Monday, September 20, 2010

Seekerville Does ACFW Indy with MISSY TIPPENS

Hi from Indianapolis! Missy, here.

And as you're reading this we're all parting ways to head back home from the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. Several Seekers have been sending photos to Tina, and she's going to share them. I'm going to do a recap of some of the highlights of the conference.

For those who were at the conference, it was great to meet/see you! For those who weren't...we missed you and hope to meet you in the future.It's always so fun to put faces with names we see online. :)

First, we kicked off Friday with an amazing Early Bird Session presented by James Scott Bell. Really great stuff about the 6 critical factors that help us take our writing to the next level. And if they recorded it (I sure hope they did!), then you'll want to be sure to get a copy of the recording. Or better yet, buy the CD of all the workshops!

As with all our gatherings, Brandilyn Collins was an entertaining MC. Of course, each gathering is filled with a wonderful praise service. And our fantastic keynote speaker was Tim Downs. Tim had us laughing and left us inspired (again, get a recording of this if possible!).

I did an informal survey, asking what some of the favorite workshops were. I have to say mine (and also the favorite of several other people) was Michael Hauge's. I've loved his work for years. They didn't record his sessions, but you can find his books and cd's/dvd's at his website. You know I've mentioned his DVD set, The Hero's 2 Journeys on here before. It's amazing!

Ohter favorite workshops mentioned: Scene Therapy by Susie May Warren and Rachel Hauck. Marketing Your Fiction by Chip MacGregor and Jim Rubart. Inside and Acquisitions Meeting hosted by Thomas Nelson. Of course, this was just a small sampling of excellent workshops offered. (Plus, I had to turn my article in to Tina before some had even been held.) So be sure to check out the recordings when they're posted at the ACFW site.

Oh! Another meeting I had that was excellent was with media trainer Rusty Shelton of Shelton Interactive. He worked with me on a plan to make sure my website and blog are in top shape. Also helped train me on how to approach an interview. I even did a practice taping of an interview! And he gave me a plan for using Twitter. Very cool stuff. Check him out at

Okay. Gotta run! It's been so fun to see all our Seeker friends while here! Many of our regular visitors were sighted in "purgatory", the place everyone waited for editor and agent appointments. :) So I'm hoping many come back to tell us or requests they had!

The 2010 Genesis Winners are:

Contemporary Fiction: Lynnette Horner, The Assistant

Contemporary Romance: Janice LaQuiere, Truckload of Love

Historical Fiction: Brenda Jackson, Principle Engagement

Historical Romance: Pam Hillman, Terms of Indenturement

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Rich Bullock, Storm Lake/Storm Song

Romantic Suspense: Valerie Goree, Weep in the Night

Speculative Fiction: Andra Marquardt, Traitors

Women's Fiction: Jennifer Fromke, Docking

Young Adult: Stefanie Morris, Shyla, Desert Daughter/Shyla, Child of the Desert

Carol Award Winners:

Contemporary Novella: Susan May Warren, The Great Christmas Bowl (Tyndale House)

Historical Novella: Janet Tronstad, Christmas Bells for Dry Creek (Steeple Hill)

Short Contemporary: Mae Nunn, A Texas Ranger's Family (Steeple Hill)

Short Contemporary Suspense: Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Evidence of Murder (Steeple Hill)
Short Historical: Dan Walsh, The Unfinished Gift (Revell)

Young Adult: Jenny B Jones, I'm So Sure (Moody Publishers)

Long Contemporary: Christina Berry, The Familiar Stranger (Moody Publishers)

Long Contemporary Romance: Jenny B Jones, Just Between You and Me, (Thomas Nelson)

Mystery: A.K. Arenz, The Case of the Mystified M.D (Sheaf House)

Suspense/Thriller: Terri Blackstock, Intervention (Zondervan)

Long Historical: Allison Pittman, Stealing Home (Multnomah)

Long Historical Romance: Mary Connealy, Cowboy Christmas (Barbour)

Speculative: Kirk Outerbridge, Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press)

Woman's Fiction: Rene Gutteridge & Cheryl McKay, Never the Bride (Waterbrook Press)

Debut Author: Dan Walsh, The Unfinished Gift (Revell)

Congratulations to the winners and finalists from Seekerville!!

Now we end with some great conference photos!! Be sure to click on them to see enlarged.

Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan) and Mary Connealy (Barbour)

Steeple Hill Seekerville authors, Missy Tippens, Glynna Kaye and Debby Giusti holding the Seekerville ad in the ACFW Conference brochure.

