I just got back from the ACFW Conference last night! The ACFW Conference is both fun and overwhelming in some ways. I had been to one before so it wasn’t as overwhelming, but in case you haven’t been, here are some points that describe how it is:
1. A bit lonely. I’m not saying this so that you feel sorry for people there! What I mean is that you arrive at the conference and there are loads of people there. Some who know each other well, some who came with each other, and some who are better at faking like they belong. For me, I have to instantly go to my room, take a deep breath, maybe walk around outside a bit before thrusting myself into the mix (yes, I’m an introvert). I will say that last time I went, I was really by myself. But this time, since I was aware of how it is, I forced myself to talk more to random writers. I found them to be very nice. 🙂
2. Like being on set with all your favorite actors. Yes, this is hands down one of the best parts of the conference. I get to meet and see some of my favorite authors. It’s a joy to put a face with a name (I saw Frank Peretti!) Again, I usually have to work up my confidence to approach, but I’m always glad I did.
3. Lots of learning. There are a lot of workshops that you can take, and I have found all of them to be helpful to me as a writer and reader. The classes are well taught by people of experience. I have always enjoyed the classes.
4. Appointments. When you go, you can meet with mentors, editors, or agents. This is probably the most intense feature of the conference because you want to impress and you want to be memorable. But at the end of the day, you just have to trust God.
So, I would say I had a good conference. I met a lot of nice people who love books just like me. I got to introduce myself to a number of authors and to pitch my manuscript to a couple of people. Overwhelming? Yes, but totally worth it!