When I first started writing
“for real,” over ten years ago, I kept
hearing different writing phrases or words that seemed like Greek to
me. The craft of writing does have its own language, from POV to
head-hopping to e-loops. My head was hopping! I honestly felt I had a
long way to go, but more so because of the strange linguistics that
never showed up in a manuscript.
One of the most valuable writing
tools has to be writing loops via
e-mail. Never heard of it? Don’t know how to take advantage? Well then,
you are in for a treat. Writing loops exist in many writing
organizations. But the American Christian Fiction Writers has an
incredible tool in the www.acfw.com main loop. Let’s
explore a little Q & A.
Q: How does it
simply by e-mail. A person sends an e-mail to the
address for the ACFW main loop with a subject line that specifies the
topic. Out of nearly two thousand members, you can be sure to receive a
response for almost any question regarding the writing craft, promotion
ideas for your work, computer suggestions, and even common problems
with word processing programs. Awesome support systems are in place
through the loop as well. The friendships built are stunning, not to
mention the warmth that surrounds a person when they announce either a
rejection or a sale. The list of opportunities through the ACFW main
loop is hefty.
Q: What does
it do for a writer?
A: Mmm, now
we’re talking. The ACFW main loop includes
writers in varying degrees of the publishing experience, ranging from
multipublished to beginner authors. But many agents, publicists,
editors, and other writing professionals also belong to the loop. It’s
an awesome way to connect and network. Guess what else? All the ACFW
announcements, free online classes, conference detail, TOTW (Topic of
the Week), VOTW (Verse of the Week), mentoring posts from multipubbed
authors, notices about calls for submissions, experts in pretty much
any specialty, and incredible knowledge are right at your fingertips. I
think I just pulled out one shovelful of sand above the treasure that
is the ACFW main loop.
Q: How do I
get on the ACFW main loop?
will make your day because it is simple. First, you join ACFW by going
Then you login. Once on the member home page, you’ll see a menu bar
with drop down boxes. Hover over GET CONNECTED. All the options will
drop down for your viewing. Play around and get familiar at your
leisure. But click on ELOOPS. Once the page displays, you’ll see three
options. Make your choice and fill in your e-mail and password. The
next decision will be if you want the loop to be sent to your e-mail as
a digest or in individual messages. By individual message, you can
respond or store just that e-mail. By digest, if the volume of messages
becomes too large to manage, the system will send one e-mail that
contains a block of messages. So you can scroll through and read each
one, skim through quickly and read only those of interest, or delete
the entire thing. It’s as simple as that. Bingo!
Q: Does ACFW
have any other loops?
A: Yes, we
also offer a prayer loop as well as a course
loop. The additional opportunities for writing support closer to home
include regional chapters and their e-mail writing loops. (However, the
chapters often offer meeting options on a local, smaller level you
might want to attend.)
Q: What is the
A: Ten to
eleven months out of the year, American Christian
Fiction Writers offers month-long writing courses free to members. The
instructors volunteer and teach an amazing variety of topics specific
to career and craft. The first year’s membership of $50 makes each
month-long class a measly $5 if that’s the only
benefit you partake of. The level of education and dedication from
these ACFW teachers is bountiful and a huge blessing!
Q: Is there
Absolutely. But I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.
Visit the ACFW Web site and find out why it is the voice of Christian
fiction. I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than to
blossom in your writing through using the tools available. The main
loop is revolutionary for someone who has written in solitude. Give
yourself the gift of encouragement, enlightenment, and education by
joining ACFW today and signing into the e-loops, or if you already are
a member, find out what you’ve been missing!