CORRECTION: I never did make the ACFW Conference due to a medical challenge my husband encountered. The post below was written a couple of weeks before the Conference.
As you read this post, I am attending the annual American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) annual conference in St. Louis. This is the premier conference for those of us who write fiction from a Christian worldview.
Attending a conference should be on every serious writer’s agenda. Since we have to be wise stewards of our finances, it is important to choose a conference that meets your needs as a writer at this particular stage of your writing career.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing what conference to attend:
1) What is my objective for attending a conference? Do I want only to learn about the craft of writing, or do I want to meet with agents and editors? If the latter, make sure the conference you are considering has invited several agents and editors in your genre to attend.
2) Do I want a conference that spans several days or a one-day-only conference? If you choose a one-day-only conference, don’t discount longer conferences completely because you can still attend a longer conference for only one day. The first writers’ conference I ever attended was the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference. Because I had a toddler at the time, I could attend only one day of the conference, even though the conference spanned several days. What I learned that one day literally launched my writing career.
3) How much can I afford? While we all must live within a budget, when choosing a writers’ conference, don’t let the cost immediately dissuade you. Think of the conference not as an expense but as an investment from which you will recoup many times over as you begin to sell your work.
4) Last but not least, pray about what conference to attend. God has ordained divine appointments for you. These appointments may not necessarily be with an editor or an agent. They may be with another conferee who needs your encouragement and prayerful support.
Attending writers’ conferneces has revolutionized my writing career. I’ve made lifelong friends I never would have met had I not attended conferences. I make it a point to attend at least one conference per year if at all possible. If you haven’t yet attended a writers’ conference, I strongly encourage you to do so. Once you do, you’ll understand how important they really are.