As part of your conference registration options, you will be given the choice of one FRIDAY TRACK Session to follow throughout the conference agenda.
In years past, ACFW conferees have chosen from among several Continuing Education classes. Replacing the Continuing Ed sessions are an array of specially-tailored TRACKS that encompass writers’ spiritual, writing craft, marketing, business, and industry education needs. Multiple presenters will bring their customized, need-based insights to the conferee. Below are the TRACK categories:
- NEW WRITER–Writers getting started on their journey will gain a wealth of valuable information on the craft of writing at a level that matches their specific needs. They’ll also learn about the social and spiritual triumphs and pitfalls of the writing life, gain much-needed information about the publishing process, and connect with other writers at the same place in their journey.
- ON THEIR WAY–This track is for writers who are past the “newbie” stage. Maybe you are working with an agent or have even published something but aren’t sure where to go next. These sessions will answer the inevitable “what’s next?” questions. How to stay focused on the main thing, how to interact with readers (or discover readers!), where to find your next idea…and much more.
MIDLIST AUTHORS–Midlisters are those who have been published with a measure of success, but who feel stuck in the middle–accomplished, but not bestsellers. This track is custom designed for those who are looking to rise to the next level and maneuver through the maze of our ever-changing industry.
INDIE AUTHORS–An independently published writer wears many hats–creating content, making crucial decisions about format and covers, managing a marketing plan… This track covers the myriad of details an indie writer can’t afford to overlook.
- HYBRID AUTHORS–Being a true hybrid is a balancing act between indie work and traditionally published novels. This track will teach hybrid authors how to navigate those challenging waters.
After reading the TRACK Definitions, note the sessions you most want to attend and have it handy when you complete your registration. All classes are open to anyone; the Levels are merely to help you determine the type of instruction to expect.
IMPORTANT NOTE You are encouraged to study the sessions carefully before registering. In an effort to be as environmentally responsible as possible, handouts for sessions will not be available onsite. You’ll receive handouts for your sessions via email the week prior to conference. If you purchase the complete syllabus, that electronic syllabus will be included in your registration packet.
Track 1 – Let’s Do This
Title: Let’s Do This
Presented by: Angie Hunt, Natasha Kern, Karen Solem, and Dan Walsh
This track will benefit writers just getting started on their writing journey. Not only will you gain a wealth of valuable information on the craft of writing, but you’ll learn about the social and spiritual triumphs and pitfalls of the writing life, glean information about the publishing industry, and connect with other writers who are at the same place in their journey.
- The Heart of the Writer: It’s easy to lose sight of why we write Christian fiction. Bestselling author Dan Walsh offers tips on how to guard your heart as you seek publication.
- Shoot for the Stars: There are different choices for a career path in publishing nowadays. Learn from expert agents what traps to avoid and how to map your career.
- Marketing: Publishers typically look at platform. Learn what other successful authors did before publication to get their platform noticed by publishers.
- POV, RUE, and Layers: Angie Hunt asks How can you know your plot is strong? Do you rue your point of view? And what does it mean when an editor types RUE in the margin of your manuscript?
Track 2 — Now What?
Title: Now What?
Presented by: Ami McConnell Abston, Amanda Bostic, Colleen Coble, Lynette Eason, Rachel Hauck, Liz Curtis Higgs, Yvonne Lehman, DiAnn Mills, Jan Stob, and Susan May Warren
This track is for writers who are past the “newbie” stage. Maybe you are working with an agent or have even published something but aren’t sure where to go next. These sessions will answer all those inevitable “what’s next?” questions. How to stay focused on the main thing, how to interact with readers (or find readers!), where to find your next idea…and much more.
- You’re His Favorite One: Rachel Hauck instructs on keeping your heart focused on The Main Thing as you navigate the world of publishing.
- Common Weakness In Manuscripts: Discover the path and pitfalls of the editorial process from submission to publication board from top editors who have seen it all. (Ami McConnell Abston, Amanda Bostic, and Jan Stob)
- Building A Relationship with Readers: Getting nowhere with book sales? Learn how to build a relationship with readers and turn them into your loyal fans. Colleen Coble and Liz Curtis Higgs give you tips on how to accomplish this.
- Ads, Giveaways, Newsletters: Learn how to build your readership through giveaways, advertising and your newsletter from master marketer Susan May Warren.
- Finding Your Next Great Idea: Finished your first, second or tenth book? Where to from here? Discover how to develop great story ideas from a panel of bestselling authors: Lynette Eason, Yvonne Lehnman, DiAnn Mills
Track 3 — Legend in My Own Mind
Title: Legend in My Own Mind
Presented by: Ami McConnell Abston, Rick Acker, Brandilyn Collins, Kristen Golden, Rachel Hauck, Cara Putman, Karen Solem, and Susan May Warren
Are you a multi-published author stuck in “midlist?” These sessions will help you rise to the next level and navigate our ever-changing industry.
- Keeping Your Passion Fresh: If we’re not careful, meeting our deadlines can turn writing into just another job. New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hauck will give tips on how to write because you love it.
- Breaking Out of Midlist: Ask Your Editor and Agent: Stuck in midlist and feel your career is stagnant?Ask Your Editor and Agent will help you figure out your weaknesses and find the tools to correct them so you can chart a course to success. (Ami McConnell Abston and Karen Solem presenting)
- Streamlining the Business Side of Writing: Professional authors have a quagmire of business decisions to navigate like incorporation, marketing, contract issues and more. Learn from two bestselling authors and career attorneys—Rick Acker and Cara Putman—how to maximize your business.
- Working With A Street Team: Puzzled over how to utilize a street team well and avoid the pitfalls of ineffective marketing? Master marketers, Kristen Golden (HCCP) and Susan May Warren, will share their secrets.
- Honing Your Writing: Bestselling author Brandilyn Collins takes an honest look at “it’s-easier-this-way” habits we fall into—and how to overcome them.
Track 4 — Doing It My Way
Title: Doing It My Way
Presented by: Brandilyn Collins, Angie Hunt, and Dan Walsh
An indie writer wears many hats. This track covers the myriad of details an indie writer can’t afford to overlook.
- Community Among Writers: Feeling isolated? Bestselling author Brandilyn Collins discusses ways to find community and connection as an Indie author.
- Building Your Readership: Bestselling author Dan Walsh knows how to build a readership and shares his tips.
- Editing and Line Edits: Bestselling author and master writer Angela Hunt takes participants through what to look for when editing your work.
Track 5 — Fly Away Hybrid
Title: Fly Away Hybrid
Presented by: Steve Laube, Ken Raney and Susan May Warren
Being a true hybrid is a balancing act between your indie work and your traditionally published novels. This track will teach you how to navigate those tricky waters.
- Judging a Book by Its Cover: Cover designs for eBooks require some key considerations vs. the typical print book cover. Whether you’re hiring a designer or attempting to design your own cover, you want it to get noticed for the right reasons! Join illustrator/designer Ken Raney as we look at the design considerations for a compelling eBook cover that gets noticed.
- Selling Subsidiary Rights: Steve Laube
An exploration of an often overlooked source of income. Everything from audio to large print to foreign translations to film options. Bring your specific questions to help customize the discussion to your needs.
- Balancing Act: Want to publish your own new novels as well as work with a traditional publisher? Bestselling author Susan May Warren is an expert who will explain how to balance the two different career paths.