first writers’ conference – here we come!

Tomorrow I fly out to Indianapolis for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference. 

Level of excitement? Like a little kid who’s just been given a pony and told we’re going to Disney World and received an entire box of Raisinets and gets to stay up past bedtime. And just heard school’s cancelled for a snow day.

In other words, pretty excited.

How did I select this conference out of the lollapalooza of other writers’ conferences out there? Very simply, it came on good recommendation from a Christian mystery writer who goes to our church in South Carolina. Sue Duffy is an accomplished writer whose enthralling trilogy I’m currently enjoying. Will have a review for you on them soon!

She suggested this conference as a way to meet other writers (potential co-writers? mentors?), editors (!!!!) and agents (!!!!) from well-known Christian publishers and secular publishers that publish religious fiction.

I’ve been to conferences focused on corporate training and instructional design, but I’m brand-new to the world of writing conferences. What can I expect? Rock-star writers swinging from the ceiling or giving autographs, feverish workshops of silently scribbling wordsmiths, team-building activities both uncomfortable and surprisingly enlightening?

I asked Google, the guru of random questions. Turns out there’s actually a book out there on how to prepare for writers’ conferences. 

Now, isn’t that a surprise? Someone wrote a book about preparing to attend a writers’ conference. Hah!

Rather than buy a book on it, I’m preparing the best way I know how.

Susie’s Entirely Unproven Plan for Preparing for a Writers’ Conference:

  • Praying that God will open doors before I even get there.
  • Bringing paper and digital copies of the proposal for my manuscript, “Church Critic.”
  • Packing a series of layered clothes, in anticipation of the chilly hotel conference rooms.
  • Charging my iPad.
  • Bringing a notebook for when my iPad inevitably dies.
  • Taking a tote in case there are goodies, like free pens.
  • Plan to buy a book or two and get it signed by the author!
  • Bringing my mom.


That last part – you might have said, wait, what? Your mom’s coming??


Yes. My mom is an incredibly talented, sociable and encouraging presence. She’s excited to visit Indianapolis as much as she is to attend writing sessions and swap tips with me. I know we’re going to meet dozens of writers, editors and agents, and hopefully she’ll help me remember names and connect with people.

If you have read through to the end of this, please just say a prayer for our safe travels and everyone else coming to the conference, and then also for God to be honored in all we do! I’d also appreciate some inspiration.

Thank you and bless you all,


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