Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Writing Conferences Across America

RWA 2011 Book Signing
By Debby Giusti

Romance Writers of America will host their 2012 National Writers Conference next week in Anaheim, California. Some of you will be there, attending workshops, networking with industry professionals and soaking up as much information as possible about writing, marketing and the future of publishing.  The conference offers opportunities to pitch your stories to editors and agents, take part in the “Readers for Life” charity book signing for literacy and reconnect with writing friends from around the world.  Onsite registration will be available. Learn more hereNext year’s conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, July 17-21, 2013.

FYI: The literacy book signing format has changed this year.  Authors are not sitting alphabetically. I’ll be at Table 407. Please stop by and say hello!

Fast forward to September 20th and the American Fiction Writers Conference, held this year in Dallas.  Hopefully many of you are making plans to attend what is considered the “premier conference” in the country focused on Christian fiction. Each day begins with prayer and follows with a wide range of workshops and special education sessions geared to various levels from the beginning writer to the multi-published bestseller.  Agents and editors mix and mingle with writers who often pitch their stories over lunch or during assigned appointment sessions. The welcoming, informal environment fosters friendships and a relaxing exchange of information.

ACFW 2011
Not able to attend either of the national conferences?  Perhaps a regional venue might be a better fit.  A number of RWA chapters throughout the country hold their own conferences.  A complete list of RWA chapters can be found on the national website. Click on the chapter names to learn about educational opportunities and conferences available near you.
Walt and his beautiful wife, Mo, at M&M
I clicked on my home chapter, Georgia Romance Writers, and found information on our upcoming Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, to be held in Atlanta, Oct 5-7. I’m the Georgia Featured Author so I may be biased, but this year’s M&M promises to be extra special. Five editors and four agents will be taking pitches and eagerly looking for new writers. An excellent lineup of professionals will offer more than thirty, in-depth workshops and programs that promise to, as this year’s theme suggests, “Light a Fire Under Your Fiction.” Winners of the Maggie Award of Excellence will be announced at a gala banquet Saturday, followed with dancing until midnight.  Held in a lovely Hilton, called the “Castle on the Hill,” the nightly room rate of $79 keeps costs at a minimum.  

Looking for some fun in the sun along with your conference? Seeker Cara Lynn James recommends her Gulf Coast Chapter’s Silken Sands Conference. “The conference is held every two years in the spring at the Hampton Inn right on Pensacola Beach. The weather has almost always been beautiful! Our pitching sessions are usually done on the back patio overlooking the beach and Gulf of Mexico. We all spend a lot of time outside enjoying northwest Florida at the best time of the year.” The next conference will be held in 2014. Watch for details on the Gulf Coast’swebsite. 
Be sure to also check out Cara’s August release, Path Toward Love.
L to R: Julie, Audra, Janet, Cara and Debby
If you’re not into the beach scene, head north to Wisconsin.  Author Lyn Cote enjoys her WisRWA Chapter’s Write Touch Conference. “We have a yearly Friday evening to Sunday A.M. conference in June with agents and editor appointments and national best-selling romance authors as keynote speakers.” Next year’s event will be May 31-June 2. Lyn has two current releases, La Belle Christiane and Winter’s Secret.
Seeker Glynna Kaye enjoys attending Desert Dreams, hosted by the Desert
Rose RWA Chapter.  “You can't beat the Sonoran Desert in the Spring!  Palm trees, flowers, pleasantly warm days and cool nights.  Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale is an all
suites, two pools, buffet-style hotel with breakfast provided. Free transportation provided

to/from Sky Harbor International Airport. Nearby shopping and restaurants.  The event is held every other year which allows the hosts to invest time and money in a really classy,
well-organized conference. Limited to about 300 attendees, it feels very personal with

opportunities to chat one-on-one other writers and guest speakers/workshop instructors as

well as name editors and agents.  (This is the conference where I first met MY
agent, Natasha Kern.)” Join Glynna at the next conference in April 2014. Be sure to read Glynna's latest release, High Country Hearts.
Pepper and Carol
Grammar guru Darlene Buchholz has presented workshops at numerous conferences and offers the following information about the New Jersey Romance Writers’ Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. “Held every year in October, the conference is close to the Newark airport. Because New Jersey is close to New York, many editors and agents from big publishing houses attend this conference. For 2012, there are 8 agents and at least 9 editors, 6 of whom are from Harlequin. Workshops are plentiful and varied. Some are offered by well-known authors but many workshops are offered by genre authors perhaps less known but with sterling advice. Winners of the Put Your Heart in a Book writing contest are announced toward the end of the conference. Final judges are well-known editors/agents. Costs of the conference are moderate.” 

Another of Darlene’s favorites is the New Hampshire Romance Writers’ Fall Fling, scheduled for September 2013. “The conference is held in historical Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and easily accessible from the Manchester NH airport or from Boston if you must fly in to a big airport. The setting provides delightful sightseeing which is mere footsteps from the hotel. Several agents and editors who are actively seeing new writers attend. This is a small conference so there are fewer workshops. The way the workshops are staggered, you seldom have to decide between two great ones you want to attend. Presenters sit at the designated lunch tables with the workshop attendees, giving you a wonderful opportunity to network with new friends and with a presenter you particularly enjoyed.” 

What about regional Christian writing conferences?

