How to Keep That Conference Feeling All Year Long

ACFW Advice, Conference, Encouragement, Fellowship, Friends of ACFW, tips Leave a Comment

by Melissa Tagg

The annual ACFW is one of my absolute favorite times of year. It’s like Christmas meets my birthday meets all those fun college classes. (You know, versus the classes you HAD to take…like anything even remotely math related.)

But once you return home, it’s easy to feel a little letdown. A little “Oh my goodness, do I have to wait an entire year until I get to do this again?” A little (or a LOT) tired, too. One writing friend, Susan Tuttle, described it as ACFW hangover.

So I thought it’d be fun to come up with a list of ways-some serious, some not-so-serious-to keep that wonderful conference feeling all throughout the year.

1) Walk around telling random people your elevator pitch. You may get some funny looks, but we are writers. We should be used to this.

2) Drink approximately 2.5 pumpkin spice lattes a day. (That was my average, anyway. The Starbucks employees and I are tight.)
Made to Last2
3) Wear your ACFW name badge everywhere. If you want to go all out, add ribbons and pins throughout the year. You’ll be the snazziest one at the hotel next year!

4) Do a Google Hangout with your closest conference buddies or roommates. Reminisce about your favorite conference moments while eating cookies. (Because why not eat cookies?)

5) Find an elevator, any elevator, and just wait outside the doors. And keep waiting. And keep waiting. And keep waiting…

6) Live out of your suitcase for as long as you possibly can.

7) Read agent, editor and author blogs. No, it’s not exactly the same as sitting in a class at ACFW, but there’s SO much helpful information out there around the web. Growing in the craft is such a great way to keep that conference momentum going.

8) Listen to the conference mp3s!

9) PHOTOS! Doesn’t it always feel like you’re constantly in a photo at ACFW?? So get ready for next year by taking a photo with every single person you talk to from now until then. You’ll have the most practiced smile of anyone.

10) Write. And write some more. And write some more.

Whether or not you attended the conference, whether or not you plan to in the future, we’re all writers around here…we write because it’s our passion, because God gave us that creative spark, because He stamped the name “storyteller” on our hearts.

So let’s keep going after it, let’s keep pushing forward…ACFW hangover and all. 🙂

Melissa Tagg6Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, just released from Bethany House. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

Comments 0

  1. The one about the elevators and random pitches to strangers is so true! But I especially like the about reading editor and agent blogs. What a great way to preaprepare for next year. Or any conference for that matter.

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