American Christian Fiction Writers
Cynthia Ruchti

Cynthia Ruchti is a product of American Christian Fiction Writers’ efforts to advance Christian Fiction by inspiring writers to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry. She serves as ACFW’s Professional Relations Liaison, connecting ACFW and its members with retailers, publishers, libraries, book clubs, and other industry professionals. She is the author of numerous fiction projects, anticipating the release of her sixth fiction project—As Waters Gone By (Abingdon Press)—and a non-fiction book—Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Soul (Abingdon Press Christian Living)—in 2015. You can connect with her at or

ACFW Conference

Timeline To-Do List


By this time in June, brides have checked off most of their timeline to-do list notes in preparation for their summer weddings.

o Pick and put a deposit on the caterer
o Put a deposit on the reception venue
o Reserve the church
o Choose the wedding music
o Settle on a decoration theme
o Order flowers
o Order cake
o Say yes to the dress
o Send out save-the-date or invitation notices

As we inch closer to the date of the ACFW conference in Nashville late in August (see for more details), what’s left on your timeline to-do list?

Right now, there’s still time to check off these essential items.

o Create professional business cards. (Try or You’ll need them as you swap information with other writers or to leave with an interested agent, editor, mentor, potential critique partner, or industry guest.

o Create a one-sheet that briefly shows the basic information about your manuscript—theme, brief summary, hook—and your short bio. Include a headshot. You may think editors and agents will remember your name. But they will meet dozens of writers one-on-one and hundreds of them in the crowd at the conference. For more information about creating a meaningful one-sheet, check out the ACFW online class archives.

o Update any out-of-date information on your website. If an editor or agent shows interest at the conference, he or she will likely go to your website for more information about you.

o Tidy anything out-of-date or unprofessional on your social media pages or profile for the same reason.

o Study the ACFW conference pages. So much is addressed in those pages that will answer potential questions. Take time to research the agents and editors who will be present at the conference, and the publishing houses those editors represent, so you clearly understand whether or not your work would be a good fit.

o Practice your pitch. Create a one-sentence hook and a one-paragraph (at the most) pitch that succinctly tells people what your book is about. Practice saying it until you’re comfortable that you know the strengths of your story and why it might appeal to editors and agents. Be prepared to give your pitch to other writers. Everyone will ask, “What are you working on?” or “What is your book about?” Even hotel staff.  Be ready with an answer.

o Create a “what to pack” list.

o Keep praying that you will be an open, receptive vessel God can fill and use at the conference.

Come* ready. Leave blessed.

* Not attending the ACFW conference this year? Most of this list still applies.

Save the Date!