It’s that time of year: contest
season. Whether you’re an aspiring
writer or already published, ACFW offers contests you want to be sure
Award, named in honor of Carol Johnson, is for published
authors, while the Genesis Award is for
As an unpublished author, I
entered the Genesis Award. I wanted to
learn how I was doing as an aspiring writer. Had I crafted an
interesting story? Were my characters compelling? Did I create a
setting that was rich and inviting? Did readers care about the story,
or did they race to put it down?
Though I didn’t final, I got
feedback that helped me evaluate how I was doing in each of those
Then as a published author, I
entered my books in the Carol Award.
The reasons differed, because I knew my idea and characters were
compelling enough to attract an agent and editor’s attention. Now I
wanted to know how my writing compared with my peers. One book tied for
first place, another finaled, and others didn’t place.
Should you enter?
That’s something only you can
decide. First, evaluate your reasons.
If you are unpublished and entering the Genesis just to get your
manuscript in front of a certain editor or agent, that might be reason
enough. If you want to see how you stack up against other writers and
learn areas to improve your writing, that would be another reason. The
reasons will be as individual as the writers. For the price of the
entry fee, you will receive a minimum of three detailed critiques of
The Carol Award allows you to
get a feel for what readers think―but
only if you want the feedback. Because authors are different in what
they want, you can choose to receive a scorecard.
Either way, I hope you’ll plan
to join us in Dallas on September 22 for the Awards Gala at the ACFW