Nice to Meet You! Let’s Talk Catholic Children’s Books!

Non-Didactic Chastity in Teen Fiction with Author Carolyn Astfalk Catholic Kidlit

In today's episode, I speak with author Carolyn Astfalk. You'll hear about: Congratulations to Ariana, our Liturgical Colors giveaway winner Ending of Season 1 of the Catholic Kidlit Podcast – Thanks for joining me! Book launch updates for Arthur the Clumsy Altar Server and Seven Gifts of Baptism Just a little longer to join the CKWC for 2022 How the true story of lost treasure in Pennsylvania inspired a teen romance author How Catholic themes of chastity tie in with lost treasure How fiction creates a launching pad for important conversation and big choices A giveaway of the Catholic teen anthology, Treasures: Invisible and Invisible And more! The best way to support the Catholic kidlit creator you heard from today is to buy their books, leave reviews, and spread the word on social media and in person. If you want to write meaningful children's books with a Catholic heart, check out the Catholic Kidlit Writers Club at  For picture book coaching and critiques, see
  1. Non-Didactic Chastity in Teen Fiction with Author Carolyn Astfalk
  2. Catholic Children's Publishing 2021: Year in Review
  3. Sharing the Faith through Family Stories with Author Jalissa Pollard
  4. Hands-On Faith with OSV Kids Magazine and Lindsey Riesen
  5. Teaching Kids Scripture Through Story with Author Madeleine Carroll

“I love children’s books! Why don’t I make a podcast?”

I’m not exactly sure what put this crazy idea in my mind, but I am so glad to be here with you preparing to launch this new podcast, Catholic Kidlit! Here you’ll find the “trailer” for Season 1 of Catholic Kidlit (which is me doing my best to explain what to expect).

Please forgive any rambling…Podcasting is new to me, and normally my guests will be doing most of the talking 😉

In today’s short podcast, you’ll hear:

  • A little about me
  • Why I think Catholic kidlit (aka. children’s books) is so important and special
  • The gap in the writing community
  • A new setup to support aspiring and published Catholic kidlit authors
  • And more!

And now, the transcript of Episode 0 (our podcast trailer!)

Welcome to the Catholic Kidlit podcast! Thank you for joining me on this adventure. This is episode zero, so I’m going to share with you a little bit about:

  1. Who I am
  2. What we’re going to be doing here on the Catholic Kidlit Podcast
  3. Why I think it is super exciting that we finally have a space to talk about what’s new in Catholic children’s publishing.

Who is speaking?

So I’m Theresa Kiser. I’m the author of three books already published, two under contract–one with Our Sunday Visitor, which is Arthur the Clumsy Altar Server. And I’m so excited about that.

And another, my second board book with Holy Heroes which is going to be called the Seven Gifts of Baptism, is an adventure through the seven gifts of the Spirit that are given to everybody when they’re baptized. And I’m very excited to see those two books coming together.

Hi! I’m author and podcast host Theresa Kiser. Let’s chat books!

But I love writing children’s books. I love children’s books. Whether they’re specifically Catholic or not, there are some beautiful books out there which are just so nourishing to little hearts and souls.

And I feel like we need a space. We do need a space to talk about what’s happening because a lot is happening in Catholic children’s literature. It is such an exciting time. And I am thrilled about the deck of interviews that we have going this first season with authors, editors, and publishers, to just get a sense of what books are out there.

A lot of publishers this year–or just recently–have started launching their own specifically children’s imprint, which means more and more focus is going into children’s books, which I think is a wonderful idea in our Catholic sphere.

Children’s books nurture young faith

Because what is a more beautiful way to share your faith, than reading something beautiful with your child? Having that kind of close moment with them where you’re snuggled up together on the couch or you’re reading before bed and by spending that time together, you are sharing your love with your child.

“Let the little children come to me.”

And when you can show that that love comes from God, and have examples of that through the books that you’re reading, and show where else God can be. How all the different ways that He shows his face. I mean, that’s just such a beautiful opportunity and I’m glad that we have more chances now with this great literature that’s coming out to make that moment happen and to share that faith in that special way with our children and your grandchildren, if you have grandchildren.

Who will be on the show?

So I’m going to be talking with authors, editors, publishers to see what is happening.

Sneak-preview to one of our Season 1 episodes, an interview with author Kristina Lahr!

And then the person who comes on the show is also going to share a little bit about writing Catholic children’s books.

If this is something that you are interested in, I really hope to see you over in the Catholic Kidlit Writers Club for writing Catholic children’s books.

A lot of people have that calling on that on their heart. I mean, not everybody for sure, but there are a group of us, you know, maybe you are one of us who has that calling on your heart. Who has maybe tried it a couple times and you don’t really know where to go from there, or you have published something and you want to band together with other writers and authors to make your book as successful as it can be.

