Thursday, November 29, 2018


Join us for some festive fun, sharing, and giving!


Sunday, November 4, 2018


Please join us as we hold the third “Launching Writers as Speakers” (LWaS), on Saturday, November 10th, at Arlington Community Church on Randol Mill Rd. (click for map) 

The event is from 10:30a.m.-12:00p.m. 

Doors open at 10a.m.  This is followed by further networking and fellowship time with a pay-your-way lunch at a local restaurant. 

This year we’re excited to welcome two of our members, Katy Huth Jones and Sara-Meg Seese as our speakers.

Launching Writers as Speakers was developed several years ago to assist ACFW DFW Ready Writers members in being more comfortable behind a mic and in front of a crowd – all within the caring community comprised of our local membership and guests.

Previously, presenters were brand new to speaking. This year, however, LWaS is changing things up a little by welcoming two speakers who are familiar with presentations. But for one reason or another, both are in need of their friends in the Ready Writers community to help them step (back) into their comfort zones.

Katy Huth Jones will be presenting, “Great Expectations.” If you find your great expectations in writing and publishing unfulfilled, perhaps there is a deeper lesson to be learned. Katy Huth Jones will share how her expectations changed in her thirty-year writing journey and will encourage you to think out of the box as you seek opportunities to be published. You can connect further with Jones on her Facebook page: or her blog:

Sara-Meg Seese will be presenting, “Dialogue From a Dramatist’s POV.” The words we say are but the tip of the iceberg. This interactive workshop helps the writer develop better dialogue and dialogue tags/beats by understanding subtext. You can visit her on her Facebook page:

For further information about this and other programs through ACFW DFW, visit our FB page: and be sure to check out our FB events page to register your spot:!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

“Quick Fixes for a Deeper Point of View.”

Join us on Saturday, October 13, 2018, 10:30 a.m. when we welcome Frank Ball, presenting, “Quick Fixes for a Deeper Point of View.” 

Monthly meetings are held at Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Rd, Arlington, most often followed by further networking and fellowship at a nearby restaurant.

Ball, a member of ACFW DFW, is well versed in writing and presentations, so much so that as a group we did something a little different this month—we put up for vote which of Ball’s many presentations he would give. “Quick Fixes” rose above the rest. It’s easy to see why as attendees will learn: what to look for in deepening the point of view without having to rewrite the scene. Beginning with the most simple grammatical improvements that help the author with “show, don’t tell,” then looking at possible sentence revisions that give readers a better feel for being in the scene, involved in the action.

Visiting Ball’s website (link below) is a fun exercise in exploration, from his quirky title of “writer, speaker, counselor, thought provoker, and weird dreamer…” to his “Frankisms” and a listing of “Daffynitions.”

For ten years Ball directed the North Texas Christian Writers. In 2011 he founded Story Help Groups to encourage and equip all Christians to tell their life-changing stories. He has taught at writer’s conferences and churches across the U.S. and Canada, in addition to writing his own books, blogging, ghostwriting, copy editing, and graphic design. His books include: “Eyewitness,” “God’s Plan,” “Acts of the Messengers in the Early Church,” and others.

Connect with Ball on his website: or on his FB page:

For further information about this and other programs through ACFW DFW, visit our FB page: and be sure to check out our FB events page to register your spot:!   

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What You Didn’t Learn About Writing Mysteries From Nancy Drew

Join us Saturday, September 8, 2018, 10:30 a.m. when we welcome, Linda Kozar, as she presents, “What You Didn’t Learn About Writing Mysteries From Nancy Drew.” 

Monthly meetings are held at Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Rd, Arlington, followed by further networking and fellowship at a nearby restaurant (unless otherwise noted).

Kozar will share the “how-to’s of writing a whodunit” with us. She’s well versed in this genre with many titles to her fiction works, including: Until the Fat Ladies Sing series, Sweet Petite Mysteries (short story cozies), several stand-alone book titles and collections, as well as some romances and devotionals thrown in for good measure.

