ACFW 2009 Annual Conference part 2

Somewhat bright, but definitely early Friday morning I joined the group of over five-hundred ACFW members for breakfast. Obviously this was a very peaceful and intimate event. We continued with worship then off to classes.

All morning I was scheduled to be in the continuing education class taught by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. Both of these women are not only generous with their time and gifts, but also multi-award winning authors. This class turned out to be just the thing for me this year.

I’ve been working on the craft of writing and come a long way, baby, but what I needed this year was a bigger picture. Susan and Rachel taught on diagnosing the problemed areas in our manuscripts and gave us techniques to fix all of our problems. Well, maybe not all of my problems. They didn’t even touch on how I’m suppose to get all this laundry done.

I had to miss a fair amount of this session due to appointments. My first was with Deb Raney. If you haven’t read any of her books, stop reading now and go to amazon.com to order one. My meeting with Deb was to go over the first three chapters of my manuscript. This was the second year I’ve done this with her. The input of someone with her kind of experience is priceless. I’ve grown more as a writer from these evaluations than any other thing I’ve done.

My second appointment was with Beth Adams of Guideposts. Beth and I met in Minneapolis last year. She’s one of the people I look forward to seeing at the conference. We are blessed to have so many editors and agents take the time to listen to our pitches and answer questions one on one.

Lunches are hosted by editors and agents. I plopped my tired self down at Chip MacGregor’s table. He has a great reputation as an agent but is somewhat flawed in his devotion to the Oregon Ducks. No one’s perfect.

The afternoon found me taking in another appointment and workshops. By dinnertime I felt exhausted. Friday night we don’t join together as a group for dinner. I met up with three new friends and took a short walk to the nearest Mexican restaurant. Yummy food, fun company.

After dinner it was time for the late night agent chats. I attend the talk with Rachel Zurakowski, Karen Solem, and Steve Laube. All three agents did a fabulous job expressing what they are looking for and giving their impressions for the future of publishing. Twice during this session, the lights turned off on their own, reminding me that I needed sleep.

Keep watching for the continuing saga that is ACFW in Denver.


Christina Suzann Nelson is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of six books, including More Than We Remember, What Happens Next, and the Christy Award-winning The Way It Should Be. She is the mother of six children and is passionate about helping others find hope after trauma.

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