As many of you are aware, I spent last weekend in St. Louis for the 10th annual ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference.
If you don’t know how it works, let me give you a little explanation. The conference provides not only a time to meet and mingle with published authors, but to meet with agents and editors to pitch books and seek representation, and to take classes taught by well known agents, editors, and authors. It’s a time for learning, laughing, and for me, seeking God’s direction for my career.
To understand how I was thinking before I left for conference, check out my last post.
Here are some words to describe how I’m thinking and feeling now:
Amazed. Rejuvenated. Excited. Liberated. Focused. Star-struck. Loved.
Here are some of the things I learned:
1. My name is Jennifer and I am a seat-of-the-pants writer. And there is nothing wrong with me. (Thanks, Karen Ball!) And did you know that SOTP writers are more spiritual? 😉
2. The market for international settings in fiction for the CBA is remarkably narrow.
3. Editors and agents are people, too. Super cool, funny, warm, helpful people.
4. God put me with just the right agent. I am so blessed to be with Rachel Kent because she is an incredible person. And Books & Such is a warm, inspiring agency.
5. Learn the rules so that when you break the rules, you can do it well.
6. Not all suspense writers are actually exciting in real life. (I think there’s something here that needs to be analyzed by the Character Therapist.)
7. Erin Healy was inspirational and helpful. Sitting in her class cleared up so many things for me. I think hers was my favorite of all. It could just be that her overall persona was helpful and encouraging.
8. A kiss is NOT just a kiss. Wowza.
9. My boys might just have missed me a little. 🙂
I don’t think I can accurately describe the atmosphere at this conference. Even though everyone was there for the same thing, there was no sense of competition or jealousy among the attenders. In fact, everyone, and I mean everyone, was supportive of each other.
When someone had a meeting with an agent or editor, there was always a spirit of prayer, and friends outside the door to build you up or celebrate with you after. Such an incredible, God-breathed atmosphere unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
Not once did I feel alone or unwelcome or “out of the loop.” In fact, I appreciate so much being taken into “the fold” by the life-long friends God brought to me in this one weekend.
And as a super-cool side note, I was quite star struck this weekend as I got to meet, hug, and chat with many of my favorite authors. What wonderful, inspiring individuals!
I’m already looking forward to next year. If for no other reason than to get to spend some time with my lovely writer-friends!
*All of my writer friends are really tall. Like, really tall. I’m a shortie. Sarah F., you and I are stuck together in Munchkinville, I suppose. 🙂
Share with me: When you know that God is opening doors, how do you react? Do you run ahead or creep through slowly?