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ACFW announces Carol Award and Genesis winners; Jerry Jenkins honored

GRAPEVINE, TX:  Significant achievements in the world of Christian Fiction were acknowledged at the 2017 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Awards Gala at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center during the annual ACFW conference on September 23, 2017. Among the honorees were author and writing instructor Jerry Jenkins, recipient of the 2017 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award.

ACFW CEO Colleen Coble says, “Among the titles that instantly come to mind in the long list of Jerry Jenkins’ books is the Left Behind series with Tim LaHaye, a series that impacted both the Christian and general markets and countless readers. Many readers report that their faith was awakened or reawakened by that series,” says Coble. “But there’s so much more to the story of the impact Jerry Jenkins has had in the Christian Fiction community.”

Also honored for their contributions to Christian Fiction and to ACFW were:

  • Mentor of the Year—Lynette Eason
  • Agent of the Year—Tamela Hancock Murray (The Steve Laube Agency)
  • Editor of the Year—Sarah Rische (Tyndale House Publishers)
  • Volunteer of the Year—Cheryl Wyatt
  • Member Service Award Recipient—Gail Gaymer Martin

Representatives from many facets of the industry—publishers, editors, agents, the press, libraries, bookstores, reviewers, bloggers, publicists, specialty providers, and both veteran and aspiring novelists—gathered during the conference, which culminated with the Awards Gala.

The 2017 CAROL AWARD winners for excellence in Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year by category are:


The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell, HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan), editor Amanda Bostic


Like a River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart, Kregel Publications, editors Dawn Jackson and Janyre Tromp

Historical Romance

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof, ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published), editors Denise Harmer and Karen Swanson


When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks, HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan), editors Amanda Bostic and Natalie Hanneman


The Doctor’s Woman (The Courageous Brides Collection) by Michelle Griep, Barbour Publishing, editor Becky Germany


A Season to Love by Nicole Deese, Waterfall Press, editors Amy Hosford and Kristin Mehus-Roe

Romantic Suspense

Always Watching: A Novel (Elite Guardians) by Lynette Eason, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing, editor Andrea Doering

Short Novel

Restoring Christmas: A Novel by Cynthia Ruchti, Worthy Inspired, editors Pamela Clements and Jamie Chavez


The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James L. Rubart, HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan), editors Amanda Bostic and Erin Healy


You’re the Cream in my Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, editor Kathryn Davis

The 2017 GENESIS CONTEST winners for unpublished novels by category are:

  • Contemporary—Carrie Padgett  – Harley Taps Out
  • Historical—Kendy Pearson – Kanawha Winds
  • Historical Romance—Rachel Scott McDaniel – The Red Canary
  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller—Diane M. Campbell – Point Blank
  • Novella—Tari Faris – Something About Him
  • Romance—Andrea Michelle Wood – Feel the Music
  • Romantic Suspense—Darlene L. Turner – Stolen Vows
  • Short Novel—Sharon J. Mondragon – The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • Speculative—Rick Rosenkranz – Luminarium
  • Young Adult—Kerry Johnson – The Golden Orb

Throughout the year, ACFW instructs, informs, and inspires storytellers, and works to build relationships within the industry among those who create, publish, talk about, sell, and promote Christian Fiction.

ACFW is a professional organization devoted to the craft of Christian Fiction. ACFW’s mission is to empower Christian novelists by inspiring them to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry. For more information about ACFW, contact or

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