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February 2011

Two ACFW Members Final in Contest

Recently, Jennifer Slattery and Diana Prusik were named finalists in the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest.

Jennifer SlatteryJennifer, who was a member of the 2010 Conference reporting staff for Afictionado, said she found it hard to believe her entry, Impossible Choices, was a finalist.

“I visited the Christin Writers Guild site half a dozen times expecting it to be a very embarrassing mistake. (I’m still waiting for that, “I’m sorry to inform you,” email.)”

Diana’s entry, Delivery, is about a small town florist shop that delivers more than flowers. Diana “burst into tear-soaked laughter, did the happy dance, and thanked God for such a blessing!”

Congratulations to both authors. The winner of $20,000 and publication by Tyndale House will be announced at the Guild’s Writing for the Soul conference February 10 to 13 in Denver, CO.

Member News

New releases

Exciting new releases from ACFW members due to hit bookstores soon include:

  • Janet Dean: Wanted: A Family releases in March from Steeple Hill.
  • Terry Fowler: Peace, Be Still releases to the Heartsong Presents book club in February.
  • Cara Lynn James: Love on Assignment, the second book in the Ladies of Summerhill series, released January 11 from Thomas Nelson.
  • Patti Lacy: The Rhythm of Secrets, her third novel, released January 31 from Kregel.
  • Henry McLaughlin: Journey to Riverbend, his debut novel, releases in February from Tyndale. This novel won the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild 2009 Operation First Novel contest.
  • Ava Pennington: Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? released in January from Standard Publishing as part of the children’s picture book series Faith Basics for Kids.


Those racking up writing credits in magazines and anthologies this month include:

  • Lisa Carter: Published a travel article about the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the February issue of FamilyFun magazine.
  • Carol Hamilton: Published an article on the National Speakers Association Pittsburgh Chapter’s website. She currently writes for as the Pittsburgh Christian Living Examiner.
  • Paula Moldenhauer: Published “Loving and Serving Others” in the February issue and “Wisdom” in the March issue of RIO Family Currents Newsletter, a publication of David C. Cook. “Cultivating an Atmosphere of Respect” also published on RIO’s blog in January. She sold “My Hand Tucked in His: Homeschooling through Learning Difficulties” for publication in the March/April issue of Homeschool Enrichment and “Overcoming Learning Disabilities: An Interview with Anna’s House” for publication in the Summer 2011 issue of The Old Schoolhouse magazine.

Contest winners

Throw some confetti and celebrate with these contest winners:

  • Deeanne Gist: Won first place in the Historical category of the VCRW Laurel Wreath contest with A Bride in the Bargain. Her novel Maid to Match also was selected by Booklist Online for its Top 10 Inspirational Fiction list.
  • Shannon Vannatter: Ranked third as Favorite New Author in the Heartsong Presents Awards and also placed first in Contemporary Novel with White Roses, first in Favorite Cover with White Doves, and second in Favorite Cover with White Roses. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Three Rivers Edition also named her one of “Twenty to Watch” in 2011.
  • Katie Vorreiter: Won first place in the Suspense/Thriller category of the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards with her short story “Another Sun.”
  • Beth Wiseman: Won first place in the Amish Fiction category of the first-ever INSPY Awards, the Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature, with her novel Plain Paradise, which is the fourth book in her Daughters of the Promise series.


The list of published authors is growing—and growing! Congratulations to:

  • Sally Bradley: Signed three contracts to write short corporate fiction for a business training company.
  • Bonnie Calhoun: Signed a contract with Abingdon Press for her contemporary suspense Cooking the Books, which is scheduled to release Spring 2012.
  • Vannetta Chapman: Signed a three-book contract with Harvest House. The first book is tentatively titled The Plain School at Pebble Creek. This Amish romance series will be set in Wisconsin and is scheduled to begin releasing in June 2012.
  • Janet Dean: Signed a two-book contract with Love Inspired Historical.
  • Laurie Alice Eakes: Received notice that her upcoming book, Lady in the Mist, has been picked up by Crossings Book Club.
  • Terry Fowler: Received her fourteenth book contract. Just One Touch is due April 1 from Heartsong Presents.
  • Valerie Hansen: Has signed contracts with Love Inspired to write three new suspense novels, two new historicals, one regular romance, and is also part of an upcoming continuity series with five other authors.
  • Anita Higman: Signed a contract with Abingdon Press for a novel entitled Christmas at Rose Hill Cottage, which will release in 2013.
  • Cara Lynn James: Signed a contract for another historical romance with Thomas Nelson set in the Adirondack Mountains of New York during the Gilded Age.
  • Deanna K. Klingel: Signed a contract with JourneyForth Publishing for the second book in the Avery & Gunner series (a middle-grade Civil War series).
  • Marcia Laycock: Sold the sequel to her first novel, One Smooth Stone. The working title is A Tumbled Stone and will release in October from Castle Quay Books.
  • Christine Lindsay: Has been offered a contract from WhiteFire Publishing to release her debut novel, Shadowed in Silk, which was originally called Unveiled and won the 2009 Genesis contest in the Historical category.
  • Debby Mayne: Signed a three-book contract with Abingdon Press for a women’s fiction series set in the South. The first book, All Prettied Up at the Cut ’N Curl, is scheduled for a Fall 2013 release. The second book, Fancy Is as Fancy Does, and the third book, Stylin’ with Ms. Prissy Big Hair, will both release in 2014.
  • Dani Pettrey: Signed a three-book contract with Bethany House for her inspirational romantic suspense series. Her debut novel, tentatively titled Submerged, will release Summer 2012.
  • Eileen Rife: Signed a contract with OakTara for her novel Second Chance, to release in 2012.
  • Gina Welborn: Sold a historical novella to Barbour. Her novella will appear in an anthology with Pamela Griffin, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Jennifer Hudson Taylor.

Speaking engagements

Not only are they writing, but they’re speaking too! Give a round of applause to:

  • Sandra Glahn: Will speak at Women in Christian Media on January 20 in Dallas, Texas.
  • Carol Hamilton: Will teach at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference at Grove City College in Pennsylvania in June and conduct a workshop for senior citizens at her local library’s Drop Everything and Read Day in April.
  • Jeanette Koron: Spoke to a group of women on January 13 on “More of You, Jesus. Less of Me.”
  • Gail Gaymer Martin: Taught an online class on plotting for Outreach Online Campus January 4–22. She was also the keynote speaker and taught a workshop at Space Coast Writers Guild Conference at Palm Resort in Cocoa Beach, Florida, on January 27–29. On February 5, she is presenting two addresses titled “The Sun above the Clouds” and “Our Dreams, God’s Blessings” at Hope Lutheran Church Women’s Retreat in Warren, Mich.
  • Kim Peterson: Will teach two workshops, “Crafting Quality Queries” and “Selling Snappy Sidebars,” at the Write2Ignite! conference at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., on February 18 and 19.
  • Deborah Rather (writing as Arlene James): Will be attending an event called The Many Faces of Christian Literature at Rush Creek Christian Church in Arlington, Texas, on February 26. The event is styled to showcase the wide variety of literature offered by Christian publishing today. Also attending are: Janet Lee Barton, Leann Harris (writing as Barbara Harrison), Lena Nelson Dooley, Beth Shriver, Lynne Gentry, Mary DeMuth, Ronie Kendig, Lynette Sowell, Anne Greene, Vannetta Chapman, and Terry Burns.
  • Shannon Vannatter: Is teaching an adult continuing education course called Let’s Write a Novel at Arkansas State University—Heber Springs during January and February.


Send out a loud “Wahoo!” to:

  • Mesu Andrews: Just launched her new website. It offers opportunities for free weekly devotionals, downloads, and preorder options for her debut release, Love Amid the Ashes.
  • Sandra Glahn: Just passed her PhD comprehensive examinations at UT Dallas! Now she can begin her dissertation, which is a novel.
  • Gail Gaymer Martin: Has been honored by CBS News in the Detroit area as one of the four best local authors in Detroit along with Elmore Leonard, Mitch Albom, and Gary Graff.


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