Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ask the Authors: Tuesday

Welcome back to “ask the authors week.” This week we will pose five questions to our contributors, and you’ll find their varied answers to a single question each day.

If you have questions you’d like us to ask during a future “Ask the Authors” week, send it to CharisConnection@gmail.com. As always, thanks for joining us!

In your opinion, what is the best writer’s conference for a newbie to attend? Do you have personal favorites?

Mount Hermon Writers Conference is fabulous. And I'm eager to experience my first ACFW Conference this month. I can't say enough good things about such events, both for the networking and for the inspiration. –Liz Curtis Higgs

I've only attended the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College once but it's a definite favorite!—Jane Kirkpatrick

For newbies, nothing beats the relaxed, nurturing atmosphere of Marlene Bagnull’s conferences in Philadelphia and Estes Park. Billie Wilson’s Florida Christian Writers' Conference is similar. For established writers, nothing beats the challenging, fun environment of a Donald Maass intensive. And how could I forget? Nancy Rue and I will be doing a conference in late Feb. 2007 at Glen Eyrie, CO—I promise it’ll be unique! –Angela Hunt

I've never attended one. Have heard good things about Mount Hermon and Glorieta, though. -BJ Hoff

ACFW. Hey, it’s the only conference out there PURELY for novelists. You don’t have to worry about those boring nonfiction types. Plus you can choose from four different levels of teaching in the morning tracks and the afternoon workshops—beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional. There’s no one-size-fiction-fits-all at ACFW. And all the attendees are like one big family—ready to welcome in new family members. It’s fun, informative, spirit-filled, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Try beating that. –Brandilyn Collins

The better workshops are competitive, so if you want to raise the bar a bit, I recommend either the Iowa Writer’s Workshop or the Sewanee Writer’s Conference in Tennessee. Then you have to consider the genre for which you prefer to study. I think it’s a good idea to mix up your experiences with the heavy duty intensives and some of the Christian workshops. If you want to be a worldview Christian writer, you need to know how the world processes beliefs. If you want to target Christian readers, then you should attend Christian writer’s workshops. They are all listed in The Christian Writer’s Market Guide by Sally Stuart. –Patricia Hickman

Mt. Hermon is great, and it's the only one I've actually attended that is still being held yearly. It's very expensive, but when I went, the money was worth it. --Hannah Alexander

Assuming that you are meaning conferences for writers of novel length fiction, I believe that ACFW is probably the best thing going today. Other wonderful conferences available for Christian writers include non-fiction and article writing and short fiction in their workshop tracks. But if you are pursuing publication in book length Christian fiction, then ACFW would be my first choice. I have also long enjoyed the RWA national conference, but its focus is romance and overwhelmingly secular, so you won't find many workshops about Christian fiction. Still there are always great workshops on both craft and the business of writing, and the award ceremony is amazing. -- Robin Lee Hatcher

I hear ACFW is wonderful though I haven't had a chance to attend. Same with Mount Hermon--I'd love to go to one of their conferences. –Lori Copeland

I've always felt the Mount Hermon Christian Writers' Conference in California is a very helpful, accessible conference. It's pricey, but it's one of the best. And I know the editors and publishing house representatives like going to this conference a great deal, so it always has a great faculty/staff. I also have enjoyed Sandy Cove and Glorieta. –Karen Ball

If you want to write novels, I’d recommend ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) hands down. If you write fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, poetry, or especially if you’re interested in writing screenplays, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is excellent, and growing in size and quality every year. I’m sure there are other great conferences, but those are two I’m well-acquainted with, having served on faculty at both for the past several years. ––Deborah Raney


At 5:33 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

As one who has attended a number fo conferences, ACFW is the hands down best for novelists. The Blue Ridge Mountains conference is like Glorieta but in the east. All excellent. This next year I'm going to try to add Mt. Hermon to my list, but I won't ever miss the ACFW, God willing and the creek don't rise. ;o)

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous John Robinson said...

I've only ever attended the Glorieta conference (this will be my second time on faculty there), but danged if ya'll aren't making me eye the ACFW thingie next year. There IS stuff for us guy-types there, right? Just as long as I don't have to write chick-lit...(shudder)...*VBG*


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