Christian Sex Book Walks Away With Top Writing Award

Twenty-five years of awards celebrated at black-tie Gala

Grace Irwin 2013Mississauga, Ont. – The Word Awards, the 25th annual writing awards for Canadian writers and editors who are Christian, was a celebration of words, but also a celebration of the gifts God has given to Christian writers and editors, said Denise Rumble, Managing Director, The Word Guild.

The Word Awards, held on June 12, honoured the work of 28 writers in book and article categories for work published in 2012.

It was a book about Christian sex that walked away with a $5000 literary award. Sheila Wray Gregoire of Belleville, Ont. won the Grace Irwin Prize for The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex (Zondervan), a book written for married women.

Ray Wiseman, who headed the Grace Irwin judging team, said "An intimate and often detailed guide for young women, but a must-read for all married persons and those planning marriage. Well done, Sheila, for daring to write a 'how-to' book that ministers to a crying need in the church." 

"Do you know how strange it is to be the Christian sex lady?" laughed Gregoire, as she accepted the award – Canada's largest literary prize for writers who are Christian, given in honour of the late author, classics scholar and ordained minister Grace Lilian Irwin.

Winners for all awards of the gala evening were chosen from among 285 competing entries from across Canada and beyond – 146 books and 139 shorter pieces, primarily articles that ranged from longer features to book reviews. Canadian songsmith Steve Bell of Winnipeg won The Word Award for best lyrics for "Oracles" (Signpost Music).

Work published in Faith Today magazine featured prominently in the evening, with writers winning in the categories of Profile/Human Interest, (Richard Erlendson of Calgary for "The Life of Peter Penner"); Long Feature (Karen Stiller of Port Perry, Ont, for "Hemorrhaging Faith: Why They're Leaving); and Short Feature (Bill Fledderus of Hamilton, Ont. and Karen Stiller for "Canadian Women are International Leaders").

Several authors made repeated trips to the podium to collect awards recognizing their work. Lawrence Brice of Port Rowan, Ont., took home the top prize in the Instructional Book and Apologetics/Evangelism categories for Confident Faith: In a World That Wants to Believe (Deep River Books). Margaret Terry of Burlington, Ont., won for her book Dear Deb: A Woman With Cancer, A Friend With Secrets and the Letters That Became Their Miracle (Thomas Nelson) in both the General Market and Life Stories categories.

Echoing the experience of many who attended the event with family and friends, Jordan Hageman of Mississauga, Ont. – and winner of The Word Award for best blog series – said, "I was a closet writer for many years. I looked for like-minded people and I found The Word Guild."

Jayne E. Self of Orangeville, Ont., who won for best book in the Novel – Suspense category for Death of a Highland Heavyweight, captured the celebratory and encouraging mood of the evening when she said, "It's such a pleasure to be in the company of so many amazing writers."

Many of the finalists and guests at the celebration, along with others from across Canada, are meeting from June 13-15 at the 29th annual Write! Canada conference in Guelph – Canada's largest conference for writers who are Christian.

The Word Guild is a national association of writers and editors who are Christian. (www.thewordguild.com)  

WINNERS LIST 

THE 2013 WORD AWARDS

The Grace Irwin Prize

Sponsor: John and Eleanor Irwin

The Grace Irwin Prize is Canada's largest literary prize for writers who are Christian. It celebrates the best book published in 2012 by a Canadian author who writes from a Christian worldview.

Winner: Sheila Wray Gregoire of Belleville, Ont. for The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex (Zondervan)

Honourable Mention:

Lawrence Brice of Port Rowan, Ont. for Confident Faith: In a World That Wants to Believe (Deep River Books)

Marion Taylor of Toronto for Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters (Baker Books)

Margaret Terry of Burlington, Ont. for Dear Deb (Thomas Nelson)

Jayne E. Self of Orangeville, Ont. for Death of a Highland Heavyweight (Harbourlight Books/Pelican Ventures)

The Word Guild Awards

Winners in The Word Guild's 2013 Word Awards

BOOKS

NONFICTION

Book – Academic

Winner – Marion Taylor of Toronto for Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters (Baker Books)

Book – Apologetics/Evangelism

Winner – Lawrence Brice of Port Rowan, Ont. for Confident Faith: In a World That Wants to Believe(Deep River Books)