Seeker Myra Johnson highly recommends Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. An annual event for the last 43 years, Mt. Hermon is held over the Palm Sunday weekend, and the conference center is nestled in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains of California. “I’ve been to Mount Hermon three times. It's a great experience, so much more relaxed than ACFW or RWA, but equally inspiring, motivational, and educational. The faculty and classes are always outstanding, worship is a big part of the daily schedule, the food is great, and the setting, amidst all those giant redwoods, is unbelievable!” Don’t miss Myra’s latest release, A Horseman’s Gift.

An east coast mountain venue is Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. Held in Ashville, North Carolina, each May, the conference has a 25-year history of success and teaches all forms of writing, from magazine and devotionals to full-length Christian fiction.

The same North Carolina venue will host the Blue Ridge Autumn in the Mountains Christian Novelist Retreat, October 14- 17.

Carol Award winning author Carrie Turansky has two favorite conferences. “The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers' Conference will be held this year from August 1-4 in Langhorne, PA. This is for both fiction and non-fiction and is the sister conference to the Colorado Christian Writers' Conference held in May. Marlene Bagnull oversees both conferences. There is a spiritual atmosphere and lots of great workshops, continuing sessions, and clinics.”  Read Carrie’s latest Love Inspired romance, A Man to Trust.

How about combining a conference with a cruise? AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS CARIBBEAN CRUISE, November 25-Dec 2. 

Having fun at ACFW!
Kiddie Lit and YA? Write2Ignite, a two-day Christian conference for writers of children’s literature and young adult will be held March 15-16, 2013, at North Greenville University, in Tigerville, South Carolina

For more Christian conference info, check out the following blogs:
Seeker Fun at Breakfast

Interested in the mystery/suspense genre?

SleuthFest is sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. 

Bouchercon moves around the country and will be in Cleveland, Ohio, this year, October 4-7.

MaliceDomestic attracts mystery writers and fans and is held each May in Arlington, Virginia.

KillerNashville is promoted as a thriller, mystery and suspense writers and literature lovers’ conference held in—you guessed it—Nashville.  
Janet, Helen, Debby and Cara
Author Lynette Eason calls The Writers Police Academy, in Jamestown, North Carolina, a must for mystery and suspense writers. “It’s is a fabulous resource for writers who are interested in writing true-to-life crime fiction. I attended the first year and learned too much to even describe." Lynette’s latest release is The Black Sheep's Redemption from LIS.

A list of additional mystery and suspense conferences can be found at:

RomCon, an event for fans and writers of romance and women’s fiction, is held each spring in Denver, CO.

DragonCon attracts sci-fi and fantasy fans and authors to Atlanta each Labor Day.  Bring your costumes to wear in the parade. 

RT Booklovers Convention, sponsored yearly by RT Book Reviews, will be May 1-5, 2013, in Kansas City. The event attracts both readers and writers. 

As you can see, writers’ conferences abound.  Tell us about the conferences in your local area or any writing event that you’ve found worthwhile.  We’ll pool our resources for the betterment of all.

Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for one of my books, your choice.

Happy writing,

Debby Giusti

Watch for THE COLONEL’S DAUGHTER, the third book in my Military Investigations series, in bookstores this August.

By Debby Giusti


A ruthless killer is targeting the families of soldiers in a U.S. Army
colonel’s brigade. Special agent Jamison Steele, of the Criminal
Investigation Division, vows to stop him—because this time,
Jamison’s heart is involved. The colonel’s daughter, the woman who loved and left Jamison without a word, came face-to-face with the murderer. Protecting Michele Logan means constant surveillance. And solving the mystery of the serial killer’s motive requires asking Michele the questions she least wants to answer. Questions that may lead them both into a deadly trap.


  1. The coffee pot's ready. Line up!

    I would love to go to a bunch of these conferences, but I can only handle one a year. So I've chosen to focus on ACFW.

    Incidentally, I'm registered for Dallas--and have arranged to make the trip with Carol. Ta da!!

    Wow, you include "anyone" in your pictures, don't you?

    Note: I believe that's Carol in the picture with Pepper, not Mary.


  2. I fixed it, Helen.
    ACFW is my conference of choice, too.
    I did RWA last year and it was pretty overwhelming. Maybe again someday but not this year.

  3. Mary, I did RWA once back in the eighties. Overwhelming was my take on it, too.

    I did sit at a table with Debbie Macomber, though.

  4. I'd love to attend a conference one day. They look like so much fun. For now I'll just have to enjoy the pictures ya'll take :)

  5. I'm going to Dallas! Though I might want to do Blue Ridge another day, it's always intrigued me.

    I signed my official contract today with Natasha, and Hubby took a picture. Then he said that maybe I should get a fancier pen for the next picture!!!!!

    Dissing on the pink pen is not allowed. I gave him a lecture. He's now contrite and understands that you cant judge a pen by it's price. :)

  6. OH how much FUN.

    I attend about 1 a year, however not this year. sigh.

    Thank you - what a great list for 2013!!!

    Love your outfits Debby! Beautiful lady! And what a blast with Seekers and Friends too!

    Mornin' previous posters - thanks for the coffee Helen!

    I just finished (!) my edits and have sent the ms. on to a local editor in my writer's group for her comments... Getting there! Praying for a Sept/Oct release!!!

  7. I'm so excited for Dallas this year! The last ACFW Conference I got to attend was Denver 2009 and I am beyond excited to be going again! Now crossing fingers and toes for some great flight deals to show up!

  8. Wow -- I didn't know there were that many conferences out there. I followed some of the links to the ones on the east coast to add to my bucket list.

