In just a couple months, more
than six hundred authors, writers, editors, agents, and other
publishing professionals will descend on the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at
the Arch for four days of fellowship, teaching, and celebrating. Each
year almost a third of those who attend come for the very first time.
Casey Herringshaw is coming for
the first time for “[l]earning opportunities. To stretch my brain in
new directions while meeting and socializing with others of my faith
and ‘novel’ quirks. After listening to three years’ worth of conference
recordings, the value that will be received from just being there is
going to be astronomical! I am more than excited to see what God does.”
Best-selling author and
conference emcee Brandilyn Collins always tells
attendees that one of
the best parts of conference is that for one weekend a year, writers
are surrounded by other writers…people who get the unique way we think.
“We just have to be careful, since we share the hotel with normals who
get a little nervous while standing in an oh-so-small elevator with a
half dozen authors who start talking about effective ways to kill
There are the pitch meetings
with editors and agents, but at ACFW the editors and agents are also
available at meals and often in the lobby. It’s fun to watch them
interact with everyone, from multi-published, best-selling authors to
those who dream of completing their first novel.
The conference has five levels
of continuing education classes
taught by pros like DiAnn Mills, Randy
Ingermanson, Jeff Gerke, Erin
Healy, Allen Arnold, Jim
Gwinn. Then there are thirty workshops
and eleven spotlights on
different publishers. As Jeff Gerke says, “If you’re a Christian who
writes fiction, you have to come experience what it’s like to be
surrounded by six hundred other people just as wonderfully crazy as
you. Great teaching, excellent networking opportunities, and best
friends waiting to be met.”
I can’t imagine a year without
the conference. From the worship sessions to the classes to the squeals
of excitement as online friends turn into face-to-face friends, it’s
four days locked on my calendar.
I hope you’ll join us this year.
Come see what makes the ACFW conference such a special place for
novelists, both published and in-training.