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.


Cara Putman said...

Going to ACFW last year was such a great experience, and I can't wait for this year's. From hanging out in the lobby one night drafting the craziest blog post ever with Brandilyn and the BGs. To volunteering all over the place so I could meet people. To having God tell me through several people "Relax, enjoy, learn" and still having three publishers ask to see different manuscripts. But the praise and worship and prayer. Wow! You just never know what God will do.

Get there :-)

Ron Estrada said...

Sadly, I'll be missing it this year. I started a new job, which is awesome because it gives me more time to write (and I'm not nearly as stressed), but I have nada vacation this year. I'll be sure to crank out about twelve chapters while y'all are goofing off, though.

C. Schroeder said...

I've not been to ACFW before, but I'm headed there this year. It sounds like it's going to be lots of fun. But then again, Brandilyn can make anything sound fun. :-)

CHickey said...

I can't wait! This will be my first year and I can't wait to meet the friends I've met online. I'm pumped!

Becky said...

Hahah--I guess from here on it's, Extra tomatoes on the salad, please.

You're a good salesman, Brandilyn.

If Liz Higgs is half as good as she was at Mt. Hermon two years ago, she is worth hearing.


Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Stop! Stop! Darnit, everyone's blogging about the conference and I can't go!! I am so freaking jealous of everyone. Every blog I read makes it sound better and better. Next year will be good, too, right? Right?? *sigh*


Pam Meyers said...

Brandilyn, you've said it all. This year's conference is going to be even better than the last ones, if that's possible. The theme is "A New Beginning" as we celebrate our fifth birthday together. Yep, ACFW is five years old and like any five year old we're getting better and better. We'll be in Big D for the next couple years and I can't wait to get there. But wait!!! I was there in March. As an ACFW board member I attended a face to face board meeting at the very Mariott Hotel that we'll be at. And it is one gorgeous hotel.

Hope to see y'all there.


Michelle Pendergrass said...

1.) I have sequins. :D (Did you expect any less?)

2.) There's a Starbucks in the Marriott. Yes. As a matter of fact that was the first thing I checked.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

LOL Great post! I can't wait til Sept! (wait, groan, yes I can. I'm SO not ready for this one!)

Can't wait to see you again, Brandilyn!!

Thanks for taking part in the blog tour!