Would you believe that around 75 Genesis finalists have gone on to become published–and a number of them multi-published? I thought it might be encouraging to hear from some of these people who have walked where you not-yet-published writers are walking. So sit back, take heart, and enjoy the following success stories from your fellow ACFW members.
“ACFW is one of my favorite organizations on Earth. I credit ACFW with the fact that I am published today. The Critique group that helped me learn how to write. The Conference that led to me meeting people who would buy my books. The Connections that led to wonderful friendships that also have a beneficial professional side to them. The Classes I took through ACFW. The Contest I won that drew attention to my books from the right people. The Agents I signed with, and the Editors I met who I now work with.”
Mary Connealy, Romantic Comedy with Cowboys, http://www.maryconnealy.com/
Genesis Finalist 2004, Multi-year BOTY/Carol Award finalist/winner
“Okay, I’m going to go ahead and admit it–I owe ACFW my first-born child for all the benefits I’ve gleaned through this amazing organization. Without it, I seriously doubt I’d be published today or as quickly. It was an ACFW paid critique that caught glaring mistakes in my very first ms. and where I joined a critique group that helped my ms. be all it could be. Through ACFW, I learned TONS about writing and have acquired a huge network of people who’ve helped me at every turn, providing more anointed mentoring than a prophet convention in heaven.
“Finaling in the 2005 Genesis was a proud moment because this was not just any RWA contest, no, this was a contest judged by my peers–godly writers whose ultimate mission is, like mine, to glorify God. Besides, where else can you go to from winning a prize for the most rejections one year … to Debut Author of the Year the next? I guarantee you–nowhere but ACFW, an organization with a huge heart for authors … and a truly inspirational soul!”
Julie Lessman, The Daughters of Boston Series, www.julielessman.com
Noble Theme Finalist 2005, Carol Awards in 2009 and 2010
“In 2009, I entered a story in the Genesis that received scathing critiques from the contest judges. After several weeks of licking my wounds, I took their comments into consideration. I discovered I had written a main character that was difficult to love. I did a total rewrite of the first chapter and put the story on the shelf. In April of 2011, my agent called with a tremendous opportunity. Tyndale House was acquiring a few completed manuscripts to launch their new Digital First line in July.
I submitted the very manuscript that had been dinged and reworked. Tyndale received the proposal on Monday. Requested the full on Tuesday. And bought the story on Friday. Nobody wants to hear that their work needs work, but writers must be willing to listen and learn. Becoming a part of ACFW helped me improve my craft, get signed by an agent, and ultimately sell a book.”
Lynne Gentry, Reinventing Leona
Genesis Finalist 2006, 2007 & 2008
“In 2002 I entered the ACFW Noble Theme writing contest for the first national conference. I was a finalist and attended the conference that year not only because of the contest, but also because my friends encouraged me to do so. As a result I met the agent with whom I would sign, and made many friends who gave me great advice and helped me on the road to becoming a novelist. Being a finalist in that contest helped to confirm in my mind that I wanted to write Christian novels. That was the beginning of an enlightening journey to publication with encouragement and support from so many friends made through ACFW.”
Martha Rogers, Summer Dream, www.marthawrogers.com
Noble Theme 2002 Finalist