This past weekend, I attended the KY Christian Writers Conference, held in Elizabethtown, KY. Actually, attended might not be the right word. I am the faculty chair for KCWC, so maybe “worked” would be the more appropriate term, especially since I only attended 1 session that I wasn’t either teaching or hosting. Still, there was a lot that I learned at this year’s conference.
1. If you’re looking to lose weight, try working on the planning committee for a decent-sized conference. You’ll either be too busy or too stressed to eat much, and you’ll be hurrying from one side of the building to the other most of the day. I think I may have lost 10 lbs. OK, maybe not quite that much . . .
2. When you get involved, conferences are a great place to network with people. Well, this isn’t something I learned this year, but it’s definitely something I’m reminded of at every conference I attend. I love volunteering. At ACFW, I often work the registration desk or the bookstore; for KCWC, I am the faculty chair; and for Realm Makers, I’m the Social Media Director and the Director’s minion (ha!). Through these opportunities, I’ve met some amazing people–like my agent, many of my critique partners, and a whole multitude of people who have been sources of encouragement, insight, and wisdom.
3. I’m funny! Seriously, that is something I learned at KCWC this year. I have been so afraid and self-conscious about getting up in front of people to speak, that I’ve never applied to do workshops and, in fact, avoided anything that required me to do so. However, I felt the pull to do a workshop this year. Plus, as faculty chair, I was in charge of leading the Editor’s Panel and doing all the giveaways and entertaining when we gathered as big group. So, I was up on stage, in front of the whole conference, several times throughout the 2 days. And, apparently, I’m pretty funny. Unless they were just laughing at how pitiful I was, which I would entirely understand. 🙂
4. Jesse Florea (from Focus on the Family) was a great keynote speaker. I didn’t get to sit in on most of his first 2 keynote sessions, but what I did hear was pretty entertaining and helpful. However, his last keynote session was downright inspiring. He made us laugh, made us cry, and made me want to go home and write!
5. My agent, Julie Gwinn, rocks! Not only did she do a fabulous job answering questions on the Editor’s Panel and the Fiction Panel, but she is great at brainstorming and helping to decide on career direction. In face, her and I have some exciting stuff cooking . . . which could actually involve some major changes in my writing over the next few months. Can we say “published writer”? More information to come soon!
I’m so thankful for the conference this past weekend. While I didn’t exactly learn a lot of writing-related tips and tricks, I did get to listen to a few knowledgeable experts, meet some amazing writers, spend time with friends, and leave with a lot of motivation and inspiration.
The planning committee is taking a hiatus for the rest of the summer, but we’ll be diving back into planning for 2016 in September. We already know that Sandra Aldrich will be the keynote for next year . . . the rest of the speakers are still a mystery. Only God knows–and that means the conference is in good hands!
If you live in the area, or even within a few hours drive, I highly suggest coming to hang out with us next summer! Dates are June 17-18.