Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When God Sends an Angel ~ Highlights of the ACFW Conference

I posted last Wednesday that I was attending the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. Many of you {okay, three? J} asked for an update. Here ya go!

The conference started for me on Wednesday with the opportunity to drive faculty from the airport to the hotel. ACFW is primarily a volunteer organization, and since I’m a part of the Indiana chapter, I volunteered to be a part of the team that reduced expenses by using my vehicle to ferry agents and authors.

Along with a couple of agents, I drove Jill Williamson, a friendly and energetic author of young adult speculative fiction.

I also drove Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner and her husband. Kathleen is a bestselling author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. My jitters quickly disappeared with her and her husband’s friendly and easy-going personalities. She brought a copy of her new release to give as a thank-you to whomever drove them to the hotel. I think I about drove off the road when I realized that she meant me! She even autographed it for me! I couldn’t help myself…I gushed all over her. J





On the first *real* day, I walked with great trepidation into the first-timers orientation. True to my introverted nature, I’m much more comfortable with a small group than a large crowd. This conference drew over 700 writers! *gulp*

There were some in attendance I knew from online interactions, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to find them in the crowd or that we would actually connect in person. I had also encountered some Serious Spiritual Warfare (yes, with a capital S) earlier in the week that had left me rattled and doubting. You know that sort of nervousness…clutching your bag as fear clutches your throat.

I met a couple of people in that session, and we talked generally about the logistics of the conference and what we wrote. After the session, I was standing in the common area, talking with another attendee. One of the first women I spoke with in that session walked up to me, touched my arm, and told me that I had a beautiful and kind spirit about me. I was floored. After the spiritual attacks earlier in the week and all the misgivings and grief that resulted, the Lord knew I needed that bit of encouragement.

Isn’t He wonderful to provide just what we need when we need it? J

This wonderful angel also invited me to go to lunch with her {another nervous moment for this introvert, wondering with whom I would sit at meals}, encouraged me to talk to an agent, and introduced me to her editor.

By the end of the conference, I had four requests for more information on my novel! All four could still reject it, of course, but I was thrilled that those four in the publishing industry thought it intriguing enough that they wanted to read more.


I have loved fiction my entire life. Overall, I was incredibly impressed by the general conference atmosphere of serving and seeking the Lord. These writers truly have a heart for God and see their writing as a ministry through words.

It’s the power of story to speak truth into reader’s lives. I was honored to be a part of it.








Who is your favorite fiction author? Maybe he or she was at the conference! J





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13 comments:

  1. Good for you!!!! GOD is mindful even in the ways we don't think.

    Charlotte Moore

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    1. He was there in every little detail, not just for me but for all the conferees. I was a part of and also overheard many conversations praising the Lord for his presence, comfort, guidance. Thank you, Charlotte. I appreciate your comments! :)

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  2. Im so glad that God blessed you so at the conference. I too have experienced spiritual attacks this week and have been amazed how God has given me exactly what I needed at the time. I'm happy to hear how He has encouraged you. That lady who said you have a sweet kind spirit was right. We've only interacted through your blog and facebook but I can tell that it is true.

    I will be praying for you as you pursue to get your novel published. I would love to read it if it does. Was Beverly Lewis or Janette Oak there? I enjoy some of there writings.

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    1. He is a wonderful God, isn't He, Rebekah? "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1) Thank you so much for your sweet words! I love Beverly Lewis and Janette Oak too, but they weren't there.

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  3. I am so excited for you!!! Will you still remember me when you get famous?!?
    I am going to start saving NOW because I am going to be there next year if at all possible! Good luck with your novel! Also, Kathleen Y'Barbo needed no introduction for me because I love her writing :)

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    1. I figured you would know Kathleen Y'Barbo, Crystal! :) Next year, the conference is in St. Louis. We can meet up there!

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    2. And we did! :) I was searching for something completely different and somehow ended up on this post, thought it was neat. It was so great to meet you in person, even if it was only for a few minutes.

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  4. So glad you could go enjoy a writer's conference. One of these days I'll go....

    Favorite fiction author for today:

    Julianne Donaldson was great and lately I've been reading books by Chautona Havig.

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    1. I've not heard of Julianne Donaldson before, Tristan, but I googled her and love the look of her new book. She even says that it is "Jane Austen approved." Cool! :)

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    2. Hey! I enjoyed reading your comments on the ACFW conference. I'm not a writer, but love to read Christian fiction. I have enjoyed reading different authors' reports on the conference and seeing the photographs of some of my favorites. Do you write historical, contemporary or both? Who are some of your favorite authors?

      Tristan mentioned Julianne Donaldson. I read her first book, Edenbrooke, and loved it. It's a secular novel, but very clean. No s*x and I think no swearing if I remember correctly. No mention of God or religion though. Wonderful whit and writing style. I believe the author is LDS. Her books so far have been Regency.

      I've read some of your blog posts on modesty and appreciate and agree with most of them. My parents brought all of us girls in a similar standard.

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    3. Hi Sylvia! I write contemporary with strong historical parts, like letters, journal, or flashbacks. As much as people ask if I write romance, I'm wondering if I ought just to write romance! :) I love Susan Meissner, Cynthia Ruchti, Chris Fabry, and Kristen Billerbeck for something lighter. Truly, too many to mention!

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  5. What an experience Meghan!! My dad is a published fiction writer reflecting his missionary service in China and Japan, mostly China. I don't read much fiction. I am so boring :-) Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. How exciting, Judith, and missionary stories, too! What are their titles? And you're not boring! You have an amazing blog. :)

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