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

American Christian Fiction Writers is all abuzz this month about our upcoming contests. ACFW has many ways to help writers become published novelists: critique groups, conferences, and prestigious contests.

The Genesis contest is for authors who have yet to be published but are looking for a way to get their material in front of published authors, as well as publishers. Over the years, this contest has led to many authors becoming published, and its strict guidelines and variety of genres allow writers to practice their skills to a specific market.

Here’s just one author’s experience with the Genesis award:

“ACFW has been one of the most helpful resources in my writing journey. I believe that my recent contract for my debut novel has come about through the contacts I’ve made with this wonderful organization.

“First, were the writing peers and mentors who aided in my learning arc and with whom I chat online on a daily basis. Through one of the ACFW scholarships, I was able to attend the 2008 conference. There was so much to learn from that, as well as from numerous seminars from other years, that helped me along my writing apprenticeship. I learned an amazing amount when I entered the Genesis contest two years running . . . [and] received all those tough but loving critiques.

“Receiving the 2009 Genesis award for my novel Shadowed in Silk was extremely beneficial, popping me instantly into the interest of agents and editors.

“If you don’t expect publication to happen overnight, and you’re willing to learn from others, ACFW can help you reach your writing dreams. All I can say is thank you. And I will continue to be a member of this great big writing family.”

Christine Lindsay

Shadowed in Silk, winner of the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical under the title Unveiled, is to be released by WhiteFire Publishing in summer 2011.

To enter your unpublished manuscript in the Genesis contest:


Published authors also benefit by entering the prestigious Carol Award, formerly known as the Book of the Year Contest. Past winners include some of the biggest names in Christian publishing. It’s an honor for a publisher to be able to say they’ve published a Carol Award–winning book. Guidelines and eligibility requirements are available online at

The projected categories for this year:

• Contemporary Novella (15K–39,999K)
• Debut Novel (at least 50k)
• Historical Novella (15K–39,999K)
• Long Contemporary (65K+)
• Long Contemporary Romance (65K+)
• Long Historical (65K+)
• Long Historical Romance (65K+)
• Mystery
• Short Contemporary (Includes series/category, 40K–64,999K)
• Short Contemporary Suspense (40K–64,999K)
• Short Historical (40K–64,999K)
• Speculative (includes science fiction, fantasy, allegory, etc.)
• Suspense/Thriller
• Romantic Suspense (excluding series/category suspense unless series word count is 65K or higher)
• Women’s Fiction
• Young Adult

You may ask, “Why would I bother to enter a contest?” The answer is threefold. Finaling can provide a resurgence and renewed interest in flagging sales. It can also bolster publishers into remembering their own brilliance in purchasing the novel in the first place. Finally, it’s a chance to be acknowledged in the industry and before your peers.