Tag Archives: The Word Awards

The Word Awards

The Word Awards 2016Did you know that The Word Awards, presented each June in conjunction with The Word Guild‘s Write Canada conference, aren’t just about books?

This year’s categories included articles, song lyrics, and script-writing. For the first time, this year also expanded beyond English work to host two French categories. Next year’s awards will see the addition of the Debra Fieguth award for writing addressing social justice issues and Castle Quay’s Best New Canadian Manuscript Contest.

The 28th annual Word Awards Gala was held in Toronto on June 24th, drawing guests, writers and editors from across Canada.

From The Word Guild’s press release:

Debut author Susan Doherty Hannaford’s A Secret Music (Cormorant Books) captivated judges earning the Grace Irwin Prize, a $5000 literary award and the evening’s top prize. The judge’s panel said, “This entry fit well with the pioneering spirit of Grace Irwin whom the prize was named after.” Hannaford also won in the Crossover Young Adult category.

The Word Guild was pleased to have in attendance Dr. James Houston who was the recipient of the Leslie K. Tarr award for a lifetime of achievement. He wound down our evening by reminding us that our God is who we must give all glory, honour, and praise.

Among the Word Award winners was the Global Ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, Brian C. Stiller; writing retreat partners Tim Huff and Greg Paul; and co-collaborators Karen Stiller and Patricia Paddey. [Click to view the full release]

WINNER LIST – THE 2016 WORD AWARDS (for work published in 2015)

Short-listed books

The Grace Irwin Prize, Canada’s largest literary prize for Christian writers, celebrates the best book published in 2015. Sponsor: John and Eleanor Irwin

Winner: Susan Doherty Hannaford of Montreal, Que. For A Secret Music (Cormorant Books)

Honourable Mention:

Craig G. Bartholomew of Hamilton, Ont. for Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics:  A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture (Baker Publishing Group)

Greg Paul of Toronto, Ont. for Simply Open (Thomas Nelson)

BOOK CATEGORIES

CHRISTIAN CATEGORIES: NON-FICTION

Book – Academic

Craig G. Bartholomew of Hamilton, Ont. for Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics:  A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture (Baker Publishing Group)

Book – Apologetics/Evangelism

James A. Beverley of Pickering, Ont, and Craig A. Evans of Moncton, N.B. for Getting Jesus Right: How Muslims Get Jesus and Islam Wrong (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Biblical Studies

Stanley Porter of Hamilton, Ont. for John, His Gospel, and Jesus: In Pursuit of the Johannine Voice (Baker Publishing Group)

Book – Children

Paul Boge of East St. Paul, Man. and Faye Hall of Winnipeg for The Biggest Family in the World (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Christian Living

Greg Paul of Toronto, Ont. for Simply Open (Thomas Nelson)

Book – Culture (tie)

Brian C. Stiller, of Newmarket, Ont., (chief editor) and editorial team Karen Stiller, Todd M. Johnson, and Mark Hutchinson for Evangelicals Around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century (Thomas Nelson)

Karen Stiller of Port Perry and Patricia Paddey of Mississauga, Ont. for Shifting Stats Shaking The Church: 40 Canadian Churches Respond (World Vision Canada)

Book – Inspirational/Devotional

Tim Huff of Toronto, Ont. for The Yuletide Factor: Cause for Perpetual Comfort and Joy (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Instructional

David Sherbino of Toronto, Ont. for Renew: A Basic Guide For A Personal Retreat (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Life Stories

Robert Jones of St. Albert, Alta. for Ornament (Word Alive Press)

CHRISTIAN CATEGORIES: FICTION

Novel  – Children

Karen Autio of Kelowna, B.C. for Kah-Lan the Adventurous Sea Otter (Sono Nis Press)

Novel – Contemporary

Valerie Comer of Creston, B.C. for Dandelions for Dinner (GreenWords Media)

Novel  – Historical

Rose Seiler Scott of Surrey, B.C. for Threaten to Undo Us (Promontory Press)

Novel – Speculative

Peter Kazmaier of Mississauga, Ont. for The Battle for Halcyon (Word Alive Press)

Novel – Suspense

Sandra Orchard of Fenwick, Ont. for Desperate Measures (Revell Publishing)

CHRISTIAN CATEGORIES: FRENCH

Fictives

Anne Cattaruzza of Longueuil, Que. for À la recherche de Shéïda (La Maison de la Bible)

