Thursday, September 19, 2013

Highlights of the ACFW Conference from a First-Timer

My mind is still all a-tumble from lack of sleep, information overload, jittery nerves, starstruck wonder, and meetings with so many wonderful people. But since my turn to post comes so quickly after the annual conference, how could I not blog about highlights?

The conference started for me on Wednesday with the opportunity to drive faculty from the airport to the hotel. Along with a couple of agents, I drove Jill Williamson, a friendly and energetic author of young adult speculative fiction.

I also drove Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner (bestselling author!) and her husband. My jitters quickly disappeared with her and her husband’s friendly and easy-going personalities. She brought a copy of her new release to give as a thank-you to whomever drove them to the hotel. I about drove off the road when I realized that she meant me! She even autographed it for me! I couldn’t help myself…I gushed all over her.

On the first *real* day, I walked with great trepidation into the first-timers orientation. True to my introverted nature, I’m much more comfortable with a small group than a large crowd. Judging by the expressions of others, many felt the same.

There were some in attendance I knew from online interactions, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to find them in the crowd. I had also encountered some Serious Spiritual Warfare (yes, with a capital S) earlier in the week that had left me rattled and doubting. You may know that sort of nervousness…clutching your bag as fear clutches your throat.

I met a couple of people in that session, and we talked generally about the logistics of the conference and our genres. After the session, I stood in the common area, talking with another attendee. One of the first women I spoke with walked up to me, touched my arm, and told me that I had a beautiful and kind spirit about me. I was floored. After the spiritual attacks earlier in the week and all the misgivings and grief that resulted, the Lord knew I needed that bit of encouragement.

Isn’t He wonderful to provide just what we need when we need it?

This angel also invited me to go to lunch with her, encouraged me to talk to an agent, and introduced me to her editor.

I also re-connected with a writing friend from the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference and got to know many new published and pre-published friends.

I was incredibly impressed by the general conference atmosphere of serving and seeking the Lord, a ministry through words.

It’s the power of story to speak truth into reader’s lives. I was honored to be a part of it.

Q4U: How did God meet you at the conference?

Meghan Carver is a 2013 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist and the author of several articles and short stories. After achieving a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Millikin University and completing a brief stint in immigration law, Meghan heard God calling her to be at home. Now homeschooling her six children with her college professor husband, Meghan has returned to her first love of writing. She blogs about homeschooling and homemaking at


  1. Sounds like a wonderful experience!

  2. I agree: you do have a beautiful and kind spirit about you!

    That was a wonderful gesture for one of your passengers to gift one of her books to you. How special.

    Isn't it cool how authors can almost be like real people? :)

  3. Thanks for sharing some of the conference with those of us who couldn't make it! BTW, that book, Millie's Treasures, intrigues me -- ha! :-)

  4. It was nice meeting you Meghan. Thanks for sharing your take on this great conference. I took pictures, but almost all of them are blurred because I was so hyped that I was shaking. LOL.