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
“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
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To enter your unpublished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: http://acfw.com/genesis.
CAROL AWARD 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 http://acfw.com/carol.
The projected categories for
• 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+)
• 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.)
• 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.