Free courses for writers

blogging-336375_1920_bookOne of our favorite writing/marketing consultant/bloggers, Jane Friedman, has an excellent email newsletter today, including a link to a “big list of free online courses for writers” from The Digital Reader.  There’s other good stuff too, including something for type geeks, drumming cat lovers, and researchers. You can read the entire newsletter, with links, here.

The free courses include graphics stuff, marketing, writing, social media and more.

Webcasts this week

We love author webcasts! Have an idea for a webcast about your OSV book? Let us know — email webcast coordinator Tracy at

This week, OSV authors will be hosting (with help from Tracy) these webcasts:

For Those Who Grieve, by Jeannie Ewing: When you’re hurting from the aftermath of a loss, grief can be a difficult journey. Jeannie Ewing’s new book, For Those Who Grieve, offers prayers and reflections to use on your grieving journey. These small, but meaningful devotions offer you a way to be led by the Holy Spirit to hope and healing.

Lovely: How I Learned to Embrace the Body God Gave Me, by Amanda Martinez Beck. This webcasts details the author’s journey beginning with the challenges faced by overweight people in the Church and in the culture at large. Join us as author Amanda Martinez Beck talks about how she found a way through the teachings of the Catholic Church to be at peace with her body.

Grieving Together, by Laura and Franco Fanucci: Grieving Together is the book Laura and Franco Fanucci wished for after their miscarriage. Practical resources include Scripture, prayers, and official Catholic rites. It also speaks to the unique concerns of fathers, and includes many real-life stories from couples in many different circumstances.

Find more information, and sign up, for the webcasts here.

The middle voice

ancient-grammar-policeDo you receive the Grammar Girl email newsletters? As writers and/or editors, there’s always something new to learn, and Mignon Fogarty (aka “Grammar Girl”) is a master at making that learning interesting and (gasp) fun.

You can follow her a bunch of ways — on her website, on Facebook, on YouTube, by the newsletter, by podcast, and more. Find links to all those places here.

In a recent newsletter, Grammar Girl discussed the “middle voice”:

I got a comment on YouTube from a listener named Steven, who asked about verbs like the ones in this following sentence: “The screw screwed in more easily than I thought it would.” Clearly, the screw didn’t screw itself in. The person who uttered the sentence screwed it in.

You might think phrasing a sentence this way would lead to total confusion, but it doesn’t. How is that possible? Steven wondered if this grammatical phenomenon has a name.

In fact, there is a name for it. It’s usually called the middle voice, although if you want a more jargony name, you might prefer “mediopassive construction.”

If you find this as interesting as we did, click here and read the whole post, or listen to the podcast.

Meet Mary Beth Baker


Mary Beth Baker

Acquisitions Editor Mary Beth Baker started at OSV in October 2016. Mary Beth has worked as a book editor for a Washington, D.C.-based publishing house, an associate editor for a national daily newspaper, and as a writer and editor for a public relations firm. Prior to joining OSV, she spent some time in formation with a Dominican religious order. Her favorite topic areas include personal growth, individual formation, and youth and young adult issues.

Mary Beth holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Christendom College. A Navy brat with roots in Virginia, she now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When she’s not elbow-deep in a new manuscript, she enjoys playing the piano, writing, running, and traveling.

Mary Beth’s fav things

Saint: Thérèse of Lisieux

Hymn: “Adoro Te Devote” (Lyrics by St. Thomas Aquinas)

Bible verse: “Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn 2:5)

Meet Rebecca Willen


Rebecca Willen

Rebecca is a nerdy Catholic, book addict, Shakespeare fangirl, cat lover, amateur baker and musician.

She graduated from Christendom College, worked for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and freelanced as a copy editor and proofreader, before jumping at the chance to embrace her dream job and return to her Indiana roots.

In addition to unleashing her fountain pen as OSV’s new Associate Editor, she also works with the Catholic Writers’ Guild and manages the Catholic Writers Conference Live.

Her current hobbies are studying German (just because) and destroying other people’s diets through homemade baked goods [Ed. note: Her colleagues appreciate this].

Rebecca’s fav things

Animal: Cat

Food: Dark chocolate

Color: Purple

Shakespeare play: “The Merchant of Venice”

Alcohol: Bailey’s Irish Cream

Meet Tracy Stewart

Tracy Stewart photo.png

Tracy Stewart

Tracy is the webcast coordinator for Our Sunday Visitor, and works with authors and other speakers to spread the word about their work. She loves listening to authors talk about their books, so she considers webcasts a job perk, but please don’t tell her boss.

When she isn’t being a webinerd, Tracy likes to read, with one work of fiction, one non-fiction, and one Shakespeare piece always on her nightstand simultaneously. She suffers from chronic wanderlust and fortunately, so do her husband and son. She likes history, antiques, cooking and has a passion for all things Abraham Lincoln, especially anything related to his assassination. Her family has come to accept inevitable side trips to Lincoln-related sites whenever they travel.

Tracy’s fav things

Animal: Prairie dogs

Food: Potato chips (#dontjudgeme)

Color: Cranberry

Shakespeare play: Hamlet. No. It’s Titus Andronicus. Wait … definitely Romeo and Juliet. Unless it’s Richard III. Or maybe Othello.

Alcohol: Miller Lite or really, really expensive wine. (Usually Miller Lite.)

Meet Tyler Ottinger


Artist’s representation of Tyler Ottinger

Tyler serves as the Senior Design Manager at OSV. He leads the design team in the creation and layout of all things design, such as marketing campaigns, publications and book covers.

The design cycle of your book cover starts at the Immersion meeting with the publishing committee where we discuss titles and possible cover ideas. The designer then works with the Acquisitions Editor to create several cover options for each title and submits them to the committee for approval and review. We use sample chapters and manuscripts to get the feel and theme for your title. Have an idea for your next cover? Let us know (no promises that we’ll use every suggestion).

Tyler joined OSV in 1997 and finds inspiration for design all around. Known for having a critical eye for typography, he tends to drive his family crazy by naming the fonts used on TV and movies credits.  Tyler tries to stay current in trends with the help of his four daughters (pray for him). He enjoys the great outdoors and time spent fellowshipping with other men who challenge him to live a life pleasing to God.

Tyler’s fav things

Saint: St. Paul.

Songs: “What a Beautiful Name” — Hillsong Worship; “We Are the Champions” — Queen

Bible verse: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27)

Meet Sarah Reinhard


Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard joined OSV in July 2017, and has worked on various content-related projects, including the Triple Take email newsletter. More recently, she has been collaborating with the book acquisitions team and helping with the Author Toolkit initiative. She also helps with social media and in other capacities as needed.

Sarah is a Catholic wife and mom and lives in central Ohio with her family. She is in the Huntington office on most Thursdays.

Sarah’s fav things

Saint: Too many to list. St. Brigid of Kildare is my Confirmation saint.

Hymn: Does the Ave Maria count?

Bible verse: Don’t have one. But let’s go with “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)