OK, so I just found out that ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is THIS close to reaching 2,000 members. Pretty cool, right? What's even cooler is that YOU could be the 2,000th member and walk away with a mega box of books and/or other prizes. Now THAT would be even better than cool. That would be STUPENDOUS! (Wow, it's been so long since I've used that word--or have I ever used that word?-- I had to use it here).
First, let me brag on ACFW. I joined in early 2007 and it has been nothing but a blessing to me. More of a blessing than I ever thought it would be. Here are just a few reasons I love this organization:
The members! When I first joined, I'll admit I was star-struck. Rubbing shoulders with multi-published authors I loved to read was slightly intimidating. Authors like Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, Kristin Billerbeck, and dozens of other authors on my cool list. But seriously, it wasn't long before authors like these were answering questions I posted to the Loop (see below) and even critiquing my work. It was amazing to me (and still is) the ways these pros go out of their way to help newbies like me.
The Loop. Have a question about writing? The Loop is an active email loop where you can get questions answered, chat about the Topic of the Week, and stay in touch with what's happening at ACFW. There have been times when I've asked a question and have gotten 10 responses within ten minutes of posting. See what I mean about being quick to help?
The Genesis Contest. The first year I entered, I didn't final. But the feedback I received from the judges was awesome and I took their advice and polished up my manuscript. The following year, I entered the same ms and ended up placing 2nd in my category. Just getting my work in front of an agent and editor was priceless. This year, I entered a different novel and finaled again. Many members who entered the Genesis have gone on to receive contracts and their books can now be found on bookstore shelves. Click HERE for more info on the Genesis.
The Conference. I attended my first conference in September and cannot even tell you how fabulous it was. The speakers, the workshop teachers, the coordinators, fellow writers... I get teary just thinking about my experience. I am counting the days until next September, when the next conference will take place (within driving distance this time! Yay!) Read about my conference experiences HERE.
The Courses. One of the perks of membership is the FREE writing courses, all done through email correspondence. One of the most helpful was the Conference First Time Attendees course, where all of my questions about attending my first conference were answered. The courses are all taught by published/trained authors. This month's course is "How to Write Your Passion and Still Get Published."
Critique Groups. I joined my first official critique group through ACFW. That group has since broken up but three of those authors are now published! I am currently involved in another ACFW crit group with 4 other members. In addition to critiquing, we encourage each other, pray for each other, brainstorm together, and sometimes give each other a much needed kick in the pants. I adore my group!
So this is only a few of the many reasons I love ACFW. And I guarantee, if you join, YOU'LL LOVE IT, TOO!
As I stated above, ACFW is THIS close to reaching 2,000 members. If you are the 2,000th member to join, you will win a fabulous prize! And if you do sign up, mention my name because the referring member also gets a few goodies.
Seriously, if you are an aspiring Christian novelist, there is no better organization than ACFW to help you along the way.
Hope to see you there!
P.S. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I can't guarantee I'll have an answer, but I can either find out or point you in the right direction.