finally putting "The End" down on my longstanding first draft of a novel.On last week's Writing Wednesday I talked about
Revision is the next step in the process with the novel, but there's another major step I'm taking this year.
I'm attending the American Christian Fiction Writers' Conference in Dallas next month.
The ACFW is the largest organization that supports Christian fiction writers in the country. They hold this conference each year, and for several years I've had to deal with the sins of jealousy and covetousness when seeing other writers announce they are going. (Just kidding) (Sorta)
I'm excited to go. I've heard different opinions on when to go to your first conference. Some have said early on to go to the workshops and get training, others have suggested waiting until you've done something significant related to writing.
For a general writer, my advice would be to evaluate potential conferences and see if they offer courses or workshops for your level. If it seems geared to someone who is farther along the writing path, maybe that isn't the best fit. If, like the ACFW conference, they have several levels of training offered, it would be a great start even if you're pretty new.
For the Christian writer, there's the added consideration of what the Lord is leading you to do. I wanted to have my first novel finished before I thought about it. I wasn't finished when I signed up, but I have since then. However, I feel the doors have been opened for me this year that weren't before, so I have a confidence that I'm making the right decision.
The cool thing about the ACFW folks is the length they go to in order to make us "first-timers" feel welcome and the support offered. There's a email loop with advice for us covering various topics. The first day has a noob orientation. There is a lot of prayer that goes into everything that happens there. That is very encouraging.
The conference is September 20-23 and I head out the Wednesday night before. I'll post more about this before I go.
Here goes nothing!