    I'd be completely intimidated at a RWA conference. Way too big for me. I discovered a group in my neck of the woods that does offer workshops but sadly they are all held on Sundays. :-(

  9. I have everything but my plane flight booked for ACFW conference, but I do have quotes for that!

  10. ACFW is my favorite conference, although I like every conference I've ever been to! RWA has wonderful workshops, but it's a HUGE and overwhelming conference.

    Conferences get me all fired up to go home and write and that's really important!

  11. Debby, I'm blown away by all the great conferences! Thanks for the photos that trigger fun memories of past conferences.

    I'm skipping RWA this year, the first time in years that I haven't gone. Will miss seeing my Seeker sisters. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at ACFW in September.


  12. THANKS for all this great information, sweet Debby. Loved all those photos too (you looked gorgeous as usual!). It's wonderful there are so many conferences to choose from--in so many areas of the country. The only one I've attended so far has been ACFW (this will be my 4th time attending in Sept.) and each time I've loved it! (not to mention all the precious friends I've made each time). ~ Thank you again for sharing, and please enjoy the Peach muffins I've baked this morning (they taste better with Helen's coffee!). Hugs, Patti Jo

  13. Hi Helen,
    Of course, it's Carol. Blogger gave me so much trouble yesterday that I was lucky to have anything survive today. Plus storms in our area and a laptop that kept refusing to charge.

    Did I say nightmare!!! Hopefully, everything will behave today. :)

    Helen, you look lovely and it's always a joy to see you. Looking forward to a reunion at this year's ACFW!

  14. Also don't know what happened to Glynna's section. I fixed it twice. But, as you can see, the text is still a mess.

  15. Helen,
    I'm sure Debbie still talks about meeting YOU, Helen. Or at least she should! :)

  16. YAY, Melissa! Natasha is wonderful. So proud of you for choosing her as your agent. So proud of her for recognizing your ability! What a great match!

    The Blue Ridge Conference looks interesting, doesn't it?

    Anyone else thinking of giving it a try?

  17. Toasting your success with my coffee this morning, KC!

    Sending a doggie treat for May.

  18. YAY, Kara! So glad you'll be at ACFW. We need to start a Seekerville list. Remember we meet at the end of each day to socialize, which is always the highlight for me.

  19. Hi Jamie,
    Did you know there are a lot of online classes? Some are a couple weeks, others run a month long. Published authors or specialists in various subjects teach them via the Net. Many of the classes are excellent. No fun with the Seekers at the end of the day, but lots of great info.

  20. Wow Debby, I loved all the list of conferences. Some of them I have already been to but you sure peeked my interest with others.

    I LOVE conferences. It is wonderful to meet other writers and especially to meet agents and editors face to face. It makes the process of submitting so much more meaningful.

    Debby and I will be at RWA so if any of you Seekers are coming let us know. We will try to find a place for us to meet and gather. Watch for my post next Thursday and I'll name a place.

    We will be going to the FHL meeting on Sunday at 2:00 in the Los Angeles/La Jolla room (check at hotel to be sure about the room)

    If you're not interested in the meeting, I will be going a half hour early so stop by and say hi.

  21. Good morning Debby!
    My gosh, this week I've just been thinking about writing conferences and how much I would like to attend them... especially ACFW!!
    *sigh* oh well, hopefully... one day!
    Very well written post, today, Debby!

    Thanks and have a wonderful day!

  22. Kav, Blue Ridge has gotten good reviews and M&M is always great.

    Seems the Carolinas hosts a lot of conferences. Many that I didn't know about.

    Yes, I too was surprised about the number of conferences available.

  23. YAY, Rose. Another yes for ACFW!!!

    Hoping for low fares on all flights to Dallas.

  24. Cara, your Silken Sands Conference sounds delightful. I've always wanted to go but lots of family events in March keep me at home.

    Maybe I'll make it in 2014. The beach is calling me, especially after Missy's recent beach retreat! :)

  25. Boo-hoo, Janet! I'll miss you and everyone else.

    Sandra and I are the only Seekers braving RWA this year. If anyone else is there, find us so we can do a group hug and connect!!!

    Plus, we'd love to meet at the end of the day with Seekervillagers.

  26. Patti Jo's muffins and Helen's coffee--great combo! Thanks, sweetie! :)

    So glad you'll be at ACFW. Maybe we can see each other there. Seems finding a day to meet this summer has been impossible. Are we too busy?

    Nodding head. Right?

  27. Oh Debby! I want to attend EVERY ONE OF THEM!!

    A Christian writing cruise? Sign me up. I've attended RWA, but it's way too big. ACFW is just the right size and I love seeing everyone...oh yeah, meeting with editors and agents, too. LOL!!

    Walt, you and Mo are a gorgeous pair! Someday I'd like to attend M & M, it's on my bucket list : )

    Great post, Debby. Leaves me chomping at the bit for September.

  28. Oh, goodness, Deb -- the perfect blog on writers' conferences!! Like, Audra, I'd love to try every single one at least once, especially M&M if YOU are speaking this year -- YAY!!! I wish I could be there to cheer you on.

    The only one I ever attend is ACFW, except for this year due to crazy deadlines, but next year -- with bells on, then 2014 in St. Loo -- LOOK OUT!! We'll be raising Cain and a few other things on the Lessman's lower deck, guaranteed!!

    I've heard really good things about Blue Ridge, too, so that's one I might check into in the future.

