American Christian Fiction Writers
Kristin Billerbeck

Our new publicity officer has previously served on ACFW’s advisory board. Kristin Billerbeck is a best-selling, Carol Award–winning author of over thirty novels, novellas, and one nonfiction title. Credited with helping to bring Chick Lit to the CBA, she appeared on the Today Show to discuss the new genre and was written up in the New York Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, World Magazine and USA Today. Kristin’s novel What a Girl Wants sold over 100,000 copies and is currently being shopped as a movie. Many of her novels have been translated into several languages. She holds a degree in advertising from San Jose State University and is a proud fourth-generation Californian. She lives in the Silicon Valley with her family. Please visit Kristin’s website for more information:


Fiction Finder

Deciding which genre to write in is probably one of the biggest decisions an author will make. Do you write to the market? Do you write your passion? What about writing what you read? For working authors, many things come into the equation of what we are to write, but the good news is that ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) can help you grow as an author no matter which genre of fiction you choose to write.

ACFW is a premier writing organization with this 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.

As an organization, not only does ACFW offer novel track and free online classes to help you polish your writing, but its genre e-mail loops hooks up authors within specific genres so they can discuss trends, buzz-worthy books, and market trends.

The Christian market continues to explode, even in tough economic times, which proves that people are truly looking for hope. What better way to offer them that than through story? We also have the very prestigious Carol Award for published authors and the Genesis Award for unpublished authors in each of the following genres:

Contemporary Fiction Contemporary Romance
Historical Fiction
Historical Romance
Romantic Suspense
Speculative Fiction (which includes fantasy, supernatural, and science fiction)
Women’s Fiction
Young Adult

How do you decide which genre best suits you? Study your bookshelf. Grab your top three favorite books. What do they have in common? Which genre do they represent? Is that something you can see yourself writing?

Maybe your skills don’t quite match your desired genre as yet. That’s okay, growth comes with time and words written. It’s absolutely essential to grow your skills as a writer, and often that can be served by writing in a genre that requires a formulaic plot. Formula fiction has gotten a bad rap over the years, but formulaic fiction is absolutely what readers and audiences prefer.

The best movies are formulaic, made up of a three-plot structure, and when a movie’s plot veers from what’s expected by the audience, it’s often met with a horrible box office receipts. So if your desire is to write literary fiction, don’t thumb your nose at romance to get yourself started. One book’s sales determines your next contract, and so you don’t want your first book to be your only book. Consider this when selecting what genre you’re best served in at this point in your career. Since romance publishers tend to have a built-in audience, you’re not fully responsible for finding your readers your first time out, but with that comes the need to write to what that publisher knows is their market.

If, however, you want to write speculative and you know this is your genre, you can continue to hone your craft within that work of fiction. Contests, such as the Genesis, will help you to get feedback from publishers, then you can go back to the drawing board and re-edit your work until it is ready for the market you desire.

Another way to find your genre is to free-flow write and see what your writing voice sounds like. For example, I read mostly nonfiction, and I love literary and saga fiction, but I write chick lit and romance because that’s where my voice is best served.

With your ACFW membership, you can float in and out of each genre loop until you find the one that best serves your voice and your writing career path. For further genre discussion, join us at