Wednesday, June 18, 2008

American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference

Last September, I attended my first ACFW conference. I'd been a member of ACFW for many years, and it was ridiculous I hadn't made it to the national conference any sooner. I happened upon the Mount Hermon conference during my first year of writing, and that became my annual writer's conference. But friends continued to encourage me to attend ACFW, so last September I headed to Dallas.

I'll be honest. I approached the conference with some fear.

The year before had held a bunch of challenges. I was weary. In fact, I felt like a pheasant at hunting season - hit with buckshot and peppered with wounds.

It's hard hanging out with others when you feel like you're full of holes.

When I arrived in Dallas, I asked God to do a healing work. Then I waited for the big moment where He'd wash over me. But that wasn't how He worked.

Instead, each conversation, each encounter, held balm for one of my small holes. Little by little, He brought targeted and specific restoration through the love and wisdom of people at the conference. Bits of knowledge I lacked. Words of comfort I ached for. Opportunities to encourage someone else in their efforts. Deep talks in the halls. Giggles with my roommate at night. Even making new friends while on the shuttle to the airport at the end of the conference.

I know I'm not the only one who experienced the "God-encounters" that seemed to spring up everywhere I turned.

This year, I'm even more excited to attend...

1. To watch and see what God has in mind and how He will meet me
2. To welcome Christian writers to my home state - HOORAY MINNESOTA!!!
3. To offer a workshop on the writing journey, with tips, encouragement, and resources that every novelist should stuff in their backpack while heading out on the adventure of pursuing publication

My best tip for new attendees (as I was last year): Planning is fine, but be ready to toss aside your personal agenda and be open to God's side-tracks. This is a conference that is bathed in prayer, and infused with worship. As is true whenever God is involved, you can prepare to be amazed, occasionally bewildered, and thoroughly blessed.

Hope to see you there!

You can read more about the conference on the ACFW Conference Blog Tour by visiting these sites:

6/11/2008 Chip MacGregor
6/11/2008 Cara Putman
6/12/2008 Wanda Dyson
6/12/2008 Pamela James
6/13/2008 Jennifer AlLee
6/13/2008 Ane Mulligan
6/16/2008 Robin Miller
6/16/2008 Christina Nelson
6/17/2008 Annette Irby
6/18/2008 Martha Rogers
6/18/2008 Sharon Hinck
6/19/2008 Susan May Warren
6/20/2008 Camy Tang
6/23/2008 Deb Raney
6/23/2008 Ronie Kendig
6/24/2008 Colleen Coble
6/25/2008 Rachel Hauck
6/26/2008 Brandilyn Collins
6/26/2008 Cathy West
6/27/2008 Jill Elizabeth Nelson
6/28/2008 Eileen Watson
6/30/2008 Lynette Sowell
6/30/2008 Sue Brower
7/1/2008 Gina Conroy
7/2/2008 Lena Nelson Dooley
7/2/2008 Rachelle Gardner
7/3/2008 Linda Fulkerson
7/4/2008 Terry Burns
7/4/2008 Rebeca Yeager
7/7/2008 Susan Downs
7/7/2008 Carla Stewart
7/9/2008 Rebecca Germany
7/9/2008 Leanna Ellis
7/9/2008 Rose McCauley
7/10/2008 Sharon Dunn
7/11/2008 Pam Meyers
7/11/2008 JoAnne Simmons
7/14/2008 Celia Tomer
7/14/2008 Janice Olson
7/15/2008 Angie Bredenbach
7/16/2008 Christina Berry
7/17/2008 Roxanne Rustad
7/18/2008 Margaret Daley
7/18/2008 Margaret Daley
8/1/2008 Christa Allen
8/3/2008 Deborah Vogts
8/4/2008 Michelle Hutchinson
8/6/2008 Tiff Stockton
8/28/2008 Gail Gaymer Martin

Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (2007 ACFW Book of the Year - 2nd place, Lit category)
Renovating Becky Miller
(2008 Audie Award Finalist, Inspirational Fiction category)
The Restorer
(2008 Christy Award Finalist, Visionary category)
The Restorer's Son (Romantic Times 4.5 stars, Reviewer's Choice Award - Road to Romance reviewers)
New Releases:
The Restorer's Journey
Symphony of Secrets

Coming Soon:
Stepping Into Sunlight


Katie Hart - Freelance Writer said...

Great info about the conference, but what I really noticed about this post is that an awesome author uses Pentel R.S.V.P. pens! I use them all the time (esp. the violet ones) and wrote the entire rough draft of my first novel with them!

Sharon Hinck said...

Yes yes yes! I LOVE those pens. And did you know you can unscrew the bottom, decorate a small piece of paper, roll it up tight, slip it inside, and create a cool personalized pen??? That's another think I love about them. :-)

Pammer said...

I love your story of how God met you. A great testimony for a great God.

I remember meeting you at the conference and I look forward to seeing you again this year.

Can't wait. :)