So This Happened

In June, I found out I was a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest. I was already attending Realm Makers, but my husband agreed I could also go to Nashville for the ACFW conference since it would give me an additional opportunity to pitch to agents, talk to editors, and network with others in the Christian writing community.

It was the best decision! As soon as I posted that I was attending, a Realm Maker friend PM’d me to room with her. We ended up with four in our room. Yay split costs! I got a good price on airfare, and all the details fell into place.

I’m not even sure where to start with the highlights. We stayed at the Opryland Hotel, which probably accommodates as many people as the town I live in. It is spectacular and was an experience unto itself.

Realm Makers Mobile Bookstore was a sponsor, and several other spec writers were there. It was a mini gathering of Realmies!

I’m also a fan of historical romance (certain eras) and read some romance, suspense, and women’s fiction. There were other authors I was excited to meet. I was blown away by how kind and gracious everyone was.

Some of the highlights were:

Rooming with a complete stranger and becoming friends. She’s an amazing young woman!

Growing closer to two of my roommates who are a step ahead of me in their careers.

Because of a gala ticket mixup, I got to meet keynote speaker Debbie Macomber.

Getting my picture taken with Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Liz Curtis Higgs, who I’ve followed since she wrote for Today’s Christian Woman.

Taking Frank Peretti’s Early Bird class. I didn’t quite work up the courage to meet him. One day! Especially since he was one of the first spec authors I read.

But the highlight was winning the Genesis Award for speculative fiction. It was my fourth entry in five years, and my first time to make it to the semifinals. I’m still floating!

Even sweeter was a few minutes later when Morgan Busse won the Carol Award for speculative fiction for her novel, Awakened. It’s her first Carol after three nominations. There was a whole lot of celebrating at our table!

I’m headed home to submit proposals. It’s like being in line for a triple looping roller coaster, and I’m past the last exit, the point of no return. I’m excited but also terrified!

Tell me about your point of no return moment!

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

4 comments on “So This Happened

  1. Congratulations, Gretchen!

  2. Congratulation, Gretchen. I’m looking forward to talking fairies with you at some point.

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