Monday, July 25, 2011

Fifteen Rockin' Reasons to Attend the ACFW Conference!

How many reasons do you need to attend ACFW? Let the Seekers count the ways....

"Worshipping, fellowshipping, learning and networking with other Christian writers." ~ Missy Tippens

“I credit ACFW and their conference and contests and the connections I made for the fact that I'm published today. I absolutely owe ACFW and their conference for finding my first contract.” ~ Mary Connealy

“The ACFW Conference embraces the heart of Christian fiction in an informative and uplifting weekend-long event that fills me with gratitude to be part of an industry focused first and foremost on the Lord." ~ Debby Giusti

"ACFW is the one conference I refuse to miss, and the biggest reason is the chance to hang out for three or four days with some of my very best writer friends--dear ones that I may only see once or twice a year! Sure, the workshops are great, and the conference offers a chance to meet with my fabulous agent in person. But nothing beats the warm hugs, encouragement, laughter, and prayers from the loyal friends who've walked this road with me." ~ Myra Johnson

“Professional connection. ‘Big picture’ perspective. Learning. Camaraderie. Renewed sense of purpose." ~ Glynna Kaye

“I love the ACFW conference! Having the opportunity to put names and faces together makes the whole year of developing friendships and contacts an adventure. Of course the worship and workshops are very fulfilling, but it's the people that make me start counting down the days for conference the next year." ~ Audra Harders

“Why attend the ACFW Conference??? Are you kidding??? Hobnobbing in the lobby bar after nine with Seekers and friends -- an absolute highlight, as well as fabulous worship led by Rachel Hauck and her incredible team before the sessions. Because bottom line, there's nothing better than mixing passion for God with passion for friends and writing!!" ~ Julie Lessman

"All conferences are terrific for networking, improving craft, understanding promotion and the publishing business, but no other conference inspires me as the ACFW conference does through daily worship sessions and keynote speakers that both motivate and change me." ~ Janet Dean

“They say having an agent is like a marriage. I would certainly want to meet a husband before marriage, therefore I enjoy meeting agents, editors and those in the business who I could possibly be working with in the future. I love networking, learning the business and my favorite part is seeing my Seeker sisters and friends.” ~ Sandra Leesmith

“1. To serve. You can never outgive God or this organization.
2. The networking is absolutely beneficial, crucial even, to an author's writing career whether the author is published or not yet published.
3. God always has an alternate conferenve agenda than the one we have planned. He surprises and delights in unexpected ways. But those blessings only come when we show up.” ~ Cheryl Wyatt

“Pam, here are my reasons to go to ACFW. Pick one or all--it's up to you. I'm going to meet my agent, meet my friends and hopefully make a few new ones, meet editors and learn more about writing from the great workshops.” ~ Cara Lynn James

“I enjoy the warmth of getting to see familiar faces and online friends. A smaller conference allows you more one on one time to network and the slightly slower pace means you go home refreshed not exhausted! I look forward to it next year!” ~ Tina Radcliffe

“A reason to go to ACFW??? Like seeing the Seekers and all the friends of Seekerville ain't 'nuff? :)

Writing is such a singular pastime. The fellowship bonds we forge online with one another, our precious friends of Seekerville, people I know and trust from playing with them cross-country via the Internet...

Now I'll get to meet them! Hug them! Make fun of them in person! AND I GET TO MEET PEPPER BASHAM IN PERSON!

Oh, snap! CANNOT WAIT!

For me that's a huge reason right there, but the other thing is that ACFW attracts strong professionals to the conference. My editor and agent will both be there. We'll get to talk career, fall foliage, chocolate. PERFECT! And a lot of LI authors attend ACFW. And...

Wait. You said one reason???? Oh my stars, how can I limit it to ONE???? Stomping off and pouting in righteous Ruthy indignation.” ~ Ruth Logan Herne

Okay, you got 3 for one on most of the Seekers, and enough from Ruthy to cover ALL of us. Ahem. But I agree with her (for once!) I CANNOT wait, either! Honestly, if all those reasons above aren’t reason enough to go to ACFW, there aren’t reasons enough in the whole wide world to convince you.

I love me some ACFW Conference!

What are you waiting for? Go the the ACFW website and sign up HERE!

Now, are you ready for some fun? We have three, count 'em, THREE, chances to win today....

To celebrate the release of Stealing Jake, my July debut release from Tyndale, I'm giving away one copy to one lucky commenter today.


