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Conference Time

This weekend is a momentous occasion in my writing career. I'll be attending my first writer's conference! I'll be at the American Christian Fiction Writer's (ACFW) national conference in Denver.

I really don't know what to expect from the conference since this is my first. Originally, I signed up to go because in May I finaled in the ACFW Genesis contest and I thought the conference would be a great place to pitch my manuscripts, especially because both had finaled.

But a LOT has happened since May. My contest final pushed my MS out of the slush pile and helped me acquire an agent. Then my agent worked incredibly hard over the summer and landed me a three-book deal with Bethany House Publishers.

As I head to the conference, I'm incredibly blessed that I don't need to find an agent or sell my book to an editor. The pressure is off. The hard work of getting the deal is behind me.

Instead, I changed my focus for the conference and now the primary reason that I'm going is to build relationships.

  • I want to meet other writers face to face. The blogging community is AWESOME! But. . . nothing can compare to the give and take of a real life friendships. I hope I can make new lifelong friendships and network with others.
  • I want to get to know my agent better. Even though Rachelle's schedule will be full just about every minute of every hour of the conference, I'm looking forward to meeting her and thanking her in person for everything she's done.
  • I'll get to meet one of the Bethany House editors. Charlene Peterson is one of the BPH editors attending the conference. We've schedule a short time to meet together. I'm excited about the opportunity to connect with someone from Bethany House and learn a little bit more about the publishing process.
Anything else I should try to gain from the conference? If you have any other conference tips, I'd love to hear them!

I might be absent from the blogging world for a couple of days, but now you know where I am and what I'm doing! I'll report back on Monday!

30 comments:

  1. Hope the conference is everything you expect. Just be your loving self, Jody and enjoy your tremendous success. I might prepare myself for a bit of envy from others.
    karen

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  2. I won't continue my ongoing joke that I'm at that conference. Instead, I'll restrain myself and just tell you to have fun and enjoy meeting people in love with the craft.
    I'd love to hear about your time when you return.
    ~ Wendy

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  3. I'm going to a writer's conference down near Indy in November, and I'm so excited about it. I have gone a couple of times before and I always find it a great place to get re-energized about writing, make new friends who share the passion, and keep up on some of the finer points of the craft. I took for granted my four years of intense learning in college, and now I look forward to the two-day crash courses I get once a year to learn the latest things.

    Hope you have a GREAT time!

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  4. Jody,
    Keep an eye out for me, so I can give my congratulations in person. Hope the conference is great for you. You'll enjoy having that "author" ribbon on your badge. Wear it proudly, and don't stop working to improve your craft.

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  5. Jody, as you know, I just returned from a conference and had a great time. I know you will as well. I think one of the best things about going to a conference is that you know you will come out changed, but you don't know how, exactly, and you can't know until you experience it. You have some really thrilling meetings lined up, and I share your relief with you that you don't have to go to pitch your book. I remember that feeling, too, after I sold my children's books and could just attend to connect and enjoy the feeling of being a new author, of having broken through. Congratulations again on this major lifetime accomplishment, and have an awesome time. You deserve every moment of it!

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  6. I wish you a fantastic time, and I'm sure that's what it will be. Enjoy!

    And find some relief in hearing this is your first conference. Because often times, some folks make it seem conference-going is crucial before finding an agent and getting deal. It's great to know that, like many other things within the writing industry, each path is different, and what works for one isn't best for another.

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  7. The thing I enjoy most about conferences is being with like-minded people who get the isolation, struggle, and joy that comes with writing.

    As much as my family and non-writing friends support me, they don't fully understand this world. Others at conferences do.

    Have a fantastic time. My SCBWI conference last weekend was fuel to continue with a manuscript that's needed overhaul for some time.

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  8. I hope you have a great time. I haven't been to a conference yet either, but I think it would be fun.

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  9. Haha! That's the kind of timing I'd like to have before I attend my first conference: finaling in a contest, landing an agent, and getting a book deal right before. Talk about God making everything fall into place! I'm so happy for you!!!

    I hope you have fun talking with everyone and learning about what you love! I hope that it's a great weekend of encouragement and inspiration for you, Jody!

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  10. Have a great time, Jody! Enjoy and take your time.
    I'm off to the Women of Faith conference. Finally. LOL!

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  11. Enjoy Jody. I think there's special recognition for newly contracted authors. Since the pressure's off, look forward to those God-cidences where you have an opportunity to touch someone's life unexpectedly, or someone will pour into yours.

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  12. I totally think you should just sit back and enjoy it. You deserve it after all the hard work you have done!

    I can't wait to hear all about it!!!

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  13. Hope it's great! Collect biz cards and email addresses for your contact list for book announcements, etc. And if you ever decide to have a newsletter, you'll want that info.

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  14. I hope you have a wonderful time at the conference. Meet people, enjoy yourself and try to build relationships. Have a great weekend!

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  15. Have a great time at the conference. I hope you come back inspired and full of new knowledge (that you will share with the rest of us, of course).

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  16. Yes, just one. Try and get some rest, so you don't come home and get sick like I did! I will pray for you to stay healthy and sane. HA!
    Love you, Jen

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  17. Have an amazing time and I'm rooting for you to win the Genesis!!

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  18. Maybe a practical suggestion: take comfy shoes and lots of business cards. Then relax and take in everything you possibly can. I know envy is inappropriate but registrations are open for our Surrey International Writers' Conference here and I can't afford to go this year. *sigh* I'll have to live the experience vicariously through your blog accounts after you return!

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  19. I can hardly believe it's your first conference and you already have an agent AND a 3-book contract.

    Two tips for a good conference:

    1. Pace yourself so you don't get overwhelmed.
    2. Take a chocolate stash. You'll need the fortification. (LOL)

    Have fun, Jody!

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  20. That is so so wonderful! I need to find a conference to go to and get it on the books.

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  21. I wish I could stash away in your purse and eavesdrop on all the great conversations you are having! I know you will have alot to share!

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  22. I think you hit the nail right on the head with "lifelong friendships". Writing's a lonely business, and a people business, and lifelong friends can make it all worthwhile. Besides which, fellow writers and professionals in the trade are really nothing more than fellow human beings with whom we share a passion. You can never have enough of those as friends.

    Have a wonderful, wonderful time

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  23. Hi Jody -

    To go to your first conference and not have to worry about pitching a manuscript - pure heaven. Have a fabulous time!

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  24. Congrats on your book contract! And I hope you have an awesome time this weekend at the conference!

    Take care,
    Karen

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  25. How have I not seen you yet? If you check your comments before you get home, I'll be taking meal tickets Sat. night in a pink dress ... :)

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  26. You are in a fabulous position due to your hard work. Now that you've gotten your goals met, have a great time!

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  27. I don't have any words of wisdom. Just enjoy every moment! I'm so excited for you!

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  28. It's interesting how everything shifts once your battle to get published ends. You have to then start worrying about all kinds of new things. What an exciting time for you, though! Have fun!!!

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  29. I'm anxious to hear about your experiences from your first conference... especially with all the big things happening in your life! :)

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  30. Wow! How cool is this? Congrats! Got your blog thumbs up from Karen---you are her featured blogger today! Hope you have a fun conference...

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