Saturday, July 02, 2011

Top Ten Reasons for Going to ACFW Conference

So many good reasons come to mind as to why one should attend ACFW conferences. Heres 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Number 5 The Genesis Contest where unpublished authors have a chance to shine.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 cafĂ©/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 McGregor 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?


Linda Ford said...

I am not planning to attend conference this year but reading your memories makes me want to change my mind. I love connecting face to face with my writing friends. The workshops I've attended leave me wanting to be a better writer. As I write this I am filled with longing to be there. Enjoy the conference for me!!

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Martha, thanks for sharing all these great memories. I have been blessed to attend every ACFW national conference. One of my favorite was the year Kristy Dykes insisted I sit with her at the book signing even though our novella collection didn't come out until November. That was my first published book, and she mentored me and helped me so much. We've made some great friends in ACFW. What a blessing to connect with so many other writers from all over the country. I can't wait for September to roll around so I can see everyone again! Ten years! See you there!

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Martha!
I've been to many of the conferences but not all of them. They've really helped me to keep my sanity over the past several years. I love the early bird sessions. Every year I learn something new, brainstorm ideas with friends, etc. This will be the first year I get to attend with my first novel in the bookstore. So excited!

This year I'm looking forward to the early bird again! AND A Kiss Is NOT Just a Kiss with Julie Lessman and Ruth Axtell Morren. Both of these lovely ladies endorsed, Secretis of the Heart, and Ruth has mentored me along the way with many others.

Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Your ten reasons make me wish I could attend this year. My top reason for wanting to go would be to meet my email friends in person. I would love that, but can't do it.

I hope you all have a wonderful time there.
God bless,

Anonymous said...

I wont be able to attend this year. Hopefully that will change next year. You make it sound so exciting and informative! I want to attend the ACFW conference even more than some of the others I have heard of because ACFW has become a large part of my life since joining. I have had an opportunity to talk to and learn from some amazing and talented people!

Linda said...

I met new authors at the MOA in 2008. Wasn't looking for treats. Wanted to meet authors, which I did! Opened my genre of reading. So glad you came!

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