Not my first conference but my first ACFW conference and I have to admit that overall I was impressed. It’s big but not overwhelmingly so like RWA. The workshops were all well done with speakers trying to cram in the content even up to the last minute which was much better than at RWA where after 20 minutes of speaking they would start taking questions.
My favorite was the Donald Maass workshop on Writing the Breakout Novel. This was hands down the best writing workshop I’ve ever been to. Maass was great at talking craft. I especially liked his ideas on deepening the characters.
After that, I enjoyed participating in the book signing, listening to Debbie Macomber (the keynote speaker),
and the My Book Therapy workshop with Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. I also sat in on the mentoring workshop given by my agent Chip MacGregor. At the close of the workshop, he asked me and my very own mentor, Margaret Daley, to talk about how we met and how she advised me through the early hurdles of publishing.
The awards ceremony was a little disappointing to me. I was expecting there to be more fanfare, music, a man on the side announcing the award presenters in his deep radio voice. I think it would have been more fun like that. Instead of the same two people presenting all the awards. Maybe even have Board members and past winners present.
The real fun at conferences, however, is the meeting people and the networking. And ACFW was great for this. Like I said, it’s big but not too big that you can’t find people. I met so many great people. I hope I can go again next year. Although I’m serious when I say I might drive. I hate layovers and delays at airports… not fun.
So, if you were at ACFW, please a comment. Tell me what you loved/hated.