Friday, August 04, 2006
ACFW Conference Reigns
First—my newest baby is being born today. Violet Dawn, 8.5 inches, 15 ounces, is making her first appearance at the Zondervan warehouse, shipping from there to stores across the country and beyond. Look for this lovely child to show up on shelves soon.
Today I am officially blogging about the ACFW conference, held at the Dallas Marriott Sept. 21-24. This is the best Christian conference for fiction, period. Why? Because fiction is all ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) does. Are you a novelist? Imagine—being at a conference with none of those boring nonfiction writer types. None. No normals around. Only novelists. Crazy people just like you. You wanna argue with your character in the middle of the hall? Go right ahead—nobody’ll even notice. (Well, maybe the hotel staff, but they’re paid to be polite.) You wanna tell people about the voices in your head? They’ll tell you about their voices.
You don’t know what a good time is like until you’re surrounded by 400+ other novelists. Surely heaven shall be such as this.
Besides, there’s a whole lotta great teaching going on, by a dynamite faculty. When all you do is fiction, you can do it up mighty big. One measly fiction track to choose in the morning? No way! Try four. Beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional. As for the afternoon tracks—same thing. They’re coordinated to level of craft. At night—more good stuff in the way of late night chats. Can't make every class you want? No sweat; buy the CDs. They're cheap.
And then there’s the people. ACFW conference folk aren’t just attendees; they’re family. You want to go but don’t know anybody? That’ll last about, oh, three minutes. Soon you’ll be drawn into the ACFW brood. And next year it’ll be you getting all excited about returning to the conference to reunite with your pals.
And let’s not forget the keynote speaker this year. Wonderful, everybody-loves-her, voice-like-smooth-chocolate Liz Higgs. If you’ve heard Lizzie speak before, you know the treat you’re in for. If you haven’t—man, what a new experience awaits you. Bring your laugh box and your tissues—both shall go home heavily used.
And there’s the great worship times. And the prayer room. Coming with a need regarding your health? Your emotions? Your spiritual life? Grab one of our pray-ers for a session in the prayer room, which is always open. In the last three years the conference has seen some real healings take place. Some known publicly. Some known only privately. But trust me—they’ve happened.
Wanna rub shoulders with the best agents and editors in the business? They’ll be there. Most of them come year after year, knowing from experience that they’ll be seeing some great writing. ACFW has established a reputation for teaching its members in the craft of fiction—and it shows. Many, many unpublished members have gone on to sell their books.
Not ready to show a manuscript to an editor/agent yet? ACFW’s still for you. Come to learn, to grow in the craft. To network with published authors who’ve paved the way before you. Networking is worth a lot in this business.
Want to pay a little extra for a paid critique? Want to be part of the mentor program? ACFW has these available too.
Oh, yeah. Don’t forget the book signing. You’ll go home with some great Christmas presents. (And you get to read ’em first.) Not to mention the Saturday banquet, when the winners of our first Genesis contest will be announced. Top winners (those lucky dogs) will have their manuscripts submitted to committee at . . . that great publisher that keeps changing its name. Warner Faith . . . Hachette . . . FaithWords. You know, headed by that Chip MacGregor guy.
(BTW—if you wanna wear sequins to the banquet—go for it. And tell 'em I sent ya.)
Finally--got some extra tomatoes you wanna throw at the emcee? Bring ’em on. I’m into tomatoes these days.