Several of the Inspired by Life and Fiction authors have already posted some great pics from the recent ACFW conference, and I thought I’d share just a few more. We writers don’t get out all that much, you know, so when we do, it’s a big event.
I truly believe that if it wasn’t for the ACFW conference, I wouldn’t be published today. This conference is where I met my editors, my agent, and so many close writing friends that I can’t begin to estimate the value to my career. Because of this (and because I met my first editor, Karen Schurrer, while volunteering at the 2007 conference), I make a point to volunteer in some capacity at every ACFW conference. Usually, this takes the form of me serving as hostess for the Bethany House Spotlight session. This is where the editors give their spiel about what their publishing house is looking to acquire and answer questions from the audience. It takes place the first night of the conference and coincides with the genre dinner, so I’m usually decked out in western gear for the occasion.
I don’t own any authentic historical garb, so when I see authors dressed up like the lovely Natalie Monk, I get a little jealous. She has connections in the old-time photograph business and was able to have a dress made up to her specifications as long as she donated it back to the studio after she was done. Doesn’t she look gorgeous? I wish you could see the dress all the way to the floor. It was fabulous.
In fact, when I got home, I started shopping for historical costumes of my own. They have a pretty steep price tag, so I’m probably just dreaming, but who knows – if my next book pulls in a little extra, I might have an excuse to splurge. Here is what I would choose:
Cameo Brooch – $20
Crinoline for underneath – $50
Professionally made Polonaise set – $275
Getting to step back in time and live for a few hours as one of my characters – Priceless
I think I’ll have to watch for a sale. If you like to geek out on historical clothing, the site where I found all this great stuff is Recollections: Historic Clothing Reminiscent of Centuries Past.
OK – back to the conference. This year, I did paid critiques with four up and coming authors – authors who I expect to see joining the published ranks very soon. I also taught a workshop on Saturday with my agent, Rachelle Gardner. Our topic was Reader-Focused Marketing: What’s in it for Them? She handled the social media side, while I dealt with websites and promo items, encouraging authors to actively look for ways to bless readers instead of seeing them as simply a sales figure.
Saturday night, of course, is the big gala award banquet. It’s so fun to dress up and cheer on our peers. I was up for a Carol award for my novella A Cowboy Unmatched, but since the other two finalists were agency mates and good friends of mine (Sarah Sundin and Katie Ganshert), it was easy to cheer for Katie when she won.
- So what special occasions do you look forward to each year?
- A getaway with friends? A family reunion? A special anniversary dinner? I’d love to hear about it!