Monday, March 14, 2011
Enjoy this guest blog from Margaret Daley a recent guest on my radio show for authors, Information in a Nutshell. Margaret is an award winning author and the current president of the ACFW.
By Margaret Daley
ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is the Voice of Christian Fiction. Founded over ten years ago, it has grown to over 2200 members.
ACFW is a premier writing organization with the following mission statement: Our mission is to promote Christian Fiction through developing the skills of its authors, educating them in the market, and serving as an advocate in the traditional publishing industry.
How can ACFW help a writer toward his/her writing goals?
ACFW has many different programs to help a writer. The first one, Novel Track: Writing is offered in January, April, July, and October. It is an email loop for support and encouragement to help you meet your writing goal. Following that is Novel Track: Editing in February (also May, August, and November). This loop focuses on how to edit the words you wrote the month before. Lastly, Novel Track: Polishing is in March (then June, September, and December). This part of the Novel Track program concentrates on the little problems that can occur while writing: grammar, over use of certain words, passive vs. active voice. If you participate in the Novel Track program through the year, you can have a completed novel by the end of the year.
Another way ACFW can help you meet your writing goals in 2011 is through free online classes. Each month (except December) there is a class offered by a qualified writing instructor. Our classes cover a variety of subjects from grammar to deep point of view—and more!
A third program available through ACFW is a large Critique Group which gives writers a way to connect with others who want to critique—and have their work critiqued. Some of the members of the large Critique Group break off and form smaller ones.
There are several email loops that the members can join that offer networking and help.
1. Main Loop: Easy to use and communicate about all writing-related topics. You can glean and share amazing tidbits of information via email. This loop is an education itself.
2. Your zone loop is the loop where chitchat is welcome. It is for fellowship with your fellow writers. It is a place where at last someone understands you.
3. Prayer Loop: Many members enjoy supporting one another through prayer. This loop has been a blessing to me.
4. Genre Loops: ACFW recently added several genre loops to discuss the writing craft in a more specific way. On these loops we offer a place to discuss these subjects: Children’s Fiction, Historical, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Speculative, Suspense, Women’s Fiction and Young Adult.
ACFW’s Web site has forums where you can get detailed questions answered and visit past posts as well as enjoy genre-specific threads (conversations on one topic). This is a fun place. Some have gotten to know people from ACFW on the forum before they attended their first ACFW Annual Conference.
As a member of ACFW you receive a discount on ACFW Conference Fees. A big savings to you when it's time to register for the annual ACFW Conference. This year the conference is in St. Louis from September 22-25, 2011. At the conference the winners of the two contests that ACFW sponsor are announced. The Genesis Contest is for unpublished writers and The Carol Award is for published authors.
ACFW's very own ezine, Afictionado, is published monthly. You will find articles about the writing craft, member news, industry news, author interviews, book reviews and much, much more.
If you have an upcoming novel release from one of our recognized publishers, a member can submit the information to the ACFW’s New Release coordinator, and we will help promote it for you.
ACFW has a book club that discusses two books a month. The members vote on which books to read. You can apply to have your book, if it is from one of our recognized publishers, considered by the ACFW Book Club.
Book Reviews: If you are a reviewer or author, submit a review of an ACFW member's book to be posted on the Web site.
Author Interviews and Featured Author: Each week we post an author interview of a published ACFW member on the public side of the site.
Another important benefit for published members is the opportunity to be included in the http://www.fictionfinder.com database. Fictionfinder.com links readers, bookstores, libraries, book clubs, and authors with great Christian fiction.
As you can see there are many reasons to become a member of ACFW. Go check out our Web site at http://www.acfw.com.
About the author:
Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold seventy-five books to date.
Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2200 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.
Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community.
You can visit her web site at http://www.margaretdaley.com and read excerpts from her books and learn about the ones recently released and soon to be released.