Last week, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Nashville. I felt like I had come full circle. The very first ACFW conference I attended had also been in Nashville, back in 2005. Four years before I signed my first contract.
Now that I’m published, the conference is less about pitching book ideas and more about networking, sharing fellowship with other authors, learning more about the industry, and nurturing relationships with my publishing house team.
This year, there was an added bonus of meeting several readers. My favorite! The day before the conference, a group of avid Christian fiction readers met for their own day with several authors. I wasn’t able to attend, but many stayed through the conference and lobby-stalked us. So fun! I had the joy of meeting several of them.
As you can see from that last picture, Baker Book authors (Bethany House and Revel) had the honor of being invited to tour the LifeWay facility. I was expecting to see a warehouse and offices, but what I got was a one-of-a-kind museum. My history-loving soul was in heaven.
All these pictures were taken inside the LifeWay corporate headquarters.
LifeWay got it’s start in 1891 as a way to publish Sunday School curriculum. They expanded into hymnals and vacation Bible school programs. They also started publishing books.
In cases around the office were numerous old Bibles, some dating back to the 1400s. What a rich history!
The visit to LifeWay was a definite highlight of the conference, but I must admit that there was one event that eclipsed it.
My book, A Worthy Pursuit, was a finalist in the Historical Romance category for the Carol Award, one of the premier awards for Christian fiction. And at the Gala Saturday night, I heard my name being called! What a thrill. An honor. An incredibly humbling experience.
Then, to put the cherry on top – or raspberry as the case may be – on Sunday morning, my husband and I made one final stop before leaving Nashville. The Pancake Pantry is a Nashville institution and I can understand why. The pancakes were delicious. I opted for the raspberry delight. Yumm!
And as if this place wasn’t perfect enough already, right across the street was the fabulous bookstore…