Presbyterian Writers Guild honors award-winning authors at online celebration Reply

By Mike Ferguson, Presbyterian News Service

Read the entire story here.

On August 8, 2022, the Presbyterian Writers Guild celebrated the work of three authors during an awards presentation all too familiar over the past two years: via Zoom, rather than the in-person General Assembly venue that members much prefer.

“We wish we were seeing each other in person in the hallowed halls of the General Assembly,” said PWG president Emily Enders Odom, “where much laughter and a lot of chocolate is shared.”

Guild members and friends were treated to talks by three honorees: Jane Kurtz, winner of the David Steele Distinguished Writer Award for 2020; her sister, Caroline Kurtz, the 2020 Presbyterian Publishing Corporation Best First  Book Award winner for her book A Road Called Down on Both Sides: Growing Up in Ethiopia and America;  and Bill Chadwick, who won the PPC’s Best First Book Award for 2022 for Still Laughing, Still Learning (Still Looking for a Good Title).

Caroline and Jane Kurtz

“It’s such a pleasure to see what words and pictures can do, and such a pleasure to collaborate with so many people,” Jane said.

“I’ve been a Presbyterian all my life. To have been fed and encouraged and challenged and sent by the Presbyterian Church and now recognized and awarded and supported in this work, that means so much to me,” Caroline said. “We have longed to share our lives with people who haven’t had the chance to experience it as we have.”

See Jane Kurtz’s Powerpoint presentation here.

See Caroline Kurtz’s Powerpoint presentation here.

Bill Chadwick, a retired pastor living in Minnetonka, Minnesota, called his book a culmination of years of ministry, including both stories and sermons.

2022 Best First Book winner

“I was hoping to share my great wisdom with a wider audience, have something permanent for my children and maybe grandchildren and be a New York Times best-selling author,” he said with a smile. “I got the second one, anyhow.”

“My dad was a farmer and a wonderful storyteller. I’m proud to follow in his tradition,” Chadwick said. “It’s a wonderful honor and I’m so grateful.”

Kevin Kouba, the music director at Briargate Presbyterian Church in Louisville, provided piano music during the celebration. The Rev. Dr. Bridgett Green, Vice President for Publishing at the PPC, discussed recently published and upcoming titles for both grownups and children.

Yet another highlight was an acapella version of those gathered online singing the PWG hymn, written years ago by legendary Presbyterian journalist Vic Jameson and set to the tune of “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”

Presbyterian Writers Guild Hymn

By Vic Jameson

Glorious words we all have written,
members of the Writers Guild;
With our skills we all are smitten
and with virtue we are filled.
We are bound to be immortal;
great renown is our intent.
We will rest in Heaven’s portal
if we just can get in print.

We will be an inspiration,
as we write our lovely words.
Every tribe and every nation
will be glad they’ve read or heard
all our works of smiles and sadness
and the joy we bring to them;
While our hearts are filled with gladness
as the royalties roll in.

We will make the world much brighter
with our poems and with our prose.
And the byline of each writer
will be one creation knows.
We will find that we are listed
in the heavenly Hall of Fame.
And each one will have requested:

Please, God, don’t misspell my name!

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