Henry McLaughlin’s novel Journey to Riverbend received first place in the 2009 Operation First Novel at the opening session of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild’s annual Writing for the Soul conference, Feb. 18, in Denver. The prize includes $20,000 and publication by Tyndale House Publishers.
“We’re looking forward to working with Henry McLaughlin, on Journey to Riverbend,” said Karen Watson, Tyndale’s associate publisher for fiction. “Henry’s story is a unique blend of characters, setting, and action that give this western drama a touch of romance. It makes for an entertaining read that readers will find difficult to put down.”
“This award is a great honor and also very humbling,” said McLaughlin, 62, of Saginaw, Texas. “I give God all the glory and all the honor for opening this door.” He said he desires to “write stories that communicate the Father’s love and desire for a close, intimate, and personal relationship with each of us.”
Other Operation First Novel finalists include Deb Harper of Anchorage, Alaska, for Misstep, Sara Richardson of Littleton, Colorado, for New Every Morning, Mark Sylvester of Auburn, California, for Coming Up Short, and Jonathan Wakefield of Richmond, Virginia, for Fatal Reality. Harper, Sylvester, and Wakefield are all CWG Craftsman.
The deadline for entries for the 2010 contest is October 1. Contest details are available at http://www.christianwritersguild.com/Contest.asp