Carol Winner, Mary Connealy and friend of Seekerville Kathy Hurst

Seekerville's own Cara Lynn James (Thomas Nelson) and Glynna Kaye (Steeple Hill)

Cheryl Wyatt, Janet Dean, Missy Tippens,
Audra Harders, Emily Rodmell
(Assistant Editor, Steeple Hill)
Debby Giusti,
Glynna Kaye & Myra Johnson

Authors Shannon Taylor Vannatter (Heartsong Presents) and Lorna Seilstad (Revell)

Camy Tang (Zondervan & Steeple Hill)
with Gayle DeSalles
of Word Count Virtual Office Assistance (

Revell's Julie Lessman

The booksigning event: Steeple Hill authors Glynna Kaye and Winnie Griggs.

Julie Lessman (Revell), friend of Seekerville Anita Mae Draper and Myra Johnson (Abingdon Press, Heartsong Presents)

The dynamic duo: Erica Vetsch (Heartsong Presents)
and Mary Connealy

Friend of Seekerville Helen Gray
(our java queen),
Cara Lynn James and Glynna Kaye

Writers Alley, Friend of Seekerville Pepper Basham and Mary Connealy

Audra Harders (Steeple Hill), Pepper Basham, and Angie Dicken.

Missy Tippens & Debby Giusti (Steeple Hill)
with Michael Hauge, and Janet Dean (Steeple Hill)

These pictures just in...

Myra Johnson and Mary Connealy
at the awards banquet

Genesis winner Pam Hillman and her agent Steve Laube

Remember you can still watch the Live Blog Awards replay here .


  1. Wow! I beat everyone here! :) I'd offer you coffee, but it would keep me awake tonight. Or maybe I could do decaff for those who are visiting before bed. :)

    I'll be traveling today and will check in when I can. In the meantime, I'm trusting that Ruthy will make you some sort of yummy pastry for breakfast.

  2. Wow, I'm the first one in Seekerville! That has never happened before. Coffee's always on, especially for those pulling all nighters, LOL!

    Great recap of the conference, Missy! SOOOOO much happening each day, we'd need a week of blogs to cover it all.

    My favorite workshop was the Continuing Ed series Scene Therapy by Susan May Warren, too. She is such an energetic speaker and teacher, you can't help but get excited about her topics!!

    So wonderful meeting many of our friends! Pepper, start saving those pennies! We want to see you at the conference next year!

  3. Missy! You beat me to the publish button!! I'm NOT the first!


  4. I'm telling! Audra just called me a bad name! We're sharing a room, and each of us is on our bed, working on our netbooks, and I beat her to the first post!! She didn't know I was checking out the blog. :) Went to hit send, and saw mine was there.

    hahaha I'm first, I'm first!

  5. LOVED meeting you guys. I can't wait to see you again next year - right, Audra?!? ;-)

  6. Oh - and I'm third. Does that count for something.
    Plus, I have chocolate in my room. Just in case you wanted to know

  7. Hi, gang. Good grief it's time to shut things down for the night.

    I had a terrific night. I can't believe they let me win.

    I've already mailed the plaque home quickly before they could finish the recount.

    That football guy might've given up his Heisman but I'm planning 'lose' my award plaque when they come to pry it out of my cold fingers.

    Pam we so beautiful and gracious. I was my usual dork self.

  8. Hi guys and Missy Tippens. Arrgh.

    You all look gorgeous.

    Congratulations to Mary and Pammers!!!

    Sending cyber hugs.

  9. Congratulations to the winners!!! The ACFW sounds amazing, and the pictures are great! I hope someday that I can join you guys with some books of my own. ;) If it's God's will, it will happen! :)

    Thanks for sharing!



    P.S. My friend and I went to Dairy Queen before our first night of helping at AWANA at a local church (yay!!!). So how about Mini Blizzards for everyone? I had a delicious Midnight Truffle Mini Blizzard, in case anyone was wondering... ;)

  10. Okay, REAL coffee has arrived.

    I went all out for the breakfast crew because y'all KNOW it's not good to fly on an empty stomach.

    Less'n you're prone to stomach upset, of course, in which case the airline staff would be pleased if you fore-went breakfast today.


    I can't imagine how much fun Missy and Audra are having in that room. What a pair of goofs. Love you guys.

    Pep: Next year. You owe me a hug. Maybe two. Can't wait to collect but I worked hard this weekend and that's always an equalizer for me. What a stinkin' weirdo I am. And that pic with Helen!!! Oh my stars, I miss you guys THIS MUCH!