    Sigh. Now to go save my money ...


  29. Wow! Debby, now that's quite a list of conferences to choose from! I'd love to attend the Blue Ridge conference one day.

    I'm attending ACFW for the first time. Last night, I had nightmares about missing my appointments and classes, getting moved from one hotel room to another and wearing glitter on my face. Go figure. No, I'm not anxious. :)

    MELISSA--congrats on signing with Natasha Kern! I hope it's a wonderful venture for both of you!

    I've enjoyed the retreats (I know, different from conferences) that My Book Therapy hosts. Their Story Crafter's retreat is in October. I learned a lot from that as a newbie writer, and met more advanced writers as well. Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck also do an advanced writer's retreat in Florida in February. Those have also been amazing. Getting one on one time with them is fabulous.

    Off and running into a busy day. Hoping to check back later.

  30. I'm going to RWA and ACFW. My first time for both California and Texas.

    I've been in my cave so much this year, I feel like a turtle emerging into the sunlight. I'll probably look like a ghost on the beach. Haha.

    But better than the setting, I can't wait to see all the Seekers and friends, although it seems like I just saw you yesterday. Is that a sign of old age, I wonder? (Rhetoric question!) LOL

  31. I'm going to RWA and ACFW. My first time for both California and Texas.

    I've been in my cave so much this year, I feel like a turtle emerging into the sunlight. I'll probably look like a ghost on the beach. Haha.

    But better than the setting, I can't wait to see all the Seekers and friends, although it seems like I just saw you yesterday. Is that a sign of old age, I wonder? (Rhetoric question!) LOL

  32. Oh my goodness! lol Conference guru here. ;-) Thanks for the list!

  33. Debby! Thank you! This was my post to sign up for M and M. I have registered and gotten a room. Just need a roommate!

    I would be going to ACFW but, sniff, I will be getting back from Switzerland the first day of the conference and couldn't swing it. I know, "cry me a river."

    Thanks again. Looking forward to this fall.

    Peace, Julie

  34. What a list! Holy cow. I went to ACFW the last two years and LOVED it! Met so many wonderful people and learned a ton. Wish I could go again this year... Hopefully in 2013.
    Toss my name in the hat for one of your books, Debbie! I love your writing.

  35. Thank you for the list on conferences.

    Anna Labno

  36. Sandra,
    Thanks for mentioning the Faith, Hope and Love meeting on WED, July 25.

    I'm planning to be there with Sandra--a good place for all Seekervillagers to connect prior to the beginning of RWA!

    Love the Desert Dreaming Conference Glynna mentioned. I know you were there with her, Sandra. It sounds like one I'd like to attend someday. Anything you can add to what Glynna mentioned?

  37. Ganise, any regional conferences in your area? Check the various blogs I mentioned that offer info about opportunities across the US.

    There used to be a small and enjoyable conference held each summer at the University of GA. I attended and got to hear Terry Kay speak and Bob Mayer, before he became big. Both talks were over-the-top great.

  38. What a great info-packed post, Debby! Thanks for all the links. I hadn't heard of a few of those conferences.

    I'm dying to go to the desert, the beach and on that cruise!! Who'll go with me???

    Also love the photos. Though I have to say I feel sorry for myself every time I see the one from last year's ACFW conference!

  39. It seems like most days I can barely get to town to buy milk. A, only if I know somebody. And how can one be sure ahead of time? Maybe I'd get there and it'd be sweet. MAYBE.

  40. By the way, I AM going to ACFW this year, so we have to get a new photo!

    Rose, be sure and wait for a Tuesday to check flight prices. I've heard that's when they're lowest!

  41. Patti Jo, we have to get you up for M&M sometime!

  42. Congrats, Melissa!!! I love that you used your pink pen!

  43. Jeanne, I'll have to check out that February retreat. Rachel and Susie are amazing!

  44. Anita Mae, we're glad you stuck your head out! :) It's great to see you!

  45. ACFW in St. Louis in 2014. I'm marking my calendar!

    Julie, we'll miss you so much this year! Maybe we can Skype at night when everyone gets together! :)

    You can sit at your computer at home and we'll have someone's laptop on the table where we gather...would that work?


  46. Jeanne T,
    Don't you dare fret about ACFW. You'll be surrounded by friends, and we'll ensure you get where you're supposed to be on time. Promise!

    Plus, God will be directing your steps and leading you to where He wants you to be. Great God moments and Divine Appointments.

    Everything will be easy-peasy!

    Thanks for mentioning Susie May Warren's classes. She and Rachel are amazing. Love both those gals. Also love to see folks succeed.

    I looked up the FL event: to be held Feb 24-29 in Destin. Hmmm. That's an easy drive from my area. Any takers?

  47. Anita Mae, SO GLAD TO SEE YOU ONLINE. I thought about you yesterday and wondered if you were okay.

    Glad everything is peachy keen. Also glad you'll be at RWA!!!! YAY!!! There will be at least three of us from Seekerville.

    You'll be at FHL, won't you?

    Looks like Seekerville will take over ACFW!!! Woot! :)

  48. Jessica, will you be at RWA? Hope so! I still remember meeting you at the book signing in FL. Oh happy day!!!

    How's grandma?

    Hugs and love.

  49. Julie!

    Can't tell you how excited I am that you'll be at M&M. Ever since you mentioned it--some weeks ago--I've been giddy with joy. Also happy to know you'll be in the crowd when I give my talk. You and Missy and Walt will be assigned to pray while I speak. Okay?

