In September, a wide assortment of Christian authors gathered for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference (ACFW) held this year in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to workshops and sessions about the business and the art of Christian fiction, the event also included the Carol Awards.

The Carol Awards recognize the best Christian fiction published by traditional publishing houses in the previous calendar year. Awards were handed out in these categories:


The Feathered Bone
Julie Cantrell
Thomas Nelson


Like a River from Its Course
Kelli Stuart
Kregel Publications

Historical Romance

The Lady and the Lionheart
Joanne Bischof
Mason Jar Books


When Death Draws Near
Carrie Stuart Parks
Thomas Nelson


The Doctor’s Woman (Courageous Brides Collection)
Michelle Griep
Barbour Publishing


A Season to Love
Nicole Deese
Waterfall Press

Romantic Suspense

Always Watching (Elite Guardians)
Lynette Eason

Short Novel

Restoring Christmas
Cynthia Ruchti
Worthy Inspired


The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
James L. Rubart
Thomas Nelson


You’re the Cream in my Coffee
Jennifer Lamont Leo
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

Jerry B. Jenkins

Of Jenkins’ honor for Lifetime Achievement, ACFW CEO Colleen Coble said, “Among the titles that instantly come to mind in the long list of Jerry Jenkins’ books is the Left Behind series with Tim LaHaye, a series that impacted both the Christian and general markets and countless readers. Many readers report that their faith was awakened or reawakened by that series. But there’s so much more to the story of the impact Jerry Jenkins has had in the Christian Fiction community.”

Also honored for their contributions to Christian Fiction and to ACFW were:

Mentor of the Year

Lynette Eason

Agent of the Year

Tamela Hancock Murray (The Steve Laube Agency)

Editor of the Year

Sarah Rische (Tyndale House)

Volunteer of the Year

Cheryl Wyatt

Member Service Award Recipient

Gail Gaymer Martin

The ACFW conference drew representatives from all facets of the industry—including publishers, editors, agents, the press, libraries, bookstores, reviewers, bloggers, publicists, specialty providers, and both veteran and aspiring novelists.

ACFW is a professional organization devoted to the craft of Christian Fiction. ACFW’s mission is to empower Christian novelists by inspiring them to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry.

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