Stealing Jake is FREE for a limited time on Amazon/Kindle and B&N/Nook, so there will not be a drawing for the ebook today. Just click to download for free! And, if you love it (please say you will!), then hop on Amazon & B&N and leave a review.

And if you haven't signed up for my KINDLE GIVEAWAY, what are you waiting for? Click on the BUTTON and sign up!

In your comments, let me know if you've signed up for the Kindle Giveaway and my mailing list either today (or already), and your name will be in the drawing for this darling vintage Cornhusk doll. It was made in 1988 by the Mullenix Family. It's so precious, I hate to part with it.

Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.


  1. I'll bring Panera from the first ever MozArks ACFW meeting where I met a Seekerfriend [again] and met another Seekerfriend for the first time ;). We talked about ya'll.

    And another reason to go to conference? I'm making a bazillion cookies to bring with me and share.

    Plus I get to be ROOMIES with PEPPER BASHAM! and Casey Herringshaw [from Julie's newest book!] and Mary Vee!!

    Ya'll might want to make sure you're staying on another floor. Just sayin'.

    I'm not registered, Pam, but I've already got a Kindle and have read Stealing Jake, so I'm all good :D.

  2. Er, the Panera is set up over there on the table near the palm trees. It won't be good if I try to take it to the conference. So I'll just bring cookies ;).

  3. Here's the coffee. Pot's all set.

    Signed up for the Kindle contest.

    I'm registered for conference.

  4. I'm sooo looking forward to the ACFW conference and seeing many of my writer pals in person again and meeting others for the first time. I'm eager to see Seekers and friends of Seekerville. (And I'm eager to cheer for my agent, who is one of the Agent of the Year finalists.)

  5. hi everyone! work's a bear tonight! sooo ready for Mon and Tues nights off!
    I've never been to a this one just for writers?
    ooh Panera!


  6. Im so glad you mentioned the free download. I was able to get a few books and finally the Healers Apprentice at a very good price. Last time it was free Aussies couldn't get it. but at 1.07 Its a steal.
    I hope you all have a great time at the conference.

  7. I am long-winded.

    But cute.

    Carol, what a FUN ROOM!!!! I'm with Cara, and we'll just be lovin' the stuffin' out o' youse.

    Keli-the-Gwinster, can't wait to see you, chickie. And Susanna, yes, but we'll give you cyber hugs. And fill you in LIVE FROM ACFW!!!! ;)

    Lovin' the coffee, Helen. Thank you!

    Jenny, g'day!

  8. So many great reasons to attend ACFW conference, Pam! I can't wait for September.

    What happened to our Ruthy? Oh my, she hardly had anything to say about the conference experience!


    RUTH! ONE reason, sweetheart. Three paragraphs was a bit of overkill...and then you stomped off in a huff.

    I'll never understand Yankees.

  9. CarolM! Cookies? I'm there!

    Your room is going to be rockin'. We'll just follow all the giggles until we find the party...and the cookies!

  10. Keli, congrats on your agent being nominated for Agent of the Year! Will be cheering!

    And hugging.

    And laughing.

    And praising God for all His goodness in blessing me with such great friends!!!

  11. Pam, you surely ramped up interest in the ACFW conference. Hoping lots of Seekerville friends will be in St. Louis! Congratulations on the release of Stealing Jake!

    Thanks for the Panera, Carol. Looking forward to the cookies at ACFW.

    Keli, looking forward to another photo op. Congrats to your agent!

    Wahoo on the Aussie downloads, Jenny!


  12. Wow Pammers, Love hearing all those reasons. I can't believe September is just around the corner. I better get online for my airline ticket.

    Carol, we'll definitely watch for the party and cookies.

    I'm with you Audra. We gotta love those yankees even when we don't get it. LOL But then they love us westerners so it works out. smile

  13. I've drooled over the conference for three years now. CO was out of the question that year. I planned for Indy but there was no way. This year my husband once again has a job (woot!!), I have a room for St Louis, and I'm praying (and working) for the rest to come in and for no other major expenses to spring up, gobbling that stash. I'm only 100 miles from St Louis...

    God answers prayer and I want HIS will in His way in His time.

    Pam, I signed up for your newsletter last week or so. =] Congrats again on Stealing Jake! So cool!! =]

  14. Pam staggers in...

    Coffee! I need coffee....

    Bed late, up early. Couldn't sleep. It's going to be a LONG day, but a good one!

    I don't care if it is 8 AM, hand over the cookies, Carol!