    Are you willing to accept that assignment? LOL I'll need prayer coverage, for sure!!!

    Switzerland! How enchanting. Do you have room in your suitcase for me?

  50. Julie, how was your DC research trip? Do tell, please!

  51. I am attending my first M&M this year. One of the main attractions, for me, will be that I will see a real live Seeker when I see Debby's speech. Maybe I will see two Seekers if Missy is going as well!

    October seems far away, but it is not!


  52. Thanks for compiling all this great information, Debby!

    Last year I attended my first big conference, the ACFW in St. Louis. I really enjoyed it. Sadly, not going this year, but hope to make it in 2013!


  53. Sweet Emily! Thanks for your kind words about my writing.

    It's hard to attend conferences each year. BTW, I NEVER attended a national writing conference until right before I got the call. At that point, I knew I was close and was up for the TBL. Wanted to attend FHL and reconnect with LI senior editor (at the time) Krista Stroever, who had my manuscript.

    I was blown away that year and have been going back ever since.

    Yes, I won the TBL and got The Call three days after the conference.

    At RWA, I met Julie and Janet and Cheryl. I already knew Missy from GRW. Someone at the conference told me about ACFW, and I quickly registered for the Nashville event held just weeks later.

    Another God-incident was that Mary Conneally judged my TBL manuscript. As you probably know, Mary's first sale was announced at the Nashville ACFW.

    BUT, prior to that point in my journey, I didn't feel I could spend the money for a national conference...or be away from the family for that long.

    So I totally understand when folks talk about not being able to attend.

    Plus, I know God's timing is always perfect.

  54. Forgot to mention that you're in the drawing, Emily!!!

  55. I'm headed to ACFW this year!!! Someday I've love to attend Mt. Hermon, but for now, I'm so excited (and blessed) to be attending ACFW for the SECOND year. :D

  56. Congratulations, Melissa, on signing with Natasha! Love that you used a Seeker pen. :-)


  57. Debby, of course I will pray for you before, during and after! Definitely looking forward to it!

    Research trip was FABULOUS. Found a 1947 "on the street" interview with my pediatrician with a picture of her in a "steampunk" type hat, confirmation of several key plot points AND I got a Library of Congress researcher id card. Well, it was fabulous.

    Peace, Julie

  58. Hi Anna!

    You're welcome!

    Sending a "Welcome to Seekerville," as well. So glad to see your comment today. Share something about you and what you're writing. Pretty please! :)

    Remember we're all family in Seekerville.

  59. I would love to come to M&M. Especially with you speaking, Debby. With the ACFW conference and football games, the fall is packed, but I'm tempted.


  60. Debby, I echo you on the timing. It will be great to meet folks I only know through Seekerville!

    Melissa, congrats!

    Peace, Julie

  61. Hello Debbi, enjoyed your post today and all the pics of authors that I love to read-nice to see everyone having fun at all the galas, I feel honored that I can come by and see what is happening with everyone-Bunch of wonderful gals here.
    I would love to be in drawing for one of your books, always a pleasure to read them.
    Paula O(

  62. Wow, Julie Peace! Your research trip sounds fantastic!


  63. What a comprehensive list of conferences, Debby! They all sound wonderful--but so overwhelming! This homebody/introvert does well to survive ACFW, but that is definitely one conference I refuse to miss!

    I did enjoy Mount Hermon, though, especially the year I went with my friend Carla Stewart. She's a blast! Blue Ridge is on my radar now that I'm an East Coat girl, so maybe next spring . . .

    BTW, congratulations, Melissa, on officially signing with Natasha! She's the best!

  64. Missy's right, Patti Jo. Think M&M! :)

    Missy, let me know if you decide to attend Susie's Destin workshop. I need to check my calendar.

    Missy and I often attend Readers' Luncheons in Alabama together. Riding and rooming with Missy always makes the events more fun! :)

  65. Missy, thanks for the tip about cheaper flights on TUES. I believe I heard that later at night is better than during the day to check on prices.

    Wasn't there an article in the AJC that mentioned travel tips?

  66. Mary, if you were there the conference would have to be sweet!!!

    You had fun in NYC last year. Admit it! And you weren't too nervous. Seems we held your hand when you crossed Time Square.

    Plus, oh my gosh, you were a RITA finalist. How fun was that!!!

    This year, of course, we're all cheering for Tina at the Carol Awards Ceremony!!! And Melanie and Erica and Dan.

  67. Janet, the pages you get from me will be very different from the ones I sent Tina, in part because I have a handle on my hero!

    Or maybe because it turned me into a plotter!

    Peace, Julie

  68. Oh, and Janet, please, please, please consider M and M? But sports do rule in the South. So I will understand...sniff.

    Peace, Julie

  69. YAY, Piper! So glad you'll be at M&M. Yes, yes, yes!!!!

    Missy, Walt (hopefully), Julie...we'll have a Seekerville mini-reunion.

    Myra, why don't you join us? Pam, you're not that far away. Cara, too! Patti Jo?

    I know there are a lot more GA writers. Think about it!!! They asked me to speak because they want to encourage more inspirational writers to attend. GRW has 15-20 folks (if not more) writing in the Christian genre so the conference is always inspy friendly.

  70. Piper, are you in the A-T-L?

    So glad to have a fellow Georgian in Seekerville.

    Sending warm hugs of welcome!

