I got the call on Thursday. I finaled in the 2010 ACFW Genesis contest in the Historical catagory! After receiving the three judges’ score sheets, with some incredibly helpful feedback, I polished my entry and resubmitted it for the second round of judging on Saturday. It was a very busy couple of days of editing, which was nothing but fun for me despite it also being work.

Probably my favorite part of the writing process is that “thing” that happens in the third, fourth or fifteenth draft, when I sink deeper into story and setting, lose all track of time and place, and really start to inhabit my characters. This is when I’m refining motivation, or tweaking dialogue, adding a bit of humor, or that narrative phrase that sounds more like the character’s voice than the default narrative which is my own voice and is so easy to fall into when what I want is a blend of the two, preferrably much more of the character than me!

The contest had a great turnout this year. A total of 486 entries, which I’m told is up by 7% over last year. Below are the names of all finalists in each category for 2010 (winners to be announced at the ACFW conference in September. Yes, it’s a long time to wait but at least I’ll be there this year, unlike in 2008 when Kindred placed third in Historicals.).

CONTEMPORARY FICTION:
(total entries: 47)
Cindy Hays
Lynnette P. Horner
Chris Kraft
Mark Lundgren
Christina S. Nelson
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE:
(total entries: 63)
Jeannie Campbell
Sarah Forgrave
Janice LaQuiere
Rebecca Syme
Linda Yezak
HISTORICAL FICTION:
(total entries: 35)
Lori Benton
Brenda Jackson
Robert Kaku
Lisa Karon Richardson
Katie-Marie Stout
HISTORICAL ROMANCE:
(total entries: 65)
Susanne Dietze
Anne Greene
Pam Hillman
Lisa Karon Richardson
Ruth Trippy
MYSTERY/SUSPENSE/THRILLER:
(total entries: 45)
Rich Bullock
Barbara Early (double finalist with two entries)
Lynda Schab
Chawna Schroeder
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE (there was a two-way tie for the fifth finalist slot):
(total entries: 50)
Valerie Goree
Mindy Obenhaus
Leslie Pfeil
Dianna Shuford
Teri Dawn Smith
Terri Weldon
SPECULATIVE FICTION:
(total entries: 49)
Ben Erlichman
Suzanne Krein
Shelley Ledfors
Andra Marquardt
Holly Smit
WOMEN’S FICTION (there was a three-way tie for the fifth finalist slot):
(total entries: 76)
Lisa Buffaloe
Jennifer Fromke
Terri Haynes
Fay Lamb
Christina S. Nelson
Melissa Tagg
Michelle Ule
YOUNG ADULT:
(total entries: 56)
Angela Bell
Lin Harris
Kasey Heinly
LoraLee Kodzo
Stefanie Morris

CONGRATULATIONS to all the finalists! Looking forward to the conference in Indy. It will be my first ACFW.

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