Monday, October 5, 2015

Free Pass into ACFW 2015

For those who didn't attend the national ACFW conference, it can be a bit painful to read about all the fun folks had. But try not to think of it as missing out. Think of everyone sharing their experiences as your FREE pass to an inside scoop on what conference provides.

I've always been grateful for the opportunity to attend an ACFW National Conference. They get better and even less overwhelming each year I go. And this year? For some reason, there was a gracious peace that settled over me. I don't know how many others felt that at this conference, but I know I did. God's presence was felt by me both in the atmosphere and in the people I met.

I learned a ton from the classes as I always do. And I think I even came back home with a little more clarity as far as the direction the Lord wants me to take in my writing. This is something I've been wondering about. What better place for the fog to lift than at a writer's conference?

Here are some of my most fun highlights.

Night One: Genre Dinner. I dressed as a Steampunk Biologist. I've only written a few short stories in the Steampunk genre, but it's such a fun way to dress up, I couldn't resist. I put the outfit together myself and rediscovered how much I enjoy working with costumes. (More than 32 years ago I spent my fair share of time in theater costume shops.)

The second night I got to have dinner with my fabulous agent and meet my crit partner, Tom Threadgill, and his beautiful wife, Janet, for the first time. We joined other clients of my agent, Linda Glaz.

The last night is the highlight of the conference--the reward banquet. I have no idea how or why, but somehow I ended up on the front row in the middle. I've never been that close to the stage before. In the past I've always been in the very back in the corner, barely able to see even a screen.

It's been a difficult 2015 for me, and this gift from God was precious. It was if He was reminding me that He's got my back. He's there. And He's guiding my steps. I only have to trust.

To be inspired by so many authors is an overwhelming blessing. To be just feet away from Francine Rivers as she gave her speech while accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award left me, well, speechless.

It was great fun listening to people give their speeches for their awards and imagining what it must feel like for them. Congratulations to fellow Hoosier, Denise Hunter for wining the Carol Award for her book, The Wishing Season!

Denise Hunter accepting the esteemed Carol Award
And the meal? So delicious. All the food all the time was the sort that you dream about when you get home.

The Salmon was amazing. I wish I could have eaten the steak, too!
Too much food!
I need to learn how to make Creme Brulee
Huge berries in Texas! And so delicious!
Next year's conference will be August 25-28 at the Omni in downtown Nashville. And the Keynote Speaker is Ted Dekker!

Excuse me for a minute.


I'm going to start saving my pennies now. Nashville is one of my favorite places in the world, and to get to hear Ted Dekker speak?

Is it greedy to hope God gives me another front row seat?

Karla Akins is the author of The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots and countless short stories, biographies and other books for middle grades. She currently serves as Vice-President of ACFW-Indiana Chapter and resides in North Manchester with her pastor-husband, twin adult sons with autism, and her mother-in-law with Alzheimer's. Her three dogs and two cats are attentive editors.


  1. So good to finally meet you in person! Make plans for Nashville now. Great town, and the hotel's in a great location. Gonna be fun!

    1. It was awesome to meet you in person, Tom. You're so much taller than your picture. Am really looking forward to Nashville. I love that town!