I had an amazing time at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) 2011 conference in St. Louis--talking with editors, dining with my agent and rubbing elbows with some of the most talented writers in the business. Does that sound like I'm bragging? I don't mean to, I'm just always amazed at what happens at national writing conferences. There is little or no distiction made between published and unpublished writers. I love it when I sit down at a meal and I don't know if the person sitting next to me is someone just starting out or whether they have written multiple best-sellers.
I didn't always feel this way. At my first conference, I was a little unnerved by it. I remember thinking, "They ought to wear special hats or something, so the rest of us don't embarass ourselves."
At ACFW, I did notice that published authors wore a special ribbon on their nametag. Since everyone had some sort of ribbon and some folks had up to five or six (I had two--first-time attendee and NW Zone), I found it distracting to try to read them all and decided to just look each person in the eye. What a joy. As the days went by, I was less concerned about whether they were published/unpublished or an industry professional, I just found myself enjoying get to know them as individuals.
That was challenging as there were nearly 700 attendees at this year's conference. But I did meet quite a few new people and had the pleasure of seeing many writers that I recognized from OCW (Oregon Christian Writers) or Mount Hermon. I have to admit, I probably clung to a few of them at tines when I felt lost in this sea of unfamiliar faces.
If you want to learn more about the 2012 ACFW Conference, including the trends noted about current Christian fiction, check out this new Publisher's Weekly article posted on September 28th.
So will you be at ACFW 2012? It will take place in Dallas next year with Michael Hyatt as the keynote speaker. I'll have to check my finances, but it sure sounds like fun!
I'll attach a few photos of my trip, but if you'd like to see even more, check out my album on FaceBook.
|Karen Schravemade, (agent) Rachel Kent, Jenny Hale and myself back from dinner on the town.|
|With author Tricia Goyer at the awards gala.|
|Listening to announcements from our endlessly-entertaining emcee, Brandilyn Collins.|
|What it looks like when nearly 700 authors get dressed up and wait in a hallway for dinner!|