Kathy Carlton Willis

Kathy Carlton Willis shines the light through her communications firm as writer, publicist, coach, editor, speaker, and more. She’s built a network of industry connections and is affiliated with Advanced Writers and Speakers Association as well CLASSeminars. Her columns and book reviews have appeared online and in print. Kathy is a contributing author for The Reason We Speak, It Happened By Design: A Series of God-Incidence Stories, and Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip to Peace. She is editor and writer for The Christian Pulse devotions. She’s enjoyed stocking empty church library bookshelves to equip readers with tall “to be read” stacks, and is always on the hunt for her next favorite read. Check out her professional blog at http://kcwcomm.blogspot.com and her Website at http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com/. KCWC offers a wide range of services at every price-point, with several new services added just this month, as Kathy’s husband Russ joins the firm to double the luminosity.

Online Resources for Readers

Your one-stop CFOM resource—chock-full of how-tos and helpful hints—equipping you to get more out of your reading. Designed for the individual, libraries, and book clubs.

For Your Reading List
Award-Winning Novels

Remember when you discovered that a book recognized by Oprah or the New York Times might be one to put on your “to-be-read” list? Another way readers select new books is researching award-winning titles. Obviously, there will be times when the popular vote differs from your personal taste, but it’s still a great way to learn of new books and new authors. Here are a few contests and awards for fiction works written from a Christian worldview. Perhaps you’ll order some of these for your own reading list.

Operation First Novel Contest

Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild offers Operation First Novel to guild members who are unpublished. Tyndale House partners with CWG to publish the winner’s novel. CWG has over forty years experience in helping aspiring Christian authors. They seek the “next unpublished novelist to burst onto the scene.”

In addition to winning a publishing contract with Tyndale, first prize is also awarded $20,000. Any current Christian Writers Guild student or member can enter.

Some of the previous winners include:
Journey to Riverbend by Henry McLaughlin, 2009
Thicker Than Blood by CJ Darlington, 2008
Fireflies in December by Jennifer Valent, 2007

For a full list of winners, visit http://www.christianwritersguild.com/ContestWinners.asp.

Genesis Contest

The Genesis Contest is sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers for unpublished Christian writers. The contest has a variety of categories/genres, and category finalists have their work read by Christian publishing house editors and literary agents. This contest has seen excellent results in discovering new talent.

The contest is open to ACFW members unpublished in adult or young adult fiction in the last seven years. Other details can be found on the Website. Winners are announced at the annual ACFW conference.

2009 Winners:

Contemporary Fiction
Jennifer Griffith, Magpies in Trees

Contemporary Romance
Christy LaShea Smith, The Bridge Between

Historical Fiction
Christine Schmidtke, Unveiled

Historical Romance
Lacy Williams, Marrying Miss Marshal

Alan Schleimer, Q.doc

Romantic Suspense
Jan Warren, Katherine Octavia, C.I.A.

David Fry, Lies To See

Women's Fiction
Cathleen Armstrong, The Church of Last Chance

Young Adult
Gretchen Hoffman, Rewind

Christy Awards

The Christy Award is named in honor of Catherine Marshall’s novel and for her contribution to growth of the fiction Christians love to read.

According to their Website, The Christy Award is designed to:

• Nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview.
• Bring a new awareness of the breadth and depth of fiction choices available, helping to broaden the readership.
• Provide opportunity to recognize novelists whose work may not have reached bestseller status.

Every year publishers submit novels written from a Christian worldview for consideration in one of several genre categories or the first novel category. Each category is then read and evaluated against a ten-point criteria by a panel of seven judges composed of librarians, reviewers, academicians, literary critics, and other qualified readers, none of whom have a direct affiliation with a publishing company.

The Christy Awards honor the best in Christian fiction in nine categories. The 2010 winners are (http://www.christyawards.com/winners.html):

Contemporary Romance
Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers)

Contemporary Series, Sequels & Novellas
Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson (Thomas Nelson)

Contemporary Standalone
The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)

First Novel
Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent (Tyndale House Publishers)

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Lost Mission by Athol Dickson (Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster)

By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press)

Young Adult
North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

The Carol Awards

The Carol Awards evolved from ACFW’s Book of the Year Awards to honor the highest achievement for published authors of Christian fiction. The 2010 Carol Award winners will be announced at ACFW’s annual conference.

Previously the contest was called ACFW’s Book of the Year Awards, and the 2009 Winners include (http://www.acfw.com/boty.shtml):

Debut Author
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck

Long Contemporary Romance
Controlling Interest by Elizabeth White

Long Contemporary
Symphony of Secrets by Sharon Hinck

Long Historical (tie)
My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke

For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls by Nancy Mehl

Stuck on You in A Connecticut Christmas Anthology by Rhonda Gibson

Short Contemporary Suspense
Broken Lullaby by Pamela Tracy

Short Contemporary
Family Treasures by Kathryn Springer

Short Historical
Family of the Heart by Dorothy Clark

The Restorer’s Journey by Sharon Hinck

Fossil Hunter by John B. Olson

Women’s Fiction
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

Young Adult
The Big Picture by Jenny B. Jones


Kathy CArlton Willis