  71. Susan, we'll count on seeing you at ACFW in 2013!!!

    Hope our Seekerville presence grows each year as more and more folks learn about the wonderful ACFW conference...

    We also want more folks to share the fun here on the Seekerville blog.

    Of course, along with the fun, we're pooling resources and helping one another on the journey to publication and beyond.

    Still thinking about Keli's sweet post yesterday. My heart continues to smile.

  72. YAY, Casey!!! Looking forward to seeing sweet you!

    Have I mentioned HOW MUCH I LOVE your new pic.


    Hugs now and future hugs in Dallas!

  73. Oh my gosh, Julie! So glad your DC research paid off! Fantastic. And confirmation you're writing the RIGHT story!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

    I'm already feeling your prayers. Thank you so much!

    That negative voice has stilled, no doubt, due to your intercession.

    Love the peace that comes when we're on track with what the Lord wants for our lives.

    Hugs and love...can't wait to see you!

  74. Janet, tell your faithful chauffer to put the car on cruise control for the A-T-L! First weekend in OCT. The leaves will look so pretty.

    Plus, dancing until midnight after the awards ceremony. How fun is that! :)

  75. Hi Paula!

    Yes, you're in the drawing. Always a joy to read your comments on Seekerville and so glad you're part of our family.

    Plus, we love readers!!!

    BTW, I should mention that the larger conferences end with a banquet and awards ceremony. That's when we dress up and take all the pics. We've worked hard up until that point and always enjoy the last night.

    Then we have to go home the next day and get back to work. :)

  76. Myra, thanks for all your help on this blog. You were a wealth of information.

    Yes, Blue Ridge looks interesting...and fairly close.

    Lynette Eason was a presenter this year. Wonder if they'd like a joint Seekerville panel? Hmmmm...something to think about.

  77. Julie, plotting is good. Really! :)

  78. Love these pictures!

    Especially Walt and his beautiful wife. Now we have a face to the woman who gets to married to a man who writes Med. Japanese romance!

    Lucky girl!

    And you lot have a wonderful dress sense! So pretty! If I ever get to a conference, I swear to bathe and brush my hair.

    Can't promise I'll wear shoes.

  79. Virginia,

    Aren't Mo and Walt a cute couple?

    Where is Walt today? And Vince?

    Virginia, we will love seeing you whether bathed or not! Shoes are always optional.


  80. Debby, you said -

    "Remember we meet at the end of each day to socialize, which is always the highlight for me."

    Really? That almost convinces me. I'm such an introvert that conferences totally intimidate me. I go, but I tend to stay by myself. I did RWA last year because it was in NYC (and I live here). You probably don't remember, but you did your best to convince me to go to ACFW. Believe me, I'm still kicking myself for chickening out.

    My other problem is that ACFW is right after school starts for us, so taking two days off is tough. I'm really excited that the future conference sites page shows August dates for 2016 (and it's in Nashville!). How's that for looking ahead.

  81. Another source for conference information is the Conference Corner, which I maintain for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. I'm going to make sure all those listed here are on our list, but if you take a look, I'm sure you'll find that we have some you may not know about.

    I have yet to attend a big writers conference but I've got my eye on a local one here in FL, the FL Writers Association, this fall.

  82. Mary, I do remember.

    I know how hard it is to leave children, especially when school is just starting. That's such an important and often stressful time for them.

    Pray about what God wants you to do. He'll lead you, I'm sure.

    But never fear anything about ACFW. The conference is very warm and welcoming. Plus, all that prayer opens the door to great opportunity and special times for building special friendships.

    ACFW 2016? YES!

  83. Thank you, Patricia, for sharing your information.

    My hat's off to you. Compiling the info about conferences takes time.

    Thanks for providing such a great resource!

    Tell us more about the FL Writers' Assoc.

  84. Great, great picture memories, Debby.

  85. Thanks for the shout out to My Book Therapy! We are having our annual pizza party at ACFW this year. to learn more about the pizza party and other MBT retreats.


  86. I'm very much looking forward to hanging out with so many of the Seekers!

    And thank you! It's just a simple one taken with my laptop camera. I'm getting REAL pics taken at ACFW! ;)

  87. Here I stop by to tell you that Mary and Julie are mentioned in today's and I find pics of ME here!

    Just texted Pepper about it too!

    Reading through comments... Julie - say it ain't so! Will miss you so darling! Having Missy there will certainly help though! :D

    Sandra and Debby - y'all have to let us know how the TBL awards go - me and Melissa and all the other inquiring minds want to know!

    And yep! Helen and I are car pooling! Along with Ruth Tredway and [as of yesterday] Tracey Bateman! Actually, we may be van pooling [more leg room] but ya know...

    The August one in Nashville... Yeah, Mary - I can see why it's better but it's likely the first week of classes for me /cry/. And I have a cousin on the way from here to there who I've never met and we were already making plans! Until we saw the dates...


    I'll be there this year though. With bells on.

    And cookies.


  88. Can't wait for your presentation at Moonlight & Magnolias Debbie!
    If you come to GRW's M&M, you'll get one of Debbie's latest release, The Colonel's Daughter, in your goodie bag, thanks to the generosity of Harlequin LI Suspense.

  89. I've been debating whether or not to go to ACFW this year. I figured I shouldn't miss school and spend the $, etc . . . Then I saw this post in my Facebook news feed and began checking out flights!

