Awhile back, I received a telephone call from Colleen Coble, telling me that I am to be awarded the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in September at their annual conference. The news left me almost speechless.
I was instructed to keep silent about it until it was announced in June at a press conference during the International Christian Retailers Show. That happened earlier this week.
Today, Colleen Coble sent me a copy of the brief speech she gave at the press conference, and I’m going to share her kind words and sweet story with you, my readers:
Robin Lee Hatcher is one of my favorite people, and her name came up unanimously the minute the ACFW Executive Board started talking about this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. When we bestow this award, we look not just at awards and body of work but at how the recipient gives back to the industry.
Not only is Robin a gifted writer, but she takes time to nurture aspiring writers as well. I have to tell you a funny story about Robin and my dear friend Diann Hunt who lost her battle with ovarian cancer right after Thanksgiving. Di was attending her first ACFW conference with me and had only written one novella so far. She was on the phone with her husband and Robin came into our hotel room. Di whispered into the phone, “Jim, I have to go. There are famous people in the room.”
And Robin was so gracious and sweet to Di and even endorsed some of her books as well. Di hero-worshiped her all her life. Many have been touched by Robin’s gift of helping others.
Robin has won many accolades over her 30 years (and counting) career. She came to CBA from the general market where she also won the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. And she’s won every writing award worth winning—the RITA, the Christy, and the Carol Awards. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers.
ACFW is proud to award her with our highest honor, the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award.
It is impossible for me to express how very, very honored I am by this recognition from ACFW, and I’m humbled by the generous praise.
I’m so blessed by all of the people my writing has brought into my life. All of the publishing professionals I’ve worked with at different publishers. My wonderful agent of 25 years, Natasha Kern. Fellow novelists who I have the privilege to call friends. And of course, my readers whose letters and emails and the occasional face-to-face meetings have meant (and continue to mean) so much to me.
It’s the people and the relationships that have made this journey such a joy.
Thank you for being a part of that journey.