Reading through her “About” page on her website, it’s fairly clear that Kozar has lived an interesting and varied life. From being raised in New Orleans, and a familiarity of Vieux Carre, or the French Quarter, through her father who grew up there (ask Kozar about his boyish escapades with a certain sword. Could that be where her sense of mystery and adventure stemmed from), to once having discovered a shoe in her soup—but that’s a story for her to tell.

She is the founder of the The Woodlands, TX chapter of ACFW, current board member with Christian Authors Network (CAN)—among other associations, a hybrid published author (both self- and traditionally published), and the podcast host of Chat Noir Mystery and Suspense on Blogtalk Radio. All that in addition to being a wife, mother of two-plus-one, and mom to, Gypsy, a Jack Russell Terrier.

Connect with Kozar on her website: or on her FB page:

For further information about this and other programs through ACFW DFW, visit our FB page: and be sure to check out our FB events page to register your spot:!   

Friday, July 27, 2018

Accomplishing the Impossible: When Your Heart Says Yes, But Your Mind Says No.

Join us Saturday, August 11, 2018, 10:30 a.m. when we welcome Greg Matthews as he presents, “Accomplishing the Impossible: When Your Heart Says Yes, But Your Mind Says No.” Monthly meetings are held at Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Rd, Arlington, followed by further networking and fellowship at a nearby restaurant (unless otherwise noted).

According to Matthews, “the greatest obstacle to fulfilling goals and dreams is doubt.” He maintains that with the right mindset and the ability to envision those dreams and goals, you can accomplish anything. He should know, as he survived the near impossible, set to print in his upcoming book “Relentless,” releasing Spring 2019.

Matthews is driven by a passion to help those who cannot help themselves and has dedicated most of his life to defending our nation and safeguarding the lives of others. His resume reads like a Who’s Who in the safety and security sector, starting with service in the U.S. Air Force during the Desert Storm and Desert Shield wars. For the next twenty-seven years he continued with posts as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, rescue helicopter pilot, and fugitive recovery agent, to name just a few. He currently serves as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Southwestern Division antiterrorism officer—protecting the nation’s dams, hydropower generation plants, and navigation locks.

His tireless pursuit to defend his nation is tempered only by his passion and foundation of love and relationship with God and family.  Never was this more evident than on September 22, 2015, when Matthews was brutally mauled by an enraged grizzly bear while bow hunting moose in remote Alaska with his brother. Lying in that field, dying, Matthews made the decision to live. Over the next eight hours his faith in God, his love and commitment to his family, and ultimately his will and ability to survive the impossible, would be tested to its limits. He now uses his brush with death, along with his other skill sets to empower men to find their purpose on the foundation of Family, Faith, and Freedom. His outreach, “Chase What Matters,” is helping to develop America’s patriots of tomorrow.

Matthews and his family live in Plano. He and his wife, Rhea, spend most of their time at the baseball and softball fields watching their three kids play. When asked what the biggest change since the attack has been, he responded, “I try and live every day now like I may never see tomorrow. If you live with that perspective, there will never be a question as to what’s important.”

Connect with Matthews on his website: or on his FB page:

For further information about this and other programs through ACFW DFW, visit our FB page: and be sure to check out our FB events page to register your spot:!   

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Writing the Bad Guys: 5 Ways to Effectively Write Antagonists

Join us Saturday, July 14, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. CDT as we welcome author Susie Finkbeiner, presenting “Writing the Bad Guys: 5 Ways to Effectively Write Antagonists.” 

The meeting will be held at the usual Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Rd, Arlington, while Finkbeiner joins us through the marvel of Skype from the Grand Rapids, MI area.

“There’s just something about reading a book with an antagonist you love to hate. But how do we write these villains in our own stories?” Finkbeiner will share five ways to effectively write antagonists, without ending up with stereotypes or cardboard cutouts.

