20th seminar. Many new writing friends have met us through this annual event. In addition, many "old" friends have kept in touch with one another
We have had 5 retreats, with the next being May 1-2, 2009 at Lial Retreat Center in Whitehouse, OH. This is a wonderful time to escape from home and get together with other writers. It's always an encouraging and productive time.
In the summer of 2008 we launched our web page.
So, that brings us up to date - for now. I hope you all enjoyed the trip down memory lane as much as I did.
NWOCW BEGINNINGS By Betty Steele Everett Written for Our 25th Anniversary - October, 2002
Twenty-five years ago, in October, 1977, three women from Northwest Ohio met at a Christian Writers Conference in Cincinnati. They were Betty Steele Everett of Defiance, Marcia Krugh Leaser of Fremont, and Anne Williman, then of Old Fort.
All three were looking for fellow Christian writers to get together to critique and discuss writing, markets and hints for better witnessing through their writing
Realizing they lived too far apart to meet at each other’s homes, they agreed to meet at the Student Union at BGSU at 10 a.m. on a particular morning.
Taking a table near a window, the three began their meeting with a prayer, then exchanged manuscripts to read, and talked about what they hoped to do in the future. After lunch, they agreed on another date about a month later, to meet again at the same place.
After several months, Bev Schwind, then of Port Clinton, and Jane Howerth, also from Port Clinton, joined the group. They had met Marcia at a writers’ conference and were told of the informal get-togethers.
Later Margarita Beck, then of Weston, joined. There were no officers, dues, set meeting dates, or name, just women sitting around a table in a student union critiquing each other’s work.
Over the next few years more women joined the group. (Men came much later!). When the number got too big for the table in the Union, various meeting places were used – restaurants, churches, and then the Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green. In March, 2001, we moved to our present very comfortable site at the Church of the Nazarene in Bowling Green.
There were no officers, constitution, or name until Bob Moyers joined. He organized the group and was elected president. A constitution was adopted, and eventually a name. We became the Northwest Ohio Christian Writers Group, but later “Group” was dropped.
At some point, dues of $7 a year were adopted, and a library of instructional tapes for members’ use was begun. We also began a newsletter. THE WRITE STUFF has news of members’ interests and successes, writing and publishing news from the field, and tells of upcoming events. The newsletter is sent by e-mail or “snail mail” to all members early in the month we meet. Editors have changed several times. Betty Steele Everett, Denise Shumway, Diane Kashmer, and now Linda Tippett have all served in this capacity.
Under the later presidencies of Nancy Kintner, Linda Tippett and Judy Gyde, the group has grown until we have more than 70 on our mailing list. Since 1989 we have offered a September Seminar, open to the public. A list of the speakers and their qualifications are listed at the end of this history.
Seminars were held in various places, and in 2001 and 2002 the site was the Providence Lutheran Church in Holland, Ohio. While attendance in the earlier years was small, the last Seminars have drawn between 50 and 65 Christian writers eager to improve their work for the Lord.
In November, 2002, we held out first “Retreat” at Our Lady of the Pines in Fremont with 11 attending the two day sessions.
Hopefully, with God’s blessings, this group will continue for many years, and this brief history will be updated frequently.