Nancy J. Farrier has been the coordinator for FHL’s IRCA for fourteen years. She is an award winning author who lives in Southern California in the Mojave Desert. She loves the Southwest and interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Karen Ball of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her web site.
Within the next day or two I will be making the announcements for the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter’s, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. This is always an exciting time for me. I love talking with authors who are excited to make the list of finalists, and to share with them the news that our judges loved their books. However, those finalists aren’t the only winners in the IRCA. In this contest, everyone has the opportunity to win.
There are a number of awards authors can enter. Many are very prestigious awards, exciting to win. So why do I consider the IRCA a win—win award? The IRCA is unique in having judges who are not involved in writing, but are readers who love Inspirational Fiction, readers who love the Lord and readers who love to share what they read. Every author has the chance to reach his or her intended audience.
Beginning in late December and early January, I begin to receive emails from judges who want to make sure they will be a part of the IRCA. They can’t wait for their books to arrive, for the opportunity to meet characters they will love, spend time with favorite authors or to meet new ones. Some of our judges are friends who chatter excitedly among themselves about the upcoming IRCA.
Although I am the Coordinator for the IRCA, I still coordinate one of the categories. I always enjoy seeing the score sheets return from the judges. Their comments are so interesting. It has been our policy not to share judge’s comments with the authors, but I wanted to share some of what they say anonymously. I think you will see why the IRCA is of great benefit to those who enter.
First, there are the comments about the stories themselves:
“This was a book like I’ve not read before—I was held in suspense from page 1 to the finish. I didn’t want to stop to eat, get chores done or sleep.”
“I loved this book and even wrote page numbers down that I want to reread.”
“This was an enjoyable story and would make a fine Hallmark movie.”
“I found myself wanting to underline passages in this book as I do in my Bible. Excellent storytelling!”
Second are the comments pertaining to the authors:
“What an excellent writer! She had a perfect way of putting the reader right there in every scene/setting. I will definitely be reading more by her!”
“Loved this book—could not put it down. I have already found another book by this author that I am looking forward to reading.”
“I immediately ordered all this author’s other books from the public library.”
“Looking forward to next book and purchased first book in this series.”
For every author who entered their books in the IRCA, congrats to you, because you are a winner. You have connected with four very enthusiastic readers. They now have the opportunity to discuss you, and your book, with other readers. Enjoy your Win–Win opportunity. I will enjoy making some fun phone calls.
Blue Ribbon image by Billy Alexander