What happens at a writer’s conference? Chatter, squeals, hugs, laughter … and prayer!
Imagine going to a conference where everyone has the same interest as you, whether the focus is on quilting, art, woodworking, or any other hobby or job. Adrenaline peaks as the conversation escalates on the newest techniques, what works or doesn’t work, and ho
w to make your dream project the best it can be. Then, to meet professionals who have even more wisdom to offer.
This is how writer’s feel when we all gather in one place. We see old friends who traveled across the U.S. and across the borders. We make new friends and gain valuable insight for our work in-progress. We meet with agents, editors, and publishers and talk with them to receive their expert advice.
How cool is that?!? If you’re a writer, it’s w-a-y cool!
But, rather than tell you about the 2016 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference, I’ll show you some of the pictures from my recent trip.
At registration, I saw my friend Darlene Turner who traveled in from Canada. We were two of the 2012 Craftsman graduates from Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Writers Classes, where DiAnn Mills was our Mentor. We’ve remained friends over the years and encouraged one another to keep pressing toward our goal of being successful in novel writing.
Thursday evening we attended Genre Night where authors were encouraged to dress like their novel characters. It was fun and the evening was full of energy.
Here we are, DiAnn Mills (left), Lynette Eason (center), and me, Loretta Eidson (right) dressed as our FBI and ATF characters.
DiAnn Mills is an award-winning author of multiple romantic suspense novels, a mentor and speaker. Lynette Eason is an edge-of-your seat romantic suspense author of multiple novels, and a speaker as well. Both of these amazing ladies have won numerous awards for their writing. I’m blessed to rub shoulders with some of the best!
After our fabulous lunch, we enjoyed listening to ACFW’s keynote speaker, the New York Times Best Selling Author Ted Dekker.
He told stories about himself and the struggles he encountered with his first novels. His stories were funny, and yet, hit home with many writers as he shared about all the rejections he received during his first attempts at novel writing.
He didn’t take no for an answer and giving up wasn’t an option.
Saturday night was the Gala. This was the last big dinner, which was a formal event. It served as the night finalists from every genre discover the winner.
Here’s my crazy attempt at a selfie! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Many amazing novelists won trophies, but in my thinking every finalist was a winner. What an honor to be considered a semi-finalist or a finalist with the ACFW. I was a semi-finalist twice and a finalist once. The thrill of just making it that far is exhilarating. Of course, everyone would like to be THE winner, but there’s always next year…and yes, I’ll try again.
My Canadian friend, Darlene Turner (below) made it to the finals and her husband, Jeff, was able to be with her and experience the excitement. She didn’t win the trophy for the ACFW Genesis Contest, but shortly before she arrived at the ACFW Conference she learned that she’d won First Place in the 2016 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in the RWA’s (Romance Writers of America) Inspirational Romance Mystery/Suspense Unpublished Division. I’m thrilled for her and her tenacity to press forward with her writing.
One never knows when something amazing will happen, as it did for Darlene.
Kind of like the day Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency called and offered me a contract. She never knew I’d just had knee surgery and was at my daughter’s house recovering. The call totally caught me off-guard. I was elated to say the least and I think my recovery was almost instant. LOL! Now, she’s my agent and I consider myself thoroughly blessed. Tamela wasn’t able to make it to the conference or I’d have a picture for you.
Last, but by no means the least, I got to meet my friend, Elizabeth Van Tassel in person. We’ve talked online, messaged, and visited via Skype, but never officially met. What an energetic, inspiring lady!
She talks faster than my southern ears can hear, but what I catch is vibrant and full of life. She is a wildfire survivor. She writes and blogs about A Resilient Life, From Diamonds to Wildfires, Stories and Life Lessons from the Ashes.
So here you have it. A brief scenario of what goes on at a writer’s conference.
Oh, and most importantly, the worship at this Christian conference was indescribable. Such a blessing to be part of ACFW where your spirit is fed and your novel writing knowledge increases.
Tell me about your conference experience. I’d love to hear from you.