Vie Chrétienne

Jean-Sébastien Morin of Saint-Eustache, Que. for Mariés et heureux? (Ministères mult)

CHRISTIAN CATEGORIES: SCRIPTS

Full Length Christian Script

Dennis J. Hassell of Toronto, Ont. for “Shell Game”

CROSSOVER CATEGORIES

Book – Culture

Christina Crook of Toronto, Ont. for The Joy of Missing Out (New Society Publishers)

Novel – Romance

Bryan Norford of Lethbridge, Alta. for The Silent Remainder (Pebble Press)

Novel – Suspense

J.A. Menzies of Markham, Ont. for Shadow of a Butterfly: The Case of the Harmless Old Woman (MurderWillOut Mysteries)

Novel – Young Adult

Susan Doherty Hannaford of Montreal, Que. For A Secret Music (Cormorant Books)

ARTICLE, POETRY, SHORT STORY AND SONG LYRIC: CHRISTIAN CATEGORIES

Article – Blog

Thomas Froese of Ancaster, Ont. for “Fear and Childbirth in Uganda” (http://www.dailydad.net)

Article – Inspirational/Devotional

Carolyn Arends of Surrey, B.C. for “Our “Holy” Sins” (Today’s Christian Woman)

Article – Long Feature

Ray Wiseman of Fergus, Ont. for “Until Death Do Us Part” (Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon)

Article – Personal Experience

Kimberley Parker of St. Thomas, Ont. for “The Mission on My Street – When Love Comes Back Around” (testimony)

Article – Poetry

Stephen Kennedy of Peterborough, Ont. for “Afar Feast” (Presbyterian Record)

Article – Profile/Human Interest

Angela Reitsma Bick of Newcastle, Ont. for “Every moment holy” (Christian Courier)

Article – Short Feature

Lisa Hall-Wilson of London, Ont. for “Violence Against Women – Stories That Need To Be Told and Listened To” (testimony)

Article – Short Story

N.J. Lindquist of Markham, Ont. for “Mary’s Dream” (Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon)

Column – series

Josh Valley of Toronto, Ont. for “Donald Trump and other madness Evangelicals fall for” and “Seeing Jesus as a refugee” (Christian Week)

Column – single

John H. Redekop of Abbotsford, B.C. for “An oppressive ruling” (The Garden Park Journal)

TERENCE L. BINGLEY AWARD FOR BEST SONG LYRICS

Carolyn Arends of Surrey, B.C. for “Just Getting Started” (Running Arends Music/ASCAP)

ARTICLE, POETRY, SHORT STORY AND SONG LYRIC: CROSSOVER CATEGORIES

Article – Long Feature

Christina Van Starkenburg of Victoria, B.C. for “Taming the TV: Turning TV Time into Teachable Moments” (Island Parent)

Article – Personal Experience

Heather Rae Rodin of Selwyn for “Angel At Our Door” (Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon)

Short Story

Bobbi Junior of Edmonton, Alta. for “Chapter Book” (Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon)

Column – Series

Thomas Froese of Ancaster, Ont. for “Of lions, children and innocence of lives given” and “Life is in the small pleasures, the simple moments” (Hamilton Spectator)

Column – Single

Michael Coren of Toronto, Ont. for “The Real War on Christmas Comes from the Right” (The Toronto Star)

Harvey/Mackey Award (celebrates the best of Canada’s up and coming Christian journalists)

Christina Van Starkenburg of Victoria, B.C. for “Taming the TV: Turning TV Time into Teachable Moments” (Island Parent)

IN THE BEGINNING (for unpublished writers)

Grand Prize Winner:

Ellen Hooge of Calgary, Alta. for Ruth (first three chapters)

First three chapters runner up:

Diana Holvik of Guelph, Ont. for Love in the Storm

Non-fiction short piece runner up:

Beckie Evans of Abbotsford, B.C. for “I did learn something”

Poem runner up:

Mike Bonikowsky of Melancthon, Ont. for “Daughter Songs”

Short Story runner up:

Annie Carpenter of London, Ont. for “Livvy & the Queen Bee”

First fifteen pages of a Short Script runner up:

Nicole Arnt of St.Catharines, Ont. for How about L for Love

FRESH INK (students)

University Category:

Grand Prize Winner:

Carolyn Felker of Brantford, Ont. for The Desert’s Secret

First three chapters runner up:

Heather Shore of Milton, Ont. for Sands of Kemet

Short Story runner up:

Anna-Marina Giurin of Chatham, Ont. for “The Music of Life”

High School Category:

Grand Prize Winner:

Lindsay Evans of Trenton, Ont. for “Forever Love” (poem)

Without Proof Short-listed for Award

Without Proof [Redemption's Edge 3]The Word Awards short-list is out, for work published in 2015. I’m excited that Without Proof is one of the three novels in the Suspense category.

