In 2005 I drove with a fellow writer from Indiana — a gal I’d met once or twice — yet, we became fast friends in the six hour drive to Nashville. I met Tracie Peterson for the first time looking like a drowned cat — boy, would I like a photo of that first impression! That first conference launched my writing career…introducing me to editors, agents and other writers. Finding out that I wasn’t crazy for thinking a bit differently from others and believing the dream that I could actually write a book and maybe — just maybe — I would see it in print.
I walked out with the hope that I could one day a contract after seeing Mary Conneally receive her first in front of EVERYONE the first night. Wow! It felt like she’d received an Academy Award for aspiring authors. The next year, I received my first contract. What an amazing rush! That’s just one reason ACFW is so special to me.
This year, the conference will be in Dallas at the Hyatt Regency DFW. It’s literally at the airport…a short walk or shuttle ride from baggage. It will be a great location for us with lots of room for workshops, meals and more.
I’m excited that this year’s keynote speaker is Bill Myer. This man has written so many and varied books, that I’m eager to know what God has given him to share with us. Plus Bill Mayer is teaching the early bird and a post session as well. Then there are all the editors, agents, media experts, mentors and more who are there to help YOU progress on your writing journey.
There are so many reasons to come if you are a Christian fiction writer. I’ve attended each one since 2005. Why?
- Because it’s the one time a year, I get to spend time with many of my dearest writing friends. It really is like a giant (we’re expecting 700+ this year) family reunion.
- I learn so much from the workshops and speakers. And sometimes I get to lead one, too. Such fun!
- I get to give back a fraction of what has been given to me. I love running the first time orientation program for those who have never been part of our family before. You’ll see me all over the conference giving hugs, praying with people, and doing a lot of squealing as I run into so many dear friends.
- I get to celebrate with friends as the Carol and Genesis Awards are handed out at the Gala.
But why do I invest two months in the first time orientation program? Because I remember what it was like to step into the conference hotel. To have spent hours traveling from my home to a destination that held so many of my dreams. To know that even as an extrovert, I was scared and out of my comfort zone. I want to remove as many of those concerns and replace them with information, friendships, and the certainty that if God has prepared a way to attend, then He has a plan for your time at ACFW. So come expecting and excited to see what He will do.
One thing I know with certainty. God always shows up and works in amazing ways at ACFW. If you’re an aspiring writer, I hope you will join us!
Do you have dreams of writing a book someday?