ACFW conference and pictures
In September, I (along with 500 others) attended the 6th annual national conference for American Christian Fiction Writers in Dallas, TX. I'm posting pics of some of the highlights of the conference for me.
My first highlight(this pic is third from the bottom) was traveling from KY to TX in the company of Ruth Seamands who is called Mama Ruth by most of our group. Ninety years young, she has been writing since before some of us were born! I took her book Cast A Long Shadow with me to read on the trip, and enjoyed her telling me how the book came to be written. She also shared many other stories and bits of wisdom with me.
Another highlight was rooming with Sharon Ball. (2nd from the bottom) We had met only once before at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers conference, so we enjoyed getting to know each other better and sharing some of our writing journey and family stories. Even though I am only a few years younger than her mother, she ended up taking care of me when I got sick one night. She prayed for me, went and got me a soda, and picked up the handouts from the class I missed the next morning and even kept an appointment for me with an editor and pitched my story! A true friend! Here we are with Janet Kobobel Grant, founder of Books & Such Agency, after we shared a meal at her table one day.
Although I am not presently writing a historical novel, I learned much from attending Tricia Goyer's class on historical writing. She is such a great writer, and had lots of info to share with us. I first connected with Tricia years ago thru email when we both were working with Teen MOPS, and it was such a joy to meet with her in person. (bottom picture)
(note: these pics appear at the top of the blog.)A big part of the conference is meeting with friends from previous conferences whom we haven't seen in awhile. I was happy to get to spend a little time with Connie Stevens and Kim Sawyer who both are precious friends and prayer partners. Also I enjoyed sitting with Nancy Jo Jenkins, another friend from past conferences, and her supportive husband at the awards banquet. Amid all the classes and late night chats and appointments, sometimes meals are the only time you have to connect with "old" friends.
My final highlight was taking a cab to the airport with Mama Ruth and her real-life daughter, Brandilyn Collins, who always does such a fine job of emceeing the ACFW conference. In this picture taken at the airport, be sure to notice Ruth's unusual necklace. The chain is from her husband, and the pin was a gift from a raja in India when they were missionaries there. Another unique story from this very unique lady!
If you are a fiction writer, you need to join ACFW and you need to pray about attending next year's conference which will be in Minneapolis, MN, September, 2008. The booksigning will be held at the Mall of America. Go to http://www.acfw.com/ to learn more about the conference and this wonderful organization that will help you learn to hone the gift of writing to God's glory.