Thursday, November 13, 2014

ACFW Conference by Terri Weldon

The American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) Conference is exciting, fun filled, and fast paced. So I’m going to talk to you about a side of conference prep that’s often overlooked.

The night before I flew out to St. Louis I slept for the sum total of two and a half hours. I know, that’s ridiculous. I mean after all, I should have gotten three hours of sleep, but I was so excited I couldn’t go to sleep. Logical? Nope, thirty more minutes wouldn’t have made much difference. Why didn’t I get more sleep? Because I hadn’t prepped properly.
View of the Arch from the hotel

Every year I read about people packing days in advance and wonder why they do it. Well, this year I knew and if I’m fortunate enough to visit the great state of Texas in 2015, I’ll pack at least a day early. Hey, that would be an improvement. Do you know what else I was doing at the eleventh hour? Inserting a picture in my onesheet. Oh, I’d written, edited, and finished my onesheet well in advance. I just failed to go back and insert a picture that accurately depicted my novel. Thankfully, the wonderfully talented Lacy Williams helped me out.
OCFW Gals before the Gala

Did I mention that I waited to print EVERYTHING until the night before the conference? Disclaimer – I realize at this point I’m sounding like a total nitwit. I promise I’m not! I’ve never been so ill prepared for a conference before.

By now things weren’t looking too promising so I thought back to my number one goal for conference. Yes, I had actually set goals for myself in advance of conference. I hope I haven’t shocked anyone too badly by having one shred of orderliness. LOL. My number one goal was to have a good time.

Weeks ago I realized I couldn’t control how agents and editors would feel about my book when I pitched to them. I couldn’t even guarantee I’d pick the right publisher’s spotlights for me. But I could control my attitude. I could determine in advance to enjoy the conference and to have a great time. Visit with friends, meet online buddies face to face for the first time, attend the My Book Therapy Pizza Party, have a photoshoot with the conference photographer. Just enjoy myself. If it sounded fun, I did it. Do you know what happened? I had an absolutely wonderful conference. I enjoyed every second of my time in St. Louis.

L-Colleen Coble, R-Terri Weldon
So before you attend a conference any conference, promise me you’ll do four things. Get enough rest the night before the conference starts, have your bags packed at least a day ahead of time, print your materials in advance, and determine in your heart to enjoy your conference experience.

Today, I’d love for you to share how you prepare for conference. Are you going to make me look bad and tell me how you’re totally organized? Are you a procrastinator? Is anyone out there worse than me? Please, someone, cheer me up by telling me you hopped out of bed and while your printer spit out onesheets you were tossing clothes into your suit case.

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Misty Winslow is determined to find her prince, and she meets the man of her dreams through an Internet dating service. Or is he, because the new dentist in town also sets her heart aflutter.

It's love at first sight for Tyler Davenport, but before he can finish his first root canal, Misty is involved in an exclusive online romance with Wes99—Tyler’s online persona. How can he tell her he’s the man she’s been waiting to meet, and how rational is it for him to be jealous of Wes99! Soon Tyler's pulling out all the stops to woo Misty.

As Christmas approaches, Wes99 and Tyler both ask her to meet them under the mistletoe. Which man will she choose?

Terri Weldon
Terri is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and playing in the hand bell choir. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction.
She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has three dogs – a lovable mutt and two adorable Westies.

Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing. To learn more about Terri visit her website at