ACFW2017, writing conference

ACFW 2017 Conference Wrap-Up

I’ve been asked quite a few times what conference I went to this past weekend and what it was about. I’m glad you asked! ACFW stands for American Christian Fiction Writers and it is a national group of writers who write for the Christian market. They hold a conference once a year with many workshops and courses to learn about the craft of writing, as well has host pitch appointments with editors, agents, and mentors. I believe there was around 500 writers at the conference, and let me tell you, they were a bunch of beautiful souls willing to share their expertise and wisdom about the writing life. I went to the contest because I am writing historical romance and need to learn and connect with other writers.

Thursday was the early bird session, which I paid extra for because James Scott Bell was teaching for the whole day. He was totally worth it! His knowledge of the craft is immense and gave great tools for enriching your story.

Thursday evening I sat in on the Bethany House panel, with their editor/marketing team. It was fascinating to hear the behind the scenes action and what they are looking for in fiction. After that, I went to an agent panel where I learned what agents desire in a client, what to expect when you query, how to query, and on and on. It was terrific information that I needed as I am now seeking an agent.

Friday I went to Allen Arnold’s course called Using Chaos As Your Canvas. Oh my, this course was beautiful. I took eight pages of notes while my heart burned within me. You know when the Spirit moves inside your soul, nudging you to pay attention because something is happening? That is what I felt like in this class. I would share more, but will save it for another blog post.

Friday night was spent with my lovely Alley Cats, co-writers at The Writers Alley blog. I was in on the start of this blog years ago and stepped back in this year. I love these spunky gals who make me laugh and encourage me on this writing journey.

Saturday was the day for classes. I took one on Setting, one on Writing in Layers, one on Indie publishing, and the last was an Agent’s View on Traditional, Indie, and Hybrid Publishing. This last one was fascinating. I have never been opposed to indie publishing, but didn’t have much knowledge about it and was concerned about the marketing aspect. This class had so much practical information and really spelled out the pros and cons of each. I went away really encouraged by all I learned.

Then there was the Gala. This is a dress-up affair with a delicious meal followed by an awards ceremony. Jerry B. Jenkins was given the Lifetime Achievement award. Awards for Agent of the Year, Editor of the Year and Mentor of the Year were given as well. Then the Genesis awards were given. This is the contest for unpublished authors (You submit a small portion of your manuscript for judging.) I was a finalist in the Historical Romance category. The Carol Awards are for published books. It felt like the Academy Awards and was so exciting!

I was so blessed by the conference. These writers are a gracious bunch, so willing to help each other and cheer each other on. I came away encouraged, motivated, and humbled by God’s goodness.

Now, it is time to to plot the next story!


2017 ACFW Conference Mix & Mingle Blog Link-Up

Thank you Laurie Tomlinson for creating this blog link up so we can get to know each other before the 2017 ACFW conference!

Here’s how to play:
– Copy/paste the questions and fill out your own answers in a post on your own website and paste the URL to that specific post (not your homepage) using this handy link-up tool at Laurie Tomlinson’s site.
Here are my answers!
Name: Sherrinda Ketchersid
Location: Irving, Texas (almost part of Dallas!)
What you write/tagline/trademark: I write clean + inspirational historical romance!
Place in the book world: One completed manuscript and about to start it’s sequel. I’m entering many contests and am starting the query journey.
On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: Bring them on. The bigger, the better.
Something VERY serious: How do you take your Starbucks? Cold brew coffee with lots of cream and no-calorie sweetener.
The unique talking points that will get you going for hours: Bible Journaling, lettering, time-travel romance, Scotland, and Netflix…currently Blacklist and Granchester.
Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My sweet husband, though he will be joining me for the Gala!
Conference goals we can pray for? This is my first conference, and I am terrified of having to say my pitch. Still can’t do it without stumbling around. So don’t ask me! lol Actually, please do…I need the practice. 
Anything we can celebrate with you? I am a finalist in the 2017 ACFW Genesis historical category and the 2017 Lone Star inspiration category. 
One or two ways we can help you build your platform? You can sign up for my monthly newsletter by clicking here! You can follow me on twitter here and instagram here.

Now head back to Laurie’s site to meet others who will be at the ACFW conference!


Preparing For A Writing Conference

I am going to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference this month. It is being held at the Gaylord in Grapevine, Texas on September 21-23. I am so excited about this conference, because it is my first big conference and I am going to learn so much.

I already have business cards made and ready to hand out. Evidently, your business card is a great way to make connections and friends along the writing journey. Who knew?

Another item I need to prepare is a One Sheet. This is a one page sheet that includes a blurb about your book, rather like a back cover copy. It also includes a bio and picture. I believe I have the information ready, though I need to put it together in an engaging way.

Yesterday I finished the final edits on my manuscript. I cannot even begin to tell you how good that felt. The process came with a huge learning curve, yet I learned so much, and hopefully the skills I learned will help my next story.

Of course, in preparations for a conference you cannot forget about the all-important grooming for the event. I need a nice dress for the Gala, as well as some “business casual” clothes. I’ve lost 25 pounds in the last few months, so I really need to update my clothes! I wonder if I can tempt my daughter into shopping with me next weekend. She has a good eye and makes me pick things I wouldn’t normally choose.

The most important thing to do in preparing for a conference is prayer. I’m praying daily the Lord will order my steps and my words so that His will is done in my life. For open – or closed – doors. For new opportunities. For the right path for me and my writing.

Can you think of anything I’ve missed? Please share!