Brandenburg Recognized for Short Novel
October 10, 2018
When a city girl’s dreams of bright lights and film-writing success are put on hold for a career in rural West Texas, she must choose between the life she dreams of and the life that is playing out before her. Her story unfolds in the pages of Dr. Laura Brandenburg’s short novel Harvesting Love, winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Award.
Dr. Brandenburg, dean of the School of Languages and Literature at Wayland Baptist University, was recognized at the ACFW annual conference in Nashville, Sept. 20-23, as the 2018 Genesis Award winner for unpublished authors. It was her second year of recognition at the conference, entering a full-length novel in 2017 that finished as a semifinalist. She is hoping her 2018 award at the ACFW convention leads to publication of her work.
“It’s a pretty prestigious award in that there are a bunch of entries,” Brandenburg said. “Hopefully there is a publication that will come out of it, but it’s not a guarantee.”
Brandenburg said an editor for a Christian publishing house approached her asking for the full manuscript of her Genesis winning short novel. Her agent is also promoting her full-length novel “Restless Heart” that was a semifinalist last year. Brandenburg said she made a number of revisions to the manuscript.
“I did a lot of work to that book and now, a year later, we are sending it out,” she said.
Brandenburg, who has a technical writing background, teaches professional writing at Wayland, focusing on the technical, grammatical and “non-creative” side of writing, but that is only part of her interest in the medium.
“I love writing in all genres,” she said. “I teach the professional writing specialization and I like that side of it, too, but I also have this creative side.”
Brandenburg joined the ACFW five years ago and has developed friendships with a number of writers, as well as meeting some of the writers she has read for years. The ACFW also presents the Carol Award for published authors who have become house-hold names for those who read Christian fiction. She said her love for writing began to develop in junior high and has continued to grow.
“I knew I wanted to be writer. Most of my life, I have thought of things in terms of characters and stories,” she said. “I didn’t know that wasn’t normal for people who aren’t writers, but it’s very normal for people who are.”
Brandenburg’s award-winning short novel can be categorized as a contemporary Christian romance that takes place on a cotton farm in West Texas in the midst of a drought. She said it is a bit of romantic comedy as the male protagonist is a jokester who has fallen for his red-headed tenant.