Book – Biblical Studies

Winner – Heather Kendall of Lefroy, Ont. for God's Unfolding Story of Salvation: The Christ-Centered Biblical Storyline (Resource Publications/Wipf and Stock Publishers)

Book – Christian Leadership

Winner – Brian Stiller of Richmond Hill, Ont. for Find a Broken Wall: 7 Ancient Principles for 21st Century Leaders (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Christian Living

Winner – Arthur Paul Boers of Toronto for Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions (Brazos Press/Baker Books)

Book – Culture

Winner – Paul Boge of Winnipeg for Hope for the Hopeless: The Charles Mulli Mission (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Inspirational/Devotional

Winner – Lois Carter of Vancouver for Seven Days of Memory, Nights of Song (Word Alive Press)

Book – Instructional

Winner – Lawrence Brice of Port Rowan, Ont. for Confident Faith: In a World That Wants to Believe(Deep River Books)

Book – Life Stories

Winner – Margaret Terry of Burlington, Ont. for Dear Deb: A Woman with Cancer, a Friend with Secrets, and the Letters That Became Their Miracle (Thomas Nelson)

Book – Relationships

Winner – Lisa Elliot of London, Ont. for The Ben Ripple: Choosing to Live through Loss with Purpose(Word Alive Press)

Book – Special

Winner – Sarah Klassen of Winnipeg for Monstrance (Turnstone Press)

NOVELS

Contemporary

Winner – D. C. Shaftoe of St. Catharines, Ont. for Assassin's Trap (iUniverse Inc.)

Historical

Winner – Beverley Hopwood of Durham, Ont. for Gladys and Jack (Word Alive Press)

Suspense

Winner – Jayne E. Self of Orangeville, Ont. for Death of a Highland Heavyweight (Harbourlight Books/Pelican Ventures)

Romance

Winner – Sandra Orchard of Fenwick, Ont. for Critical Condition (Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense)

OTHER

Book – Children

Winner – Jan Cox of Haliburton, Ont. for Tadeo Turtle (Word Alive Press)

Book – General Market

Winner – Margaret Terry of Burlington, Ont. for Dear Deb: A Woman with Cancer, a Friend with Secrets, and the Letters That Became Their Miracle (Thomas Nelson)

Book – Young Adult

Winner – Valerie Sherrard of Miramichi, N.B. for Counting Back from Nine (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)

ARTICLE, POETRY, AND SONG LYRIC CATEGORIES

NONFICTION

Article – Column (Series)

Winner – Carolyn Arends of Surrey, B.C. for "In on the Joke of the Bible" and "Taste the Soup" (Christianity Today)

Article – Column (Single)

Winner – Cathy Smith of Wyoming, Ont. for "God in My Garden" (Christian Courier)

Article – Inspirational/Devotional

Winner – Margaret Terry of Burlington, Ont. for "My Christmas Miracle" (www.mariashriver.com

Article – Long Feature

Winner – Karen Stiller of Port Perry, Ont. for "Hemorrhaging Faith: Why They're Leaving" (Faith Today)

Article – Personal Experience

Winner – Kerri-Ann Haye-Donawa of Brampton, Ont. for "Finding My Way Back" (Prodigal Magazine)

Article – Profile/Human Interest

Winner – Richard Erlendson of Calgary for "The Life of Peter Penner" (Faith Today)

Article – Review

Winner – Cathy Smith of Wyoming, Ont. for "Heron River: It's About What's Real" (Christian Courier)

Article – Short Feature

Winner – Bill Fledderus of Hamilton, Ont. and Karen Stiller of Port Perry, Ont. for "Canadian Women Are International Leaders" (Faith Today)

SHORT FEATURE AND OTHER

Article – Blog Series

Winner – Jordan Hageman of Mississauga, Ont. for "Confessions of a Pastor's Wife: Confession #3" and "Confessions of a Pastor's Wife: Confession #4" (http://jordanhageman.blogspot.ca

Article – General Market

Winner – Thomas Froese of Ancaster, Ont. for "Judgment Is Good-Indeed, Is Needed" (The Hamilton Spectator)

Article – Short Story

Winner – Alvin Ens of Abbotsford, B.C. for "Of Nights and Castles" (FellowScript)

Poetry

Winner – Bethany Hindmarsh of Vancouver for "Sarai" (Crux)

Terence L. Bingley Award for Best Song Lyrics

Winner – Steve Bell of Winnipeg for "Oracles" (Signpost Music

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