    Last year at ACFW, I was alone a lot. But Carol M. promised me that if I attend this year in Dallas, she'll drag me (even kicking and screaming) to hang out with the Seekers and make some more writer friends . . . So I'm motivated!

  90. Er... Mary and Julie are mentioned on Pentalk blog.

    And Renee! The Seekerville nightly gatherings were some of my favorite parts! Plus we'll have cookies. As long as I figure out the idosyncracies of my new oven by then... ;)

  91. Waving to Tina!!!

    And Rachel!!!

    Thanks for providing more info about MBT, Rachel!!!

  92. Casey, doubt you could come up with a better pic than the one you're using. Charming, upbeat and so totally you!

  93. Carol, I've got your info ready to be packed in the suitcase. Will keep you posted during the FHL meeting. :)

    Will send pics to Tina...especially when we run into Seekervillagers!

    Are there only three of us going to RWA?

  94. Carol, did you bring cookies today?

    Hint! Hint!

    Panera is serving lunch for all.

    But Carol cookies would be so nice.

  95. Hi Pamela!!!

    Thanks for stopping by Seekerville. Yes, Love Inspired was so nice to send my latest release so everyone who attends M&M will get a copy.

    You really need to be there!!!

  96. Renee, that's where we met last year. You have to come back. No hiding in your room alone allowed! We gather each evening to chat and catch up...goodness there's so much to talk about, including writing and marketing and books and what we learned during the workshops.

    Make your reservations NOW!!!!


  97. Of course! I made cookies yesterday and am making more today!

  98. OH! I also got confirmation today that I get to review Cara's new book!!! WOOHOO!!!

  99. I had no idea there were so many conferences to choose from.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jackie L.

  100. Carol Cookies are the best!


    I see a new brand name for when you sell your cookies nationwide.

    Cara's latest release AND Carol Cookies! How fun is that!!!

    Oh, yuck. Storms moving into my area. Yesterday messed up blogger and my laptop. Hoping today's weather is less severe.

  101. I doubt many of us knew the number of "smaller" conferences across America. Do any of them look especially appealing to you, Jackie?

    A few people have mentioned the Blue Ridge conference.

  102. The Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference is only two years old and is held near Spokane, Washington. It's a great little conference, if 90+ attendees is still considered little. Although I love ACFW and can't imagine not attending the annual big bash, I love the smaller feel at INCC also.

  103. I know of at least one Aussie who is really excited about going to the ACFW conference.

    Its nice to hear about the conferences and it would be so cool to go to a signing.

  104. Valerie, thanks so much for sending info about INCC. Having 90+ folks attend sounds perfect. Not too big. Not too small.

    We'll add it to the list.


  105. Jenny, we'd love, love, love to see you at ACFW.

    How are you feeling? Less tired? More energetic? Hope so.

    Continuing to send prayers down under.

  106. Hi Debby:


    I just talked to the Hyatt Regency at the Airport in Dallas and they only have 4 rooms left on the 20th and 9 rooms on the 21, 22. 23. These are set aside rooms for ACFW members. All the other rooms in the hotel are taken for those dates for everyone. The event may be two months away but the rooms are going fast.

    Don’t forget Crested Butte. It is in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. My wife loved it and had a great time while I was at the meetings. We drove from Tulsa and the drive was worth the trip alone. I think it is easy to sell a spouse on going there. Wonderful program too.


  107. Wow! So much information in one post - thanks Debby! I can't wait to read your latest book. You are the QUEEN of the chapter ending hooks. :)

  108. Vince, thanks for the update. Sounds like this ACFW conference will be packed! Of course, Seekerville will have lots of "family" there.

    We'll see you, won't we, Vince? Hope so!

    Is it only two months away? The time will pass so quickly.

  109. Jillian, you are so, so sweet! Thanks for the kind words. I do love scene and chapter ending hooks. Glad you like them too.


  110. I'm torn about going to the ACFW Con this year.

    I only live a few hours away, but the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach.

    I'm a nervous wreck just thinking about it.

  111. Yes Debby, I live in the A-T-L. M&M sounds like a great chance to meet a lot of the folks who frequent the boards here....and to get a goody bag with your book in it as well! I plan on attending RWA next year here, of course, even though it does sound like a big conference from what folks say here. Enjoy yourself out in Anaheim!


  112. HI Debby,
    Love the photos and post. I'm attending both RWA and ACFW this year. Yay! This is my second national RWA and it will be my first ACFW. I'm packing for CA already as we leave Friday to visit friends on the way.

    Today I did something UNIMAGINABLE! I got a SMARTPHONE! I hope to remotely update Facebook and my website while in Anaheim. My adult son is coming over tonight to teach me some basics.

    Jennifer T - You can do it! You'll love every minute and meet a bunch of inspiring people. I hope to see you there!

  113. Thanks for the soothing words about ACFW, Debby. :) I really am looking forward to it. At least when I'm awake. I'll have to bring my subconscious into submission so my dreams are sweet. :)

  114. I wasn't meaning I am coming but a friend online is coming to the conference.

    I am not as tired so thats a start. I did a little work tis week but today I have a sore throat and am hoping it doesn't get any worse. I was going to do some cleaning work today but the daughter has a fever and is really sick so they said say away. She did say if I get a fever go to the dr. I am praying it wont get any worse. I guess my inmunity system is low at present. Thankfully I haven't felt sick since Monday which if really good.

  115. Okay, Jennifer, you're with friends, with family.

    What worries you? Are you concerned about meeting your Seekerville blog-mates in person? We're very nice, really.

