Friday, October 2, 2009

Thoughts on ACFW 2009

I had a great time at ACFW this year, even if it seemed extra exhausting since I am pregnant! :) Most of you have heard that news, but for those who haven’t I am due March 30th, am safely into the second trimester, and all seems healthy and well for baby and me. Doug and I are praising God for those things, and we’d appreciate your prayers that good health continues.

One thing that really stood out to me about conference this year was that authors who met with me during appointments had certainly done their homework on Heartsong Presents. I believe I only met with two or three people me who didn’t have Heartsong-specific proposals ready. That really impressed me because it seems like in previous years I spent more appointments explaining what Heartsong publishes and why an author’s proposal simply wouldn’t work for our line. I really don’t mind chatting with hopeful authors even if their work doesn’t fit our line, but of course the time is best spent with authors who do know about Heartsong and who want to write for us. So, kudos to nearly everyone I met with on doing your research and being prepared for your appointment with me. I enjoyed meeting and talking with every one of you and am looking forward to receiving many of the great proposals you pitched.

So, what really impressed you about this year’s conference? What did you think had improved from previous years?


Mary Connealy said...

I had such a great conference, JoAnne. It's so wonderful about the baby. I'll keep you in my prayers.

I think involvement with ACFW is just such a great training ground for aspiring authors that you're going to see increasingly polished proposals and books.

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi JoAnne,
So happy to hear your wonderful news about the baby. I will pray for you. I have a new grandbaby due just after that. : )

It was great to see you and Becky at the conference. I enjoyed seeing so many dear writer friends.I had some great classes and workshops, and they've have already helped me with my WIP.

Barbara Curtis said...


What wonderful news! I've been praying for you and your family and that God would bless you with another baby. Thank you for sharing your announcement.

With continued prayers,

Erica Vetsch said...

The conference was so much fun! I loved seeing you and Becky again.

So happy about the baby, and if you wanted to have her/him ten days early on my birthday, that wouldn't upset me at all. :)

I learned so much at the conference about what it means to be a professional author, both from the classes and from watching the pros.

And Donald Maass'

Janet Lee Barton said...

So very happy for the good news about the baby! Will be praying all goes well and that the baby thrives and that you have a blessed and easy pregnancy!

It was great to see you and Becky and so many author friends at Conference!

Ronie Kendig said...

Earlier while talking with my in-laws, I shared with them that this year the ACFW conference had a very "friendly" feel to it. I worked most of it, but I didn't feel left out or as if I missed anything because of the friendliness. There was such a warmth there this year. A highlight, as always, is the kick-off night, when Barbour awarded contracts. I *love* watching that dream come to life for writers.

Lisa Faye Harman said...

It was so nice meeting you at conference. I am continuing to pray for you, the baby, and your family.

This was only my second national ACFW conference. Last year I didn't really know anyone well, and it was a bit lonely. I didn't pitch at all and am glad because I was soooo not ready.

I attended the conference this year after being involved in my local IN ACFW chapter for a year. That community of writers really helped me. They loaned me copies of Heartsong books so I could understand the line. Then I fell in love with the books and joined the bookclub! That is when I knew that I wanted to write for Heartsong.

I roomed with Rachael Phillips who listened to my pitch and made great suggestions. Then she, Donna Rich, Jude Urbanski, Crystal Miller and so many others actively prayed, prayed, and prayed some more.

I claimed Psalm 45:1 as my verse for the pitch. My heart is overflowing with a good theme. I recite my composition concerning the king. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Prayer, scripture, and good writing friends made this year's conference a success for me.

CatMom said...

Continued prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby, JoAnne. ~ It was wonderful finally meeting you and Becky in person! For me personally, this Conference was even better than last year's (which was awesome!). The Lord blessed me in so many ways, and I'm already looking forward to next year's Conference! Blessings, Patti Jo Moore :)

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi JoAnne,

I'm so happy about the baby. What awesome news. I'll certainly be praying.

The conference was stress-free for me this year. Tiring as usual, but I didn't feel as pressured since I actually have books coming out thanks to God and Heartsong.

I agree that ACFW helps deliver more polished proposals and writers. Other than the very basics of writing, I learned everything I know through ACFW. Think I'll stick around since I still have more to learn.

Jennifer Johnson said...

JoAnne, I didn't know you are pregnant!!! Congratulations!!! So exciting. A baby just in time for Easter. :)

Donna L. Rich said...

Hi JoAnne,

I enjoyed meeting you and pitching to you at the conference.

I liked the overall atmosphere of the conference this year. It was only my second ACFW conference but my fifth conference altogether. I believe it's fair to say that for a fiction writer, ACFW is the best.

The early bird workshop with Donald Maass, Gail Sattler's workshop on using the five senses, and Deb Raney's idea workshop were among my favorites. Of course, the Barbour late night chat was lively and informative. :)

Each time I pray for our youngest son and his wife (they are due the same time you are) I pray for your family that all will go well and that the new little one will fill your hearts with as much joy as the first one! By the way, I love to read about all her nuggets of wisdom on your facebook page.

Diane Ashley said...

I loved getting to see my writing and publishing friends who live far away, and the Barbour get-together was great. A chocolate fountain! Need I say more? But the biggest highlight for me was when one of my dearest friends, Sylvia Barnes, got her first contract for her novella. Yippee!

Kim O'Brien said...

Congratulations JoAnne!

So happy for you. This is such great news! An Easter Baby -- so awesome.

Lots of prayers and best wishes for a continued healthy pregnancy.