2008 ACFW Conference

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2008 ACFW Annual Conference

In His Strength

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

Minneapolis, Minnesota
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

Roxanne, Me, Susie, Jennifer

Seeing friend Sara Mills with her first book, Miss Fortune.
Meeting new friends–Jill, Ronda, MaryLu, Sherry, Marcie (who lives an hour from me…how cool is that?), Deb, Christy, Jennifer

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!!

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  1. MaryLu Tyndall

    Hi Lisa! Meeting you was one of the highlights of my trip! Thank you for being so enthusiastic about my books. And for including me in your blog post!
    I pray God's best for your writing and hope we meet again soon.

  2. Lisa Jordan

    You are so sweet. As soon as I read The Falcon and the Sparrow, I'll blog about it and have you back as a guest, if you're available.

  3. VineWay

    I agree with Marylu, meeting you was one of the highlights of my trip, too!

    Love, love, love the banquet dress!

    I'll be praying for you as you get your proposals together (you're welcome to pray for me, too, as I have three to send out, too!!! We Pennsylvanians rock!!)

    Blessings, friend!

  4. Lisa Jordan

    Awww, thanks, Marcie. Your dress was very elegant looking. You looked beautiful. Looking forward to getting together with you!

  5. Cecelia Dowdy

    Wow! Shouting right back at ya, Lisa! I had a wonderful time at the conference, too!

  6. Lisa Jordan

    I hope your book signing and appointments were successful. The book signing was so large that I didn't get to see everyone I wanted.

  7. GinnyAiken

    Hey, Lisa. Meeting you was one of the highlights of my conference. I was freaking out and you were smart–you prayed for me! What more can I ask than to meet people like you? Lots of blessings on your writing, and can't wait to see you next year in Denver!

  8. Lynda Schab

    I wasn't able to attend but have been living the conference through blogs and photos. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Lisa Jordan

    I wasn't able to attend last year and felt so bummed when people posted their excitement. Congratulations on your second place win in the Genesis contest! Mind over Madi is a great title!