Friday, January 16, 2009

2009 ACFW Book of the Year Contest!

Many people love writing contests. This one is no exception. As the new ACFW publicity officer, I get to share in promoting the 2009 ACFW Book of the Year contest. So here to introduce the details, I'd like to turn it over to the contest coordinator, Ronie!

Howdy, y'all! Well, I'm absolutely thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of the ACFW 2009 Book of the Year contest. The contest officially launches Monday, JANUARY 19, 2009 and will receive books through March 31, 2009. The various Boards have discussed and implemented several considerable changes to the contest this year, so if you plan to enter, please be sure to read this email (or those posted online at later next week) in its entirety. Let's also remember not to discuss the contest or guideline changes on the loop as this is not appropriate loop discussion. Direct all questions to me, privately, please.

Also, I will send out an official launch email and FAQ on Monday. PLEASE be patient and wait until I've posted the FAQ before emailing any questions. Hopefully, your questions will be answered in the FAQ email. We're still crazy-busy getting things tidied up and ready for your precious babies! :-D If you don't see your qeustion answered Monday with the FAQ, please feel free to email me at

What follows is the full text of the 2009 official guidelines, but I will first highlight a few changes.


I am delighted to announce a change that will be good news for many. We are opening our contest to small presses that in the past have not qualified! Here is the criteria this year regarding publishers that qualify:

Books must be written from a Christian worldview in any genre, and the publisher must:
1) not offer subsidy contracts in any form,
2) offer advances, AND
3) be a royalty-paying publisher.

Second, after much discussion among the Boards and myself, the scoring system has been changed. Judges will no longer fill out lengthy score sheets but will fill out a tally card on which they'll place their score for each entry. These tally cards will NOT be returned to the entrant at the end of the contest.

We are now allowing electronic payments in addition to checks and money orders. On Monday, the entry form can be found online, along with the address to send the books to (please be aware that the address changed from last year) and a link to make your payment online. If payment is made online, please be sure you send your application/Contestant's Agreement and books to the coordinator. Your title is NOT entered until all three items (books, fees, entry form/Contestant's Agreement) are received by Ronie Kendig, the coordinator.

Please note: the online payment link is not active since the contest is not yet open.

This year at the Gala Awards in Denver (you are coming, aren't you?) while we will announce the top five finalists in each category, only the first-place winner will be announced and recognized. This decision was borne out of the significant increase in entries we received, and as a result, the number of finalists (many categories had ties) made the ceremony too lengthy. As usual, we will recognize the editor of the winning entry.

Last year was the first time we offered this category to recognize up-and-coming authors who had their first book released. I love this category and was delighted that we had roughly two-dozen entries. How awesome! However, we quickly realized a necessary change--if you enter a title in both Debut Author and a genre category (the only exception to a title being in more than one category), then you must pay for both category entries (in other words, $35 for each category, for a total of $70 for that title). This is because I still have to secure judges, which means we incur the costs of mailing additional books.

2009 ACFW Book of the Year

Rules and Guidelines

a.. The contest is open to published ACFW members in good standing. An author can join ACFW at the time of entry by filling out a membership application and submitting the application along with the membership dues.
b.. Books must be written from a Christian worldview in any genre, and the publisher must: 1) not offer subsidy contracts in any form, 2) offer advances, AND 3) be a royalty-paying publisher.
c.. All contest entry information and appropriate fees must be received by the contest coordinator no later than March 31, 2009. 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.
d.. All deadlines are final.
e.. Fee of $35.00 per title entered must be paid online via PayPal, credit card, money order, or check (online payments made through the ACFW website If entering a title as both Debut Author and a genre category, this is considered two entries and two fees are required (for a total of $70 for that title).
f.. The author shall select the appropriate category for entering the work. However, the work shall be disqualified if the word count does not match the category requirement (see "Categories" below for established word count requirements).
g.. No single entry shall be entered in more than one category (with the exception of the Debut Author category, in which case the book may be entered in BOTH Debut Author and the entry's genre category).
h.. There is no limit to the number of eligible books an author may enter in each category.
i.. In any category, if fewer than seven (7) entries are received, the category shall not be judged as General Fiction category of the contest and judged therein.
1. If fewer than seven (7) entries are received in the Short Contemporary Suspense category, the category will dissolve, and these shall be entered into the Short Contemporary category of the contest and judged therein.

2. If fewer than seven (7) entries are received for the Mystery category, this category will dissolve, and these shall be entered into the Suspense category of the contest and judged therein.

3. If fewer than seven (7) entries are received in either the Long Contemporary or the Long Contemporary Romance categories, the two categories will be combined.
a.. Books entered shall not be returned.
b.. Entrant shall understand and agree that all scores are final once returned from the judge and entered into the database. Scores are assessed by individual judges who score according to an established score card. There will be no discrepancy judging or altering of scores submitted (unless there has been a computational error in determining the final score). Score cards will not be returned to the entrant.

a.. Entry must be a work of original fictional narrative prose that is offered for sale to the general public through print media. The author must not participate financially in the production or distribution of the work.
b.. Entry must have an original copyright date (printed on copyright page) between January 2008 and December 2008.
c.. Books must be written from a Christian worldview in any genre, and the publisher must: 1) not offer subsidy contracts in any form, 2) offer advances, AND 3) be a royalty-paying publisher.
d.. Entry may NOT have previously been entered in the Book of the Year contest.
e.. Entry must be an English-language edition.
f.. Electronic and audio books may not be entered.
g.. THREE copies of the book must be submitted (unless entrant is a first-time author and eligible for the Debut Author category, then SIX are needed).
h.. All entrants are required to sign the Contestant's Agreement located on the entry form indicating their acceptance of terms.

a.. Contemporary Novella (between 15K and 35K)
b.. Debut Author (at least 50k)
c.. General Fiction
d.. Historical Novella (between 15K and 35K)
e.. Lits (includes chick-lit, mom-lit, lady-lit, lad-lit, etc.)
f.. Long Contemporary (70K+)
g.. Long Contemporary Romance (70K+)
h.. Long Historical (including all sub-genres)
i.. Mystery (judged in Suspense if fewer than 7 entries)
j.. Short Contemporary (Includes series/category, 45K-65K)
k.. Short Contemporary Suspense (Includes series/category & cozies, 45K-65K)
l.. Short Historical (45K-65K)
m.. Speculative (includes science fiction, fantasy, allegory, etc.)
n.. Suspense (includes thriller and romantic suspense,**excluding series/category suspense unless series word count exceeds 65K**)
o.. Women's Fiction
p.. Young Adult

a.. January 19, 2009 - Contest officially opens.
b.. March 31, 2009 - ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED (not post-marked) by the contest coordinator. Entries must have an entry form, entry fee, and three copies (or six if entering in the Debut Author category) of the entered book.
c.. April 15, 2009 - Books sent to judges.
d.. July 15, 2009 - Score cards due back to contest coordinator.
e.. August 01, 2009 - Finalists Announced. Score cards will not be returned to the entrant.
f.. September 2009 - Winners announced at the ACFW Conference Denver, CO.

a.. Winner in each category receives a plaque.
b.. Editors of all winning entries receive a certificate.

E-mail Coordinator Ronie Kendig at

Mail books and signed entry form to: (can be found the on the entry form online)

So, fabulous loopers, there you have it. REMEMBER: The contest officially launches January 19, 2009. DO NOT send books before then, please. If you have any questions, please contact me offlist at

Blessings, y'all!!

:-)Ronie Kendig
BOTY Coordinator
Dead Reckoning (Abingdon Press, March 2010)
Post a Comment