The writing conference season has actually been in full gear for several months, but May began the season in earnest with the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park, CO and Ridgecrest in North Carolina. Last year I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Colorado conference, but this year I stayed closer to home.
This past week Write to Publish happened right in my own backyard on the campus of Wheaton College. I was able to attend two of the four days and had an awesome time.
I had two goals in mind and accomplished them both: An invite to submit a proposal for Murder for Breakfast and an invite to submit an article to a magazine I had targeted. In addition to those blessed events, I connected with a number of ACFW members and made some new friends as well.
This is just a warm-up as far as I'm concerned. The ACFW National conference is coming in September and I've already got my editors picked out that I hope to have appointments with and am working hard on the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The person has been chosen by the members at large and I'll soon be going out to order the award which I'll carefully cart with me to Minneapolis. Of all that I do as secretary, this is one of my most enjoyable jobs. I love surprises, and it is always a joy to see the shock on the face of the winner when I announce the name. I'll have to keep the secret all the way until our awards banquet that Saturday night. That's always fun when I see the unassuming person at meals or in workshops throughout the days prior to the banquet. I want to sing out "I know something you don't know." LOL
At Write to Publish I was free to go and enjoy. I helped out the director for a few days prior to the conference, but my time was my own at the gathering itself. I enjoyed the teaching of Rene Gutteridge in the continuing fiction class, learned how to write a good query letter in another workshop, and how to be disciplined in my writing, among the many other classes I took. Conferences are invaluable for so many reasons, not only for making contacts with editors. Networking, learning about the publishing industry--it's trends, what publishers are publishing what genres, getting to know authors and editors better, and just plain old having a good time :-).
If you write fiction and haven't yet decided on a conference to attend this year, please consider ACFW which will be September 18-21. Registration will be opening soon. You can read more about the conference at the ACFW website.
For fiction writers, there's none better than the ACFW National Conference. I'll be writing more about it later, but I just wanted to whet your appetite a little!