|View from my room at CCWC|
I'll lay out the pros and cons below and maybe you can help me make a decision.
Estes Park, Colorado, May 16 - 19Pros:
I've attended this conference three times and it tends to be my favorite. First of all, you can't beat the location. It's at a YMCA in the Rockies so you're surrounded with beauty. The entire atmosphere of the conference is casual which, for me, translates to less stress.
I've taken in some fabulous classes here: I've been Nangied by Nancy Rue and Angela Hunt, James Scott Bell taught me how to plot, and Tim Shoemaker drove home the basics of POV. I still have his Super-Ocular POV finder as a reminder. One year, I got to sit in on a question-answer session with Ted Dekker. That was fascinating. The CCWC is also where I met my hawk-eyed critique partner (& friend), Stephanie Prichard.
A big advantage to the conference is the number of editor/agent/author appointments each full-time attendee receives: four! Plus, for $35, you can purchase a paid critique from an industry professional that includes 30 minutes (not 15 minutes that's standard in other conferences) of face time with that professional.
But perhaps the biggest advantage to this conference is cost. When I run the numbers, it's easily $300 less than the other two I'm mentioning here. That's a hefty amount.
CCWC's not fiction specific. While the faculty is very well represented by prominent editors/agents/authors, there aren't as many as at other conferences. The timing of this conference isn't the best--I have a mother-daughter vacation scheduled for May 6 to the 12, so I'd be gone again from May 16 - 20.
Near Asheville, NC, May 20 - 24Pros:
I've always wanted to attend this conference. I've heard the scenery alone is worth the trip. But this year, I find more than scenery attractive. To me, it has the faculty of my dreams, agent, editor, and author-wise. But, it's the authors who have me excited. Here are a few names: Steven James, Gina Holmes, Angela Hunt, Ann Tatlock, Jim Rubart, and so many more. I would LOVE to learn from any of them! This conference also offers a manuscript critique (just $30), but I don't see anything on their site regarding agent/editor meetings.
Cost-wise, this conference would run about $300 more than CCWC, a big consideration for me. The date would be a little better than CCWC. At least I'd have a few more days in between being gone with my daughter and attending conference. A big consideration is whether I'm willing to sacrifice the one-on-one editor/agent meeting time. To learn from these authors, it might be worth it.
|How I attended in 2011|
Dallas, TX, September 20 - 23Pros:
This is widely renowned as the crème de la crème of Christian fiction writers conferences. It's only focus is on fiction writing so the education is invaluable. All the best agents / editors attend, and a multitude of of publishing houses are represented. Included in your fees are (2) agent/editor/author meetings, plus you can purchase a paid critique from one of the many authors. The keynote speaker this year is Michael Hyatt, a giant in the publishing industry.
ACFW is also the conference the majority of my friends will attend. It's worth it going just to see them again.
The biggest disadvantage for me is the date. September is typically my busiest month of the year. School begins right after Labor Day. We have (2) family birthdays. But the biggest obstacle is that my husband has (2) conferences in September. One overlaps with ACFW. Another obstacle is cost. While it is worth the price, it is still the most expensive of the three.
As of this moment, I'm still not certain which conference will win out. I'm praying for guidance ...
What conferences have you attended? Which do you prefer and why?