105 days. Wow!
Why do I get so excited about conference? At the conference I’ve met each of the editors I’ve worked with. At the conference I’ve gotten to know them, and hopefully they’ve gotten to know me. We got a sense of each other’s personalities before contracts were offered.
At the conference, I learn from some of the best teachers on the craft of fiction writer. Last year Donald Maass taught the early bird. This year, James Scott Bell is. Last year I attended the published author track led by Allen Arnold, Thomas Nelson fiction publisher, and Karen Ball, the fiction guru at B&H. This year I’ll sit in on the track by Michael Hauge, a Hollywood screenwriting expert. Even though I attended a retreat he taught at last year I can’t wait to learn more from him this year.
But ACFW has tracks for all levels of writers. A track for those just starting led by Tracie and Jim Peterson. A track for those who’ve been writing a bit led by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. A track on mastering Structure, Symbols, and 3-D characters with Dr. Dennis Hensley. A track for more advanced writers with Gayle Roper. For those with a contract or at least one book out there’s also a marketing track led by Chip MacGregor and Jim Rubart — I attended an extended version in December and it was excellent! And those are just the continuing education tracks. That doesn’t begin to touch on all the wonderful elective workshops.
I also can’t wait to see friends that I only get to see once or twice a year — usually at ACFW. Writing can be such a solitary business.
There’s so much I love about conference. Volunteering. Celebrating as people receive their first contracts from Heartsong Presents and Barbour. Meeting with my agent and editors. Hugging my friends. Learning how to do this better. Leading First Time Orientation to ease the way for newbies.
If you’re a writer, think about joining us. You won’t regret it!
Cara Putman is the author of 10 novels. She received her first contract at the 2006 ACFW conference. In 2008 that first novel tied for ACFW 2008 Book of the Year in the Short Historical category. You can learn more about Cara and her books at her website.