• Megan DiMaria

#Opportunity Alert for unpublished writers of Christian fiction

Updated: Oct 13

Authors, do you write Christian fiction? There's a great opportunity coming up for unpublished writers. The ACFW (American Fiction Christian Writers) First Impressions contest is an opportunity to have the first five pages of your Christian fiction manuscript evaluated by an industry professional.

There is an entry fee, but it's a small price to pay to get valuable feedback.


This is a fantastic opportunity. If you've been pushing toward publication, getting feedback on your work from an industry professional will help you to see what you're doing well and what you need to work on, craft-wise.


There are several categories to enter:

  • Contemporary: Novels or sagas set in any location, in a contemporary setting. This category includes literary fiction, women's fiction, and mainstream fiction. The stories in this category can be dramatic or comedic.

  • Romance: The love story is set in any location in a contemporary setting, and is the main focus of the novel. The end of the book is emotionally satisfying. The stories in this category can be dramatic or comedic.

  • Historical (through Vietnam era): Novels or sagas set in any location, in which the time frame of the majority of the story is a historical context rather than a contemporary one. The time period can be up to and including the Vietnam era.

  • Historical Romance (through Vietnam era): Novels or sagas set in any location, but in which the time frame of the majority of the story is a historical context rather than a contemporary one. The time period can be up to and including the Vietnam era. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the story is emotionally satisfying. The stories in this category can be dramatic or comedic.

  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Novels set in any location, in a contemporary setting, in which the suspense or mystery is the primary plot. In suspense, "often the reader learns very early in the story who did what, and how, and even why, so that the tension results from the manner in which an expected conclusion is achieved" (Jessica Mann). In thrillers, "tough, resourceful . . . heroes are pitted against villains determined to destroy them, their country, or the stability of the free world" (Steve Bennett). "The detective novel, or mystery, is generally driven by a single protagonist and follows the process of detection, functioning like a puzzle" (Ginny Wiehardt).

  • Romantic Suspense: A suspense plot is blended with a love story, which is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying. The story can be in any location, but the time frame should be a contemporary setting. Historical romantic suspense stories should be entered in the Historical Romance category.

  • Speculative: Novels in which the science fiction, the future, other planets, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are a major element of the plot or setting. This category includes speculative, visionary, science fiction, paranormal, futuristic, allegory, and alternate history fiction. Stories targeted primarily at young adult readers should be entered in the Young Adult category.

  • Novella: Contemporary or historical stories in any of the genre categories in this contest. Word count is 15K – 45K.

  • Short Novel: Historical or contemporary shorter novels 45K-70K in length.

  • Young Adult: Novels targeted toward young adult readers ages 12 through 18. The stories in this category can be dramatic, comedic, romantic, or non-romantic. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Allegory stories targeted primarily at young adult readers can be entered in this category. Stories targeted to Middle Readers are included in this category.

Come on, be brave, and enter!


Write on, friends.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon

© 2020 Megan DiMaria