ACFW’s 2012 conference landed in Dallas this past weekend. Attendees had a whirlwind three-plus days of classes, appointments, fellowship, and renewing old friendships and making new ones.
Here are some of my observations.
Melancholy seeps in when we don’t get an appointment with our dream agent. Euphoria reigns when the agent we do meet with requests our entire manuscript.
We final in the writing contest but don’t win. A few minutes later, our critique partner is announced a winner.
At this year’s ACFW, someone pitched to an editor and the editor bought the book on the spot. Bought, as in purchased, as in a contract, as in “We want to publish your book.”
One of the high points for me was meeting with my new agent and being able to put a face, and a smile, and a voice to the email. My previous agent resigned shortly before the conference and this new girl was picking up her fiction writers. And I can call her a girl because she’s young enough to be my daughter.
In the bookstore on Saturday night, I had a conversation with one of the three agents on everyone’s list of top agents. He remembered me from previous conferences, including rejecting me. We talked about my writing and he gave encouragement and support and ideas on one of my projects.
The highest point for me was seeing two writers I coach and mentor attend their first large conference and pitch for the first time. Over the course of the weekend, I observed them glow and grow as they went to classes and met new people and fully engage in the whole conference universe. It warmed my heart to see their nervous insecurities about pitching be replaced by delighted smiles when an agent or editor requested a proposal or a full manuscript.
What’s been your highest moment at a conference?