Tuesday, February 5, 2008

ACFW Genesis Contest

It's that time again. Time to polish up those first fifteen pages of your WIP and send them off for evaluation. "Evaluation?" you say. Yes, evaluation. You're putting the first glimpse of your story out there to see if it works. After all, we only have a few pages to capture the attention of an editor, agent, or reader. So if why not find out if your story's got what it takes to garner that attention?

In my opinion, Genesis is the premiere contest for Christian fiction authors. The categories cover almost every genre in the Christian fiction market. Therefore, you'll be judged with other apples instead of comparing your apples to oranges :-)

Still not sure if you should enter? Well, aside from the aforementioned reason, the contest will give you at least three fresh perspectives of your work. Critique partners are invaluable, but sometimes they become immune to the story, focusing instead on the little things like word choice and sentence structure. And while these things are important, they won't necessarily further the story. They'll only bog you down.

Time to throw myself under the bus. For two years I worked on a story. I loved the opening chapter. But did it lend itself to the rest of the story? Was it where the story really began? No. I finally had to bite the bullet and redo the first four chapters. That, in turn, changed the dynamics of the rest of the story and voila--I'm now in the midst of a major rewrite. But guess what? The story is much stronger. The pacing is quicker. And hopefully it grabs the readers attention. Guess I'll find out when I enter the Genesis.

Are you planning to enter this year's Genesis, or any other contest? Tell us about your contest experiences and what they've done for you.

For more information the ACFW's Genesis contest, click here.


  1. I'm having contest withdrawl. :)

    I have to wait until next year to enter my new book in contests. So in the meantime, I'll judge a couple of contests and look forward to 2009 contests.

    I'm glad your revisions are going well, Mindy!


  2. I confess, I'm planning to enter the Genesis if I get around to it. I've pulled a folder together of other intended contests as well. We'll see what happens. Life tends to get me side-tracked sometimes.