By this time in June, brides
have checked off most of their timeline to-do list notes in preparation
for their summer weddings.
Pick and put a deposit on the caterer
o Put a deposit on the reception venue
o Reserve the church
o Choose the wedding music
o Settle on a decoration theme
o Order flowers
o Order cake
o Say yes to the dress
o Send out save-the-date or invitation notices
As we inch closer to the date of
the ACFW conference in Nashville late in August (see http://www.acfw.com/conference
for more details), what’s left on your timeline to-do list?
Right now, there’s still time to
check off these essential items.
o Create professional business
cards. (Try PrintRunner.com or VistaPrint.com.) You’ll need
them as you swap information with other writers or to leave with an
interested agent, editor, mentor, potential critique partner, or
o Create a one-sheet that briefly shows the basic
information about your manuscript—theme, brief summary, hook—and your
short bio. Include a headshot. You may think editors and agents will
remember your name. But they will meet dozens of writers one-on-one and
hundreds of them in the crowd at the conference. For more information
about creating a meaningful one-sheet, check out the ACFW online class
o Update any out-of-date information on your website.
If an editor or agent shows interest at the conference, he or she will
likely go to your website for more information about you.
o Tidy anything out-of-date or unprofessional on your social
media pages or profile for the same reason.
o Study the ACFW conference pages. So much is
addressed in those pages that will answer potential questions. Take
time to research the agents and editors who will be present at the
conference, and the publishing houses those editors represent, so you
clearly understand whether or not your work would be a good fit.
o Practice your pitch. Create a one-sentence hook
and a one-paragraph (at the most) pitch that succinctly tells people
what your book is about. Practice saying it until you’re comfortable
that you know the strengths of your story and why it might appeal to
editors and agents. Be prepared to give your pitch to other writers.
Everyone will ask, “What are you working on?” or “What is your book
about?” Even hotel staff. Be ready with an answer.
o Create a “what to pack” list.
o Keep praying that you will be an open, receptive
vessel God can fill and use at the conference.
Come* ready. Leave blessed.
* Not attending the ACFW
conference this year? Most of this list still applies.