ACFW to honor pioneer novelist Janette Oke Print
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Monday, 27 June 2016 06:58 PM America/New_York

Colleen-Coble-CBA-press-confAmerican Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) announced the 2016 Carol Award finalists and the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Monday at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) themed UNITE.

The 2016 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be Janette Oke. ACFW CEO Colleen Coble said Oke basically launched Christian fiction as a genre with her "Love Comes Softly" series.

“Janette Oke's 'Love Comes Softly' series opened untold opportunities for faith-based novels,” Coble said. “Would any of us who write for that market be writing today if not for the impact of her novels?”

Hallmark recently turned Oke’s When Calls the Heart into a best-selling series about to begin its fourth season. 

At ACFW's press conference, author Cynthia Ruchti also announced the finalists for the 2016 Carol Awards—named after editor Carol Johnson, Oke’s first editor—in 11 categories of Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year.

The Carol Award winners, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Editor and Agent of the Year, Genesis Contest winners for unpublished manuscripts, and other honors will be awarded Aug. 27 at the gala at the ACFW conference in Nashville, Tennessee.                                              

The 2016 Carol Award finalists are as follows:


Finding Me, Kathryn Cushman (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)

The Art of Losing Yourself, Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook)

As Waters Gone, Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press)


Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, Melanie Dobson (Howard Books)

Secrets She Kept, Cathy Gohlke (Tyndale House Publishers)

Luther and Katharina, Jody Hedlund (WaterBrook)

Historical Romance:

Beyond All Dreams, Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)

Through Waters Deep, Sarah Sundin (Revell/Baker Publishing Group)

A Worthy Pursuit, Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)


The Aleppo Code, Terry Brennan (Kregel Publications)

Blessings in Disguise, Nancy Mehl (Guideposts)

Finding Amanda, Robin Patchen, ACFW QIP (independently published)


A Bride for Bear from The Convenient Bride Collection, Erica Vetsch (Barbour Publishing)

A Palace on the Plains from The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection, Erica Vetsch (Barbour Publishing)

The Archaeologist's Find from The Homestead Brides Collection, Erica Vetsch (Barbour Publishing)


The Beekeeper's Son, Kelly Irvin (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Until the Harvest, Sarah Loudin Thomas (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)

Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Beth K. Vogt (Howard Books)

Romantic Suspense:

No Place to Hide, Lynette Eason (Revell/Baker Publishing Group)

Submerged, Elizabeth Goddard (Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Miracle Drug, Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Abingdon Press)

Short Novel:

Covert Justice, Lynn Huggins Blackburn (Love Inspired/Harlequin)

The Christmas Family, Linda Goodnight (Love Inspired/Harlequin)

The Doctor's Second Chance, Missy Tippens (Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Vinnie's Diner, Jennifer AlLee (Abingdon Press)

Heir of Hope, Morgan L. Busse (Enclave Publishing)

The Five Times I Met Myself, James L. Rubart (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Young Adult:

Angelhood, A.J. Cattapan (Vinspire Publishing)

The Golden Braid, Melanie Dickerson (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Dauntless, Dina L. Sleiman (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)


The Thornbearer, Pepper Basham (Vinspire Publishing)

The Calling of Ella McFarland, Linda Brooks Davis (Mountainview Books)

The First Principle, Marissa Shrock (Kregel Publications)

Editor of the Year nominees:

Stephanie Broene, Tyndale House Publishers

Jamie Chavez, freelance

Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House 

Agent of the Year nominees:

Jim Hart, Hartline Literary Agency

Greg Johnson, WordServe Literary

Jessica Kirkland, Blythe Daniel Agency