by Kathy Fuller
The annual American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference is set for September 17-20 in Denver, Colorado. While that may seem a ways away, its really around the corner, so if you’re planning to attend, you should register and book your flight ASAP. For those of you on the fence, especially historical romance novelists, allow me to shove you off that fence by giving you five reasons to attend the conference.
1) Historical novels are on the rise again. When I first started writing nearly ten years ago, contemporaries and chick-lit were all the rage. Most editors weren’t interested in looking at historicals, unless they were set in the prairie between 1850 and 1890, and even then an unknown author would have a tough time selling a manuscript. But as with many things in the publishing biz, tastes are cyclical, and there’s renewed interest in historicals from different time periods and countries–Biblical, Regency, Victorian, Georgian, and the ever popular Americana.
2) Networking, networking, networking! Regardless of the genre you write in, the ACFW conference provides countless opportunities to rub elbows with published authors, agents, and editors who freely give their insight into what’s selling and what publishing houses are looking for. It’s the best way to find out the most inside of inside information.
3) Mentoring and Critiquing. Attendees have the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one critique sessions with a multipublished author. Several of these authors have published historical romance and are open to giving their feedback and expertise in the genre.
4) Late Night Chats. These are totally awesome. Editors and agents will be holding late night chats Thursday and Friday where they’ll be giving the straight scoop about the business, what houses are looking for, and what they’re looking for in particular. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask burning questions, such as “Are you looking for historical romance set in Byzantium?” The one drawback is that you can only attend one chat a night (so many editors/agents, so little time), but you can get with a group of your friends and divide and conquer, then meet later over a latte and share what you learned.
5) You’ll be sorry you missed it. I can say this with surety–I had planned to attend the conference, and had even registered for it, but ended up having to cancel. But I’m definitely going next year–I refuse to miss out on the fun again!
For more information about the ACFW conference, visit the ACFW conference section on the website.
Kathleen Fuller is a novelist and freelance writer. She is the author of over ten novels, including the upcoming Hearts of Middlefield Series for Thomas Nelson. To find out more about Kathleen and her books, please visit her website:
A Daring Return (Avalon): August, 2009
An Amish Christmas (Thomas Nelson): August, 2009
A Man of His Word (Thomas Nelson): September, 2009