Omega Writers

A word from our out-going President

Penny Reeve announced her resignation from the role of president at the 2023 AGM. Omega Writers wishes her well and thanks her for her faithful service to Australia’s Christian Writers Network. These are her reflections on her final year as President.

I have been the Omega President for three years now and it has been a privilege to serve the Australian Christian Writers network in this way. Although these past few years have included a lot of challenges for the management committee, including dealing with COVID interruptions and website issues, they have also been a time of incredible growth. Our management committee has been the strongest it has ever been with 11 members voted in at our last AGM. Our conference sub-committee is a healthy 5-member team and chapter groups around the country and across the genres are also growing. 

What I find so encouraging about this, is that the vision of Omega Writers – to provide inspiration, learning, celebration and encouragement for Christian writers in Australia and New Zealand who strive for excellence in their craft as well as faithfulness in their creativity – is being carried out in practical ways as Australasian writers are stepping up to actively serve, support and encourage each other. Members of Omega Writers are not just signing up for the resources and awards they can receive to build their own writing careers, they are sticking around and pitching in to support and celebrate each other!

Thank you to our management committee

As I mentioned earlier, the Omega Writers Management Committee started this year with 11 elected members. This included the legally required roles of President (myself), Amanda Deed as our faithful and committed Treasurer and Adele Jones as our QLD based Secretary. The other volunteers on the committee include Tamika Spaulding, Meredith Resce, Carolyn Miller, Jen Richards, Tamara Wenham, Cecily Paterson, Karen Roper and Bev Murril. Bev Murril resigned from the committee in the middle of this year in order to pursue further study and we wish her all the best with that and thank her for the wisdom, support and assistance she was able to provide while on the committee.
From the end of March until mid-June I took some leave from upfront duties as president to focus on my daughter’s wedding and a trip to the USA (where I presented at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and was able to represent Omega Writers in that capacity). Meredith Resce stepped into the leadership role during my absence and I am very grateful to her and the rest of the committee for allowing me this valuable time.
Everyone who is involved in keeping Omega Writers running and networking with writers at the ground level are volunteers. They are all writers working on their own projects and honing their skills, but also with various other calls on time and life demands. I do not take for granted the generous and servant hearted commitment these people have offered.

Our new look and website

One of the big projects the committee has been engaged with over the last two years was to rebrand and relaunch the online presence of Omega Writers. There were two key aims of this project: 

  1. To better reach our audience of Christian writers who may be seeking support, networking and professional development and 
  2. To improve the value for money our members receive when they sign up to be part of Omega Writers. 

Due to the generous financial support of a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, Omega Writers was able to engage the services of Mimshack Resources to redesign our logo and provide a long overdue rebuild for our website. On its own, this would have been a massive task, but it was further complicated by a website hack which unfortunately coincided with the launch of CALEB 2023. A big thank you must go to Cecily Paterson who has worked closely with the Mimshack and behind the scenes this year to provide IT assistance to unravel the website issues and lead the rebuild. Our new website is and is a terrific resource for members and non-members alike. Thank you also to Helen from Impressance for her help during this time.


New membership system

Another consequence of the website crash was the inability to receive new members, or for existing members to renew their expired membership. Thankfully, and I cannot stress enough the amount of work that your volunteer management team have been doing to sort this out, these issues have been resolved and the new website now has new and improved membership systems. I’d like to include an additional thankyou to Adam Collings and Susan Barnes for their input this year answering multiple questions and helping us bridge the gap between the old and new systems. If your membership has lapsed or you know someone who would like to join, please head over to the website and renew your membership knowing you will have access to further information and member benefits, plus a much more user-friendly experience. 

New value for Omega Writers members

Improving the value add for members was another key priority for the committee this year. We built our range of professional development opportunities and offered members discounts on a range of relevant and interactive Masterclasses including: Author PR with Katrina Roe held in April, Amazing Book Blurbs with Laura Tharion in June, and Hunting for History with Tamara Wenham in August 2023. There will also be a session by Jen Richards on Marketing Principles for Authors held in November this year. 

Our Zoom Retreat this weekend is another professional development and networking event designed to encourage and equip members. Special thanks must go to the Zoom Retreat Sub-Committee of Tamara, Meredith, Karen and Amanda for pulling this special event together. For those of you who are sticking around for the whole event, we are sure it will be a great time of encouragement and community.