She is the author of the CBA bestselling Pearl Spence Trilogy - “A Cup of Dust: A Novel of The Dust Bowl” (2015), “A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of The Great Depression” (2017), and “A Song of Home: A Novel of The Swing Era” (2017). “A Trail of Crumbs” is currently on the Inspy Awards shortlist in the General Fiction category – with winners scheduled to be announced in just a few weeks. Her Vietnam Era novel will release in 2019 with Revell. She is also the author of “My Mother’s Chamomile” and “Paint Chips.”

When not writing, she is on the Planning Committee for the Breathe Christian Writers Conference serving as the Online Communications Coordinator. She loves to sing, paint, drink coffee, and is an avid reader.

Finkbeiner is a wife, mother, and novelist doing her best to live the story in West Michigan. Follow along with her at:, on Facebook:, or on Twitter:

Although not mandatory, it is helpful for planning purposes to reserve your spot by emailing your name and telephone to:
Subject line: July 2018 or Susie Finkbeiner.

As is usual, the meeting will be followed by a pay-your-way lunch for further fellowship and fun at a nearby restaurant.

To find out more about this and other events with ACFW DFW Ready Writers, visit us at:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Agents and Editors, Who Needs Them?

Join us Saturday, June 9, 2018 – 10:30a, at ArlingtonCommunity Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Rd, Arlington, as we welcome multi-published author, Lena Nelson Dooley presenting “Agents and Editors, Who Needs Them?”

With an abundance of books and multiple series written, Dooley is quite familiar with the ins and outs of working with agents and editors. Come and listen to her advice on how (and when) to work with them.

Her books, series, and collection additions are too numerous to mention each of them, but a few reader favorites include: the McKenna’s Daughters series, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, and her many Christmas tales. Additionally, the awards she’s earned are many, including: spots on the Evangelical Christian Publisher’s Association (ECPA) and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) Bestseller lists, two Will Rogers Medallion Awards, two Selah Awards, and two Reader’s Choice awards—among others.  

Further experience working with industry professionals has come through being represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency, as well as screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs. She is on the Board of Directors for Higher Ground Films and is one of the screenwriters for their upcoming film Abducted to Kill. She has been featured in articles in Christian Retailing, ACFW Journal, Charisma Magazine, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine.

In addition to her writing, Dooley is a frequent speaker at women’s organizations, writer’s groups, as well as regional and national conferences. All this is in addition to hosting “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” on the Along Came a Writer blog radio network and leading her own writer’s critique group.

Her interests vary from, visiting with readers, writers, and other authors; reading for her own pleasure, yarn works, travel, spending time with her husband James and their family, and enjoying a wide and eclectic taste in music. Oh, and chocolate!

Further information about Dooley, her books and presentations, and her other adventures can be found on these and other sites - website:, blog: Http://, Facebook:, and Twitter:

Although not mandatory, it is helpful for planning purposes to reserve your spot by emailing your name and telephone to:
Subject line: June 2018 or Lena Nelson Dooley.
As is usual, this meeting will be followed by a pay-your-way lunch at a nearby restaurant for further networking, fun, and fellowship.
See you there!
For more information about this and other events with ACFW DFW Ready Writers, visit our website at: or our Facebook page at: 

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Psychology of a Hero

Please join us Saturday, May 12 at 10:30 am - 12 noon 
at Arlington Community Church – 1715 W. Randol Mill Rd,

as we welcome Marji Laine presenting “The Psychology of a Hero.”

When Laine asks the questions, “Are you and your main characters still on speaking terms, or do you face a blank page with nothing but silence from your hero?” and “Do you ever hear words from critique partners like “inconsistent,” “unreasonable,” or “unrealistic?’” she has the techniques to turn the answers into positives.

“There are some things you can do to ensure the actions and attitudes you give to your character ring true for your hero’s personality. And by becoming your hero’s psycho-therapist, you might just find that he (or she) will keep on speaking to you loud and clear,” Laine says.

