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    With a record turnout of more than 600 attendees, marking it as the largest Christian writing conference, ACFW ended its conference Sunday evening with the awards presentations.

    Well-known advocate for Christian fiction, Carol Johnson (long-time editor with Bethany House Publishers), was awarded ACFW’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to acquiring, editing, and championing Christian fiction. Present to participate in honoring Carol Johnson was one of her most recognized acquisitions-prolific author of the Love Comes Softly series, Janette Oke.

    Following that presentation, Mrs. Johnson helped honor the best Christian novels published in 2009 with the award named for her-the Carol Awards.

    Winners of the Carol Awards for the best Christian fiction in the following categories were:

    Contemporary Novella
    Susan May Warren - The Great Christmas Bowl (Tyndale House, Karen Watson - Editor)

    Historical Novella
    Janet Tronstad - Christmas Bells for Dry Creek (Steeple Hill, Tina James - Editor)

    Short Contemporary
    Mae Nunn - A Texas Ranger’s Family (Steeple Hill, Melissa Endlich - Editor)

    Short Contemporary Suspense
    Jill Elizabeth Nelson - Evidence of Murder (Steeple Hill, Emily Rodmell - Editor)

    Short Historical
    Dan Walsh - The Unfinished Gift (Revell, Andrea Doering)

    Young Adult
    Jenny B. Jones - I’m So Sure (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann/Jamie Chavez - Editors)

    Long Contemporary
    Christina Berry - The Familiar Stranger (Moody Publishers, Paul Santhouse - Editor)

    Long Contemporary Romance
    Jenny B. Jones - Just Between You and Me (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann/Jamie Chavez - Editors)

    A.K. Arenz - The Case of the Mystified M.D. (Sheaf House, Joan M. Shoup - Editor)

    Terri Blackstock - Intervention (Zondervan, Sue Brower/Dave Lambert - Editors)

    Long Historical
    Allison Pittman - Stealing Home (Multnomah, Alice Crider - Editor)

    Long Historical Romance
    Mary Connealy - Cowboy Christmas (Barbour Publishing, Rebecca Germany - Editor)

    Speculative (includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Allegory)
    Kirk Outerbridge - Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke - Editor)

    Women’s Fiction
    Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge - Never the Bride (Waterbrook Press, Shannon Marchese - Editor)

    Debut Author
    Dan Walsh - The Unfinished Gift (Revell, Andrea Doering - Editor)

    Zondervan editor Sue Brower was awarded ACFW’s Editor of the Year honor. Sandra Bishop from MacGregor Literary was named ACFW’s Agent of the Year.

    Each year, ACFW also awards honors for the best entries from unpublished writers through the Genesis contest. This year’s Genesis winners by category are:

    Contemporary Fiction
    Lynnette P. Horner, The Assistant

    Contemporary Romance
    Janice LaQuiere, Truckload of Love

    Historical Fiction
    Brenda Jackson, Principle Engagement

    Historical Romance
    Pam Hillman, Terms of Indenturement

    Rich Bullock, Storm Lake/Storm Song

    Romantic Suspense
    Valerie Goree, Weep in the Night

    Speculative Fiction
    Andra Marquardt, Traitors

    Women’s Fiction
    Jennifer Fromke, Docking

    Young Adult
    Stefanie Morris, Shyla, Desert Daughter/Shyla, Child of the Desert

    Included in the evening’s honors were Fay Lamb, who received the Member Service Award, and Susan May Warren, who was honored as Mentor of the Year.

    ACFW is devoted to training its writers, educating them in the market, and serving as an advocate in the traditional Christian fiction publishing industry. With more than 2200 members and 24 local chapters in 15 states as well as a beyond-the-borders online chapter, ACFW represents The Voice of Christian fiction.

    For interviews or more information about ACFW (, contact Cynthia Ruchti, ACFW President, at or Angela Breidenbach, ACFW Publicity Officer, at