2014 Carol Award Guidelines
The Carol Awards are ACFW’s recognition for the best Christian fiction published by traditional publishing houses in the previous calendar year.
Entry must be a work of original fictional narrative prose that is offered for sale to the general public through print or digital media. The author must not participate financially in the production or distribution of the work. The novel must be written from a Christian worldview in any Christian fiction genre through a publisher on ACFW’s Recognized Publishers list* and for which the author did not participate financially in the production or distribution (did not enter into a subsidy contract of any kind) and was/is paid royalties.
Authors or publishers of e-book entries can submit 5 copies of a standard bound book with cover art and copyright page or 5 copies spiral bound. No electronic copies will be accepted.
Co-authored entries are allowed to enter. If one of the authors is a current ACFW member, then the entry can be submitted for the member entry fee.
All entrants are required to check the “accept” box on the entry form for the Contest Release, indicating acceptance of terms. Publishers may not enter for their authors.
Entry must have an original copyright date (printed on copyright page) between January 2013 and December 2013. In the rare event a book was released in 2013 but has a copyright date of 2012, please provide a) a letter from the publisher and b) a pdf of the publisher’s catalog reflecting the title and release date to the Carol Award Coordinator, email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the deadline to be considered for entry.
Entry may NOT have previously been entered in the Carol Award or Book of the Year contest.
Entry must be an English-language edition.
Audio books may not be entered.
Five copies of the book must be submitted for each title entered in each category. Once books have been shipped an entry may not change categories for any reason. Entrants are responsible for sending the 5 copies to the correct category coordinator designated on their paid entry receipt. Any shipping costs incurred due to a mistake on the part of the entrant (or the entrant’s representative) will be the entrant’s sole responsibility and will be required to be paid, via PayPal, prior to the contest entry deadline.
No single title shall be entered in more than one category, with the exception of the Debut Novel category, in which case the title may be entered in BOTH Debut Novel and the entry’s genre category (please remember to send 5 books for each category to the correct category coordinator).
Entries in the Debut Novel category are limited to authors who have never published a fiction title. Previous works of fiction, including novellas and regardless of market, disqualify the author from the Debut Novel category. Novellas may not be entered in the Debut Novel category.
There is no limit to the number of eligible titles an author may enter in each category.
In any category, if fewer than seven (7) entries are received, the category shall be dissolved and the authors’ alternate choice category on their submission will be used. In the event a category does not receive 7 entries, ACFW will make shipping arrangements for the correct judges to receive the books. The author is responsible for choosing the appropriate Carol Award category for their novel.
Entrant shall understand and agree that all scores are final once submitted by the judge into the contest system. Scores are assessed by individual judges who score according to an established guideline/scoresheet. There will be no discrepancy judging or altering of scores submitted. All five scores will be averaged and the highest 3 scores in each category will be announced as finalists. Scores will not be returned.
Finalists will be required to submit 3 additional copies of their title for the final round judging to the correct category coordinator as directed. Books must be received by the category coordinators no later than July 7, 2014. Final round judges will judge all 3 books for their category, and an average of the 3 scores will determine the winner for each category.
FINAL ROUND: The top three semi-final round entries in each category—category finalists—will continue to the final round. In the event of a tie, the previous round scores of the tied entries will be used to break the tie.
All entrants will need the following in order to complete the online entry form:
• high resolution photo of book cover – must be no less than 300 dpi and at least 4” x 6” in size
• editor names (up to 3)
• publishing house name and contact phone number
• 5 physical copies of the book(s) being entered. Note: if entering the Debut Novel category AND the genre of the book, 10 copies will be needed.
*The decisions about publisher recognition are made after careful consideration of ACFW’s goals and the vision. The ACFW Executive Board has the final word on publisher recognition.
FEES Fee of $40.00 for ACFW Members per entry must be paid online via PayPal or credit card, or a money order or check made out to ACFW and sent to:
ACFW, P.O. Box 101066, Palm Bay, FL 32910-1066
DO NOT SEND CASH.
Those authors who are not ACFW members will pay a fee of $115 per entry. You may join ACFW at the time you enter the contest, then your contest fee will be $40 per entry.
There are no refunds and books will not be returned.
PROJECTED CATEGORIES AND COORDINATORS
- Contemporary - Julia Reffner, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Debut Novel - Casey Herringshaw, email@example.com
- Historical (through Vietnam era) - Casey Herringshaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Historical Romance (through Vietnam era) - Casey Herringshaw, email@example.com
- Mystery/Suspense/Thriller - Jeanne Takenaka, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Novella (15K-45K) - Julia Reffner, email@example.com
- Romance - Casey Herringshaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Romantic Suspense - Jeanne Takenaka, email@example.com
- Short Novel (45K-70K) - Jeanne Takenaka, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Speculative - Julia Reffner, email@example.com
- Young Adult - Julia Reffner, firstname.lastname@example.org
TIMELINE January 2, 2014 - Contest officially opens.
All contest entry information, appropriate fees, and books must be received by category coordinators no later than 4:00pm CENTRAL March 15, 2014. Failure to meet the appropriate deadline shall result in disqualification, and the entry fee shall be forfeited. The author is responsible to make sure all materials (books, fees, and application) are submitted on time to the contest coordinator.
- March 27, 2014 - Books shipped to judges
- June 22-25, 2014 - Finalists announced at ICRS in Atlanta, GA
- September 27, 2014 - Winners announced at the ACFW Conference in St. Louis, MO
E-mail Coordinator at email@example.com
PRIZES FOR WINNER AND FINALISTS
Each finalist will receive a certificate and a silver pin.
Each winner will receive the Carol Award and a gold pin. Winning editors will receive an award. Winning publishers will receive a certificate.