Our Past Events

July 17, 2021

Michelle Weidenbenner

In-Person Meeting! 

Learning the Basics of Self-Publishing

MCL Cafeteria

2370 W 86th St

Indianapolis, IN

(317) 334-1875

 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Michelle Weidenbenner is an Amazon #1 Best-Selling and Award-Winning author and speaker. She’s spent years writing fiction, but when God called her to take guardianship of her grandkids due to addiction, she refocused her work to serving moms of addicted loved ones.


Her sweet spot is the center of her pickleball paddle, but it’s also empowering moms to regain their identity and purpose in order to live a life that matters and positively influence others. Her energy is contagious and focuses on unlocking the self-advocate in moms and encouraging them to dream big.


As the mother of a recovering addict, she spends most of her time supporting and coaching moms of addicted loved ones. She podcasts at Moms Letting Go Without Giving Up. If you’re a mom of an adult addict, find her free guidebook, at MomsLettingGo.com. Link to Moms Letting Go podcast: https://anchor.fm/michelle515.


Michelle is published in nonfiction as well as several genres of fiction.


April 17


Remarkable and Relevant

Linda Glaz

Noon - 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time

  Proposals. Authors are terrified to write them. Agents and editors dread reading them, especially when the  proposal doesn't provide key information a publisher needs to project sales. As a literary agent with Hartline, Linda Glaz reads hundreds of proposals every week. Join her for tips on how to make your proposal remarkable and relevant!


Linda S. Glaz, married with three grown children and four grandchildren, is a complete triple-A personality. How else would she find time to write as well as be an agent for Hartline Literary Agency? 

She loves any and every thing about the written word and loves when families pass stories along through the generations as her mother did with her. She’s a speaker, presenter, and searches her emails each day to find that one nugget of gold just “ready” for a publisher—writing so stellar and from a teachable spirit that no one would dare say no. What more could she ask for?






March 13, 2021

Noon - 2 p.m. Eastern time

(11-1 Central time)

Speaker: Tina Radcliffe 

Creating Compelling Scenes

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 826 0225 529

Passcode: 380361

Elmore Leonard once said, “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” This workshop will show and tell how to craft page-turning scenes.Tina Radcliffe will discuss scene structure, episodic writing, and share tips to take your writing from tepid to terrific.


A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is a Romance Writers of America and ACFW Honor Roll member, and a four-timeAmerican Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award finalist. Her Harlequin novels have won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion and appeared on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list. Besides her novel-length fiction, and her independent publishing releases, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A US Army Veteran, a former registered nurse, and library cataloger, Tina resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance and cozy mysteries. Visit her on the web at https://www.tinaradcliffe.com/


January 16, 2021

Noon until 2 p.m. 

View the meeting below at your leisure.


Speaker: Gail Kittleson

Memoir: Making Meaning of Our Memories


Gail says, “We must step outside our comfort zone to gain objectivity about our past, but the process offers personal growth and great satisfaction. This short workshop explores the genre and delves into some necessary techniques.”


We at ACFW Indiana would add that whether or not you are interested in writing memoir, many of the techniques presented will enrich your writing, no matter your genre.



A rural Iowa baby boomer, Gail Kittleson appeared at the local library counter every Saturday of her childhood to haul home a new pile of books. Later, she earned her MA in TESOL and taught English as a Second Language and college expository writing. She loves cheerleading other writers.


Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight, evolved over a period of ten years, which led to the new adventure of writing World War II fiction. Her Women of the Heartland brand brings to life this era’s make-do women.













Jill Williamson

November 7, 2020

Noon-2:00 p.m. via Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 869 4000 1642
Passcode: 6mxjLB

RSVP to acfwindianachapter@gmail.com


Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms, and the author of 23 books, including the Blood of Kings trilogy and the award winning By Darkness Hid, which was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel of 2009 by VOYA magazine. A Whovian, Photoshop addict, and recovering fashion design assistant, Jill loves drawing her own intricate book maps and teaching about writing. She blogs at goteenwriters.com (named one of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers”) and also posts writing videos on her YouTube channel and Instagram TV where she encourages other writers to respect their dreams. She grew up in Alaska without running water or electricity and now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two kids. You can find her online at jillwilliamson.com, on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.




August 22, 2020

Preparing for Conferences

Rachael O. Phillips

Agent Critique Panel

June 20, 2020

“The Slush Pile Revisited”

J.M. Hochstetler, Tish Martin, Alyssa Roat


Alyssa Roat has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry, as an agent, editor, writer, and marketer. Along with being a literary agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, Alyssa is the publicity manager at Mountain Brook Ink, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with 175+ bylines. She holds a degree in Professional Writing from Taylor University. Her debut novel, Wraithwood, releases Nov. 7, 2020 from INtense Publications. She would love to connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @alyssawrote or on her website alyssawrote.com.


