Canadian Writers Vie for Top Prizes in Canadian Christian Writing Awards

Note: To see the complete shortlist of finalists for The Word Guild 2010 Writing Awards, download the Word document titled “TWG Awards Finalists 2010” at

May 13, Toronto, ON

An ex-gang member, a Dead Sea Scrolls expert, a political scientist, award-winning journalists, pastors, and well-know novelists, among others, are shortlisted for The Word Guild’s 2010 Canadian Christian writing awards.

TORONTO — The growing popularity of The Word Guild’s annual writing awards is evidenced again this year with a record number of submissions. A total of 245 entries was received, up from the record number of 237 set last year.

“Entries this year represent work by Christians from across the denominational spectrum,” says Denise Rumble, managing director of The Word Guild. “There are differences in how writers express their faith but these awards unite us in the elements of Christian belief and witness common to all who follow Jesus Christ.”

Finalists in the 34 categories, that include non-fiction books, novels, articles, columns, blogs, poems, and song lyrics published in 2009, are distributed across seven provinces. British Columbia writers account for 19 finalist placements; Alberta 7; Saskatchewan 5; Manitoba 5; Ontario 38; New Brunswick 1 and Nova Scotia 2. Each winner will be presented with a cash prize, a certificate and a specially designed lapel pin to mark his or her achievement.

Among the 61 finalists is world-renowned expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls Craig Evans of Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, whose recent book Jesus, the Final Days is shortlisted in the “Book–Biblical Studies” category. Award-winning journalist Thomas Froese’s book Ninety-Nine Windows: Reflections of a Reporter from Arabia to Africa and Other Roads Less Travelled is shortlisted in three categories.

Political scientist John Redekop, previous winner of the prestigious Leslie K. Tarr Award, is shortlisted with five articles. Well-known novelists N.J. Lindquist (Markham, Ontario), Bonnie Grove (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Marcia Lee Laycock (Blackfalds, Alberta), Linda Hall (Fredericton, New Brunswick) and Eric E. Wright (Colborne, Ontario) are all shortlisted. Laycock and Lindquist are finalists in the blog series, a new category for the awards this year.

One new author of interest is Michael “Bull” Roberts (Mississauga, Ontario), an ex-gang member and formerly one of Canada’s wealthiest drug lords, now the sponsor of a Christian newsletter that reaches into more than 700 prisons in North America and Hong Kong. His autobiography The Tender Heart of a Beast is in the running for a prize in four separate book categories.

The above mentioned authors, along with dozens of other Canadian writers, many of them finalists for the first time, will be honoured at the 2010 Awards Gala in Mississauga, Ontario.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the first ever Grace Irwin Award. The $5,000 award — donated by retired book publisher John W. Irwin (nephew of the award’s namesake) and his wife Eleanor—represents Canada’s largest literary award for writers who are Christian. It will celebrate the best book published in 2009 by a Canadian author who writes from a Christian worldview.

The books entered into this contest are those of all finalists in the 2010 book award categories. For the winner this will be the “icing on the cake.”

The evening will also see the presentation of two other key awards: The Leslie K. Tarr Award for career achievement and The Word Guild Partnership Award for exceptional support and encouragement for Canadian writers who are Christian. Last year’s winners were Ray Wiseman (Tarr) and Brian Stiller (Partnership).

For the third year in a row, the black-tie gala will be hosted by Herbie Kuhn, popular speaker and in-house announcer for the Toronto Raptors basketball team. It will be held on Wednesday June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at World Vision Canada, 1 World Drive, Mississauga, Ontario. The public is cordially invited. Tickets may be ordered online at or by e-mailing info (at) thewordguild (dot) com. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.

You can see the complete shortlist of finalists for The Word Guild 2010 Writing Awards at

Following the gala, 250 writers, editors, agents and publishers will meet in Guelph, Ontario, from June 17 to 19 for Canada’s largest Christian writers’ conference, Write! Canada (, also sponsored by The Word Guild.

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