5 Things I Learned At ACFW 2014

American Christian Fiction Writers Conference 2014

Breakfast with writing pals Lisa Jordan and Edie Melson

Breakfast with writing pals Lisa Jordan and Edie Melson

I’m still walking in the clouds from the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference 2014!  Every year I’ve enjoyed the amazing opportunity of hanging out with my peeps who also hear voices in their heads. For those of you who aren’t writers, we are talking about those imaginary characters that we writers write.

Each year I am sure couldn’t top the year before… and then it does.

5 Things I Learned From ACFW 2014:

Jeanne Receiving the Frasier ~ Photo by Andrea Nell

Jeanne Receiving the Frasier ~ Photo by Andrea Nell

1. Hard work does pay off. Jeanne Takenaka is one of the hardest working writers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on my writing journey. Her sweet spirit and great attitude have been front and center so many times over the past few years that others in the writing community have taken notice. This year I am delighted to celebrate her Frasier Contest Win!

ACFW Conference 2014 Bookstore

ACFW Conference 2014 Bookstore

Gabrielle Meyer and Cynthia Ruchti ~ Photo by Cynthia Ruchti

Gabrielle Meyer and Cynthia Ruchti ~ Photo by Cynthia Ruchti

2. A servant’s heart always shines through. Cynthia Ruchti and I met for the first time at the ACFW Convention in Minneapolis several years ago. From that moment I have always known her to have a huge heart to serve others. Since then she has served ACFW and the writing community in so many ways. Many would say she has given back and deserves a chance to sit back and relax at the end of an amazing conference.

Where do you suppose I found her on Saturday night after the banquet? Helping pack up books in the conference bookstore! She reminded me that a servant’s heart always shines through.

3. We all need a champion. No matter how long a writer has been writing, they still need a champion of their work. Someone who believes in them, encourages them, raves about them, and makes them feel like they can do anything. I’ve been blessed with so many champions. Here are just a few: Susan May Warren, Colleen Coble, Rachel Hauck, Lisa Jordan, Cynthia Ruchti, Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner, Alena Wendel, Amy Lindberg, MN N.I.C.E., Agent Mary Keeley, my sweet husband, and four amazing children.

Alena Wendall and Lisa Jordan

Alena Wendel and Lisa Jordan

4. Story is our Super Power and our writing community hands us the cape. The My Book Therapy Pizza Party this year had the theme that Story is My Super Power and I realize just how much my writing community supports that super power. I could not find success without others who support and encourage me along the way. I am so grateful for you!

MBT Writing Super Heroes Donna Yaborough and Shirley Gould

MBT Writing Super Heroes Donna Yaborough and Shirley Gould

5. Sometimes dreams come true. All year long writers tap away at the keyboard, slurp caffeine, and invent imaginary people in the hidden hours of morning and night. Often it is a job without high fives and promotions. Still we create and dream that one day our story will resonate with someone who reads it. The Genesis Contest for unpublished authors gives those of us writing in the middle of the night a chance to dream of what may come.  This year I was honored to be among the winners of the Genesis Contest.

Genesis Winners 2014

Genesis Winners 2014

This Year’s Winners:

Contemporary – Jennifer Sienes – Redemption, Historical – Heidi Chiavaroli – Tears of the Outcast, Historical Romance – Kristi Ann Hunter – My Lord Valet, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller – Dennis Ricci – Perilous Judgment, Novella – Peggy Trotter – Spun, Romance – Laurie Tomlinson – Just Breathe, Romantic Suspense – Michelle Lim – Sketching Evil, Short Novel – Candee Fick – Serving Up Love, Speculative – Megan Ebba – Tangled in Gold, Young Adult – Sara Ella – Blemished

What have you learned at a writing Conference this year?

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

14 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned At ACFW 2014

  1. Great lessons learned, Michelle! I couldn’t have cheered louder than when I heard your name for the Genesis award. You have worked hard and been an inspiration to many! 🙂

    PS—I’m honored by your kind words. 🙂

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Thanks for cheering, Jeanne! The words about you are so true, friend. Your name came up in just that way at conference…a few others commented that they noticed that about you to. You are well loved!

  2. Congratulations Michelle! I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see you in print! Same thing for Jeanne. And getting to see y’all was one of the best things about ACFW!

  3. bonnie navarro says:

    So happy for you, Michelle! You are always encouraging us! I’m glad to celebrate with you! Looking forward to seeing your work in print soon! Thank you for your words of encouragement and ideas for brainstorming at ACFW.

  4. Liz Johnson says:

    Thanks for reminding us of such important lessons! I’m so, so happy for you and your Genesis win! So deserved!

  5. Gail Helgeson says:

    Hi Michelle….I was thrilled to hear your name. Congratulations again. You have worked so hard. Perseverance. That is you. Thanks so much for your friendship and our time to pray at ACFW. Blessings. Warmly, Gail

  6. You should ask Sarah Varland what happened when I was walking off the stage, disoriented, and then saw you up there giving your speech. SO SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!

  7. Mindy says:

    I am so excited for you, Michelle! You work hard at your own writing and encouraging other writers along the way. I look forward to buying a copy of this book some day, Lord-willing!

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Thanks, Mindy! We all need each other on this journey. It is too hard to travel alone, and so much more fun in groups. Can’t wait till our paths cross again as we continue to write.

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