As we continue to build the value on offer for members, there are a significant number of other benefits for members worth highlighting:

  • The new website has options for featuring and promoting Omega Writers members. Please stay tuned for member instructions on how to be included on this page. 
  • There is a quarterly newsletter specifically for highlighting new book releases by members. 
  • Discounts for members from sponsorship partners including: Stories of Life, The Wandering Bookseller and inScribe Journal.
  • Discounts for Masterclasses, Zoom Retreat and Conference tickets.
  • A quarterly Omega Writers Prayer Meeting, facilitated by Tamika Spaulding. 
  • Chapter Groups! There are currently 10 chapter groups functioning and each one runs slightly differently serving the members (and other interested writers) they are relevant to. I’d like to thank the following people, and the teams they represent – for often it’s not just one person who makes these chapter groups happen – for their investment in Christian writers all around Australia.
    • Tamara Wenham – Adelaide 
    • Judy Rogers – Brisbane 
    • Stephanie Wilson – Geelong 
    • Carolyn Tonkin and Louise Tonna – Melbourne 
    • Jean Saxby – Sydney 
    • Tamika Spaulding – Tasmanian 
    • Adele Jones and Nola Passmore – Toowoomba 
    • Wendy Parker – Wollongong 
    • Linsey Painter – Fantasy and Sci/Fi 
    • Simon Kennedy – Screenwriters


We currently have over 150 paid Omega Writers Members. Masterclasses and the Zoom Retreat helped to add income and we have also launched a paid downloadable resource from the website. All profit made from these sources is channelled back into the organisation, including paying for hosting services and ensuring we pay presenters fairly recognising their time, qualifications and input. 

The 2023 Caleb Award

CALEB 2023 has been the year of the unpublished competition. Winners were announced  at the CALEB Awards ceremony on Saturday 7th October. The Barnabas Award had a record-breaking number of nominations this year, which was a joy to see. Encouraging and supporting other writers is at the heart of what Omega Writers is all about, and it is wonderful to be able to recognise writers who otherwise work unseen to do this.

One of the things that makes the CALEB competition unique is the input of volunteers. I’d like to recognise and thank Iola Goulton for her ongoing, generous and professional level of commitment to these awards. This year, she and I worked closely to revise the CALEB Rules for clarity and professionalism, so they are more in line with the standard seen in other similar competitions. The updated rules can be downloaded from the new website.

It is also important, in any report on CALEB, to acknowledge the many volunteers who judge our competition. Thank you all. Without you, our awards could not function.
Next year’s CALEB Awards will be for Published Books. 

Omega Conferences

The next In-Person event on the Omega Writers Calendar is the 2024 Conference. Carolyn Miller, a long-term volunteer on the management committee, has taken the role of lead facilitator of the 2024 Conference Sub-Committee. I would like thank Carolyn for her commitment to Omega Writers over the years and her decision to volunteer in this capacity, especially as she continues to juggle the release and publication of more books than I can count!
For the 2024 conference, the main keynote speaker is already locked in to be Susan May Warren, an award winning and experienced author from the USA. The conference is planned for Sydney, NSW, from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd September 2024. I can guarantee you won’t want to miss this opportunity for professional development, connection and encouragement. Thank you to the conference sub-committee of Katrina Roe, Wendy Parker and Mindy Graham for your work bringing us this exciting event, and also to Melinda Seed who offered her financial insight and advice for a time as the committee was getting started. This input is much appreciated. 

A final word

It has been a privilege to lead this organisation. Unfortunately, due to ongoing issues with my health and the demands of my PhD, I need to resign from the committee. It has been a difficult decision to make and not one I have made lightly, especially as it comes midterm (Omega Writers management committee terms are typically two years in length). In order to maintain the sustainability of the committee, I recommend that the committee adopt a president/vice president model. It would also be helpful to maintain the current size of the committee, so it will be important to vote in another management committee member to replace Bev Murrill. 

Omega Writers is Australia’s Christian Writers Network. We exist to provide inspiration, learning and encouragement for Christian writers in Australia and New Zealand who strive for excellence in their craft as well as faithfulness in their creativity. As I end my report, I am thankful for this organisation – not just for how it has inputted into my own writing life, but how it serves as a witness of what it’s like when Christian writers work together. If you are a member, thank you for being part of this important work.

*This blog post is adapted from the President’s report given by Penny Reeve at the 2023 AGM as she stepped down from her role as President.