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August 2011

Negative mammogram prompts first sale

Jennifer HallmarkJennifer Hallmark is celebrating her first paid publication. Her short story, “The Black and White Arm,” can now be read in the Summer 2011 edition of Harpstring magazine. Inspired by a true-life experience of dealing with a negative mammogram, Hallmark has more than a paycheck to celebrate.

Though she’s written since she was nine years old, Hallmark only took her first writing class five years ago. “Since then, there’s been a lot of hit and miss, trial and error until I found ACFW,” she said. “I feel God pointed me in this direction to help me focus.”

The inspiration for her short story came from her personal experience of discovering lumps in her breast. Hallmark first found two lumps through a self-exam when she was 38. After a biopsy and several tests, results came back clean. But this led to mammograms every six months—and 18 months later another lump was found.

Being a natural writer, Hallmark recorded every emotion she faced during the experience as she once again waited for the results. Fortunately, her tests again came back clear and subsequent mammograms revealed no problems. Her experience—and those captured emotions—informed her short story and enabled her first sale.

Hallmark discovered Harpstring at a writers conference she attended in May. She also has other articles under consideration from connections she made at the conference.

As she launches her writing career, Hallmark has much to be thankful for: the excitement of seeing her name in print, the joy of receiving her first writing paycheck, and—most of all—the relief of a clear mammogram.


Member News: August 2011

New releases

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

  • Grace BridgesGrace Bridges (right): Aquasynthesis, a speculative fiction anthology that she edited and also published three stories in, releases in August from Splashdown Books.
  • Shirley Kiger Connolly: Say Good-bye to Yesterday, book one in her Decisions series, releases August 15 from Desert Breeze Publishing.
  • Miralee Ferrell: Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming, which was just awarded 4½ stars from Romantic Times Review, released August 1 from Summerside Press.
  • Eileen KeyEileen Key (right): Forget-Me-Not, a Plants Alive! mystery, releases in August from Avalon.
  • Edie Melson: Social Media Marketing for Writers: How to Blog, Tweet, and Peep Your Way onto Amazon’s Best-seller’s List, her first e-book, recently released from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
  • Janice Hanna Thompson: Hello, Hollywood!, book two in the Backstage Pass series, releases in August from Revell.


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

  • Candy Arrington: Published “Free Indeed” in the July issue of River Region’s Journey.
  • Sara Goff: Published a short story titled “The Smell of Burnt Vegetables” in Online Christian Fiction Magazine.


Hoorah for representation! Three cheers for:

  • Robin Bayne: Signed with a new agent, Diana Flegal of Hartline Literary.

Contest winners

Throw some confetti and celebrate with these contest winners:

  • Lena Nelson Dooley: Won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction with her book Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico.
  • Kathy Harris: Won first place in the Short Contemporary category of the Faith, Hope, and Love contest (sponsored by Touched by Love) with her novel Finding Forever.
  • Anita Higman: Won the 2011 RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award for her novella Once Upon a Christmas Eve.
  • Deb Kinnard: Won the Grace Award in the Speculative Fiction category with her novel Seasons in the Mist.
  • Shannon Taylor Vannatter: Won the 2011 Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the Short Contemporary category with her novel White Roses.


The list of published authors is growing! Congratulations to:

  • Robin Bayne: Signed a contract to re-release her 2007 novella Samaritan with White Rose Publishing.
  • Anita Higman: Signed a contract with Standard Publishing for Ablaze, a devotional book ignited with biblical fiction.
  • Pam MeyersPamela Meyers (right): Signed a contract with Oak Tara Publishing for her debut novel Thyme for Love.
  • Lynda Schab: Sold her debut novel, Mind over Madi, to Oak Tara Publishers.
  • Janice Hanna Thompson: Signed a contract with Revell for four books in the new series Bridal Biz. She also signed a contract with Summerside Press to write two historical romantic comedies under the name Janice Hanna. The series is called Belles and Whistles.

Speaking engagements

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

  • Edie Melson: Taught a week-long seminar on Social Networking/Digital Publishing at Mississippi State University on July 18–22.
  • Martha Rogers: Spoke to an Inspirational Writers group in Taylor, Texas, on July 21; will lead two workshops at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in Houston on August 6; and will speak to the Shreveport, Louisiana, ACFW group on August 27.


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