Girls Write Out
Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I just got back from the national RWA conference in Atlanta. This is WestBow editor Natalie Hanemann with me when I received the National Readers' Choice award for best inspirational. Isn't she darling?

I love a good conference. I got to thinking about how much conferences have changed my life. I met Kristin at a conference. I roomed with Diann and Denise at a conference and we bonded like sisters. I met my beloved Ami McConnell at a conference and my career was plotted from that moment on. I've learned to write better, to deepen my characterization, to enhance my settings--all at a conference. I've broadened my network and strengthened my career, all at conferences.

Every writer who is serious about their career needs to attend at least one conference a year. I think the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference ( the best one for fiction writers. An editor from nearly every CBA house will be there as well as agents. And they're all so accessible. If you don't get an appointment with them, you can sit with the editor of your choice at a table during mealtime.

I love helping new writers too, and this conference is a great place to reach out to others and help lift them up. Are you looking for a crit partner or a mentor? A conference is the place to find them. My buddies have become like family to me. No one else understands the writing life like other writers. The bonding that goes on at a conference is life-changing.

So if you're on the fence about going to conference this year, commit! And I'd love to share any great conference memories you have so let me know what your favorite part of conference is.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:27 AM  
  Comments (10)
Delicious Delicious
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

My favorite part of conferences? Being with other authors, as you said.

Writing is solitary work. But getting to talk "writer talk" with other authors is refreshing.

Most years, I attend Florida Christian Writers Conference; Advanced Writers and Speakers Association conference at IRCS each summer; and American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I've also been to
Blue Ridge (Yvonne Lehman's) and Glorieta. Oh, and I've taught fiction technique at Florida Christian Writers Conferences.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I concur, Colleen! ACFW is the best I've been to. I love that all the writers are fiction writers, and the networking possibilities are terrific. The best part to me, though, is getting together with my girlfriends!

At 11:02 AM, Blogger eileen said...

Chatting and chocolate reign right up there. I wouldn't have moved forward without the encouragement and friendships I developed through ACFW. And where else can you talk "writer talk" like Kristy said and praise Jesus at the same time? A little bit of heaven on earth in my opinion.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

Colleen I wonder if you'll recognize me or the chocolate first this year? Can't wait to see you.

Congratulations on the award! That's fantastic news. :)

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Thanks for the info on the conferences. When reading "Girls Write Out", Angela Hunt's blog, and other writer's blogs I started wondering if there was any for those of us who enjoy writing and want to someday publish but aren't quite there yet.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Southern-fried Fiction said...

I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite part of conferences! But I love to talk with other authors. Who else understands us? The rest of the world thinks we're nuts. :o)

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Great blog! I meet Colleen Coble at a conference!

And congrats!!!

Love ya, Rachel

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I can't wait! Very nervous and excited all at the same time!

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Heather Diane Tipton said...

Congrats on the award!

One of my favorite conference memories... Standing in a group of people and Robin saying something that no one but me caught... cemented our friendship, right there! LOL

The fellowship with other writers is awesome... being able to worship Jesus with other writers is even better!

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

LOL...shhh, Heather!

For me, it's being around the "community" of writing people. However, having just returned from RWA, I will say this.....a christian writer simply MUST attend ACFW's conference. I've met some of my closest friends at conferences. What a great way to "connect" and with great worship??? Can't be beat!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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