I look forward to the ACFW conference every year.
What in the world does ACFW stand for? Well, it’s the American Christian Fiction Writers – an organization for Christian fiction writers – and they converge once a year so that like-minded, fiction loving authors can join forces with editors, agents, and marketing people to form a magnificent force of great minds.
And maybe a few scary minds.
We DO talk to people no one else can see 😉
This year, the conference was held in Grapevine, TX in the Dallas/Fortworth area at the MASSIVE Gaylord Resort. Me in awe:
Yes, this place was huge.
A little village inside one building. It had an expansive atrium, complete with live plants, a little pond, and a cool miniature railroad track, but everything was enclosed…like one of those sci fi books where a colony is placed on Mars 😊
Except a LOT nicer. And less likelihood of death by dropping oxygen levels.
What happens when a lot of writers get together?
Well, funny stories emerge. Silly photos. Encouragement. Brainstorming (I got to brainstorm with New York Times Bestselling author Rachel Hauk and that was so. Much. Fun!
There are opportunities to actually HUG people you’ve only met online – like Savanna Kaiser, Erica Hogan, Rebekah Millet, the gracious Cathy Goeke, and Sarah Ruut – AS WELL as, catching up with amazing authors like Becky Wade, Mary Connealy, Lisa Jordan, Cathy West, Carol Moncado, Janice Thompson, Cynthia Ruchti, Deb Rainey, and so many more.
I attended excellent classes from Jim Rubart, Cara Putman, the team at Harper Collins and more!
Gleaned encouragement and guidance from beautiful people like Colleen Coble, Pam Hillman, Shaina Turner, Janice Thompson, Brandilyn Collins and MORE.
Had a fab meeting with my agent, Julie Gwinn.
Worshipped on the praise team with an awesome band (thanks so much Javi, Tom, Jason, Jeremy, and Eddie) with the remarkable addition of fellow author, Amanda Wen, on the cello, and led by encourager-extraordinaire, Rachel Hauck.
Um…I got to see DENISE HUNTER AGAIN!! (fan girl moment. She’s so sweet! AND so is her hubby)
Then, of course, there was my time with my ALLEYCATS! There’s a precious, sweet bond between us and getting to hug them and chat with them IN PERSON is such a refreshment. Cara Putman, Angie Dicken, Casey Herringshaw, Sherrinda Ketchersid, Mary Vee, Ashley Clark, and Laurie Tomlinson – I am SO thankful for you all!! (Ash, Ang, and Case – I LOVED getting to have my last meal/snack at conference with you all…just sharing and loving each other). And Cara and Angie – sooooo thankful for time to encourage one another.
(meet some of them here 🙂
So, what did I GET from ACFW? Besides the obvious fun time and wealth of information?
Renewed and NEW connections with a group of people who all want to glorify God through story.
Massive amounts of encouragement.
A solid dose of challenges – let’s face it, this writing gig and the published world isn’t always an easy place.
A heap of love.
And…I even happened to sneak off with a copy of Joanna Politano’s DEBUT novel, Lady Jayne Disappears. (Yes, be jealous)
If you’re a writer, attending a conference is a wonderful way to realize YOU ARE NOT alone – especially when you’re the only person in your family who still talks to imaginary friends 😊
And a Christian writer’s conference? Well, the game changes, because we’re not competing Against each other for something because all of our goals are the same. Using the God-given gift we have to share the gospel (whether overtly or covertly).
It changes the playing field and makes the journey more like a race uphill with a lot of friends than a tug-of-war with enemies.
God LOVES story!
And we all have one to tell.
Having people on the journey with you, is a must!
And if you want to join some more of the fun of ACFW – check out the fun giveaway I have going on in celebration of my upcoming release Charming the Troublemaker!!! Visit FB or Instagram to join the fun!!