Thursday, May 17, 2012

ACFW Conference Worship Sessions

by Anita Mae Draper

Registration is open for the American Christian Fiction Writers(ACFW) 2012 Conference in Dallas, Texas on September 20-23, 2012.

I’m registered and excited as this will be my 5th attendance. My first time took a lot of bravado and B Vitamins (stress buster), and I loved every minute of it. Well, maybe not the editor/agent appointments so much, but the rest of the time was a blessing. I knew some people from the internet, namely Margaret Daley, Danica Favorite, and Cheryl Wyatt, who took me under their wing and allowed me to shadow them around. Through Cheryl, I discovered the wonderful ladies at Seekerville. All these women will forever be fixtures in my heart for the warmth and friendship they extended to a loner from the Canadian prairies.

What sets the ACFW conference apart from others I’ve attended is the Worship sessions. The best way to start a hectic day is with a brief devotional followed by 600 voices soaring in worship.

The culmination of the conference ends with a truly wondrous choir presentation led by Rachael Phillips, Choir Director. After the 2011 ACFW conference in St Louis, Rachael said, "They are a wonderful, gifted group, and I love working with them. I send them music and mp3 files beforehand, which they rehearse on their own, and in four/five crazy conference practices wedged in between classes and appointments, these singers from all over the country blend their diverse talents and spirits into a single voice of praise. SO proud of them!"

I taped this video of the 2011 ACFW choir on my little Lumix camera while sitting at the Beyond the Border zone table in the back corner of the room. Because I was so far away, the faces in the choir are barely discernable. And the video is shaky since I didn't have a tripod. However, the music is a beautiful outpouring of the spirit. I hope you can look past the inadequacies - perhaps just close your eyes - and receive the blessing of these gifted singers.

If the video isn't working, try

Whether you want to attend the conference for the craft and industry workshops, the editor/agent appointments, or to visit with 600+ other people in the Christian writing and publishing industry, registration is open.

If you want to be in this year’s choir, contact Rachael or watch for her emails on the ACFW loop.

And if you’re going, let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new friends.

Are you registered yet? Have you sang in any of the ACFW choirs? Let's talk conference!


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at


  1. Not registered yet. I've gone the last two years, and I haven't decided if it's worth the expense or not this year. Honestly, to me it's like a girls getaway, so I feel a little guilty spending the money, especially when I'm getting paid to go to other conferences. Probably depends on my next royalty check.

    As for worship, no, I've never tried that. I'm not the hugest fan of choir music, although they always sound pretty. A few ladies might put together a little worship dance special at Philly this year, though.

  2. Dina, I love the girls' getaway part of it. Rooming with you and Gina was the highlight of last year.

    I know what you mean about the cost, though. It's definitely a chunk of money, all things considered.

    I'd love to join the choir except I'd get kicked out for hurting everyone's ears. God put music in my head but not the roadmap to my mouth. LOL

    It sounds like Philly will be a great place this year.

  3. I am still in my 'hoping for a miracle' phase. I'd go to conference in a heartbeat! But I enjoy listening to the choir and wouldn't mind being part of it some day.

    thanks for the post today, Anita! you are amazing!

  4. I'm with Deb in hoping for a miracle. I would love to go to this conference. I've heard so many awesome things about it.

  5. I've only been once. I've been considering going this year and spending some time with a friend who is moving to Texas.

    Only it is a big chunk of change, and since my current WIP is an ABA mystery, I'm wondering if my conference money would better be spent elsewhere. So still a possibility, but I am registered for this year's Bouchercon in Cleveland--only four some hours drive away.

    With unlimited funds, I'd go to all of them. But then there wouldn't be time to write.

  6. Gee, thanks, Deb. You can compliment me any day. :D

  7. Suzie, it is awesome. That's where I met Deb - the only time I've seen her live - and I treasure the time together. I only wish I'd spent more time with her, but I have faith that we'll see each other soon.

    And I'm praising God that I'll have a chance to see you this summer, even if it's not at the ACFW conference.

    Deb's right, though. Miracles happen and the special thing about miracles is that you just don't know. So don't spend your time wishing - prepare your pitch and papers just in case. After all, what is wishful thinking but another word for waiting for answered prayer?

  8. Hey, Barb, it'll be nice to meet you if you go.

    And because of where I live, every conference is a big chunk of money, and a bunch of red tape to boot.

    Ooops, can't be negative now... I'm blessed that hubby supports me and allows me to travel all the way to another country - by myself - to attend a conference. :D


Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.