And up until now, we haven’t had a space to band together as a community to share knowledge with each other to share news and updates about these exciting changes that are happening in the Catholic children’s book industry.

For Writers

And now we do! And that is the Catholic Kidlit Writers Club. And what I have there is all of these deep dives with these authors editors and publishers about:

  • how to write your book,
  • how to polish it,
  • how to edit it, or
  • how to self publish it.
  • What happens when you’re working with a traditional publisher, what you should know and
  • what you should know if you’re going about self publishing.
  • And then once your book is published, how to get it into the hands of those who need it so that it can nurture their souls
  • how to make your book as successful as possible,
  • how to help other authors…

All of these videos and podcasts are exclusive to members of the Catholic Kidlit Writers Club.

We also are going to just have opportunities as they come up to share your work with editors, to share your work with each other, to create critique groups of people who kind of get what you’re talking about when you talk about the Catholic faith.

Kind of like this, but adults geeking out over each other’s kid books.

So. It’s just a wealth of knowledge and community. And I would love to see you there! So check out the website, and you can find information specific to the writers group there.

The way that it works is that you apply now and the group opens up along with all of the videos and the podcasts that have already been recorded. It opens up on January 1st, January. First, you log in, you access everything, you access each other. Introduce yourself share what you’re writing. You’ll find your group of kind of your crew, your smaller crew of people who can share your manuscript with who can look over your ideas and run things by each.

So all of that opens January 1st, but you don’t want to wait to apply because we want to make sure that you have that in. And then you, you can continue to apply through the end of February, but after that, it will close for all of 2022. And everybody who’s in the writers group, we will be helping each other all throughout the year.

We will have new podcasts, new videos, new webinars popping up all throughout the year, as well as new opportunities to help each other, to help each other, submit to help each other, polish your manuscripts, to learn with each other. And that happens all throughout the year.

You get it out of it, what you put in. But if you have a picture book, for example, you should have a really good handle on what you want to do next with that by the end of the year. And ideally, you know, you have it written, drafted, polished, submitted, and all of that can happen within that year because you will have all the encouragement of these other Catholic writers who care about what you care about and who care about your success.

Why do Catholic kids books matter?

Because the more we have good Catholic literature out there for our children, the more opportunities we have to evangelize and to share the faith in a beautiful way

And I also will say that if you are a Catholic writer and you don’t want to write specifically for the Catholic market, you have books for the general market that everybody would experience, that is also something that is encouraged and that we can support each other with as well.

Because one of the things we learn as Catholics is that there is so much beauty in this world and God shows himself through beauty and it’s helpful to point out, “Hey, God is here in this beauty.” But sometimes you just, sometimes it’s just important to say, “Hey, there is beauty. Beauty does exist.

Sometimes it’s just important to say, “Hey, there is beauty. Beauty does exist.”

And that can be shown so fantastically through story and through picture books, through middle grade books, through young adult books, we can show the joy, the deep meaning of living this life that God has given us. And so you don’t necessarily need to say, “Hey, this is God.” It’s just a crucial step to say, “Hey, this is. Goodness does exist.”

All of these themes are so important to share and they can be shared with the general market, the Christian market or the Catholic market. And when we get together as Catholic Kidlit Writers, we can encourage each other in all three and encourage each other in this vocation of writing.

Let’s share the journey!

So I’m going to be sharing with you listeners, whether you are writers or whether you are fellow lovers of Catholic children’s books, we are going to be seeing what is out there, having conversations with the people who are making these books for your children, and just having a great time! I am so excited to be beginning this journey, and I hope that you will join me on it.

I’m looking forward to seeing you here along the road, and can’t wait to see the best selection of books in your children’s hands and if you have that on your heart to see your book in children’s hands as well. So that everybody can lift their hearts and souls to God, and that we can just experience more love on this planet.

So join me, tune in! The way that this is structured is we will have one podcast episode published every two weeks during the season. So season 1 is going to be this fall in 2021. And then we will have season 2 launched later in 2022. So join me every two weeks. I look forward to hearing from you.

If you have any questions, reach out to me at my website. Either at my website, or at the podcast website, I look forward to hearing from you and I’m excited to begin this journey. Thank you for joining me for the ride and I’ll see you soon!

What would you most like to hear about on this new podcast all about Catholic kidlit?

Let me know in the comments!

Theresa Kiser

I’m Theresa Kiser, speaker and award-winning children’s book author of the picture books Arthur the Clumsy Altar Server (OSV, Coming Spring 2022), Seven Gifts of Baptism (Holy Heroes, coming 2022), and Liturgical Colors (Holy Heroes, 2019), as well as the fantasy adventure series The Manakor Chronicles. Find more about my books at and engage with me to write better Catholic kidlit in the Catholic Kidlit Writers Club!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: