Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our Very First ACFW Chapter Meeting

Several months ago, an ACFW Chapter was started in Michigan. Yay! After tossing around names, we finally came up with The Great Lakes Chapter (love that!). And this past weekend, we had our very first meeting in Lansing.

What a wonderful time we had!

We started by getting the business stuff out of the way. We elected a few board positions, including my new position of Publicist. I'm pretty excited about it - my job duties basically consist of adding member news to the website and promoting our Chapter/Authors, something I love to do anyway.

After the business stuff, we really got down to business with three awesome speakers. We were honored to hear industry professionals like multi-published author Gail Gaymer Martin, Freelance editor (and previous aquisitions editor for Zondervan), Andy Meisenheimer, and Writing Career Coach owner, Tiffany Colter.

Gail taught two workshops. The first was titled "Our Dreams, God's Blessings." Gail was so encouraging and included 8 steps to success. Her second workshop was on creating real emotions, which opened my eyes to new ways to express the feelings my characters are experiencing.

Andy taught us how writing is like piano lessons. Did you know that Andy is an accomplished pianist? Cool, right? Unfortunately, there wasn't a piano at the restaurant, so he couldn't prove it, but he sounded like he knew what he was talking about when it came to all those piano terms. Andy claims he's not really a writer at all, but he is an editor. And a good one, at that. But while he's not an official "writer," he has a website that focuses on writing creatively every day. A daily prompt encourages writers to write for ten minutes straight and see what happens. During his workshop on Saturday, Andy gave us a prompt and we got to participate in this exercise. I hope you'll take a moment to check out his site: www.storypraxis.com

Tiffany Colter was such an inspiration. She gave some of her testimony, which is a true rags-to-riches story. She built her business, Writing Career Coach, on $140 to the largely successful company it is today. And she's a wonderful writer/editor who wants to help you in all of your writing endeavors. Her website is www.writingcareercoach.com. I also want to share her YouTube testimony. It's about 10 minutes long, but is simply amazing.

As I mentioned above, the fellowship was fabulous. I met authors like Shar MacLaren and Jody Hedlund, and chatted with many others who aren't yet published but well on their way.

Here are a couple of photos from the big event. There were about 30 of us who attended. Not bad for our very first meeting!

Me, with the beautiful and talented multi-published authors, Sharlene MacLaren and Jody Hedlund

Sandra Heska King showing Shar where in "The Mitten" she lives.

Sharlene signing a book for a fellow author/reader/fan

I am so looking forward to our next meeting in the fall. If YOU live in Michigan and want more information on joining our ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) chapter, visit the website: www.greatlakeschapter.blogspot.com


Joanne Sher said...

Soooooo wish I could have made it! And I always laugh about the mitten thing. IS there any OTHER state you can do that with? I don't THINK so!

Fall, you say? I am REALLY gonna try to get there. Thanks for the recap, Lynda!

Jill Kemerer said...

You summed it up so well, Lynda! I really enjoyed meeting everyone and look forward to getting to know each even better.

(I would have LOVED to hear Andy play the piano!)

Thanks for volunteering to be publicist!

Chris Jager - Baker Book House-fiction buyer said...

Congratulations Lynda and all the authors that were there. How exciting to havea ACFW Chapter here in Michigan.

quietspirit said...

I didn't know about Tiffany's background. Thank you for sharing it.

I will be looking at Andy's website.

Thanks for sharing this information.

Lynda Schab said...

Jo...we missed you! :-(

Jill, I really loved meeting you on Sat.

Chris...you should join!

QuietSpirit - Isn't Tiffany's testimony amazing? Glad the info. is beneficial to you. :-)

Linda Glaz said...

It was SO MUCH FUN! What a great way to spend a Saturday, our first meeting. Thanks to Holly and the speakers for a great conference. Lynda, thanks for posting here. Now we have to get the rest of MI out. You know, the rest of the mitten's worth of people!

Kathleen Rouser said...

It was a wonderful first chapter meeting last Saturday!

Our speakers were inspirational and it was
great meeting everyone.

Nice post about the mini-conference, Lynda. :)