Tisha Martin writes historical fiction and nonfiction but edits full-time for beginning and best-selling writers and publishing houses. Since 2017 she has worked on over 250 books. She has a bachelor’s in Professional Writing, a master’s in English Education, and an editing certificate from the PEN Institute. She enjoys speaking at writer’s conferences and supporting writers in the self-editing process. Her nonfiction essay in The Horse of My Heart: True Stories of the Horses We Love is forthcoming in September from Revell. Learn more at www.tishamartin.com.


J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers and a lifelong student of history.

For many years she worked as an editor for Abingdon Press, and currently she is the publisher and editorial director for Sheaf House Books located in Elkhart, Indiana.  Her award-winning historical fiction has been endorsed by bestselling authors such as Lori Benton, Laura Frantz, Jocelyn Green, Michelle Moran, and MaryLu Tyndal.

Hochstetler is the author of the American Patriot Series, the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year and a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award.


ACFW Indiana 2020 Calendar

All Meetings will begin at 11:30 a.m. and finish by 3:00 p.m.


March 14

Author Panel

Abbey Downey

Preparing for Contests”

Marion, Indiana



June 20

Agent Critique Panel

“The Slush Pile Revisited”

J.M. Hochstetler, Hope Bolinger, Alyssa Roat




August (date to be determined)

Speaker to be determined

“Preparing for Conferences”

North Indianapolis



November 7

Jill Williamson live streamed


Avon or ? (If anyone who lives further north can host this meeting through their church, please contact Linda at:  Indiana@acfwchapter.com)


Race to Publication:
Proposals and Queries

When: August 17th
Where: MCL Township Line, 2370 W. 86th St. Indianapolis. Indiana 46260
Time: 11:30-2:30
Cost: Members Free +the cost of lunch
          Non-Members: $10.00 + the cost of lunch
Annual Membership: Indiana ACFW $15.00 

 Please RSVP to acfwindianachapter@gmail.com

Jay Faubion is a former 30-year missionary in the Orient, living in Danville, Indiana for the last twenty years.
     He lives with his wife Beth, with five grown children out of the house. His day job is working from home, doing full-time software development for the dairy industry.     His hobby is working on old cars, particularly British Triumph Spitfires. Saturdays are consumed preparing for his adult Bible class at Faith Baptist Church in Avon. Currently a year and a half into the Book of Revelation.
     He has one published book, Friend Me, through Howard Books (Simon & Schuster imprint). He enjoys writing suspense novels, as witnessed by the two incomplete novels he will likely never get back to. If he ever retires, he will likely write actively again.

Cara Putman is a woman of many talents. Currently, she serves on the executive board of ACFW, but she's also a practicing attorney, has earned her MBA, and teaches at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.
Cara started writing to publish in 2005 after she met Colleen Coble at a book-signing. Colleen encouraged her to follow that dream, and over twenty-five books later, Cara is enjoying her dream come true. Add homeschooling her four children to the above accomplishments, and you can see why she calls herself an "all-around crazy woman!" Check out more details at www.caraputman.com
Candice Sue Patterson studied at The Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, beekeeping, or sharing her passion for reading with students as an elementary school librarian, she’s working on a new story. 
Candice writes Modern-Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith.


Marissa Shrock is a survivor of many awkward blind dates and many years of teaching middle school. Both provide excellent inspiration for her fictional yarns.

     Since childhood, she’s loved to read a variety of genres, so her own work includes dystopian thrillers and cozy mysteries. She’s the author of the Emancipation Warriors Series and the Georgia Rae Winston Mystery Series. Her debut novel, The First Principle, was a Carol Award Finalist.

     Marissa enjoys playing golf, building elaborate LEGO creations, and traveling to new places. Her home is in Indiana, where she’s surrounded by corn and soybean fields. Visit her at www.marissashrock.com.

That All-Important First Page

ACFW Indiana's June 15th  meeting gives you
the opportunity to have your first page critiqued by professional editors!

All submissions will be anonymous.
The meeting will take place from 11:30 until 3:00
at Martino’s Italian Villa
1929 North Washington St. Kokomo, Indiana (765) 457-9181.

Here’s what you do BEFORE the meeting:
1. Prepare the first page of your work in progress or the first page of a book that you are currently pitching to editors and agents.  The header can be completely blank unless you’d like to include genre.
2. Make four copies of the page, four for the editors and one for the emcee.
3. Take the four pages with you to the meeting where one of the board officers will collect them.

Here’s what will happen AT the meeting:
1. After our lunch, the emcee will read each submission out loud. Again, no names/authors are never mentioned.
2. As the emcee reads, the editors also have a copy in front of them. Each raises a hand if she decides the submission would not be suitable for them. If two out of three raise their hands, the emcee stops reading.
3. Once the emcee stops reading—either because two hands were raised or she finished the page—the panel members explain why they rejected the submission. They also will comment upon what they liked about the piece.

