2012 ACFW Awards Gala

Each year the American Christian Fiction Writers gathers to announce the very best in inspirational fiction. This year, the annual ceremony took place on Saturday at the 2012 ACFW Awards Gala in Dallas. The event was absolutely beautiful as industry professionals were honored as well as pre-published authors. However, the highlight of the evening was the Carol Awards where awards for every genre and length in inspirational fiction were handed out. Continue reading to learn about the delightful evening filled with laughter, tears and lots of celebrating!

Contemporary stories that were honored were the long contemporary tale The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher, the short contemporary Lakeside Reunion by Lisa Jordan and the long contemporary romance My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren. Warren was sure to come prepared to the podium with her acceptance speech, which, because of her self proclaimed habit to forget people, looked a lot like large treasure map, which garnered plenty of laughs. Warren was very excited that this time she did remember to thank everyone she wanted to in her speech, including her “amazing family”.

Author Susan May Warren

There were many historically set stories that won awards, as well, including novella of the year “An Accidental Christmas” by Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver from the anthology A Biltmore Christmas. The long historical romance To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer was also honored and Dan Walsh won in the short historical category with his release The Deepest Waters. While accepting his award, Walsh told the audience that books can be more than just entertainment, they can change lives and this book changed his.

Author Dan Walsh

In the long historical novel category Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott was honored. Elliott also won a second award for debut novel with this release.

Readers looking for some mystery in their inspirational reads will be especially interested in the following categories where authors were honored for the thrills and chills in their stories. In the mystery category, Vannetta Chapman won for Falling to Pieces, for their suspense novel Fallen Angel, Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky took home the award. And in speculative fiction, Steve Rzasa was the winner for Broken Sight. Nightwatch by Valerie Hansen was the standout for short contemporary suspense and Colleen Coble was thrilled to accept the award for best romantic suspense novel for her story Lonestar Angel. Delighted by her win, the always gracious and humble Coble said about her writing, “I was just a farm girl hoping to get a book into the library.” Well, she has certainly accomplished that goal!

Author Colleen Coble

Two awards that were very special during the gala were in the woman’s fiction and Young Adult categories. The talented Lisa Wingate took home the Carol Award for Dandelion Summer, which was named the best women’s fiction story. Before naming her winner, award coordinator Mindy Obenhaus told the crowd that this book is the first in the Carol Awards history to ever get a perfect score from each of the judges. While on stage, Wingate explained how this very special book started with a real life inspiration of a friend.

And for this year’s most talked about inspirational genre — Young Adult — The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson took home the win.

A big congratulations to all of the nominees and winners. For more about ACFW and the Carol Awards, please click here. And check back on RT’s Everything Inspirational Page all week long to get more great moments from this year’s ACFW conference.

2012 Carol Award Winners