    Coffee: Chocolate Velvet Sandra dropped by, hazelnut, pumpkin spice because it's mid-September and a cool 44 degrees here. Plain old joe, we're doing Newman's Own this AM because Dave loves it.

    Flavored creamers.

    Full breakfast includes hugs for the caterer... (that's me, hugs are being collected ALL DAY at the back of the room...)

    French toast, fresh berry medley for topping, warm fruit compote, sausage links, biscuits and sausage gravy, grits with gravy, croissants, warm and flaky, fresh soft butter bowls are scattered throughout the room, please don't hold up the line trying to butter your buns.

    Pun intended.

    Juice bar at the back, soda, water and tea for those who are not addicted to coffee, and have I mentioned how proud I am of all of you?

    Going to a conference is a BIG COMMITMENT.

    It takes guts. Savvy. Courage. Money. Those are big commitments to writing as a career.

    Which is exactly how a career should be handled. You guys rock. Travel mercies on all of you, enjoy breakfast and after-party festivities on us.

    And a special shout out to Janice LaQuiere and Terri Weldon: I'm so proud of you guys.

    You rock.

  11. Congrats to all the winners of both contests. I recognise a lot of the winners names
    Love seeing the photos also thanks for sharing.

  12. Thanks so much for providing the link to the live blog, seekerville. I was tuned in last night and screamed for joy when I heard that Mary and Pam had won. Congratulations to you both. I'm still grinning.

  13. Ruthy,
    If you can stand it, I'll give you as many hugs as I can. Just ask Mary, Audra, Julie, or Janet - I have a tendency to be 'huggy'.
    Surprise, surprise ;-)

    It's been a wonderful time. I'm humbled and thankful - and you would have approved. I had a few good swift reality kicks in the pants provided by Audra. Aren't you proud of her? ;-)

  14. I loved all the pictures!!! Thanks so much for posting! And I see that Pepper fulfilled a dream of meeting the Seekers in person! Yay Pepper!!!!

  15. Pepper has lots of cute pictures over at Writer's Alley too.

    Too sleepy for hot links..need java...but here is the url

  16. Fantastic recap of the conference and fantastic photos! I'm tweeting this :-)

    I second Missy's thoughts on ordering the recordings from ACFW of the conference. I also own Michael Hauge's Hero's Journey. This is an excellent logical progression to keep your writing brilliant.

    Thanks, Missy, for awesome reporting.
    Angie Breidenbach

  17. Congratulations to all the winners!

    Such great pictures...You looked like you had so much fun!

    Can't wait to hear/see more of the conference.

    Praying for everyone's safe travel home.

  18. WOW All I can say is WOW

    What fun you all had.


    How fun to meet Seeker friends too. Love it.

    Next year. I'll save. I promise.

    Congrats to all the winners.MARY - PAMMERS
    Teri Dawn Smith, you were a runner up. That is HUGE in a contest this size.
    Congrats to our friend Dan Walsh for two wins. woo hoo

    Yep, brought chocolate velvet by. Ruthy, I promise if we room together again I'll bring some so you don't have to avoid the room coffee. smile

  19. Look at Sandra being nice to me because I was such a big BABY about coffee in Orlando.

    Oh my stars I should be ashamed but I am not.

    I love coffee...

    Contemplating the pot as we speak...

  20. Good Morning Seekers! Congratulations to the winners last night! The awards banquet was a blast.

    I have learned so much! I received a request for my manuscript - what a surreal moment... I keep replayng it in my head. Did that really happen? YES! Now I have some polishing to do when I get back in Colorado Springs.

    One of my best moments was when Debby Giusti gave me a HUGE hug - she is so special! I am sending up special prayers for her son, returning from Iraq soon.

    I stared at people's name tags constantly, like a groupie, but still didn't meet all the Seekers that were there. But the welcome I got from Mary Conneally made it all perfect.

    Its been a great conference. I have to go home and process all the information I have taken in. Catching a flight in a couple of hours.

    Hugs to all,

  21. WAY FUN!

    Way to go Seekers! That ad is fantabulous.

    And BIG congratulations to the winners Mary and Pam!!!!!!

    So exciting - thanks for sharing the adventures!!

    May sends her very best greetings too. :)

    The photos were splendid. Y'all look MAHvelous... And Seeker friends! (At least we got to live vicariously. Thanks for sharing all the news and fun and suggestions. Will be looking into those.)

    Camy - beautiful display!

    Kathy - GREAT news on the request. Keep us posted!!!

    Alrighty - everyone travel safely - and see you soon here in Seekerville!

