Thursday, June 26, 2008

ACFW Conference

Registration is now underway for the annual writers' conference sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). This is the only conference in our industry that does nothing but fiction. And it does it very, very well. This year it meets in Minneapolis from Thursday, September 18 to Sunday the 21st.

As with last year the major morning tracks and the afternoon workshops offer teaching on every level of the craft--beginner to professional. I'm totally jazzed to take a non-level morning class this year taught by Mark Mynheir--police officer and SWAT team member, suspense author and all-around good guy. Oh, and he does a mean rap, too. I still call him CopDiddy. Mark is teaching a class on police procedure--a must for all those mystery/suspense authors, published or unpublished. I've heard him teach a workshop before, and he's terrific.

The keynote speaker this year is Angela Hunt. I roomed with Angie at Mount Hermon. She put a snake in my bed. But that is a story for another day, and besides, evil Deb Raney is to blame for it. (And no doubt this feud shall continue on to ACFW.)

So--back to the conference. Lots of great teaching. Lots of great fellowship and worship. ACFW is a family. If you're a newbie to the conference, never fear. You'll feel right at home in no time. Cara Putman and I run a thingy for first-timers to the conference. Folks are put on an email loop and can send us questions for about a month before the conference. We answer the questions by sending to the whole loop. Then we have an hour together at the beginning of the event. By the time newcomers go through all that, they're well prepared and far less nervous.

I'll be emceeing the conference this year, which I look forward to. Around those responsibilities, I tend to spend a lot of time in the prayer room. Conference attendees, do take the time to come into the prayer room just to focus now and then. There will be people to pray with you if you want, or you can be by yourself in a corner. I've seen amazing answers to prayer in the ACFW prayer room, and the answers continue throughout the year. After my prayer times with people, for the whole next year and beyond I'll receive emails from folks telling me what God has continued to do in their lives. Awesome stuff. But then, He's an awesome God.

We'll be having a public book signing at the Mall of America. We're taking over one of their main areas in the mall, complete with book signing tables for dozens of authors and a Jumbotron of running video. If you know anyone in the Minneapolis area, send 'em to the event.

When you come to the ACFW conference, you will:

Learn a lot
Laugh a lot
Love a lot
Lunch a lot (that is, eat)
Link up a lot (networking with authors, editors and agents), and
Look a lot (there's all sorts of cool people to watch)

See ya there!

(Anybody wanna put a snake in Deb Raney's bed for me?)

With my mom, Ruth Seamands (would you believe she's 91?) at the 2007 awards banquet.

Gina Holmes and --who's the other gal? -- playing me and Deb Raney in a hilarious skit poking fun at the Advisory Board Members. I couldn't get this photo any bigger. Gina's shirt reads: "Breathe" (with a checked box) and "Don't breathe" (box unchecked). She was wearing a seatbelt belt.

The Belle and Baron of the Banquet: Mom in her traditional Indian sari (my parents were missionaries in India), and Chip MacGregor in his family kilt.


Richard Mabry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaye Dacus said...

This will be my seventh conference, and I CAN'T WAIT! Not only am I anxious for the continuing sessions and workshops, but I'm excited to see what will happen that will keep us laughing and talking and get us geared up for 2009!

As a school kid, the year revolved around summer. Now, as a professional writer, my year revolves around the ACFW National Conference.

Look out, Kissing Bandits, here I come!

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Ah, those kissing bandit days. You go, Kaye! It'll be great to see you again.

Pam Halter said...

I went to Mt. Hermon, so ACFW is out for me this year. (I remember the snake in the bed episode.)

Love the pics!

I got the marketing book - thank you! Can't wait to read it and share what I learn with my group.

Ane Mulligan said...

Mr. Hissie is, I believe, in the hands of evil Deb Raney. :D He's kind of flat now (she sat on the poor thing). LOL

I think I'm going to have to do another post and put up some photos I have of past conferences. Whenever I get the blahs, I pull them up and have a good chuckle.

One More Writer said...

I am the Deb Raney impersonator in that photo with Gina, aka Brandilyn. We had such fun putting on that skit! I can't wait to see everyone again in MInneapolis!

D'Ann Mateer

Cara Putman said...

Looking forward to working with you on the first timers orientation thingy again. That was so much fun last year!

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

D'Ann, you did such a good job being Deb, I didn't know who you were. Waytago.

Watch out for snakes in your bed.

Tina Helmuth said...

I'm registered to attend for the first time this year. Looking forward to it.

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

Oooh! I'll volunteer to put a snake in Deb's bed. I usually don't draw too much attention and can get away with things like that because most folks would never believe it was me. :) I'm the 'good' one.

This will be my 7th ACFW conference. Wow! Like Kaye, I can't wait, and my years revolve around ACFW. I haven't missed a single one. You just can't beat fiction-focused all the time.

And who can stay away from our illustrious--or is that infamous--redhead emcee? *winks*

Lynette Eason said...

Just catching up on your blog, here. I can't wait to get to the conference! But y'all are going to have to pray me there. I HATE, DESPISE, LOATHE (okay you get the picture) to fly, but I'm gonna do it. So don't wait to get to the prayer room, please, PRAY NOW!