A Work in Progress is Developed
In January 2000, six authors with a vision – Lynn Coleman, Andrea Boeshaar, DiAnn Mills, Tracie Peterson, Gail Martin and Misty Taggart- came together and formed American Christian Romance Writers (ACRW). They intended to develop an organization that served writers of Christian romance and women’s fiction. (Note: In September of 2004, the name was changed to American Christian Fiction Writers to better reflect its members’ scope of writing.)
With the Internet fast becoming the means of communication world-wide, they realized the best way to bond members from all over the country (and the world) was through an e-mail connection. In February 2000, The ACRW e-mail loop began. Lynn Coleman had the honor of making the very first post.
The Characterization of ACRW
As ACRW became fact and not just dream, facets of the organization became apparent.
On March 6, Tracie Peterson posted the first Verse of the Day, a reflection on Isaiah 60:1. This feature later became Verse of the Week. That same month Andrea Boeshaar kicked off the Topic of the Week tradition by posting the first topic for discussion on March 17: Breaking the writing rules: When is it okay to do it? “This loop is much too quiet” soon became Andrea’s trademark line when discussion lagged.
ACRW has always held a strong goal to develop all fiction writers in the craft of writing. To that end, the very first ACRW critique groups were formed in May 2000. Christine Lynxwiler served as the first Crit Group Coordinator.
By June, the first on-line course loop was established with Lynn Coleman running a short class on Developing Goals and Motivations for Characters as a trial run. The following October, the first official course debuted with Donita Tompkins’ course on Word Choice.
Although still young, ACRW was anxious to start walking and was strong enough to host a regional conference. On November 4, 2000, a one-day conference was held in Houston, TX. Speakers were DiAnn Mills, Lena Nelson Dooley and Lynn Coleman. DiAnn, Lena, Lynn, and Pamela Griffin also formed an author’s panel as Kathleen Y’Barbo read questions from the attendees.
On August 16, 2000, the first edition of the Write to the Heart Newsletter debuted as an e-mail-produced document with the following columnists –
Editor – Lin Harris
A Letter from the President – Lynn Coleman
Dragon Slayers – Lynette Sowell
Flipside – Chris Lynxwiler
Net Your Resources – Jana Wright Hellbusch
Market News – Beth Ziarnik
Ask Aunt Pansy – Anonymous
Board Member Advisor – Andrea Boeshaar
Although ACRW already had an immediate Internet connection with its members through the e-mail loop, the Board agreed that awareness of the organization outside its membership could only be established through a website. In June, the domain name of http://www.acrw.com was purchased.
In August, as the number of members on the e-mail loop increased, Christine Lynxwiler was named as the first List Hostess.