  22. Good morning everyone!

    Congratulations to Pam and Mary! How exciting! And congrats to all the finalists, and those who got requests. I can feel the excitement all the way up here in Toronto.

    (Or maybe that's the left over vibes from all the stars being here at the Toronto International Film Festival. Feels almost like Hollywood!)

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. You all look amazing - and so HAPPY! Meeting all those amazing presenters and famous authors - that must be it.

    Safe trips home everyone.



  23. Tina,
    Thanks for the plug to the Writers Alley.
    I also posted pics each day at

    I'm afraid I was a Seeker Stalker. Poor Audra, and Julie, and Mary, and Janet, and Debby, and Glynna, and Missy....

    Sitting in Indy's airport in a foggy-brained state.


  24. Congratulations to Mary and Pam and everyone who got ms requests!!

    Sounds like everyone had a great time and learned lots. Thanks for sharing the pics!


  25. Good morning, Seekers! Missy, thank you for 'telling'. I could visualize the 2 of you up there on your netbooks as I read the account. Great way to put a smile of my face today.

    I'm honored to be included on your blog. Thanks.

    Congrats Mary. When you won, someone at my table said, "I heard she's really funny." And then you made that brilliant comment. And when the laughter died down, the same woman said, "Oh, she is. I should check out her books." LOL - You're a walking billboard. Great job!

    And Pam. If I ever win an award, I wish my acceptance speech to be as gracious as yours. You are the genteel lady I've dreamed about being. Instead, I can barely walk without tripping over my own army boots. Congratulations.

    This was my best conference ever and the Seekers were a big part of that... as usual. :) Thank you.

  26. Just love the photos and recap, Missy. Congratulations to Mary and Pam, all the other winners, finalists and those who received proposal and Ms requests. I'm glad to hear everyone had a fantastic time at ACFW conference. Safe trip back home, Missy, and everyone.

  27. WOW, love, love, love those photos!!! I might be every so slightly biased, but I do think that Pepper is gorgeous, do you not all agree??

    And it wasn't posted, but I left a comment on the live blog last night when Pam WON! (woo-hoo!) DO I HEAR SEEKERS SCREAM??

    Thanks for posting, I am going to steal your link and post it in the Writer's Alley weekend edition. :D Thanks for posting!

  28. Soooooo great to see everyone! Pam, Mary, congratulations on your wins!!!!!

    Getting to know Audra and Cara and Julie better, that was just ACE!

  29. The live blog event was a blast!

    So many of our online community posted photos and updates during the conference that I felt connected. I didn't feeling like pouting at all!

    Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. I heard shouting from unpubbed island. Didn't know you guys had a giant size monitor there.

    Congratulations Pam and Mary for your first place finishes!

  30. Thanks, all of you, for holding down the fort today! I'm home now. Catching up with my family with my feet propped up. The get so swollen when I travel!

    Now I'm going to go run look at photos on Pepper's and other's blogs. :)

  31. By the way, I want to send a big shout out to Tina for posting my post and putting in all the photos!!! She did the hard part.

  32. Great pics!

    Waving to everyone from Georgia! I hated having to say goodbye! Such a fantastic conference.

    I attended Terri Blackstock's workshop on suspense, which was packed with info. Terri's a wonderful writer and a lovely lady.

  33. I meant to say that I was in Georgia, waving to everyone! Where's the Grammar Queen when I need her?

    I must be brain dead. Too little sleep. Too much fun!

    Pepper and Kathy...loved seeing both of you. Anita, always wonderful to be with you!

    Helen, where are you? Still flying? So nice to chat with you.

    Hi Edwina! Georgia hugs!

    Ruth Trippy--congrats! Nice to meet your hubby!

    So proud of Dianna Shuford and her Genesis final!!!

    YAY, Mary and Pam!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

    Thank to everyone who said hello! Always great to see a Seeker friend in the crowd.

    Much love! Miss you!!!

  34. OMGosh!!! It was so great to see you guys! I had a blast. Wish I could take you all home with me. :-) Although my hubby might be less than thrilled, I would love it.

    Now, all you people who told me you wanted to buy my book at the conference book store but it was sold out, Please please please go order it now or get it at your local book store tomorrow! It was such a sinking feeling to know there were no more books to be had! Yikes.

  35. Oh, and Helen is the cutest thing! You all just have to meet her. Her pic doesn't do her justice.

    And Pepper is exactly how I imagined her! Loved her, of course!!!

