Well, this is the month. The month that entries are due for the ACFW 2009 Genesis contest. This highly anticipated contest is huge for the Christian aspiring author. The top five finalists in each category get the opportunity to have their manuscripts judged by literary agents and editors. This alone is more than worth the $35 entry fee.
Last year, I entered two manuscripts, both in the Chick Lit category. Mind over Madi went on to final and ended up placing second in my category. Not only was it a thrill to place, but the feedback I received from the judges was invaluable. That manuscript is in the editing stage and I hope to put together a proposal to send out to potential agents very soon.
This year, I also have two manuscripts I'm preparing for the Genesis. Since the chick lit category has been eliminated, I'll be submitting to the Mystery/Suspense category and the Womens Fiction category. I am anxious to get these submitted but want to make sure those first 15 pages are polished to perfection. The month or so between the deadline and notification of the finalists is nerve-wracking, as any entrant can attest.
Anyway, if you are an aspiring Christian author and you love a good challenge and want some fabulous feedback on your work from experienced and published authors, and possibly literary agents and editors from your favorite publishing houses, I encourage you to check out the Genesis contest. The deadline is March 31st. Here are the categories and the final round judges this year:
Final Round judges:
• Contemporary Fiction: Sandra Bishop (agent, MacGregor Literary), Rachelle Gardner (agent, Wordserve Literary), and Kelly Mortimer (agent, Mortimer Literary Agency)
• Contemporary Romance: Melissa Endlich (editor, Steeple Hill), Tamela Hancock Murray (agent, Hartline Literary Agency), and JoAnne Simmons (editor, Barbour Publishing)
• Historical Fiction: Sue Brower (editor, Zondervan), Charlene Patterson (editor, Bethany House Publishers), and Rachel Zurakowski (agent, Books and Such Literary Agency)
• Historical Romance: Rebecca Germany (editor, Barbour Publishing), Ami McConnell (editor, Thomas Nelson), and Emily Rodmell (editor, Steeple Hill)
• Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Stephanie Broene (editor, Tyndale), Beth Jusino (agent, Alive Communications), and Barbara Scott (editor, Abingdon Press)
• Romantic Suspense: Tina Colombo (editor, Steeple Hill), Joyce Hart (agent, Hartline Literary Agency), and Natasha Kern (agent, Natasha Kern Literary Agency)
• Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Allegory: Jeff Gerke (publisher, Marcher Lord Press), Andy Meisenheimer (editor, Zondervan), and Annie Tipton (editor, Barbour Publishing)
• Women's Fiction: Beth Adams (editor, Guideposts), Janet Grant (agent, Books and Such Literary Agency), and Stephanie Broene (editor, Tyndale)
• Young Adult: Jacque Alberta (editor, Zonderkidz), Terry Burns (agent, Hartline Literary Agency), and Wendy Lawton (agent, Books and Such Literary Agency)
One note: you must be an ACFW member to enter. I could list all the benefits of an ACFW membership but I'll save that for another post. Just know that it's worth every penny of that minimal yearly fee ($50 for the first year, $40 every year after that).
For more information, check out the website: American Christian Fiction Writers and the Genesis guidelines.