And she writes what she loves to read: mystery, suspense, and romance all with a deep thread of faith and hope. A "graduated" home-schooling mom of four, she's delighted to still be active in the lives of her young adult twins, as well as helping her oldest daughter plan her upcoming wedding. (Not to mention taking notes for a new romance novel!)
But writing isn’t the only work occupying Laine’s calendar now. 

As the new Executive Director of Write Integrity Press, lately she’s been spending more time editing than she does writing. She delights in working with her authors and hosts a monthly radio program, Publishing Laine, which is focused on writing and publishing.

Music and church life is also important to Laine. She is the children's music director at her church, an alto in the adult choir, a teacher in the Sunday youth classes, and the leader of a high school/college-aged Bible Study.

Asked about a list of favorites and you get an eclectic mix as she cites dogs, NASCAR, Texas Ranger Baseball, Hallmark movies, Perry Mason, white roses, and chocolate chip cookies among her top choices.

To learn more about Marji Laine, visit her at: or her author page at
Or connect with her on:


Although not mandatory, it is helpful for planning purposes to reserve your spot by emailing your name and telephone to:
Subject line: May 2018 or Marji Laine

As is usual, this meeting will be followed by a pay-your-way lunch at a nearby restaurant for further networking, fun, and fellowship.
See you there!

For more information about this and other events with ACFW DFW Ready Writers, visit  our Facebook page at: 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Give Your Imagination Wings
The ACFW DFW chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers
Invites you to the
3rd Annual Spring Conference
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Arlington Community Church 1715 W Randol Mill Rd.
9:00a – 2:45p
(info below)

Keep up with further info

Keynote Speaker
Robin Patchen – Writer of Romantic Suspense with Soul and Spirit

Two Presentations
Small Edits, Big Impact: Learn how to use rhetorical devices and other simple tricks to improve the emotional impact of your prose. Each device will have examples from speeches, literature, and movies to illustrate how they can be used in all kinds of writing. 

Writing the Emotional Roller Coaster: Explore the three ways to add emotion to your manuscript, when it is appropriate to use each, and discover how to use the emotional wheel to bring more depth to your manuscripts to pull your readers onto an emotional roller coaster that will leave them breathless. 

Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes, ski lodges, and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Patchen to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Patchen has been writing all her life but didn’t start down the fiction trail until nine years ago. Since then, she’s written thirteen books and co-authored one. Her books include the Hidden Truth series “Convenient Lies,” “Twisted Lies,” “Generous Lies,” and “Innocent Lies;” the Amanda series, including “Chasing Amanda,” and “Finding Amanda;” as well as A Package Deal, Faith House, and collaboration on the nonfiction, The Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing.

Patchen and her husband, Eddie, have been married for 24 years and are the proud parents of three children—teens through young adult. Although from New Hampshire and having lived for years in the OKC area, she and her family are in the midst of a work transfer to North Carolina. To find out more about our talented keynote speaker visit: or

J.A. Marx – Embattled Spirit Author

Twisting Your Plot - Wow! I did not expect that to happen.” Yes, even you can surprise the socks off your readers. J.A. Marx teaches one simple technique that will set authors on the road to mastering the plot twist. Learn to add everything from unexpected turns to radically messing with your reader’s mind. After this 30-minute lesson, you will no longer hear any reader say, “Well, that was predictable.” Audience participation required. Bring your imagination, a pen and paper, or your laptop.

A multi-published hybrid author and freelance editor, J.A. Marx writes psychological suspense/adventure with threads of romance and supernatural undertones. She is a graduate of The Christian Writers Guild's elite Craftsman course, under mentors Jerry Jenkins and DiAnn Mills. One of her favorite activities is a weekly critique group where she has the honor of helping other writers hone their craft.

