One week remains to the ACFW conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This conference is a huge opportunity for writers to network, present their current works, and learn new skills.
Practice: The Great Lakes Chapter of ACFW held a meeting in August giving those who came opportunity to practice their pitches for the conference. Wow! It really helped. I was able to practice with my friend Peggy. I met her at my first conference, Write to Publish in Chicago.
It is so amazing how God holds precious friendships together despite distance.
Network: I am excited to meet friends I've only known through the Internet. Last year I recognized them from the little pictures by their posts (and the name tags). We greet each other, cheer, share our hopes and dreams for the conference, snap pictures, and turn to meet someone else. There are so many people there. Every moment is a great opportunity to connect with new friends.
Present current works: I was surprised to sit with a team at lunch time who came to present their latest work. They had several books published, even won awards. My questions was, why did they have to pitch? Wouldn't they just be able to send a query or cover letter, or wouldn't they send a proposal to their agent? This team explained to me that one can never assume that the next book will be accepted. It seemed kind of nice to hear that newbies were not the only ones pitching their works. We stood side by side with published authors.
Learn new skills: One of the most difficult aspects to a conference is choosing a class. I usually don't have the money to buy the CD of all the classes so I research the instructor, read the course description and trust God to lead me to the class I most greatly need at the time. Once in a while I wish I had chosen a different class, but most of the time I find the information given in the session I attend the best for my current need.
Things I really enjoy: I like the atmosphere of the gala dinner. Everyone is dressed up. We cheer on the finalists hoping they will be chosen winner. Too bad they all can't. We clap, laugh, eat, and talk. I also love the late night chats with my Alley Cat friends. Sleep is a meaningless word at conferences!
Being one of the first people to know someone had a request for their work is high on the best of all best list.
Another best is the worship time. Being a Christian writers conference we are privileged to have corporate prayer before meals, devotions, praise singing.
Brandilyn Collins is a key person involved in the prayer room. She insures there is a place for quiet prayer. She can also be seen praying in the hall with conferees.
The conference is an intense four days that rejuvenate, excite, inspire, challenge, and opens new doors for new steps.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to this conference....a little. :)
Friend, what can we celebrate together for you? Seriously, anything good is worth celebrating.