This was my first StoryFest and my first American Christian Fiction Writers Conference all rolled into one. Writers can be, by their nature, reclusive and shy. But, I’ve found that when like-minded introverts converge, the interaction reminds me of sleepovers. We stay up late, talk until hoarse, laugh, and swap stories like teens on a sugar high. The prayer room stayed busy as authors, agents, and ACFW flowed in for prayer and praise reports.

Charles Martin was the guest speaker at the conference and his powerful message took my breath away. I’ve read his fiction. Now I feel compelled to read his non-fiction works as well.

And a big congratulations to James Scott Bell who received a lifetime achievement award from The American Christian Fiction Writers! A well-deserved honor. His writings have taught us so much about storytelling and the structure of stories.

StoryFest is a reader-centered retreat within the larger American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. These readers get swamped with fun SWAG and free books. They spend time with authors at meals and playing games. What a joy it is to meet readers and swap stories. I kind of expected the readers to be librarians with their trip paid as a job perk, but none of the readers I met worked in libraries. They were nurses, teachers, bloggers, and parents, and represented a wide variety of ages and life experiences.

Oh, and my BFF since puberty, Caryn Frink, participated in StoryFest so this was my favorite writer’s conference EVER. 

Here are highlight photos of that fantastic, inspirational trip.



Caryn and I even found time to see a few sights in St. Louis. We rode to the top of the Arch.

We toured the old St. Louis Cathedral next to the Arch and the newer St. Louis Basilica.

Here are highlight photos of that fantastic, inspirational trip.

Below are photos of the old St. Louis Cathedral near the Arch.

The newer St. Louis Basilica is adorned inside with tiny mosaic tiles in splendid patterns that depict stories and verses from the Bible.

And now it’s back to work on the next series in which art and crime converge in the life of a young gallery manager.

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