I'm thrilled to report that a long-time member of the Forensics and Faith community, C.J. Darlington, has taken first place in the Christian Writers' Guild First Novel Contest. C.J.'s prize: $20,000 and a publishing contract with Tyndale. At the conference meeting this evening, C.J.'s prize was announced. Two Tyndale editors, Karen Watson and Jan Stob, were on hand to present her the $20K check.
Some years ago here on F&F I asked for a volunteer to submit a scene for public editing. C.J. was the brave soul who sent in a scene. For days we discussed various aspects of editing that action scene. I've always admired C.J. since then for being willing to submit herself to that public scrutiny in order to learn more about the craft of fiction writing. (You can read the "Action Scene Edit" posts by following the link in the archives.
C.J. runs the wonderful Web site TitleTrakk, where Christian fiction is reviewed. She has done a lot for the industry through this Web site. Her manuscript was judged without a name attached, so her Web site did nothing to help her win. But now that C.J. has won, it's great to see the prize go to someone who's done so much to support Christian fiction.
Our speaker tonight at the conference's opening was Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. If you have not read this book, and also his co-written book, The Five Languages of Apology, you owe it to yourself to do so. The applications is these books have changed thousands of lives. Chapman's Languages books have sold into the four millions.
Tomorrow our day starts early: 6:45. And it goes all day until about 8:30 p.m. I will be teaching fiction classes in the morning and a fiction clinic focusing on the first pages of novels (submitted by students for editing in class) in the afternoon.
Check my Twitter/Facebook accounts for updates through the day as I can make them.