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ACFW announces Carol Award and Genesis
winners; Liz Curtis Higgs honored

Nashville, TN:  Significant achievements in Christian Fiction were acknowledged at the 2018 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Awards Gala at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center during the annual ACFW conference on September 22, 2018. Among the honorees was prolific author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs, recipient of the 2018 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award.

Of Higgs, ACFW CEO Colleen Coble says, “No matter how tight Liz’s schedule or the challenges she faces in life, she notices people and genuinely cares about them. Whether helping others grow in their writing skills or grow in their faith in Christ, Liz Curtis Higgs seeks God on their behalf.” Coble adds, “It shows in the depth of her stories, too.”

ACFW conference attendees—unpublished and published writers, editors, agents, reviewers, publicists, industry guests, and noted writing instructors—gathered from across the country and beyond for three days of education and inspiration. Keynote speaker Debbie Macomber, with more than 200 million copies of her books in print, delivered uplifting motivation for novelists. The conference culminated with the Awards Gala.

Honored for their contributions to Christian Fiction and to ACFW were:

  • Mentor of the Year—Tina Radcliffe
  • Agent of the Year—Jim Hart (Hartline Literary Agency)
  • Editor of the Year—Andrea Doering (Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)
  • Volunteer of the Year—Dineen Miller
  • Member Service Award Recipient—DiAnn Mills

The 2018 CAROL AWARD winners for excellence in Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year by category are:


  • Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert, Tyndale House, Editors: Sarah Rische and Jan Stob


  • Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson, Tyndale House, Editors: Stephanie Broene and Sarah Rische

Historical Romance

  • A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander, Bethany House – A Division of Baker Publishing, Editor: Karen Schurrer


  • Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Editors: Amanda Bostic and Erin Healy


  • One Enchanted Noel from Enchanted: A Christmas Collection by Melissa Tagg, ACFW QIP, Editor: Terri Simmons


  • A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, Editors: Andrea Doering and Kristin Kornoelje

Romantic Suspense

  • Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman, FaithWords (Hachette), Editor: Christina Boys

Short Novel

  • Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Editors: Ami McConnell Abston and Becky Philpott


  • Awakened by Morgan L. Busse, Enclave Publishing, Editor: Reagen Reed

Young Adult

  • Betrayal of the Band by Sarah Tipton, Watershed Books (Pelican Book Group), Editor: Jamie West


  • Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli, Tyndale House, Editors: Caleb Sjogren and Jan Stob

The 2018 GENESIS CONTEST winners for unpublished novels by category are:

  • Contemporary: Jessica Brodie for The Memory Garden
  • Historical: Kiersti Giron for Fire in My Heart
  • Historical Romance: Elizabeth Ann Boyles for Dragonfly Wings
  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Leanna Lindsey Hollis MD for Avenged by Blood
  • Novella: Grace Olson for Pineapples for Christmas
  • Romance: Kathleen D. Bailey for A Hilltop Christmas
  • Romantic Suspense: Michelle Aleckson for Riptide
  • Short Novel: Laura C. Brandenburg for Harvesting Love
  • Speculative: Gretchen E. K. Engel for The Barber Surgeon
  • Young Adult: Gretchen Carlson for More Than Grit

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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