    Now I suggest we have an ACFW retreat where we can all just talk and laugh and brainstorm our books with each other, maybe even do a Beth Moore Bible study in between gabbing. What do you say? Anybody with me?

  36. Melanie said
    Pepper was "just the way I imagined".
    Hmmm.... now I'm very afraid. ;-)

    Loved meeting you too, Melanie. Oh what fun. You are such a sweetie and you didn't mind my constant insanity.
    Oh my, I love writers. You can get by with SOOOOO much more.

  37. Greetings Seekerville-ians! I'm home now & it looks like from all these pictures that we had a BUNCH of fun, doesn't it? Sure did enjoy reconnecting with my Seeker Sisters and meeting so many Friends of Seekerville. There were a number of you that I didn't get to meet who I know were there SOMEWHERE--maybe next year!?

    And thanks to all for understanding how such a NOISY place as a conference with high echoing ceilings, piped-in music, a waterfall roaring in the lobby, and 650 people all talking at the same time is super difficult for me with my hearing impairment. But nevertheless, I sure had a wonderful time and loved seeing everyone! Wish you ALL could have been there!

  38. Hey, Everybody!!

    Just got home.
    Crawled out of the car.
    Came to Seekerville

    I haven't touched a pc or TV in FOUR DAYS!!! Don't have a laptop. So I've been out of online-touch.

    Melanie is so NICE to an old gal with so much mileage on her. Appreciate her kindness as well as her friendship.

    Tina, sorry I missed your birthday.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY a little late.

    Congratulations to the Seekerville winners. You guys rock.

    Thanks you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and tips. My sentiments are heartfelt and deep.

    Hope you all come to St. Louis to mine and Julie's turf next year.

    Thanks for minding the coffee pot in my absence.


  39. Melanie, I'm sorry I never got my book signed!! I mean, gee, if I had gotten it signed, you never know how much it might be worth on ebay someday!

    haha. Just teasing you. I'm seriously bummed, though. However, I did get to start it on the plane as I huddled in my little space next to the window while sitting by a man who had to be at least 6'5''! His knees were practically in his chest and he seemed to be trying to stay in his own space. :)

    Helen, glad you made it home! I like how you described crawling out of the car. LOL I felt the same way.

  40. Melanie,
    I wanted your book!!! Boo-hoo! But I'll order it for sure!

    Helen, glad you made it home safe and sound.

    Glynna, you had such a long trip home!

    Melanie, an ACFW retreat sounds like fun, although first, I need to catch up on sleep!

    Night, night!

  41. Good morning! I just drank my first latte, but now I'm ready for another. I have to keep the cafeine in my system.

    What a wonderful conference! I LOVED meeting so many new friends I only know from this blog. And for those of you who couldn't make the conference this year--Next year in St. Louis!

  42. I had a BLAST at the conference. I learned more great information than my poor little brain could hold, so I'm glad I took notes. :)

    By the way, it was wonderful to meet some of the Seekers in person. I can't wait till next year!

    A special congrats to all the winners!

  43. *sniffle sniffle*

    You guys all the pictures and stuff made me really sad!!! Lol! Except it was awesome!! Man, some you look a lot different than your pictures *wink* Anywho, I loved getting to see all the pictures and hear about your weekend, Missy!

    Congratualtions Pam and Mary!!! YAY!! But I also have to put out a HUGE congrats to my dear friend Mae!! She didn't think she was going to win, ha! Man, was she surprised I bet. I haven't talked to her yet, but I know that a friend was accepting it for her because she wasn't going. Too bad she didn't...

    Ah well, great job everyone! And another conference missed by Hannah Cerasoli. Someday, someday I HAVE to go! all have been such a huge part of my life (authors, Seekers, and other Seekerville friends too!). I'm just itching for the day when I get to meet all of you : )

    Talk with you soon,

  44. Okay, Missy I'm reading through the live blog feed, which I did NOT know happened...anways....and I saw that YOU accepted Mae's award for her!!! Who knew!? What a small world....well that's cool....I'm just saying!

  45. I know, Hannah!! It was very exciting (and scary). :) Also, very funny, because Mae forgot it was going to be Sunday night. When I didn't call on Saturday night, she figured she hadn't won. :) So she didn't answer her phone or text when I tried to let her know. She found out early Monday morning and woke me up to call me back to celebrate. LOL

  46. Awwwww!! That's so awesome, Missy : D

    I can't wait to talk to her and congratulate her! She must be very excited....I'm so proud of her!!

  47. We're on Seekerville! Lorna and I have arrived!

  48. It's great to have you here, Shannon! :)