In 2006, three Arizona women connected through the ACFW loop. They were all excited about writing, wanted a local community of authors, and all were willing to work toward establishing an ACFW chapter in the greater Phoenix area. Jennifer Cary, Jennifer Tsaisi, and Pamela Tracy met in Pamela's living room one Friday evening and put together a plan. They decided to meet once a month, announced their meetings on the ACFW loop and anywhere else they could think of, and then they began.
It was a slow start. In order to be a chapter, there must be at least ten members. Early meetings consisted of four or five, finally seven, and then nine... so close. The name Christian Writers of the West was decided on during a meeting at a Marie Callender's restaurant. It would be years, three to be exact, before there were enough paid members to qualify as a chapter. When CWOW qualified, in 2009, there were less than ten chapters in the U.S.
Later, in 2011, CWOW also was one of the first chapters to launch a successful writing contest: the Rattler.
Also, in 2011, CWOW also began the January conference. The first speaker was 2011's ACFW president and multip-published author Margaret Daley. Since then, CWOW has hosted the talents of Karen Ball, Steve Laube, Allen Arnold, etc.