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Contact: Judy Bingley, Administrative Assistant, The Word Guild
After helping to equip Canada’s Christian writers to achieve increased professionalism and greater influence, Wendy Nelles steps aside from leadership roles in Write! Canada and The Word Guild.
Toronto – Wendy Elaine Nelles will wrap up nine years of volunteer leadership in The Word Guild at the organization’s Write! Canada conference from June 17 to 19 in Guelph, Ontario.
Nelles, a Toronto-based writer and editor whose background includes journalism and corporate communications, co-founded The Word Guild in 2001, and assumed responsibility for directing Canada’s largest Christian writers’ conference, together with author N. J. Lindquist of Markham, Ontario.
"We started The Word Guild to strengthen and develop Canada’s Christian writing and publishing community, with the long-term vision of impacting the Canadian cultural landscape," Nelles explained. "I’m passionate about mentoring and encouraging other writers, and promoting excellence. Over the 22 years I’ve been involved with the God Uses Ink/Write! Canada conference, and the last 9 years with The Word Guild, it’s been wonderful to see hundreds of people affected by our work."
The Word Guild, a national organization of writers, editors and speakers who share a Christian worldview, has grown to 350 members. It provides professional development to published and aspiring writers through multiple channels, including writing contests and awards, newsletters, Internet discussion groups, manuscript critiques, workshops and conferences.
Nelles has worked on the leadership team in a number of areas, including revamping the Write! Canada conference, expanding the awards, developing new writing contests, and producing the awards galas, as well as strategic planning, public relations, and writing or editing much of The Word Guild’s printed and online material. She coordinated The Word Guild’s attaining registered charity status through its amalgamation with Christian Info Canada (CIC) in 2008, and served as board secretary. Except for small honoraria, this has all been done as a full-time volunteer.
Nelles and Lindquist both received the Leading Women Award for outstanding achievement in Communications and Media in 2006, for their work in co-founding The Word Guild. Bill Fledderus, senior editor of Faith Today magazine, said at the time, "Lindquist and Nelles have raised the bar for excellence in their sector of Christian ministry and encouraged many young and aspiring writers to make a difference in Canada through the written and spoken word."
"While many others have been involved in helping The Word Guild over the years, Wendy and I probably have spent more time talking with each other by phone or email than we spent with anyone else-including our families!" Lindquist commented. "We worked very well together. I tend to see the big picture and roughly what needs to happen, while Wendy sees how to implement and improve plans, and makes sure the details are looked after." Lindquist added, "Wendy is highly intelligent, passionate in her desire to use her gifts to serve God faithfully, and great at everything she does."
Due to family illness, Nelles has resigned from her positions with The Word Guild to focus on personal matters, and later on, her own writing, which has been put on hiatus for much longer than intended. "But I’ll continue to take an active interest in The Word Guild and its members," she added, "and I’ll act as a consultant and ambassador for The Word Guild in my role as co-founder."
"Wendy has set an example of excellence for the rest of us. Her attention to detail, her amazing memory, her familiarity with the history of, not only The Word Guild and Write! Canada, but also the God Uses Ink Conference, her knowledge and experience, let alone her passion, faith, patience, help and encouragement, have meant a great deal to me over the years. I will miss her, but am excited to see her finally pursue her own writing again. Now, we need to find a team of people to replace her!" said Denise Rumble, The Word Guild’s managing director.
More information about The Word Guild can be found at www.thewordguild.com, and about Nelles at www.thewordguild.com/aboutfounders.
ABOUT THE WORD GUILD
The Word Guild is a growing team of more than 350 Canadian writers, editors, speakers, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other interested individuals who are Christian. From all parts of Canada and many denominational and cultural backgrounds, we are united in our common passion to positively influence individuals – and ultimately the Canadian culture – through life-changing words that bring God’s message of hope.
We encourage the exploration of God-given gifts and talents; provide opportunities for people to work together; and foster excellence in the art, craft, practice and ministry of writing, editing and speaking.
The 26th edition of Write! Canada, The Word Guild’s annual flagship event and Canada’s largest Christian writers’ conference, takes place June 17 to 19 in Guelph, Ont. Openings are still available. Full details about speakers and classes, plus online registration, can be found at www.writecanada.org.
The Word Guild sponsors a number of awards programs for published and unpublished writers including: Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian, the $5,000 Grace Irwin Award; the Leslie K. Tarr Award for career achievement, whose 2010 recipient is children’s author and Order of Canada member Jean Little; the Partnership Award to an individual or organization who provides outstanding support and encouragement of writers; The God Uses Ink Awards for novice writers; and The Canadian Christian Writing Awards, which recognize the best work published in 35 categories.
The public is warmly invited to celebrate with the writers at the annual black-tie Writing Awards Gala on Wednesday June 16 at 7:30 p.m., immediately preceding the Write! Canada conference. It will be held at World Vision headquarters in Mississauga, Ont. Tickets are still available for purchase online at www.canadianchristianwritingawards.com, or at the door.