Friday, Sep 23, 2011

Attending a Writer’s Conference

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.

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6 thoughts on “Attending a Writer’s Conference

  1. I’m sorry you couldn’t attend ACFW, MaryAnn. Hope Dom is doing okay.

    I totally agree, though, about attending conference. It’s the best thing you can do for your writing career, whether it’s a big career or a small one.

    I attended the Glen Eyrie Writing for the Ages conference a couple of weeks ago. What an amazing conference! I can’t wait for next year. I came home inspired, encouraged, engaged in my project and excited to write!

    So, I echo MaryAnn: get thee to a conference!!
    September 23, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    • Pam, I’m so excited to know that you attended the Glen Eyrie Writing for the Ages Conference! Do you know where it will be held next year?

      As always, thanks for your very helpful posts.



  2. This is a great list, MaryAnn, thank you. I attended a local conference in the spring, and even though it was small it was excellent and inspiring.

    I hope that your husband is doing well now. Will be thinking of and praying for you.


    September 23, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    • Karen, you make a great point about smaller conferences. Sometimes a one-day local conference can be just the inspiration we need. Or even attending one day of a larger conference that is held locally. The first time I attended a writers’ conference, I attended a single workshop on one day only. God used that single workshop to launch my writing ministry. So less can be more. 🙂

      Thanks as always for your comments, dear Karen. I so appreciate your contributions.



      September 23, 2011 at 10:15 PM