Monday, September 10, 2007


DON'T YOU JUST LOVE SURPRISES???? I know I do. In fact, I like being on the giving end of surprises even more than the heartstopping thrill of being on the receiving end.

I'm having a blast right now as Becky and I prepare to attend the annual ACFW conference in Dallas next week. Among the traditions Barbour has established over the past several ACFW conferences has been the presentation of a contract to an unpublished author. This year, we are hoping to surprise not one but TWO such writers. We're busy working out all the logistics while swearing to secrecy anyone who might be tempted to spoil the surprise. Don't even try to drag the information out of me ahead of time. I'm an expect secret-keeper. My lips are sealed until noon Friday, September 21st.

Even when I don't get to personally witness an author's expression when she/he first gets "The Call," my favorite task as an editor is issuing that first contract to a soon-to-be-published writer. There's no feeling like it. Do you published authors still remember the thrill of your first contract call?

I imagine the Lord is having a great time preparing a few surprises for us as well. 1 Corinthians 2 gives us a hint: " No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it—what God has arranged for those who love him." (The Message.) Yahoo! What a celebration that is going to be!


Rhonda said...

Funny you should mention this Susan. Today I got my first copy of TO TRUST AN OUTLAW, my first Heartsong Present from Becky.

It reminded me of when she gave me my first contract at the ACFW conference in 2003, Houston. I still get excited and thrilled just thinking about it. I think I was the first person to get a contract that way. How wonderful is that? It is a blessing and a memory I will never forget.

I'm sure whoever the lucky authors are this year will feel the same way! Thanks Susan and Becky for this wonderful gift to new authors!

Mary Connealy said...

I was one of those 'surprise' contractees at the ACFW conference in 2005.
It is one of the most thrilling moments of my life.
I still get chills when I think about it and the speech I give at book signings is based around that moment, trying to capture for others just what a wonderful experience it was. A dream coming true. An answer to prayer. An honor and all that attention. Humbling, terrifying. Perfect.
In case I haven't thanked you for it. Thank you. God bless you all.

Vickie said...

I had the exciting privilege of receiving my first Heartsong contract at an ACFW conference. It was awarded by Tracie Peterson, who became my editor. It was such an exciting time, yet hard to believe it was real, even though I had the paper verifying it in-hand.

I can't wait to see who gets one this year. It so fun rejoicing with your writing buddies who've worked hard to get published.

Carrie Turansky said...

Last year one of the first contracts was awarded to my good friend and co-author Vasthi Acosta for our newly released anthology A BIG APPLE CHRISTMAS.

I ran out of the ballroom and called her on the phone since she was not there. I got her kids and left a message. She called me about an hour later while I was in the hotel elevator and we screamed together. I was so thrilled for her. She worked very hard on her story and I am so proud of her and so happy to be in this anthology with her. She is also doing an amazing job promoting our book in New York City where she lives. And tghis year she is coming to the conference, and I will be sure to introduce her to you all.

I can't wait to see who gets their first contract this year! Thanks. This is a fun way for us all to celebrate.

Lynette Sowell said...

Wow, no hints? Bribes with chocolate? :) Seriously, I'm excited. I'll be on the edge of my seat to see which of my friends I'll be cheering for. :) Thanks for this chance for us to share firsthand in their joy!

Cara Putman said...

It was an absolutely amazing experience to get my first contract at the ACFW conference in 2006. It was such a public affirmation that I was headed in the right direction. I can't wait to see who gets this blessing this year! It's the highlight of the conference.