    Even Ruthy! :)

  116. Piper, looking forward to seeing you. We'll do a Seekerville group pic at M&M! Lots of great workshops. Today's update said 40 workshops. Great speakers, a chance to pitch...and a pitch session on Friday morning to practice with a pubbed author what you plan to say to the editor/agent.

    Plus, dancing until midnight on SAT night! :) And the DJ is fantastic.

    YES, YES, YES! RWA in the A-T-L next summer. Easy peasy to get there for all the GA folks. Hopefully lots of Seekervillagers will join us!

  117. Lyndee!!! YAY!!! Looking forward to seeing you at RWA!!!

    Stop by my Table 407 at the signing for a big, big hug!!! Lots of photos too.

    Good for you with a Smart Phone. I'm staying with my BB. Hate to have to learn something new. LOL!!!

    Safe travel!

  118. The nightly news just announced that Disneyland opened 57 years ago today.


    We'll be there during their week-long anniversary celebration!

  119. Hurray, there will be so many people I will get to meet for the first time at ACFW! This year is my first conference,too, and I am beyond excited! Looking forward to meeting everyone and learning so much!

  120. Though - Helen, I'm CERTAIN Carol would not mind being mistaken for Mary - especially if it ends in a writing track record like hers :-)

  121. Melissa,
    Blue Ridge is great! I've gone the past 5 years.

  122. Thanks for this peek, Debby - and for picking a decent picture of me :-)

  123. Great post, Debby! Loved seeing the pictures of you ladies and reading of your excitement on the post and comments!
    Just a reader and would love to be "in the draw" for your book!
    Jackie S.

  124. Debby, Audra, and Virginia, thanks for you nice comments about Mo and me. (Yes, I got lucky.)

    I plan on making it to M&M. I'd love to go to RWA but will have to wait until next year.

  125. I would love to go to Blue Ridge.

  126. Jenny, okay, got it. You're not going to ACFW, but you are coming to the USA!!! Next spring. YAY!

    Glad you're feeling a bit stronger. Take good care of yourself!


  127. Stephanie! Woot! A first timer! So many Seekervillagers to see. Won't we have fun!!!

    PS: My heroine's name is Stephanie. Love it! Everytime I type her name, I think of you!


  128. Pepper, you've gone to Blue Ridge five years in a row? Anything you can tell us about what makes it special?

    The pic was great. You and CAROL-CAROL-CAROL (AS IN CAROL COOKIE) look marvelous!

  129. Jackie S!
    You're in the drawing. So glad you left a comment.

    Also, as I mentioned earlier, everyone in Seekerville loves readers. You are not JUST a reader, you are the reason we write.


  130. Walt,

    Glad you like the pic. Hug Mo for us!

    So happy you'll be at M&M! We'll do a group pic and send it to Tina!

    Hope Mo can come too.

  131. Pep - I think she picked the pic b/c she thought I was Mary.

    I could be Mary.

    But contemporary.

    And none of that Nealy nonsense. /shudder/

    But you can pretend I'm Mary all day long - just let Bethany and Barbour know about my change in name/address...


    And Ruthy's not coming this year :(. We will miss her too. But it means the snark level will be down. Makes it a much safer place for Jennifer and any other newbies ;).

    I need to read X Plagues. On a bright sunshiney day. Maybe at the pool.

    Would it be safe to read at the pool?

    Or are there alligators or something?

    Or swimming pool serial killers?

    I think I'm scared now.

  132. Debby,
    Blue Ridge is a GREAT conference to attend for a smaller venue. The setting is lovely and the staff there are fabulous.

    Certainly not as big an affair as ACFW - but it's also 1/2 the cost.

    Susan May Warren was there this year, Chip McGregor too. Deb Rainey and DiAnn Mills are there almost every year, so is Steven James, and James Rubart.

    the classes are usually pretty intimate and 'workshop' classes.

    Gee, I should do a post on BRMCWC.

  133. LOL, Carol!

    I like the idea of a Bethany House contract for you. Go for it. I'll keep calling you Mary, if it helps!

  134. Thanks for the info, Pepper. Lots of hands-on writing opportunities as well? Or standard class format?

    Were there various levels for the classes?

    Nice lineup.

  135. Carol, did you say Ruthy was snarky?

    I'm grabbing a cookie and a glass of milk on that one. :)

    A Carol Cookie, of course!

  136. Love conferences!!!

    I would enjoy just going, and going, and going, but I do have a family and they think that's a little TOO much, so I just go to ACFW every year.

    And ACFW is only 2 months away!!!!


  137. Thanks, Pam, for all the work you do for ACFW!

    Can you believe it? We'll all be together in Sept!

  138. Busy times. Have fun everyone!!


  139. Egads, so many conferences. I've been to ACFW, but not in the last few years. Time constraints and finances seem to get in the way.

    Oh well...

    Tina P.

  140. It's hard to believe there are so many conferences to attend. It makes me want to choose one and go. Especially after seeing all your wonderful pictures This isn't my year but next year I'm hoping to attend ACFW in Indy.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  141. So many wonderful conferences out there. Wishing I could go to the RWA conference next week, especially since it's in my home state, but now I have a little one. So it will be awhile before I can attend again. Have a good time though.

  142. By reading at your photos and reading your blog. It seems that you guys, had a great and wonderful conference. I appreciated this kind of post. Thank you.