2015 ACFW Carol Award Finalists


Carol_Award_Gold_Here are the finalists for the 2015 Carol Awards (more books to put on your to be read pile). The winners will be announced September 19 during the awards dinner in Dallas at ACFW’s annual conference.

Contemporary:
Last Family Standing by Jennifer AlLee, Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards
Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Monds, L.B. Norton
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate, Tyndale House, editors Sarah Mason, Jan Stob

Historical:
Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editor Beth Adams
Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke, Tyndale House, editors Sarah Mason, Stephanie Broene
What Follows After by Dan Walsh, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering

Historical Romance:
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Raela Schoenherr, Luke Hinrichs
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr
While Love Stirs by Lorna Seilstad, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editors Andrea Doering, Jessica English

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:
Poison Town by Creston Mapes, David C. Cook, editor L.B. Norton
A Way of Escape by Serena B. Miller, independently published, editor Connie Troyer
A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Amanda Bostic, Natalie Hanemann

Novella:
An October Bride by Katie Ganshert, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Philpott
I’ll be Home for Christmas from Where Treetops Glisten by Sarah Sundin, Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House), editor Shannon Marchese
A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Karen Schurrer

Romance:
The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Ami McConnell, L.B. Norton
Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin, Harvest House Publishers, editor Kathleen Kerr
Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editor Jessica Wong

Romantic Suspense:
Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter, Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards
No One to Trust by Lynette Eason, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering
Deceived by Irene Hannon, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Jennifer Leep

Short Novel:
Second Chance Summer by Irene Hannon, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich
Rescuing the Texan’s Heart by Mindy Obenhaus, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich
The Wyoming Heir by Naomi Rawlings, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Elizabeth Mazer

Speculative:
Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams, Enclave Publishing, editor Steve Laube
A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, Enclave Publishing, editors Jeff Gerke, Karen Ball
Jupiter Winds by C.J. Darlington, independently published, editor Carol Kurtz Darlington

Young Adult:
This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof, independently published, editors Amanda Dykes, Denise Harmer
Samantha Sanderson at the Movies by Robin Caroll, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Kim Childress, Mary Hassinger
Storm Siren by Mary Weber, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds

Debut Novel:
Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Amanda Bostic
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Raela Schoenherr, Luke Hinrichs
The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall, Whitaker House, editor Courtney Hartzel

Published in: on June 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Comments Off on 2015 ACFW Carol Award Finalists  
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The 2013 Carol Award Winners


Daystar-CoverOne of the best things about book contests is that readers get an idea which books they should add to their to-read lists. The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) instituted a “best book” award some years back which morphed into the Carol Award a few years ago, named after a long time editor with Bethany House, I believe.

ACFW had its start as American Christian Romance Writers, and there’s still a residual emphasis on the romance end of things, though they tout themselves as the primer conference for the broad spectrum of Christian fiction.

Apparently between 500 and 600 writers, agents, and editors congregated for the conference in Indianapolis this year. At the banquet held Sunday, the award winners were announced. Here are the finalists in each category, with the winners noted.

Category [I have no idea what this encompasses, but it would seem to be romance, based on the publishers, and somewhat shorter than most novels but longer than a novella, based on the note about length at the ACFW site]
Seaside Reunion by Irene Hannon (Love Inspired * Editor: Melissa Endlich)
A Horseman’s Hope by Myra Johnson (Heartsong Presents * Editor: Rebecca Germany)
Winner Lost Legacy by Dana Mentink (Love Inspired * Editor: Emily Rodmell)

Contemporary
You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House * Editors: Karen Watson/Sarah Mason)
Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane (Abingdon Press * Editor: Ramona Richards)
Winner Heart Echoes by Sally John (Tyndale House * Editors: Karen Watson/Stephanie Broene,/Kathy Olson)

Debut Novel
Proof by Jordyn Redwood (Kregel * Editor: Dawn Anderson)
A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh (Guideposts Books * Editors: Beth Adams/Rachel Meisel/Lindsay Guzzardo)
Winner Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert (Waterbrook/Multnomah * Editor: Shannon Marchese)

Historical
At Every Turn by Anne Mateer (Bethany House * Editor: Charlene Patterson)
The Discovery by Dan Walsh (Revell * Editor: Andrea Doering)
Winner Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick (Waterbrook/Multnomah * Editor: Shannon Marchese)

Historical Romance
To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander (Zondervan * Editor: Sue Brower)
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House * Editor: Karen Schurrer)
Winner A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller (Revell * Editor: Vicki Crumpton)

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Downfall by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan * Editors: David Lambert/Sue Brower/Ellen Tarver)
Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing * Editor: Karen Ball)
Winner The Soul Saver by Dineen Miller (Barbour Publishing * Editors: Rebecca Germany/Jamie Chavez)

Novella
You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch by Paula Moldenhauer (Barbour Publishing * Editors: Rebecca Germany/JoAnne Simmons)
Impressed by Love by Lisa Karon Richardson (Barbour Publishing * Editor: Rebecca Germany)
Winner A Recipe for Hope by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson * Editor: Natalie Hanemann)

Romance
The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson * Editors: Natalie Hanemann/L. B. Norton)
An Uncommon Grace by Serena B. Miller (Howard * Editor: Holly Halverson)
Winner Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard (B&H Publishing * Editors: Julie Gwinn/Julie Carobini)

Romantic Suspense
Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson * Editor: Ami McConnell)
Saving Hope by Margaret Daley (Abingdon Press * Editor: Ramona Richards)
Winner When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason (Revell * Editor: Andrea Doering)

Speculative
Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse (Marcher Lord Press * Editor: Jeff Gerke)
Judge by R. J. Larson (Bethany House * Editors: David Long/Sarah Long)
Winner Daystar by Kathy Tyers (Marcher Lord Press * Editor: Jeff Gerke)

Young Adult
Prophet by R.J. Larson (Bethany House * Editors: David Long/Sarah Long)
The New Recruit by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press * Editor: Jeff Gerke)
Winner Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley (Zondervan * Editor: Jacque Alberta)

Of course the greatest drawback to the Carol Awards is that only members of the organization may enter their works. That means a lot of good books were not under consideration.

Be that as it may, of the books from ACFW members, these would seem to be the top of the line. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. Hope you find something in this list to enjoy.

Published in: on September 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm  Comments Off on The 2013 Carol Award Winners  
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Standing Up For Magic


magic-bookRecently I had a discussion with a Christian who considers much of speculative fiction to be opposed to the Bible. I’ve only had a few encounters with people who hold this view, though other writers have spoken of being surrounded by such folk.

The exchange reminds me that it’s wise to confront this attitude head-on, with Scripture.

Some years ago Stephen Burnett recounted a question that came up at an ACFW Conference. Seems one of the conferees was asking how a Christian fantasy writer is to handle magic since magic is intrinsically un-Christian.

Interesting.

Here’s the first definition for magic in the Oxford American Dictionaries: “the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.”

My question, then is, Do we Christians not consider God “supernatural”? But … but…but … God’s work is miraculous, not magic, someone may well say. And the Oxford American Dictionaries would agree that God’s work is miraculous: “occurring through divine or supernatural intervention, or manifesting such power.”

But isn’t miraculous simply a more narrowed term, specifically referencing the divine? Magic, on the other hand, does not exclude the divine.

However, I don’t want to get too caught up in semantics. Let’s agree that the Bible does warn against magic and witchcraft and other sorts of divination sought from powers other than God Himself.

In contrast, God’s powerful works are called miraculous and prophetic.

The point that is noteworthy for fantasy writers and readers, however, is this: the Bible makes it clear that both God and Satan have power. Not in equal measure. Satan is no more omnipotent than he is omnipresent, though I suspect he’d like Man to think he is both.

Make no mistake. God’s power trumps Satan’s, and it’s not even a fair comparison. Satan may not get this because it seems he keeps trying to go up against God, as if he can outmaneuver Wisdom or out-muscle Omnipotence.

Be that as it may, we can’t deny that he has power and it is supernatural—beyond Man’s abilities. Pharaoh had his magicians and so did Nebuchadnezzar, and seemingly they were used to these conjurers producing what normal folk could not. Their power was not from God, however.

Moses, with the rod of God, went head to head with Pharaoh’s magicians, if you recall, and God’s power dominated. Nebuchadnezzar’s sorcerers could not tell their king his dream, let alone the interpretation of it, but God’s man, Daniel, could.

But back to fantasy. If supernatural power—good and evil—is real, then why should Christian fantasy writers pretend that the evil forces in their stories don’t have real supernatural power? Why should we pretend that those siding with good have no supernatural power?

Fantasy, after all, gives a story-long metaphor for the real world. Why would we want to give Christians—young adults or adults—the idea that there isn’t actually supernatural power of any kind by doing away with magic in our stories?

It seems to me it’s important to address the source of power and the reality of power and the proper attitude toward power—all of which fantasy can address. Unless, of course, a Christian story must be scrubbed clean of supernatural power.

This article, except the opening paragraphs, is a re-publication from an earlier post here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction

Published in: on August 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm  Comments (2)  
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The Joy Of Conferencing


Not Mount Hermon, but not so very different either.

Not Mount Hermon, but not so very different either.

I love writers’ conferences. I’m not going to any this year, but my favorite one–Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference–starts this week, and a number of people I know are planning on attending either as conferees or as presenters.

Years ago I attended a conference here in the Southland, which was nice because I didn’t have the added expense of a hotel room. It was held at a Christian university in the area so the facility couldn’t have been better. However, the director changed and the venue changed, and then the conference ended.

Another small–I’m talking, fifty people at most–conference, ACW, used to be held in the area at a hotel. I could still commute and liked that one too depending on who the presenters were. There was something really intimate about such a small gathering.

I went to another one day conference in the area put on by the Orange County Christian Writers’ Fellowhip, and that was good too (they recently expanded to a two day conference, I believe). It was medium sized and had some good workshop instructors.

Then there was the ACFW conference a number of years ago. I liked my classes and had a chance to meet a number of online friends in person.

In fact, the best part of conferences, I think, is getting to hang out with writers. I like learning the important content the instructors give, too. I’m an incurable note-taker so fill up pages at these conferences. I also use up all the slots I’m given to meet with editors and agents.

Mount Hermon seems like a good conference for those of us attending–we get to have our work in front of either editors or agents as a submission, if we choose, or we can ask for a critique from one of those or from an experienced writer. Then we can make appointments with staff we’d like to talk with or we can sit with them at lunch or dinner. Since the conference officially runs from Friday noon to Tuesday noon, that’s a lot of meals to spend pitching projects or just getting to know professionals in the business.

Besides all that, there are continuing classes on a particular subject of your choice, so you can go in depth. There are also editor and agent panels and other workshops about interesting topics. Of course there are also keynote speakers that tie the whole conference together. I’ve been there when Ted Dekker was a keynoter and another year when Jerry Jenkins was. But my favorite was Liz Curtis Higgs.

Mount Hermon has another thing going for it–it’s in Mount Hermon. I don’t know that there’s a more beautiful spot for a conference–and my favorite place in the world is Colorado. So you can see, I think a lot about the Mount Hermon Conference site. There’s something about those redwood trees. They’re not just big, though they are that. They are majestic. Or noble. It’s one of those things everyone tries to capture on film, but it just doesnt’ translate to an image. Besides, they create this amazing separation from the busy urban coastal communities nearby, so you feel as if you are miles and miles away from distractions (unless you bring them with you).

I love writers’ conferences, all types–small, large, short, long. I love talking about writing, hearing stories about writing, getting feedback about my writing. I even like writing, so one of the things I’d like to do is go to a writing retreat where much of the time is spent writing.

For now, though, I’m content to troll the Internet for news about conferences in the hopes that someone is blogging about their experience so I can live vicariously through them! 😉

Meet A Winner


The first time I went to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference, I rode the bus. It was not a happy experience, mostly because I went at night, arrived tired, and stayed that way a good bit of the time.

The following year, some while before the conference, I pulled out the trusty list of attendees Mount Hermon supplied and started emailing locals to see if anyone from my area was driving up and might have room for a passenger.

While several people replied, only one looked like it would work out. I have to be honest. I had reservations. My traveling buddy was to be a man I had never met. Didn’t know him from Adam or from Jack the Ripper. 😀

Rich with his wife Sheryl

I laugh now because Rich Bullock, the writer who offered to car pool the six hours north, is one of the top-of-the-line Good Guys.

But I had another concern. What would we talk about for all that time? Or would it be OK for me to nap or stare silently out the window?

Silly me. I had prayed about this trip, and God has a way of giving abundantly more than we ask or think. I was driving with another writer, and we pretty much talked about writing non-stop.

Pretty much. I did learn that Rich and I are twins. Well, not actually, but we do share the exact same birth date—month, day, year.

So began a writer friendship. For the next three years Rich and I carpooled to Mount Hermon, adding in a couple other passengers along the way. One year we even had the opportunity to be in the same Mentoring Clinic, so I got a chance to read and critique Rich’s work, and he mine.

I soon learned he had an excellent eye and spot-on suggestions. For a short time we were in an online critique group together, and I saw more and more that Rich knew what he was doing on both sides of the writing desk. Even after that group petered out, I’d occasionally shoot a piece of work to him for his feedback, and he to me.

Consequently, it was my privilege to read a chapter from his new work in progress, Storm Lake, back in February when he was preparing it for another mentoring clinic at Mount Hermon.

And now, seven months later, after a somewhat hopeful agent rejection, Rich hit contest pay dirt. He submitted Storm Lake/Storm Song to the ACFW Genesis contest, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category, and won!

I can’t tell you how excited I am for him. Here’s a writer who has taken the time to learn the craft and isn’t afraid to have his work before a group of tough critics. He’s one of those writers who gives back, too, having volunteered for years as a contest judge himself.

Hats off to all the ACFW winners—in all categories of both the Genesis (opening pages of an unpublished writer’s manuscript) and Carol (formerly the Book of the Year) contests. But I have to say, I’m especially happy for my friend Rich.

His is a name you’ll want to remember, especially if you enjoy mystery/suspense. His writing is sensory and transports you into the scenes he writes. I can see readers up late at night, all lights burning, covers pulled tight under the chin, but unable to put the latest Rich Bullock novel down!

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm  Comments (5)  
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CSFF Blog Tour – Your Favorite, Day 3


Yes, we have a day three post after all. (Blessings on repairmen!)

Before I forget, which I did yesterday, I want to steer you over to the Clive Staples Award site. You can find the list of nominations as well as descriptions of the books and links to reviews, sample chapters, book trailers, author interviews, you name it.

Why is this important? First so that you can vote in the Readers’ Choice Award (be sure to read the instructions), but also so that you can make a note of the books you’d like to add to your library or to give as a gift. There are YA selections, fantasy, science fiction, supernatural suspense—really, something for everyone.

Also, tell your friends about the award. You might be surprised who has read at least two of the nominations (the minimum requirement to be eligible to vote).

And now, on to today’s Favorite: my favorite book yet to be published.

The author is a friend

who comments here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction from time to time.

The novel I’m referring to as my favorite yet-to-be-published is actually her second finished book.

This one is YA (the first was middle grade, I believe),

a girl book,

a fairytale in the vein of Shannon Hale’s work (The Goose Girl, Princess Academy, Book of a Thousand Days).

The story has a strong, sassy young protagonist who thinks she knows what she needs to do to fix her broken world. Instead she makes matters worse and endangers the very people she loves most, or comes to love most. (Yes, there is some romance 😀 ).

The writing is strong, artful, vivid. (I’d post a sample, but don’t have permission to do so).

The book is hard to put down—which means, the plot is compelling. There’s intrigue and suspense and conflict and surprises (especially at the moments when you most think you’ve got things figured out).

So who is this author?

She’s been an occasional participant in the CSFF Blog Tour, is the founder of the Children’s Book Blog Tour

a winner of the ACFW Genesis contest, winner of an SCBWI (children’s writers organization) work-in-progress grant, and (I think) honorable mention of the SCBWI Most Promising Work Award.

Formerly from Alaska, she now lives outside of Atlanta.

She’s a recent widow, homeschools her two children and cares for her elderly mother.

She blogs about books and writing at Whispers of Dawn and is currently seeking an agent (may be close to signing with someone soon).

Keep your ears open for books from Sally Apokedak, especially the one now titled The Button Girl.

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm  Comments (4)  
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Why Writers’ Conferences


I’m a believer in writers’ conferences and would go to more if I could afford it. Not so long ago I attended Mount Hermon in the spring and the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in the fall.

I’d even like to attend smaller conferences such as the one the Orange County Christian Writers’ Fellowship sponsors or the nearby Antelope Valley Christian Writers’ Conference. I used to periodically attend the ACW conference in the Los Angeles area, but for the last several years they’ve held their western US workshops in Arizona.

Why would I want to go to all these conferences, you might wonder. After all, isn’t much of the information the same?

Some is. But I go to these conferences because I learned when I was teaching that there’s always room to improve. Hearing someone else speak and interacting one on one or in small groups with other writers may supply me with some new way of networking or plotting or deepening character.

Besides learning more about the craft, however, I go to conferences just to hang with other writers. I have wonderful, caring friends and family who are interested in my writing and who pray for me, but other writers are going through what I go through. They know what yet another rejection letter feels like. They understand the level of dependency and trust in God’s sovereignty this business takes (or the level of worry and bitterness it can foster for those who go it alone! 😮 ) Sometimes it’s just nice to be with a bunch of people who are in the same boat.

A third reason I like going to Christian writers’ conferences is because they remind me of my reason for writing—I desire to glorify God through stories, and now through nonfiction as well. In a tight economy, for those of us trying to earn a living as writers, it’s easy to get off track and think making money is the point of it all. For me, the point is obedience to the job God has called me to, and conference speakers often remind me of that.

Here’s another one—I like to go to writers’ conferences because I get to see friends I’m making in this business. I may have started out attending another writer’s class, exchanging some emails, chatting at meals, and before you know it, these colleagues are friends. It’s good to get together with friends.

Lastly, writers’ conferences put me in touch with the professionals on the other side of the table—agents and editors. I like hearing their perspectives, picking up their tips, getting whatever insider information they’re willing to share. Writing is a different business, and if those who know are kind enough to offer help, I want to be there to accept.

CSFF Blog Tour – The Vanishing Sculptor, Day 1


Announcements. Lots going on, so lest I forget, I want to take care of business before moving onto Donita Paul and her latest release, The Vanishing Sculptor (WaterBrook).

First, I’m still looking for help with a book title. If you haven’t given feedback yet and would like to, you’ll find the poll at Fantasy Friday – I Need Your Help. The poll will be open through this week.

Also we’re accepting nominations for the 2009 Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction. The developing list is posted here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction and also at the Award site.

Third, the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) held their awards ceremony this past weekend. Congratulations to Sharon Hinck, winner of the Book of the Year Award – Speculative, for The Restorer’s Journey, and to David Fry, winner of the Genesis Contest – SciFi/Allegory/Fantasy, for Lies to See. Great accomplishments! 😀

There is one other award I want to mention in particular, but I’ll get to that.

The Tour. As I’ve stated from time to time, the CSFF Blog Tour got it’s start when Donita Paul took a chance on us, sending a group of 17 bloggers copies of DragonKnight, book 3 in her DragonKeeper Chronicles series. Actually, that tour was our second, the first featuring Tim Frankovich’s excellent site Christian Fiction Review with his “Focus on Fantasy” section. But with Donita’s tour, word seemed to spread like wildfire, and today CSFF has nearly 150 members, and monthly 35 or more participating blogs.

I think, in part, the growth was due to Donita’s gracious participation in the tour, beyond providing books. She conducted interviews, too, and stopped by our blogs to comment. As I look at it, she set the gold standard for author involvement in blog tours. For example, she left comments on each of my tour posts, and came back to answer questions others left her.

Here’s her initial comment to the Day 1 post:

Becky, this is such a great idea! I had a hard time envisioning just what-all a blog tour encompassed. I was just talking to a sales rep from WaterBrook and told him what a fantastic job you all are doing on the grassroots level. Believe me, the grassroots level is what starts the fires that spread from reader to reader.

The encouragement was great, the review copies of the book were great, the interaction with a published author was great.

So, bringing us back to the present, it was no surprise to me to learn that the ACFW Mentor of the Year award went to Donita Paul! Sky-writing sized congratulations!

I hope visitors here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction learn a lot about Donita and her writing during these next three days. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, The Vanishing Sculptor might be the perfect one to start with. It’s the beginning of a new series and a sort of prequel to the DragonKeeper Chronicles. But I’ll get into book specifics another day.

For now, take some time to visit other blogs participating in the tour:

http://anewnovelistsjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/csff-blog-tour-vanishing-sculptor-by.html

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 11:58 am  Comments (15)  
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Writers Getting Together


I have to admit, I hear a number of writers heading off to Denver for the annual American Christian Fiction Writers Conference (ACFW), and I wish I were going too.

Nothing better than a group of writers and other professionals getting together and learning, laughing, celebrating, encouraging, talking shop.

My conference of choice is the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Northern California (isn’t that our 51 state? 😆 ), but I have ties in Colorado and would love to have gone to ACFW for that reason alone.

Get this, though. My friend Sally Apokedak will be attending one of the Highlights Foundation (of Highlights for Children fame) Founders Workshops. This is actually a practicum for 6 participants, led by an editor. In Chautauqua, New York. On the west shore of Chautauqua Lake.

And then there is the upcoming Fall Festival of Authors here in Southern California, with, among others, Athol Dickson.

Honestly, I’m feeling a little starved because it’s been over a year now that I’ve been to any kind of conference.

I realize I interact with writers regularly via email and through social networking, but it isn’t the same. People in other professions have face-to-face encouragement regularly. I know from my teaching days, the interaction with colleagues spurred me on and gave me ideas and helped me find solutions to problems.

Writers need this too. But since I’m not able to go to ACFW in Denver, I’ll be eagerly watching the blogs to get a second hand look at that conference. The Inkwell looks especially promising.

Meanwhile, I’m on to work as usual, but I’m starting to save pennies in hopes of making the 2010 Mount Hermon Conference. 😉

CSFF Blog Tour – Marcher Lord Press


First, I want to announce the winners of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis contest in the speculative division:

In the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Allegory category, the finalists are:
1st: Chawna Schroeder, Metamorphosis
2nd: Lynda K. Arndt, The Song of Blood and Stone
3rd: Valerie Comer, The Girl Who Cried Squid

Congratulations to these writers. Some of you may realize that Chawna and Valerie are both CSFF Blog Tour members, so it’s especially gratifying to see that they’ve received recognition for their own writing.

This month CSFF is NOT featuring a book. Instead we are highlighting a new publishing venture. Some of you may remember that a little over a year and a half ago, Jeff Gerke announced his plans to begin a new kind of publishing company, Marcher Lord Press. My initial reaction wasn’t particularly favorable because MLP is a print-on-demand publisher.

In part because of the discussion about POD that came about among CSFF members, I’ve changed my views. Another factor in my new position is a result of my awareness of the realities of the writing business. From agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog post last Thursday:

I think there are way, way more people writing books than the market can ever support. At least this is true within traditional royalty-paying publishing.

I began to understand this as I joined groups like The Lost Genre Guild and ChristSF. Lots and lots of writers. Very few spots for speculative titles released by traditional publishers serving the Christian market.

Another reality, quite frankly, is that the entire publishing industry is undergoing fundamental changes because of technology. With the development of Amazon’s Kindle and other such readers, I suspect books will, in a generation or sooner, be sold primarily via cyberspace.

Which brings us back to Marcher Lord Press. Here is a new, cutting edge, publisher devoted exclusively to speculative fiction written from a Christian worldview. As Jeff states in the introduction to MLP, “If it’s speculative and it comes from the Christian worldview, Marcher Lord Press is your publisher.”

Without a doubt, I see this new venture as filling a need, and I’m happy CSFF has the opportunity of letting others know about it.

Read what other bloggers on the tour are saying about MLP.

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Courtney
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Kameron M. Franklin
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Tina Kulesa
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Margaret
Rachel Marks (not on the original list)
Shannon McNear
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Greg Slade
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

“√” indicates I know a blog post is up.

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