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September 2011

Mindy Obenhaus, Carol Award Coordinator

Mindy ObenhausMindy Obenhaus is a Christ-follower, wife, mother, grandmother, and author—in that order. She was born in Indiana, raised in Michigan, but got to Texas as fast as she could. As her passion for writing grew, so did her desire to write for God. “He brings my stories to life and gives them meaning. Whatever I do, may it be for His glory.”

The Carol Awards: A Coordinator’s Perspective

In 2009, when I was approached about coordinating the Carol Awards, my first thought was, “Yikes!” However, I was eager to serve ACFW, so I agreed and waded, somewhat blindly, into the waters of contest coordinating. Little did I know this nice little contest—then called Book of the Year—was like a teenage boy about to hit a growth spurt.

The decision to change the name of the contest to honor pioneering Christian fiction editor Carol Johnson made my first year as coordinator extra special. After all, I got to announce the winners of the first Carol Awards.

Since then, this contest has become like one of my children. It brings me joy, grief, and occasionally, has to sit in time out. The integrity of the Carol Awards is of utmost importance to me. I guard it fiercely, as would any mother.

Judges make the contest work

However, I would be at a total loss without my judges. This year we moved from three to five judges for each Carol Award entry, so the number of volunteers doubled. And, for the first time, we added booksellers and librarians to that list. They were thrilled to serve in this capacity and approached their jobs seriously.

A simple thank you could never express my gratitude to our judges. I wish I had giant box of chocolate and a Starbucks gift card for each of them. Without them, the Carol Awards would not be possible. So to my judges, thank you, for your time and willingness to serve ACFW.

Thank you to ACFW for allowing me the honor of serving as coordinator for the Carol Awards. I’ve learned so much these last two years. My prayer is that the Carol Awards will continue to grow, in number and in prestige.

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