Marx’s fiction bookshelf includes: co-written Christmas novellas: The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt and A Ruby ChristmasMirror, Mirror (e-book only), and The Destiny Series: “Destiny Defied,” “Destiny Delivered,” and “Destiny Defended.” Her nonfiction publications include CBN devotionals, various articles, and The Embattled Spirit weekly blog. 

Growing up in Colorado, Marx spent much of her childhood climbing trees and rocks and riding horses. She graduated from Colorado State University with a BA in Arts & Humanities and a double minor in French and Music. Having lived in Tennessee and Ohio, she presently calls Texas her home, near her children and grandchildren. She has been involved in many types of ministries but above all, Marx’s desire is to see people set free to live and to love. To discover more about J.A. Marx, visit her at:  and

Harry Hall – Author and Professional Speaker
Make your Book Launch an Event - A book launch is an opportunity for you, the author, to showcase your writing skills and to join friends and family in reveling in your achievement. But too often, book launches pass with little fanfare, and what should be a celebration often falls flat. In this session, you will learn techniques that will turn your launch into an event. Takeaways include strategies on marketing and promoting your launch, ingredients for maximizing the moment, and follow-ups that will create long-lasting memories. 

In 2002, after 15 years of freelance writing, Harry Hall decided to write a book about the history of American women distance runners. After six months of research, he just knew he was missing the bigger story. He found the missing adventure in John Cumming’s, Runners and Walkers, a 19th Century Sports Chronicle, in a briefly mentioned statement of the late 19th century professional women endurance walkers; a  group of talented young women who dazzled America with their on and off track exploits from 1876-1881. The miles of travel and hours of research, along with a gifted scrapbook from Charlotte and Gerry Curtis—sisters and the great-granddaughters of May Marshall, the most prolific pedestrienne--would become Hall’s book, The Pedestriennes: America’s Forgotten Superstars, and an eventual screenplay.
His other book, "Help! Everyone is Staring at Me, is based on his experiences as a radio talk show host, speaker, and teacher of public speaking at the University of Dallas and SMU. Hall is a charter inductee into the Mayborn Author’s Guild, the first of several writing awards. He is an active member of Toastmasters International, the Dallas Press Club, DFW Writers Workshop and the National Speaker’s Association. He also frequently judges speech contests for home-schooled students.

A former track coach, Hall still follows the sport and loves talking distance running and baseball history. He and his wife Susie live in Grand Prairie where he loves spending time with his 20-year-old son, Zane, and Zane’s best friend, Scamp (Pooch) Hall. For more information visit Hall at:  and

PLEASE NOTE TIME DIFFERENCE FOR THIS EVENT (from normal monthly schedule)
            Doors open 9:00a for registration, coffee and light morning refreshments.
Final remarks and closing 2:45p.
Reservations are REQUIRED for this event by Friday, April 6, 2018.
TO REGISTER: email -
Subject line: April – WINGS Conference
Body of text: Name(s) and best phone number(s)
A confirmation email will be sent with further info.

ACFW DFW members - $25
Non-ACFW DFW members - $30
High School and College students (WITH school ID) - $15
Lunch is included in the conference fee.

Reserve your spot today!
See you there!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Injecting Your Fiction with Life

Due to funeral needs at the church the ACFW DFW Ready Writers March meeting will be held in the chapel of Arlington Community church tomorrow. Same building as usual, just on the other end. Signs will be posted. See you then!

Please join us as we welcome Dr. Marie Sontag on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 10:30a - Arlington Community Church as she presents “Research: Injecting Your Fiction with Life.”

Just how can we inject relevant research, at appropriate moments and in accurate amounts, to help bring our fiction to life?  

This workshop will provide tips about where to research in order to find the precise details needed to ground our fiction in reality. To get a more “hands-on” experience, you are invited to bring a laptop to further explore some of the sites that will be visited. Handouts will be provided.

