American Christian Fiction Writers
Kristin Billerbeck

Our new publicity officer has previously served on ACFW’s advisory board. Kristin Billerbeck is a best-selling, Carol Award–winning author of over thirty novels, novellas, and one nonfiction title. Credited with helping to bring Chick Lit to the CBA, she appeared on the Today Show to discuss the new genre and was written up in the New York Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, World Magazine and USA Today. Kristin’s novel What a Girl Wants sold over 100,000 copies and is currently being shopped as a movie. Many of her novels have been translated into several languages. She holds a degree in advertising from San Jose State University and is a proud fourth-generation Californian. She lives in the Silicon Valley with her family. Please visit Kristin’s website for more information:

American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference
St. Louis, MO
September 22–25, 2011

Fiction Finder

Writing is a lonely sport. Before the Internet, one can only imagine how lonely it was to spend the day plucking away at the keys. Today with the advent of Facebook, e-mail, and Skype, we have the ability to connect with our fellow writers, to brainstorm over the Internet, and send full manuscripts to our critique partners in a matter of seconds. However, none of that replaces the face-to-face learning and the growth experience found at is the ACFW’s writers’ conference.

Every year in September, ACFW has its annual Christian Writers’ Conference. The 2011 keynote speaker is best-selling author Tracie Peterson. More details and a full list of faculty will be available soon, but if it’s never entered your mind to attend a writers’ conference, consider ACFW’s conference. It is perfect for authors at all levels of the learning curve. Each class is specifically targeted to cover all areas of the writing craft and the publishing industry:

1. Access to Publishers. Normally, publishers will not look at your material if you’re not agented. A conference helps you to show these publishers that you are serious about furthering your craft, and it’s the one way to bypass the “agented only” rule.

2. Learn from the Best in the Business. Not only does ACFW have Tracie Peterson on staff this year, but you’ll be sitting side by side with published authors who know the business and love to assist newer writers.

3. Meet Agents. It’s been said you should never hire an agent before meeting him/her face-to-face. This is a significant relationship in your career, and having a conversation allows you to confirm if the business relationship will work in the long-term. And again, as with publishers, your being at the conference shows that you are serious about investing in your career.

4. Connections. The Christian writing industry is actually a very small community, and getting to know your fellow writers and finding perfect critique partners or brainstorming buddies is invaluable.

5. Manuscript Critiques. Maybe you’ve faced rejection on a project, but you don’t know why. A critique is available with your admission, and your manuscript will receive personalized attention from a professional.

6. Writing Energy. Nothing gets an author more fired up about a project than being around all that creative energy at a writer’s conference.

7. Introduction and Warm-Up. ACFW is one of the few conferences that has an e-mail loop just for conference attendees to help them navigate the experience and feel confident about the courses.

8. Stargazing. You’ll meet some of the biggest names in Christian publishing and perhaps take home a signed book or two.

Still not convinced a writers’ conference is for you? Take it from some seasoned professionals:

“Before I attended my first ACFW conference, I had already made a number of online writer friends, including my editors. But by the time I returned from the conference, I had friendships with people I had never even interacted with online. And those friendships have gone far beyond our common interest in writing. Now ACFW feels more like a family reunion than a conference. It’s one of the highlights of my year.”

Trish Perry
Unforgettable (Summerside Press)

“Attending ACFW is like a jolt of fresh energy for me. Face time with friends just solidifies relationships with other writers, and makes it easier when we can only keep in touch via e-mail the rest of the year.”

Hannah Alexander
A Killing Frost (Steeple Hill Publishers)

“I always feel I deepen my relationships with writer friends and colleagues when I get a chance to see them face-to-face. It’s so helpful to have their voice and face in my heart as we chat through the year online. I’ve made some great friends one conference at a time!”

Rachel Hauck
Dining with Joy (Thomas Nelson Publishers)

“When I meet someone in person, I then have that person’s image in my head. That helps with networking. Also, meeting someone in person at a conference gives me a more intimate acquaintance with them. This has helped me to develop professional relationships over the years, as well as lasting friendships. It allows me to trust people more because I have seen them and laughed with them and cried with them and prayed with them. That can be powerful in this business.

Lenora Worth
Because of Jane (Harlequin Super Romance)

“You can’t appreciate really great shoes and handbags over e-mail!”

Mae Nunn
A Season for Family

Maybe you’re thinking that as an introspective introvert, a conference wouldn’t be all those things to you. You’re the quiet, shy type who hides behind a book! Let me assure you that there is no better place for you than among fellow writers who appreciate the written word. Conferences offer benefits for all types of personalities. So if you’ve been thinking, “Hmmm. Perhaps a writers’ conference would really benefit my future in publishing,” consider this your gentle nudge to start saving your pennies. There is no easier way to break into the business of publishing. It’s money well-spent.

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