Who We Are 2004
In January 2004, nominations were held for the next slate of Operating Board members. Voting commenced at the end of the month and in February, the 2004 ACRW Operating Board was announced:
• President - Rachel Hauck
• Vice President - Tracey Bateman
• Secretary - Susan Downs
• Treasurer - Susan May Warren
• Volunteer Coordinator - Kaye Dacus
In January, Karen Kingsbury resigned from the Advisory Board due to an increasingly heavy writing schedule.
That same month, the Board announced that a prayer loop would be established for all prayer requests. This would provide members more liberty to share prayer requests and would facilitate focused prayer for members’ needs.
The 2004 Merit Scholarship program for the National Conference was announced in March by Vice President Tracey Bateman.
Also in March, Randy Ingermanson joined the Advisory Board.
On April 21, 2004, the Operating Board notified members of the first ever dues increase for ACRW. New member fees would increase to $40, while renewal dues would be $35.
April brought another shift of volunteers as Kaye Dacus temporarily took over as Crit Group Coordinator from Marge Brooks. This change necessitated finding a new Birthday Greeter. Greg Williamson stepped up to the plate. In May, Vickie McDonough took the helm as Crit Group Coordinator.
Also in May, the 2004 Book of the Year contest was announced by the new coordinator for this program, Suzi Reed. The 2004 Noble Theme finalists were revealed. Book of the Year and Noble Theme winners were announced at the National Conference in Denver in September. Nicole Cooper’s novel Kill Me If You Can was named Best Overall Entry and became the recipient of the Noble Theme Scholarship sponsored by literary agent Janet Kobobel Grant.
In June, Lianne Lopes stepped down from the webmaster position. Amber “Tiff” Miller agreed to serve in that role.
As ACRW continued its growth spurt, the need to increase newsletter staff led to editor Lisa Tuttle’s announcement of Laurie Alice Eakes for the Author News feature and Melody Lee for conference information.
Jeanne Leach announced the Conference Mentor Program in July and asked people with conference attendance experience to mentor people attending for the first time.
Tiff Miller began the 40 Days of Prayer with a scripture and prayer written for each of the 40 days leading up to the conference.
The Operating and Advisory Boards held a joint meeting on September 26, 2004, prior to the 2004 National Conference in Denver. The National Conference opened on the afternoon of September 16 and ran until September 19. Francine Rivers was the keynote speaker. Coordinator Tammy Alexander and her committee of Rachel Hauck, Jeanne Leach, Sandra Moore, Carrie Turansky, Diana Urban, and Allison Wilson received accolades for a wonderful and well organized conference.
During the conference Colleen Coble was honored as the first ACRW Mentor of the Year.
On September 18, 2004, President Rachel Hauck announced that in order to better reflect ACRW’s identity as an organization for more than Christian romance writers, the Advisors and Operating Board agreed unanimously to change the name from American Christian Romance Writers to American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). The name and focus change went into effect in October 2004.
ACRW/ACFW reached a milestone during the conference weekend when the New York Times published an article about the organization and the rise of Christian fiction’s popularity.
In December, Tammy Alexander announced her resignation as Conference Coordinator in order to devote more time to her writing.
ACFW ended 2004 with 650 members.