  15. Helen, thank you. Hope it's strong!

    Carol, if the cookies aren't ready, I'll take Panera's.



    Stealing Jake is STILL #1 on Amazon!

    Just sayin'

  16. Susanna, yes, ACFW is all writers and editors and agents.

    You can view the whole enchilada here: ACFW Conference

  17. Ausjenny, were you able to get the free download?

    That would be SO cool!

  18. Patty, only 100 miles from St. Loo? Wow, you've GOT to make it this year!

    Praying for all the nickles and dimes to fall right into place for you.

  19. PS...Gotta run to the day job, but I'll be checking in.

    If you want to be in the drawing for the cute little cornhusk doll, let me know in your comment, k?

  20. Hi Pam,

    Congratulations on your new book. I signed up as a follower and a chance to win the kindle.

    I'm like Tina, I look forward to the conference in 2012. Won't be able to make it this year.

    Blessings to all who are going!

    Jodie Wolfe

  21. Jodie, you and I will just have to start saving up for next year!

    This year's conference isn't going to happen for me, but I know you'll all have a wonderful time! St. Louis will never be the same.

  22. Pam! I can't wait to see you and all the Seekers at ACFW. That's the best part of the conference. :)

    Congratulations again on Stealing Jake!

  23. Always comes down to money and/or family for me. I soooooo wanted to go this year, but God had other plans. :-)

  24. And I only have two weeks left to get my manuscript in order. Yikes! Met with a counselor yesterday. Great news is that so far I've done most everything right. Just a couple slight corrections and a few add-ons here and there and I'm good. Getting nervous...

  25. Ooooh...I would SO love to go to the conference! I sounds like so much fun and a great way to meet people. Unfortunately, it won't happen for me this year and there's a good chance that it won't happen for a long time...but who knows?! I'll have to put it on my "God it would be awesome if I could do this" list : ). Hope all of you that are going have a great time! Pam, I am a Kindle freebie junkie and saw Stealing Jake on there last night! I was so pumped! Grabbed it up right quick and I can't wait to read it! Blessings~Stacey

  26. How fun to see all the reasons! But I detect a theme: meeting with our online friends!!

    I'm so bummed I won't be able to go this year. Y'all have some fun for me, okay?

  27. Audra, Audra, Audra...

    You get me.

    I'm a brat.



    Dropping off sweet tea and cookies.

  28. Loved reading everyone's top reasons for attending ACFW, Pam!

    Can you believe ACFW is only two months away??? Time to go shopping for conference clothes!!! (Otherwise, people with long memories will notice my wardrobe hasn't been updated in a year or two or three.)

    And congrats on Stealing Jake topping the Kindle list! Looking forward to reading it!

  29. PREACH IT, PAMMY -- ACFW IS THE place to be for Christian writers!!!

    Wait -- Pepper, Carol and Carol in the same room??? I don't know Mary Vee, but I sure hope sleep is not a prerequisite for her day!! :)

    And, Carol -- NO COOKIES!!! When you see me, kindly say, "Step away from the cookies, Julie," okay???? I sweat bullets to lose seven pounds and I will NOT put them back on, is that clear???

    PATTY WYSONG!!! Soooo glad we will get to meet this year, girlfriend -- YAY!!!

    JODIE ... Soooo sorry you won't be, girl, but glad 2012 is a possibility.


  30. KELI AND ERICA -- Can't wait to dispense hugs all around and Erica is right -- the Seeker Mingle in the lobby bar is one of the highlights of the conference for me and the Seekers!!


    JAN AND LINNETTE -- Sooo bummed you guys can't make it this year, but am praying next year is a go. And Linnette -- WAY TO GO on the ms., girl!!!

    STACEY AND MISSY -- MAJOR bummer we won't see you there this year, but you GOTTA go next year, promise???

    And, uh ... I don't want to brag, but my roomie is Audra Harders this year -- na-na-na-na-na-na ...


  31. I so love the conference. Did I hear 500 people at it this year? That is so amazing. It grows every year.
    A writer's conference is the best gathering of loners with imaginary friends you can find.

  32. What a beautiful doll, Pam. I wish I could enter the contest, lol.

    You all have fun at conference.

  33. Tina and I will hold the fort down here. We'll try not to pout. :)

  34. Mary...

    500 loners with imaginary friends...

    ROF, LOL, that's more true than most of us care to let the world know.

    And Julie and Audra together????

