So many good reasons come to mind as to why one should attend ACFW conferences. Here’s my TOP TEN LIST:
Number 10: Memories you make.
Number 9: Meeting old friends and making new ones you know by email only.
Number 8: Great books available in the bookstore and the authors ready to sign them.
Number 7: The wonderful Christian fellowship and being able to pray with and for ACFW members.
Number 6: Great keynote speakers and “Early Bird” teachers who share their hearts and wisdom with us.
Number 5: The Genesis Contest where unpublished authors have a chance to shine.
Number 4: The awards for Mentor, Editor, and Agent of the Year; the Carol Award for Book of the year.
Number 3: Opportunity to meet with editors and agents and pitch your work and yourself.
Number 2: Great teaching by brilliant authors who are willing to share their expertise on how to take our writing to the next level.
Number 1: It’s the best in the country for fiction writers.
Some of my most favorite memories in my writing career occurred at ACRW/ACFW conferences. From meeting wonderful authors for the first time to being recognized by Debbie Macomber in her speech at breakfast on Sunday in 2009, lots of good things, funny things, and crazy things have happened to me as well as lots of others.
One year one of our members forgot to bring her underwear. I won’t mention any names, but she knows who she is. Right CW? I forgot my makeup one year and had to buy some EXPENSIVE stuff from the store in the hotel. Another year I left some of my clothes in a drawer in our room and my roommate had to mail them back to me. I’m glad she found them.
Brandilyn MCed in KC the first year and did such a great job it became a permanent position. I was a finalist for the Noble Theme that year and that was exciting. Also met Rachel Hauck, Allison Wilson, Tiff Miller (and her Tiki Bird slippers), and Andrea Boeshaar. We shocked other guests with talk of WIPs, how to kill of a character and various other writing ideas. Some funny goings on happened in the cafe/bar in the hotel, but I wasn’t there and don’t want to spread rumors. I also met Tamela Hancock Murray who became my agent a few years later. No appointment, just sitting with her at the dinner table and remembering her wonderful smile.
The night before the conference began in Houston, I hosted a dinner at my home for a number of those who had come in early. Kristy Dykes was one of the guests, and I liked her immediately. Her warm, southern charm really grabbed me. She is sorely missed, and I’ve saved her emails sent to me because I never want to forget the beautiful, brave lady she was.
In Minneapolis we had a book signing at the Mall of the Americas. I was leaving an appointment and heard the busses were boarding to go to the mall so I ran to get on. Got there for the book signing with NOTHING!!! No chocolates, no bookmarks, no postcards, and one copy of my book. Very dull book signing for me.
Meeting and getting to know “Mama” Ruth, seeing Chip MacGregor in his kilts, Deb and Brandilyn’s “feud”, Anita’s hog-calling expertise, and getting to meet face to face with so many wonderful friends each year are things I will never forget about conference.
If you’re not able to go, you can share the experience through pictures and CDs of the classes. Start now saving for 2012 and look into the scholarships offered. You never know what God can do in your life until You ask for his guidance and make the effort to take advantage of the opportunities He will offer.
Leave a comment and answer one of the questions to be in the drawing for a copy of my latest release, Summer Dream. If you already have a copy, I have a list of other books you might like.
Question 1: What is one of your best memories of an ACFW Conference?
Question 2: Why do you want to attend the conference?
You can learn more about Martha Rogers and her books at her website.