Wednesday, September 28

The ACFW 2011 Recap

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." -Ephesians 3:20-21

These verses were the theme of my first ACFW conference. Every single expectation I had about the conference God blew out of the water. He is always good and always working on behalf of His children and His name's sake, but sometimes that work is extra visible. Sometimes He moves in special ways, and that was definitely true last week. I'm not sure these posts will do justice to all God did, but I'm going to try by using a list. Because I love a list :)

1--At the My Book Therapy (MBT) Pitch and Promotion Scrimmage, Susan May Warren taught us the essential elements of a pitch, and James Rubart mentored the writers at the speculative table. (For those that don't know, speculative fiction --spec fic-- encompasses any work that contains a timeline, event, or character that we speculate about: fantasy, science fiction, futuristic novels, and my own dystopian book fall under this genre). Although I was intimidated at first to give Jim Rubart my pitch, the entire afternoon was a huge encouragement. I left the room feeling prepared to pitch Unclean to an agent or editor.

2--Erynn and I also left the room with two new friends! Amanda Stevens writes dystopian as well (plus she was home-schooled :) and Jessica Keller Koschnitzky writes Romantic Suspense like Erynn. We were able to grab dinner together at a local pub and lunch the next day. We four were a team, and I'm so grateful for these new lifelong friendships.

3--We were given FIVE free books (between ACFW and MBT). Several of these novels haven't been released yet, and I was eagerly anticipating these shelf dates. Free books? It's like a writer's dream :)

4--I felt great for most of the trip. I knew people were praying and God was giving me strength because this girl doesn't do five hours of sleep anymore without getting really sick. However, I had three of these nights in a row at the beginning of the trip, and though I had to skip a session each day to rest, I did not feel the exhaustion symptoms until Saturday night once all the appointments were over.

5--I met the talented Melanie Dickerson, author of The Healer's Apprentice. Melanie and I had e-mailed back and forth before the conference, and I was so excited to meet her in person. She was incredibly gracious. We were able to get to know each other during lunch on Saturday, and she was so kind to answer my questions about her upcoming novels and her life. Melanie is a Carol Award finalist (among other award nominations), and she graced me with an invitation to sit at her table for the Carol Awards Ceremony. Melanie's first book is a twist on the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, and I've always been a sucker for fairy tales. But a fairy tale with a Christian worldview? Even better. Her second book, The Merchant's Daughter, releases in November, and I'll be posting more as the release date draws nearer. I was humbled by the welcome Melanie and the other YA authors gave us newbie writers; they are all as giving as they are talented, and I hope you'll check out their work.

And that's just the half of it.

More to come later this week....


Beth K. Vogt said...

So delighted to hear your expectations for ACFW were blown out of the water!
And the MBT Scrimmage--what fun we had! Jim Rubart did an amazing job, didn't he? My friend Evangaline was at the "spec" table too.

Jimmy and Rebecca Byrd said...

Oh, the suspense!!! Can't wait to hear more later! Was so glad to read your recap so far. Hope you're having a good week at work and have been able to catch up on rest. Love you! Rebecca

Charity said...

@Beth, Thank you for being part of why my conference experience was great. And yes, Jim Rubart was incredible. He has a talent for putting people at ease and listening to writers ramble about their stories and then succinctly stating the premise. Plus, his marketing advice will stick with me. I loved Evangeline's idea and look forward to reading her book one day!

@Rebecca, thanks for your patience. One post was going to be too long, so I had to split it into two. The second part will come this weekend. My work week has been great, and although I've rested some, I'm looking forward to catching up on more sleep Friday and Saturday. Love you too!

JessKeller said...

I loved meeting you. And the MBT Scrimmage was one of my favorite learning times.

Charity said...

@Jessica, I loved meeting you too. So happy we're friends and that you've had such a great week!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Charity, meeting you was a highlight of my conference, for sure! It was so great to meet such a humble, sweet, positive person like you!!! I am believing that God has some AMAZING things in store for you on this writer's journey you are on!

Charity said...

@ Melanie, this comment makes me smile crazy wide. Thank you for the encouragement and your friendship! :)