I’ve read the other two novels in that category, and they’re excellent reads: Shadow of a Butterfly, by J.A. Menzies, and Desperate Measures, by Sandra Orchard.

You can see the full list of books, articles, songs etc here: The Word Awards short-list. Results will be announced in June.

Highlights from Write Canada 2015

I spent part of last week at Write Canada, an annual conference for Canadian Christians who write and/or edit. This is my happy place, where I gain practical teaching and build friendships, in an atmosphere that renews my spirit.

Write Canada 2015 Canada's largest conference for Christians who write

After many years at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre, the conference moved to a Toronto hotel this year to be more accessible. This was a positive step, although a few logistics need tweaking for 2016.

I missed the restful beauty of the grounds in Guelph, but the open-air market behind the hotel provided fresh Niagara strawberries and there was a lovely little park a few blocks away.

Best thing about this year’s conference, for me?

Janet Sketchley and Matthew Sketchley at Write Canada 2015

One of my sons attended with me. Matthew was a runner-up in the Fresh Ink Contest at the university level. He can write circles around me, and that makes me proud. If you like dark fantasy from a Christian perspective, keep an eye out for him in the next few years.

Other best thing? Early morning and impromptu prayer times with treasured people (you know who you are.)

What did I learn?

From the panel on book launches (I was one of the panelists): One panelist recommended the short ebook, Hosting a Virtual Book Release Party by Shanna Festa. Another reminded me to contact the local cable TV channel with my book news.

From the Titles, Keywords and Blurbs workshop with NJ and Les Lindquist: The homework gave me a decent beginning on the back-cover blurb for Redemption’s Edge #3, and the workshop suggested No Safe Place may not be the best title for this one.

Indie Author/Publisher class with suspense author Linda Hall:

  • Free “simplenote” app for note-taking, syncs from one device to another.
  • Beta Readers: give them a few questions (sequence, believability, characters etc)
  • Android tablet: Google Play Books will read your manuscript aloud in epub format – read along silently with it to see what you catch.
  • If your ebook includes internal graphics, reduce them to 500×700 pixels or less. Link them to full-sized images on your website if necessary.
  • Cover: Can you read the print cover from 10 feet? Can you read the ebook cover in a thumbnail? Keep the title at/near the top so it won’t be lost if print books are stacked in a tier.
  • theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/ is a list of reviewers of indie books.
  • Goodreads for Authors course

Marketing Best Practices with Mark Lefebvre from Kobo:

  • The “3 P’s of Self-Publishing Success: practice, patience, persistence” – to which I add a fourth: prayer.
  • Your “street team” is your secret weapon. Treat them well.
  • Set up an Amazon Central page for the Canadian and international sites, not just the US one.
  • Book signing tip: have a stack of books ten feet away from you, so people can check them out without fear that you’ll “sell at them.”
  • Wattpad can be a great place to find beta readers and reach your target audience, but it needs an investment of time.
  • $1.99 is the worst price for an ebook online.

Going Global: Write Locally, Publish Globally, with Mark Lefebvre from Kobo: In the US, most ebooks sold are for Kindle, but Kobo outsells Kindle in Canada and in the rest of the world (Kobo started in Canada and is now part of the Japanese Rakutan company).

Writing from the Middle with writing teacher and thriller author James Scott Bell: I need to read this book. He made a lot of sense in the one-hour workshop. (No surprise. I’ve learned a lot from his other books on writing.)

The Word Awards Gala (for work published in 2014): My romantic suspense, Secrets and Lies, didn’t win in the suspense category, but to be a finalist is still a positive endorsement of the book’s quality. The suspense winner was Sandra Orchard’s Blind Trust, (Book 2 in an excellent series. I suggest starting with #1, Deadly Devotion.) You can read the full list of winners on The Word Guild site or by clicking the photo below.

Book finalists in The Word Awards, for work published in 2014

Book finalists in The Word Awards, for work published in 2014