Here’s the Take-Away:
1. A better understanding of the average day in the life of an agent or editor as they work through their slush pile.
2. Tips on how you can improve that all-important first page!


On March 16, 2019, Hallee Bridgeman came to speak on platform, particularly newsletters. Her talk was filled with so much excellent information that she offered to provide us with her slides so we could be reminded of all we had learned.
Click on the link below if you would like access to the slides from her presentation.

Topic: How to Build a Platform

Hallee Bridgeman 

With more than half a million book sales, Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real-world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy.
An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee finally settled in central Kentucky with her family so that she could enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. She enjoys the roller-coaster ride thrills that life with a National Guard husband, a college student daughter, and two pre-teen sons delivers.
A prolific writer, when she’s not penning novels, you will find her in the kitchen, which she considers the ‘heart of the home’. Her passion for cooking spurred her to launch a whole food, real food “Parody” cookbook series. In addition to nutritious, Biblically grounded recipes, readers will find that each cookbook also confronts some controversial aspect of secular pop culture.
Hallee is a member of the Published Author Network (PAN) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) where she serves as a long time member in the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the American Christian Writers (ACW) as well as being a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC). An accomplished speaker, Hallee has taught and inspired writers around the globe, from Sydney, Australia, to Dallas, Texas, to Portland, Oregon, to Washington, D.C., and all places in between.
Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her. She prays her work here on earth is a blessing to you and would love to hear from you. You can reach Hallee at hallee@halleebridgeman.com

Please join us on:
11:30 to 3:00
Plainfield, IN (southwest)
Coachman Restaurant
6112 Cambridge Way, Plainfield, Indiana 46168, United States

Getting Pitch Ready

August 2018

Sarah Forgrave is an author and speaker who loves encouraging others. Her writing career began in fiction, where she achieved multiple contest wins, signed with her agent, and garnered interest from publishing houses. After eight years, however, God led her into the world of non-fiction and opened doors for her book, Prayers for Hope and Healing, to be published with Harvest House Publishers in October 2017. Her second book, Prayers of Hope for Caregivers, releases in Spring 2019. Her other writing credits include contributions to Guideposts' A Cup of Christmas Cheer, the e-devotional Arise Daily, and The Gift of Friendship.

Outside of writing and teaching, Sarah is the busy mom of two preteen kids and the wife of an entrepreneurial husband. When she has a moment to herself, she loves to shop the aisles at Trader Joe's or curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Visit Sarah at www.sarahforgrave.com.
Michele Israel Harper is an author, editor, publisher, wife, and mom to three little ones. Whew! When she's not wearing one of those hats, she loves to scrapbook. A true Francophile, ask her anything about France, and she'll love you forever!
Michele has published four books with a fifth ready to go. Her boutique publishing company, L2L2 , specializes in the speculative, but she'd love to expand into other genres someday. You can learn more at www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com.
Cara Putman is a woman of many talents. Currently, she serves on the executive board of ACFW, but she's also a practicing attorney, has earned her MBA, and teaches at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.
Cara started writing to publish in 2005 after she met Colleen Coble at a book-signing. Colleen encouraged her to follow that dream, and over twenty-five books later, Cara is enjoying her dream come true. Add homeschooling her four children to the above accomplishments, and you can see why she calls herself an "all-around crazy woman!" Check out more details at www.caraputman.com.

What you need to know:

  • MCL Township Line, 2370 W. 86th St. Indianapolis. Indiana 46260
  • 11:30-2:30
  • Cost: Members Free +the cost of lunch
  •  Non-Members: $10.00 + the cost of lunch
  • Membership to Indiana ACFW is $15.00 for the year.
This session will be a panel discussion on how to prepare a one sheet, what happens in a pitch session, how to move towards publication with an agent/publishing company.

Gail Gaymer Martin, June 20, 2015, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Gail Gaymer Martin, June 20, 2015, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Gail Gaymer Martin speaks on "The Sagging Middle"

Gail Gaymer Martin, Fort Wayne, Indiana, June 20, 2015

Gail Gaymer Martin, co-founder of ACFW

Linda Glaz, June 20, 2015, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Linda Glaz, Literary Agent, Harline Literary Agency

Linda Glaz speaks to ACFW-Indiana Chapter
in Fort Wayne, Indiana, June 20, 2015

ACFW-Indiana Chapter

Gary Hensley (May 2013)

Holly Miller (August 2012)

Jim Watkins (2011)

Amanda Luedeke (2011)
Caleb Sjogren speaking in Merrillville, August 2013

Travis Thrasher speaking in Merrillville, 2012

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