The Carol Awards are ACFW’s recognition for the best Christian fiction published by traditional publishing houses in the previous calendar year.

Good news for Indie Authors:

Beginning with the 2015 Carol Awards program, certain independently published Christian fiction will be eligible. Traditionally published books must still be released by a recognized publisher. Independently published authors must also meet a certain standard to enter the Carols— “Qualified Independently Published” status. For the QIP status, the author must a) be an ACFW member, and b) will need to show proof of earnings of $4000 or more on one independently published Christian novel within a 12-month period. Once the status is reached, it is permanent. Details are below.

QIP applications must be received no later than March 1, 2017.


• January 2, 2017 – Contest officially opens.

• March 15, 2017 – Contest closes at 4:00pm CENTRAL.**

• TBD – Finalists announced at ICRS.

• July 1, 2017 – Three additional copies of the finalists’ books must be received by the coordinator.

• September 23, 2017 – Winners announced at the ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas.

**All contest entry information, appropriate fees, and books must be received by category coordinators no later than 4:00pm CENTRAL March 15, 2017. Failure to meet the appropriate deadline shall result in disqualification, and the entry fee shall be forfeited. The author is responsible to make sure all materials (books, fees, and entry form) are submitted on time to the correct category coordinator.

Questions may be directed to:


Each finalist will receive a certificate and a silver pin.

Each winner will receive the Carol Award and a gold pin. Winning editors will receive a certificate.

*The decisions about publisher recognition or qualified independently published status are made after careful consideration of ACFW’s goals and the vision. ACFW has the final word on publisher recognition or qualified independently published status.