Sontag loves to bring history to life through historical fiction. With a BA in Social Science, as well as both an MA and Ph.D. in education, she says teaching middle school for over 15 years has kept her young. Her middle-grade series takes place in Ancient Mesopotamia. Her “Ancient Elements” trilogy includes The Bronze DaggerThe Alabaster Jar, and The Silver Coin. When on author visits, Dr. Sontag is always accompanied by her authenticated 3,500-year-old bronze dagger, alabaster jar, and 2,300-year-old Phoenician coin. 
Her YA historical fiction book, Rising Hope, places readers alongside Polish Boy Scouts and Girl Guides who helped the Polish Underground fight the Germans during WWII. These are just some of her titles, along with several current works In progress. In addition to writing, she speaks at various functions including schools, Literacy Conferences, Writers Groups, Ethnic festivals, etc. Her topics are varied and entertaining.

Born in Milwaukee, WI, and having lived FOREVER in San Jose, CA, she currently makes her home in North Richland Hills, TX , where her favorite activities are attending concerts and musicals with her husband, and playing trains with her grandson.
Discover more about Dr. Sontag on her website: or at:

Although not mandatory, it is helpful for planning purposes to reserve your spot by emailing your name and telephone to: Subject line: March 2018 or Marie Sontag.
To keep up to date on this and other ACFW DFW Ready Writers events, visit our Facebook page:
The meeting will be followed by the usual pay-your-way lunch at a nearby restaurant for further networking, fun, and fellowship.
See you there!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Go Ahead, Make a Scene!

Join us on Saturday, February 10th at 10:30 a.m. at Arlington Community Church as Julie B Cosgrove, multi-award wining author of sixteen books with four more under contract, will lead a hands-on creative workshop on how to make a scene readers will enjoy.

Julie says, "When readers tell me they felt they as if they were watching a TV movie as they read my book, I inwardly pump my fist - nailed it!"

Today's readers have grown up being visually stimulated for their entertainment. From TV to movie theater graphics, to computer video games, gifs and You Tube, their eyes truly are the windows to their souls. With readership dwindling, authors have to change our way of thinking and writing in order to compete for people's time and entertainment needs.

To capture their attention, we must virtually insert our readers into the plot along with our characters. Julie will show us examples of how she does it by stimulating the reader's five senses in almost every scene. She will also show how to eliminate tags, which can often yank the reader out of the story the way mini-hiccups can interrupt a folktale teller's yarn.

Bring your creative juices and your laptop or pen (paper provided). There will be ample time during the workshop for you to create a scene and then, if you wish, share it with the rest of the Ready Writers that day.

Awarded "One of the 50 Writers You Should Be Reading" in 2015 and 2016 by the nationally syndicated radio program The Authors' Show, Julie B Cosgrove has been a freelance writer since 2007. Besides being a digital missionary on staff with Campus Crusades Canada's internet ministry as a writer and editor, Julie has written regularly for several other faith-based publications since 2009 including Daily Bread, Life from the Word, Good News Daily,Thoughts About God and The Journey.

Her novel, Freed to Forgive was a Grace Award finalist, and her suspense-romance, Legitimate Lies won Best Inspirational Fiction by a Texas Author in 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors as well as being an INSPY Award semi-finalist. Her first cozy mystery in the Bunco Biddies Mysteries, Dumpster Dicing, won Best Cozy by a Texas Author 2017. Three of her short stories have won awards as well.

Besides being a member of ACFW, Julie has achieved the highest level of public speaking in Toastmasters International, The Advanced Communication Gold. She is a member of the Advanced Speakers and Writers Association, and the Christian Authors Network(CAN).

Her own devotional blog, Where Did You Find God Today? has readership in 52 countries.

Reservations are not mandatory but are requested for this event. Reserve your spot today!

Subject line: February 2018 - Make A Scene
Body of text: Name and best phone number for each reservation spot.

Share the usual Dutch-treat lunch afterward for further fellowship and networking.  

See you there!

Keep up with all the happenings of ACFW DFW Ready Writers here or by following us on Facebook: