CAFE: A gathering place. A place of refreshment.

Thirsty for the latest releases in Christian fiction? Ready for a peek into the world of publishing and writing conferences? Hungry for spiritual and real-life nourishment? Pull up a seat; you're in the right place, and I'm so glad you've stopped by.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ACFW Conference, Part II, Genesis Winners

St. Louis, 2011 ACFW Conference
It's always a little difficult for me to encapsulate what the ACFW conference is all about. Yes, it's a professional organization dedicated to benefit the members by instructing, providing services and a community of like-minded people - people who want to write books with an eye toward publication. It does all that, and every year it expands not only in numbers but also in the scope of what it does. And every September we stream in from all over the globe to laugh, learn, and overdose on Starbucks. 

ACFW has become an extension of who I am - a believer who writes books that I hope inspire and instill hope in others. ACFW is part of me, and after my sixth conference, I know that even if I never went to another one, the friends I've made along the way will be part of my life as long as I draw breath. We invest time, energy, and large doses of laughter and encouragement in one another. I've benefited not only from the rich learning environment, but also feasted on some of the best fiction in today's market.

Mary DeMuth (I owe her the world) and D'Ann Mateer
Many people befriended and encouraged me before I had an agent. Or a contract. Or any clue of what I was doing. They still do. Some have walked the pre-published path with me and have become soul mates, cheerleaders, advisers, prodders, and encouragers. They dole out the bitter with the sweet and share in the joy and the tears. And I return the favor :-)) That's just how it works. We give back because others have given so freely to us. And for most of us, ACFW has had a large part in that.  

Since I started by going backwards with these posts from this year's conference, I'll continue. Today, the Genesis winners. This is a contest for unpublished writers. It's very competitive and is considered one of the top contests in the world of Christian publishing. Editors and agents pay attention to the finalists and the winners. Other writers strive to make the cut every year, and it wouldn't surprise me to see some of these author's names on the cover of a book in the next year or two.

Camille Eide ~ Genesis Winner ~ Friend Extraordinaire
That said, I'm very proud of two special people on this list. Camille Eide, my critique partner who has tirelessly been the "iron that sharpens iron" for me the past two years was in the winner's circle. I'm not sure who was happier - her or me. She's talented, dedicated, and deserving. Way to go, Camille!

Matt Jones, the president of our local ACFW group, also won his category. Sadly, he wasn't there to accept the honor, but we brought the beautiful plaque home for him and are very proud just the same! Not only is he a great writer, but also very savvy in graphics and website development.

Genesis winners and their categories:

Contemporary Fiction
Katy Pistole

Contemporary Romance
Mary Curry

Historical Fiction
Johnnie Alexander Donley

Historical Romance
Sarah Ladd

Dianna T. Benson

Romantic Suspense
Renee Ann Smith

Speculative Fiction
Matt Jones
Women’s Fiction
Camille Eide

Young Adult
Nicole Quigley 

Congrats to all the winners! 

1 comment:

Camille Eide said...

Thank you so much for your glowing praise and tremendous support, Carla! You're such an inspiration!

And I want to say that Matt Jones' thank you speech was beautiful, articulate and moving. Congratulations to Matt and all those who received awards this year. Congrats also to all the finalists - it is an honor to be counted among such dedication, talent and hard work.