The Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers (OCFW) chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has been in existence for three years. We've had four Genesis contest finalists/semifinalists, three Carol award finalists, and one multiple-Rita finalist. Two of our authors have received first-time contracts. I think that's pretty amazing for a baby organization.
If you write Christian fiction, you might wonder why you should join ACFW. I put it off for several years myself. I'd been writing for a long time, long before ACFW or even RCFW ever existed. ACFW began to make noise shortly before I received my first contract (late 2003). I figured, why bother? I had already "made" it, so to speak.
If the success of Oklahoma City's small slice of ACFW isn't enough to inspire you, here are a few reasons to join:
- Learn the craft. In addition to the annual conference, there are classes, magazines, a loop where questions about the writing craft are discussed on a daily basis. Today's writer gets a speed course in what took me a decade to learn.
- Fellowship. Support each other through prayer. My daughter's death three years ago echoed through ACFW. I have never felt so much love and support.
- Find critique partners. Whether you take part in the structured critique groups or connect with one or two individuals, you can find that person who will cheer you on to success.
- Find special interest groups. Join a group for everything from international suspense to speculative to 19th century romance.
- Network nationally. Rub elbows with some of the best in the business, both writers and editors.
- Market more effectively. Learn about current trends, opportunities, and the all-important "how to."
- Gain exposure. Whether as author of the week, book of the month for the book club, fiction finders on the website, or only by posting to the loop, become known within the Christian writing community.
- Be a part of your professional organization. ACFW is "the" organization recognized nationwide with Christian writing circles.
If you are a member of ACFW, tell me what you like about it. If you're not--is there something holding you back? (We're always open to improvement.)