SuzyQ and Carrie at the 2012 ACFW National Conference

SuzyQ and Carrie at the 2012 ACFW National Conference

Hi Friends,

Are you an aspiring author? Would you like to learn what it takes to see your manuscript become a published novel? If the answer is yes, then I want to encourage you to attend a  writers’ conference. If you want to write novels for the Christian market, I recommend The American Christian Fiction Writer’s National Conference, which will be held this year in Indianapolis, September 13 – 15.

I have been blessed to attend the ACFW National Conference every year since it first began in 2002. Attending classes and workshops taught by published authors, editors, and agents will give you valuable information and help steer you and your manuscript in the right direction. Because the conference schedule is packed and there are so many workshops and classes to choose from, I usually buy the Conference CD  so I can listen and learn throughout the year. That alleviates the pressure to take it all in during the conference, and it frees up some time for networking and appointments.

Connecting with other like-minded authors, editors, agents, and publishing professionals is another great benefit of attending a writers’ conference. I’ve made many wonderful friends, found critique partners, met my agent, my editors and my publishers at a writers’ conference, and most of these relationships began before I was published. After the conference you can nurture those relationships as you follow up and connect via email and social media.

There are several other good conferences around the country, and many of them feature teaching on both fiction and non-fiction. The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, The Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference, Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference. The Oregon Christian Writers Conference, and the Florida Christian Writers Conference are just a few with great reputations. It may seem like a big investment to fly across the country and attend a conference . . . but there are some great benefits and rewards. And if you are serious about writing and hope to move toward publication, then it’s a worthwhile investment to consider.

I love to encourage aspiring authors, and here are two ways we can connect this summer. I will be teaching two workshops and doing critiques at the Philadelphia Christian Writers’ Conference July 31 – Aug. 4. I’d love to meet with you and give you helpful suggestions for polishing your pros. I’ll also be doing critiques at the ACFW Conference Sept. 13 – 15. Each of these require attending the conference, signing up online, and submitting your chapter ahead of time.

So . . . how about you? Have you ever attended a writer’s conference? If so, how was it helpful for you? If not, what would you hope to gain from attending?