Top 10 Reasons to attend the ACFW writer’s conference

Posted On Sep 13 2013 by


As I jet off…okay, drive off in the Ford Flex to the ACFW conference in Indianapolis, I leave you with my top 10 reasons to attend a writer’s conference…

10. Proving you can smile and nod while a guy a quarter your age thrashes your manuscript.

9.   Marveling at how no one mixes their Apple Macbook with one of twenty others on the same table.

8.  Watching an editor stuff your one sheet–which you labored over more than your novel–into a three inch thick folder of other one sheets.

7.  Riding an elevator for two hours for the opportunity to use your elevator pitch.

6.  Playing “match her\him to her\his facebook photo” because none are even close.

5.  Saying “I’m so happy for you!” over and over again while trying not to scream.

4.  Reading back covers so you can tell people you loved their latest book.

3.  Wondering how five hundred starving artists are staying in the most expensive hotel in town.

2.  Stereotyping by genre.

And the #1 reason to attend a writer’s conference…

1  Realizing on Monday morning you could have used your conference costs to buy a Macbook.

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Last Updated on: September 13th, 2013 at 5:50 am, by Ron

Written by Ron

Just about everything I believe has been shaped by the written word. But books don't force a belief; they stir the imagination so that you, the reader, eventually draw your own conclusions. We grow richer in spirit when we read, deeper in our understanding of the universe and our role in it. That's why I read. That's why I write. To offer you a bit of myself. Come along on my journey, won't you? There's plenty of room.

5 responses to “Top 10 Reasons to attend the ACFW writer’s conference

  1. I like #7 in particular. But number #1 is my truth. And I even live here in Indy, so I didn’t have to cough up hotel dues. Still expensive but hopefully worth it to learn more about craft and meet some fellow writers.

    • Oh it will be worth it, Nicole. The list is tongue in cheek, ov course. I’d go every year if I could afford it. The most important thing is to make friends–network. If you come out with a published mentor, that’s worth more than a manuscript request from an editor or agent. You’ll love it. See you in about 6 hours!

  2. Very well thought out and presented. Last year I attended only because it was here in DFW. I was one of many commuters and learned one could commute and/or stay in a different hotel and yet not miss out on any of the experience. (Would use that for future conferences).

    Just the same it was a third of my savings and I did spend close to $1,400 dollars all added to attend those 4 days. One of the values in attending is the advantage to gain access to agents, editors, publishers, & colleagues – but like paying dues in an industry one year of attendance is like buying a milk year warranty in that one can ride in those tires for email, social media, subscriptions to blogs (and feedback) as well as snail mail and phone contact gaining access in the future. The investment pays dividends for years to come.

    Yes, I will miss this year and next in St. Louis, but will attempt a second DFW conference if needed. Not one needing contests, awards, or forgive me for saying “fellowship” (not forsaking) I have what I need and contribute what I can in this social media connected world to just the degree of participation without obsession and focus on what the goal is: writing, editing and publishing. It’s like time management not requiring attendance every year. If I could afford to do so I might and then again may not.

    In broadcasting I did not attend or enter all the awards, conference or conventions and did well in my fields and subsequently have learned from successful A list, mid list and entry list writers the realities mandatory annual attendance is not necessary.

    Just the same I will watch the awards streaming feed, purchase the audio CD MP3s and grow as a writer in those areas needed as I can afford to budget income. Just as I don’t attend every monthly local chapter meeting by picking and choosing which is best for my growth needs while financially supporting in membership for those dependent on the contact.

    Hate to say it but its also a gender thing where men are more self sustaining as islands and the sorority of women click better (though not always) into that template. Of the major authors they (and agents) advise similarly. Tamela Hancock Murray through the Steve Laube blog earlier this week addressed this very subject quite well. In this day and age there are many legitimate issues why one cannot attend every conference. The challenged is not to fall into the mindset it is a requirement to succeed in the career and is only a periodic supplement when needed. If at all.

    Great post and list too. Great photo as well. It’s from the 2012 Conference and a table of first time attendees including myself (white shirt TV production ball cap), Wade Webster, Cece Cervantes, Sandi Hammons and several friends of ours. Critical for us in 2012 in all of our journeys and worth the investment now paying dividends not having to attend again for the foreseeable future.

    • Thanks, Steve. Good points. I have noticed that the women do tend to do better in forming groups, but I think that’s true wherever we go. It’s a natural tendency for women to support one another, whereas men do tend to be the islands. I sought out the other men and we had some good conversations, but it wasn’t the bonding that we see among the women. Regardless, I do enjoy being among that many like-minded people. Christian fiction writers aren’t hanging around every corner, so when we return home, most of us are very much on our own. Thank goodness for facebook and the internet in general. Writing has gotten much more convenient for us part-timers. Maybe we’ll catch up eventually, though.