    Oh my stars, that's a hoot. And a half.

    And Myra cagily pointed out the GOOD side of being broke and unable to afford the conference for YEARS...

    Most of the people that saw my clothes the last time I was there are dead.

    I'll look spankin' new to everyone else, LOL!

  35. Jodi & Jan, we will miss you TERRIBLY!

    I didn't get to go to RWA this year, and I thought I would be SO bummmed while so many friends were there. But if you give yourself a major goal during that time, like write 5 or 10K words, or plan a short research trip, even if it's in your hometown, then you have something to focus on, you know?

    Me? I was promoting Stealing Jake instead of in NYC. I still missed seeing everyone and the glamour and glitz of the RWA awards ceremony, but I was so busy it wasn't as bad as I expected. And I was already dreaming of ACFW!

  36. I'm catching the Conference Fever just reading all of this!!! I expect some very extensive reporting going on so I can live vicariously through y'all.


    You can get a Kindle or NOOK for PC app for your PC (or MAC) absolutely free, then download Pam's book absolutely free. Then if you ever DO get Kindle or NOOK, all your Kindle for PC books will just SNAP onto the ereaders. So stock up on Kindle/NOOK books now.
    There is NO REASON not to go get Pammy's book on your computer.

    And I just checked and Stealing Jake is STILL #1 on Kindle Free books.

  38. Those are 15+ great reasons! I hope I can make day.

  39. Stacey! So glad you downloaded Stealing Jake. Thanks girl!

    And, Mary, we had over 500 LAST year, so I imagine this year is going to be specatular!

  40. Hi Pam:

    I have a Kindle and I have your book. The world is good. But that doll, now, is very interesting. It is not what I pictured at all when Jake and Livy were making the dolls in “Stealing Jake”. That doll looks like a little adult.

    Did girls see dolls differently back then? (Late 19th Century). Were dolls like imaginary friends and not like infants needing to be mothered? Does anyone have any ideas on this? I would think a difference in dolls could be worked into the story to make a historical more ‘historical’. Just an idea.


  41. The only bad thing about the ACFW conference is that it never lasts long enough for me to get to spend time with everybody I want to spend time with. But you guys will have to have fun without me this year. :-( Clap for me when they call out my book for the Carol Award, Young Adult category. And if I win (which I don't expect to), scream really loud!

  42. Wow, I must have seen last years stuff. to get 500 people. I wonder just how big this thing is going to get!!!!!!!!

  43. MELANIE!!!!!!!
    You can't come?????

    I'm so sorry about that.

    I wish all Seekervillagers could come and I wish we had more time to just TALK!

    Ruthy is promising to personally come to all your rooms at her normal rising time...4 am. Just so we can put in a long day of talking!!!!!

  44. Vince, the doll I'm giving away is definitely not what mamas would have cobbled together for their little girls to play with.

    I'm sure a frustrated mama would have grabbed a corn cob with some shucks on it, plunked it in her boiling laundry cauldron, worked quick magic, and handed her child the doll, still dripping wet! lol

    You can google cornhusk dolls and find lots that would reflect more accurately what they would have made for children to play with.

  45. Thinking on Vince's question a little more, I'm not sure if people would have made fancy "keeper" cornhusk dolls back then.

    I thought about having a cornhusk doll-making contest, but figured very few people would have access to cornhusks. But you COULD save them from the farmer's market, right? lol

  46. We made cornhusk dolls when the girls were young. So fun. And the Indian Corn husks gave color so we didn't have to dye them. I'm not sure if you can dye them, or how, but I've seen blue ones so they must, right? And pink?

    Great doll. Love that stuff.

    And YES, I am doing the 4:00 AM wake-up call (East Coast Daylight Savings Time, so get READY...) because why waste time sleeping when you could be TALKING and DRINKING COFFEE?????

  47. Well, Ruthy, other than the fact that I don't usually even go to sleep until 1 or 2...or 3 during conference!

  48. Hi Pam:

    I checked out Google on cornhusk dolls and there is an entire genre of them complete with subgenres. I even saw a Regency cornhusk doll.

    It seems the Native Americans made them first. There are many how-to instructions on the net. I like this one the best because it is for teachers:

    As for me, I’d like one with a red OU football jersey.


  49. Yes, Mary, I know it is sad. But I've been five out of the last six years, so I can't complain. I would be there if I could. But to tell you the truth, it's always so tiring, I'm so keyed up I can't sleep, and I don't do well on little sleep. So I'll stay home and write. Or maybe get my house ready to sell. One or the other. :-)

  50. Yes Pam I was able to get this one free, most of the free ones I can get but occasionally there are ones we cant get here and Melanie's was one of them. but at 1.07 I was happy to buy it. I think with our dollar it worked our at about $1.

  51. Thanks, Julie! I'm bummed, too. I so wanted to meet you all there!!!!

  52. Oh, that's so cool, Ausjenny! Thank you for getting my book. It's on sale right now for 99 cents, but only until Aug. 1st.
    I just got your book too, Pam! Maybe I can read it while I'm in Ohio this week!

  53. I heard my name yelled from over here somewhere.
    Took me all day to find which side of the island it was coming from. Had to wade through patients, palm trees, huts with empty rum bottles - and Captain Jack's compass wasn't any help at all.

    Ruthy - I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOU EITHER!!!! AHHHHH!!! I love youse ;-) uh...that so doesn't work for me.
    Love ya'll!
    Btw - I love yankees - especially the Ruthy or Danny variety ;-) Whew...what a hero!

  54. You guys will really know how to pray for Mary Vee - poor gal.
    I snore.
    Like a bear.
    And have a tendency to not only talk, but giggle in my sleep.
    This should be REALLY interesting ;-)

    But since Carol says we won't be sleeping anyway, I guess there are no worries about Appalachian grizzly bears.
    Hmm...wonder if I snore with a twang?

  55. Audra,
    I'm totally fine with Ruthy's long windedness, because it took her to the bottom of the second paragraph to get to me ;-)

    She's my adopted writing Mom, you know. That's why she's so southern at heart.

  56. I signed up for the Kindle giveaway. I have wanted a Kindle for a long time but there are other things that come first.

    That doll is so cute!


  57. I'm soooo excited about attending ACFW this year (will be my 3rd time) and also excited about meeting some of the SEEKERS (and friends of Seekerville) in person! ~ My first time attending (MN in 2008) was so wonderful, and my 2nd time (Denver in 2009) was even better! An extra perk for me is having my oldest daughter Amy flying with me, so the trip is even MORE fun! ~ Since I'm getting on here so late tonight, I brought "bedtime snacks" for anyone still up: Peach muffins and fudge brownies (yes, lots of sugar for "sweet dreams"!). ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  58. Pepper, I'm a very light sleeper, so I'd have to bring my earplugs!

    Patsy, yay! So glad you signed up.

    "Most of the people that saw my clothes the last time I was there are dead."

    LOL!!! Who you calling "dead," girlfriend???

    I always figure that most people don't really notice what you're wearing due to the crazy pace, hordes of people and memory loss, so you can get by with wearing a lot of the same things. EXCEPT, this year, so many of my outfits were captured on FB that now I have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Oh, poop! I am NOT a shopper!!


  60. I finished "Breathe" today and now I'm on to "Stealing Jake", Pam! I love the cover, by the way! Thanks, Julie, for your encouragement! I would love to go next year...but alas, I'm a stay-at-home-mom and wife of a preacher man. : ) But, hey...I've seen God do too much to limit any possibilities! During the weekend ya'll are at the ACFW conference I am planning to go to a Mom's conference, though, and I think God's going to do mighty things there! God bless~Stacey

  61. STACEY!! I am going to say some prayers that you get to go next year, seriously.

    There are about four gals that bemoaned the fact they couldn't go to ACFW in prior years, so I pulled out the big guns and started praying for them, and guess what?? They got to go by some incredible blessing. So if you are supposed to be there, preacher man's wife or not, YOU WILL BE!!!


  62. Stacey,
    God is certainly able - like Jules says.
    I'm a preacher man's wife and I've been saving since October to go...all that's left is the airfare.

    I'll pray along with the Kissin' Queen ;-)

  63. I'll be wearing the same things again too. Nobody will notice, I'm sure!

  64. Congratulations on being published. I read the chapter you'd posted on your website (signed up yesterday)and listed it on my must read list.

    Please enter me in your drawing for the doll. A friend of mine who makes cornshuck art learned the skill from her mother-in-law who was taught by missionaries. A widow, the MIL supported her large family through making dolls back in the days when outside assistance wasn't available. I've always admired her work and her grit. And I still have some of her dolls from those early years passed on to me from my mother.

    Thank you for your genorisity. Everyone on the Seekerville Blog is so giving. What a wonderful group.

    gilliach(at)yahoo. com