Saturday, June 28, 2008

ACFW's 2008 Writer's Conference

American Christian Fiction Writers is hosting their annual writer's conference in Minneapolis this year. I'm hoping to be one of the many attendees who will be learning, worshiping, sharing, socializing, and pitching with the masses that this conference attracts. Does that sound daunting to you? It does to me.

So why even consider attending, you ask? Why not stick with attending the smaller writer's conferences that my comfort zone can easily handle?

For several very good reasons, I'll point out my top three and then reveal some more from past attendees.

#1. Meet those virtual friends you've shared, studied, and learned with through the e-loops and forums. Meet your critique partners who have endlessly helped you with your manuscript and encouraged you week after week to keep writing and learning. Meet knew friends to share and learn along side.

#2. Learn from the best of the best through workshops, classes, through the plenary session, meals, and other quiet moments {but never in the restroom!}.

#3. The advantage of having a wide representation of publishers and agents available for specified appointments is for sure a big advantage of the larger conferences!

And, here are some reasons why members keep returning to the ACFW Writer's Conference:

“My experience has been that editors and agents just give you one extra little bit of respect because spending money and time on a conference shows a commitment to your writing.And remember to LISTEN when you're talking to an editor. Even if they're saying, 'no, you're work isn't what we're hunting for' you're learning about them, about your work, about the market, lots and lots to learn.” Mary Connealy

“For me, the #1 reason is networking. You can't beat the opportunity of having 450+ writers, authors, editors, agents and industry professionals gathered in one place. It's THE place to be if you write or want to write Christian fiction.” Tiffany (Amber Miller) Stockton

“The great classes and workshops! They always change, always have proven authors teaching them, and are always top notch. I’ve never had a repeat of any class. There are more fiction agents and editors at the ACFW conference than any other one. AND these editors and agents seem to mingle more at the ACFW conference.” Ane Mulligan

I love the camraderie, fellowship, atmosphere, lessons, fun, worship, collaborating, and most of all....talking about FICTION!!!” Michelle Sutton Hutchinson

"After the first conference during which I met and fellowshiped with and took workshops from authors I admired, I was anxious to reconnect with them and make new friends, also to have the opportunity to pitch to more agents. And, in my case, to hear keynote speaker Jim Bell from whom I took the Mt. Hermon mentoring clinic.” Bonnie Engstrom

“The overall friendliness of those attending, the knowledgeable instructors, the wonderful spiritual aspect during general assembly, these are just a few of the reasons why I keep returning to the ACFW Conference. (Oh, yeah, the food hasn't been half bad either.) { :-)” Janice Olson

“My #1 reason is to network. I've got an agent now, which I didn't have the last time I attended. But it's worth a great deal to me, to hear what's on the editors' radar scopes to acquire for this year. Are historicals out or in? What about spec-fic? What are some of the publishers looking for, which have been absorbed into larger (secular?) conglomerates? What themes/characters/setups are they all sick of (hopefully not something I'm actively writing on right now, LOL)? And I go to see friends I can touch base with only online.” Deb Kinnard

“I return to the ACFW conference for the encouragement of being surrounded by people who understand the strange way writers' minds work and for the instruction. I always leave with a long list of ways and tools to improve my writing.” Cara C. Putman

“I love getting to talk to online friends face to face.” Lena Nelson Dooley

“Worshiping and learning with authors who also love the Lord.” Cynthia Hickey

“Truly, my number one reason for returning is divine appointments. Last year was my first time, and I had a specific reason for going. Obviously, God had another, because while my plans flopped, God blessed me through the relationships He gave me. I don't know what God has in store for me this year, but I'm open to whatever it is and very excited!” Jennifer AlLee

So you see, there are many great reasons to pray about attending the ACFW Writer's Conference, even when anxiety creeps in. Pray, then take a look at the selection of Conference Workshops and Continuing Education Sessions, highlight the ones that would be the most beneficial to you, then, if the answer is "YES", head over to register, and be sure to say hi when you see me there in September.

I hope you'll check out all the other contributors to the ACFW Conference Blog Tour, click here for the link to the complete listing of links.



1 comment:

Cara Putman said...

I cannot WAIT for conference. It will be awesome. But boy, I have a lot to do to get ready!