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Conference — the Cornerstone

By Kathy Harris

Registration for the American Christian Fiction Writers 2016 conference is now open. If you’ve never attended the ACFW conference, you’re missing a special opportunity. One that will connect you with other writers, help you learn the craft, and build your writing career.

I attended my first ACFW conference almost eleven years ago. The friendships I made, and the craft I was introduced to that week, changed the direction of my writing path, eventually leading to my finaling in Genesis and the publication of my first novel. (Log on to the conference homepage to read what others have to say about their conference experiences.)

The ACFW conference is also a great getaway. This year’s event will be held in Nashville, Tennessee and anchored at the Omni Nashville Hotel, which is located in the heart of Nashville’s downtown music scene. There’s not a better place to stay in Music City if you want to experience the sights and sounds of live country music. Or connect with its history.

The Omni is next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame and across the street from the Music City Center. Only blocks away are the Johnny Cash Museum, the Ascend Amphitheater, and a walking bridge that crosses the Cumberland River to Nissan Stadium, the home of the Tennessee Titans and the CMA Music Festival. The Ryman Auditorium, known as the Mother Church of Country Music, and Tootsie’s famous Orchid Lounge are also nearby. Fort Nashborough is a short stroll away.

For those who enjoy nightlife, the Wildhorse Saloon, Legends Corner, the Hard Rock Café, B.B. King’s, and other music venues are all within a few blocks of the hotel. By day, you may want to power walk up the hill to the Nashville Public Library, the Hermitage Hotel, the Tennessee State Capitol or the War Memorial/Legislative Plaza, home to the Southern Festival of Books each year.

The Omni is also central to dozens of popular restaurants featuring everything from southern-style blue-plate specials (here in Nashville we call them meat and three’s) to sumptuous steaks and prime rib. Local fare is often presented in unique settings — even the luxurious Omni touts a fresh “biscuit bar.”

If a great getaway, furthering your craft, and networking isn’t enough to motivate you to attend conference this year, there’s one more important benefit. Spiritual fellowship. Worship and prayer are woven strategically into every conference by way of a prayer room and informal worship services. Just as American Christian Fiction Writers is the cornerstone of Christian fiction, Jesus Christ is indeed the Cornerstone of the ACFW conference.

Whether you want to lay the groundwork for your writing career — or build it to new heights, I hope you’ll plan to attend the 2016 ACFW conference. Log on to the official conference homepage for additional information, including a list of guest speakers, workshops, and editors/agents who will be attending.

I hope to see you in Nashville, August 25-28!

Kathy Harris headshot 2015Kathy Harris joined ACFW in 2005, shortly before attending her first conference. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency. Follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or read her weekly blog.

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