Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Way back in September 2002, long before my days as an acquisitions editor with Barbour Publishing, I traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to attend the very first conference of what was then the American Christian Romance Writers organization–now known as American Christian Fiction Writers or ACFW. I’ve not missed an ACFW conference since.
At that inaugural conference, I met all four of my crit group partners AND my then-Russia-resident co-author face-to-face for the very first time. Susie Warren and I sat across the table from Editor Tracie Peterson and pitched our historial series proposal with all the accompanying nerves and jitters that characterize novice editor-appointment attendees. (Then, lo and behold, despite our stammering pitch, the project SOLD to Barbour before the next conference rolled around.) By the way, as one who has sat on BOTH sides of that editor/author table now, I know how daunting those appointments can be! Seek me out in Minneapolis if you’re in need of a sympathetic ear.
I can mark the milestones in my publishing career by simply glimpsing at my office wall, where various awards and recognitions won at ACFW conferences hang. But by far the greatest ACFW conference take-away value has been the relationships built and strengthened and the memories of special times shared with those I now consider my bestest and closest friends. I can’t bear the thought that the day may come when I won’t be able to celebrate my September birthday with my ACFW pals.
Follow these links for more information on the American Christian Fiction Writers organization or this year’s conference in Minneapolis:
Here’s me at the very first ACF(R)W Conference in Kansas City 2002, practicing for my current role as Mystery Editor and choking the Brandilyn Collins’ look-alike doll: