Well, today marks the deadline of one of my favorites: The ACFW Genesis Contest for unpublished authors. I entered three manuscripts this year - two WF and one YA. Last year I entered three ms and finaled with one. Even though I'd love nothing more than to final again, I'm not holding my breath. The guidelines have changed a bit and there will be three rounds of judging instead of only two. There will also be only three finalists instead of the usual five. With all of the talent I'm up against, well...like I said, not holding my breath.
BUT... I'm always up for a challenge so I went for it. Three times. We'll see what happens.
Here's how the judging will work this year: the first round of judging consists of published authors, previous Genesis finalists and writers trained in judging the Genesis. The top 20% in each category will go on to the second round (for example, if there are 60 entries in the Women's Fiction category, 12 of those entries will move on to the semi-finals). Semi-finalists will be announced on or around April 8th.
The semi-final judges consist of published authors. The top three scoring entries will be the finalists. Finalists will be notified on or around May 13th.
The final round is judged by professional editors and agents (see list, below). The winners will be announced at the awards banquet held during the annual ACFW conference in September.
I am looking forward to being a first-round judge again this year. Of course, we can't judge the categories we enter.
As always, there is a great line-up of final round judges. And they are:
•Contemporary Fiction: Beth Adams (editor, Guideposts books), Rachelle Gardener (agent, WordServe Literary), Ami McConnell (editor, Thomas Nelson)
•Contemporary Romance: Melissa Endlich (editor, Love Inspired), Raela Schoenherr (editor, Bethany House), JoAnne Simmons (editor, Barbour Publishing)
•Historical Fiction: Janet Grant (agent, Books and Such Literary), Sarah Long (editor, Bethany House), Jan Stob (editor, Tyndale)
•Historical Romance: Tamela Hancock Murray (agent, Hartline Literary), Charlene Patterson (editor, Bethany House), Emily Rodmell (editor, Love Inspired Historical)
•Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Stephanie Broene (editor, Tyndale), Susan Downs (editor, Summerside Press), David Long (editor, Bethany House)
•Romantic Suspense: Susan Brower (editor, Zondervan), Tina James (editor, Love Inspired Suspense), Karen Schurrer (editor, Bethany House)
•Speculative Fiction: Jeff Gerke (publisher, Marcher Lord Press), Julie Gwinn (marketing manager, B&H Publishing), Annie Tipton (editor, Barbour Publishing)
•Women's Fiction: Sandra Bishop (agent, MacGregor Literary), Natasha Kern (agent, Natasha Kern Literary), Becky Monds (editor, Thomas Nelson)
•Young Adult: Jacque Alberta (editor, Zondervan), Terry Burns (agent, Hartline Literary), Rachel Kent (agent, Books and Such Literary)
What about you? Did you enter the Genesis contest this year? Are you judging?