Thursday, July 5, 2007

American Christian Fiction Writers September Conference

I’ve been a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) three years. And the benefits and encouragement I’ve received during those three years are priceless. Shortly after I joined, I became a member of Crit14, and I was amazed at how quickly we all became friends, sharing our lives not just our writing. Over these last few years, we have shared the struggles of health problems, death of family members, and spiritual struggles for us as well as our families. I am the one who is truly blessed by these ladies: Kim Sawyer, Eileen Key, Darlene Wells, Beverly Olojan, Crystal Ratcliff, and Donna Schlachter.

But one of the main reasons I joined ACFW when I did was so I could attend the 2004 conference held in my backyard—Denver. What a blessing to meet my crit group face-to-face, to listen to Francine Rivers talk about her writing journey and how her relationship with the Lord defines her writing, to meet writers whose books I have enjoyed, and to sit under their teaching.

Since that first ACFW conference, I haven’t missed any: 2005 in Nashville, 2006 in Dallas, and I’m already signed up for the 2007 conference, also in Dallas. And each conference has furthered my writing, and now editing, experience. I can’t explain what it’s like to attend a conference that is totally geared toward fiction writing. And I’ve attended other very good conference since the mid-90s. Each conference has its unique qualities.

At each conference I meet more people whose names I see on the ACFW member’s loop. And now it’s like going to a huge class reunion, all bonded together as brothers and sisters in Christ and our love of writing fiction. I not only learn more about the craft of writing and build my network of writers, editors and agents, I also am blessed spiritually. And each year I add something to my experience. This year I’ve added the early bird session with Margie Lawson. And I’m looking forward to learning more, not only for my own writing, but also for my clients, many of whom are also ACFW members.

It was through the ACFW conferences that I auditioned for and earned a place as a writer for Brandilyn Collins’ promotional blog, Scenes and Beans. And it’s been through this conference that I have met many others who encourage me, pray for me, and love me—just as I am—showing me God’s love. And ACFW has given me the opportunity to give back to the Christian writing community in ways that I could only dream of in the past. And in fact, the confidence to step out by faith, quit teaching, and go full-time into editing is a dream I’ve long had, but God used ACFW to realize, much more than I could have asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

So I’m taking this opportunity to encourage you to attend the ACFW conference September 20–23 in Dallas. I look forward to seeing you there!

1 comment:

Robin Caroll said...

It's amazing. I think I'm an ACFW conference addict! LOL Come on September!!!!!!!!!!!