In His Strength
“I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.“ Phil 4:13
September 18 – 21, 2008
Last week, I left my house bleary-eyed at 4 am to catch a direct flight from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis to attend the 2008 ACFW writers conference. With the time difference, I was in MN an hour after my flight left Pittsburgh. Amazing, isn’t it?
Arriving at the hotel was like entering a family reunion. Hugs and squeals were exchanged with friends I haven’t seen in two years since I missed last year’s conference. I met new friends, including some authors whose books I had discovered in the past year.
One of those authors was MaryLu Tyndall, who wrote the Legacy of the King’s Pirates trilogy. I blogged about her book, The Restitution, last year. Love her books! I was so excited to meet her that I kind of sort of gushed like a teenager meeting a rockstar…okay, maybe not quite that bad. She is a very quiet, very tiny person who has a huge smile. I liked her instantly.
Approximately 500 people came to the conference. 167 of them were first time attendees. Plus, about 25% of the members were male, which is great to see. In the past, about 10% of the attendees have been male.
The conference was filled with great workshops, amazing friends, incredible desserts, good food, and the continuous presence of God. The Sheraton is a beautiful hotel and the staff was very courteous and organized.
These are my conference highlights:
Hanging out with my friends, Roxanne and published author Susie May Warren
My Book Therapy pizza party on Friday night. Thanks Susie, Rachel, & Jennifer!!
Meeting with Kathryn Olson, senior editor at Tyndale House Publishers, Joanne MacKenzie, agent with Browne & Miller Literary Associates, and Rachelle Gardner, agent with WordServe Literary. All three requested my book proposals. I read Rachelle’s blog daily. One of the best writing blogs out there.
One on one critique with Rachel Hauck. Not only is she a talented writer, but God gifted her with a beautiful voice. She is the worship leader at our conference.
Eating breakfast with members of the ACFW Mid-Atlantic Zone. I’m so bummed I didn’t get a picture of this wonderful group of writers. Shout out to Trish Perry, Cecelia Dowdy, Cathy Gohlke, Terri Gillespie, Ginny Aiken. I know there were others at the table, but I can’t remember who they were. I’m sorry.
All of this happened through God’s grace and timing so He gets the glory. Now, I need to focus my attention on revising and editing my novel and prepare to submit it.
The workshops were very good. I learned the most from Susie Warren’s workshops and Rachel Hauck’s writing in a male POV workshop. Their enthusiasm for helping new writers shows in the way they teach.
On Saturday, we went to the Mall of America for a 120+ author booksigning. Wow! This place was amazing–four stories and an amusement park in the middle of the mall! I got my books signed by my favorite authors and met some new ones.
Pictures from top left to bottom right: Trish Perry, Camy Tang, Terri Gillespie with Me, MaryLu Tyndall with Me, Virginia Smith with Me, Jill Elizabeth Nelson with Me, Rachel Hauck with Me, Donita K. Paul
The awards banquet was very nice. Tomorrow I will post a list of the award winners. Everyone looked great. The food was delicious. My awesome neighbor JoAnn altered my banquet dress, creating a more modest, yet elegant style. I was so tired.
Pictures: Our meal where I ate asparagus for the first time, Me with Marcie & Roxanne after the awards ceremony, Me with Deb Raney who won three Book of the Year awards!
I was sad to leave my friends and the world of writing where those who understand about the voices in my head, but I missed my family and sleeping in my own bed. Even after 19 years of marriage, my heart leaped when I spied my handsome hubby waiting for me in the baggage claim at the airport. Nothing beat coming home, tired, yet energized to find a clean house and mopped floors! Blessings, all of them. 🙂
Next year’s conference will be held in Denver, CO with Debbie MacComber as our keynote!!