Guidelines & Judging

2024 GUIDELINES: Eligibility, Judging, and Fine Print



  • All entries must be published in 2023 and have a 2023 copyright date.
  • Eligible entries must be in English (see categories for more info).
  • Self-published entries are admissible. We suggest the work be edited by a professional editor with experience in the publishing industry.
  • The  Word Awards are limited to writers who are Canadian. Submitter must confirm all entrants have Canadian Citizenship or Legal Permanent Resident Status.
  • The content of eligible entries must be consistent with a Christian worldview and the historic Christian tradition reflected in the Apostles’ Creed.
  • *NEW* AI is not used substantially in entries. AI (artificial intelligence) refers to tools like ChatGPT.
  • Organizers reserve the right to re-categorize entries.
  • *NEW* Each writing piece/book may only be entered into one (1) category.
  • *NEW* One entry form per book or piece. If you are entering two books or two blogs, each must have their own entry form. This should help cut down on processing errors. You may consolidate your payment into one payment if not using Paypal. Don’t forget to calculate HST if using e-transfer.
  • The Word Guild reserves the right to decline entries.


  • Canadian authors may submit co-authored books as long as 50% of the book is written by Canadian authors.
  • If a book is co-authored that does not meet the 50% total Canadian authorship percentage, the Canadian author may submit their contribution(s) in the short piece section.

Ready to Submit?  Click Here >


  • The award-winning entry in each category must have a score of 80% or above.
  • Entries must meet pre-determined criteria in order to be shortlisted. If the judges deem none of the entries in a particular category meet the criteria, no award will be given and no entry fees will be refunded.
  • *NEW* There will be two rounds of judging for all book entries. In the first round of judging, books will be evaluated on the first thirty (30) pages. Only books scoring 80% or higher will move on to the second round which includes a full reading of the book. Then judges will compile a shortlist.
  • All qualified entries will be evaluated by judges who are industry leaders.
  • Entries are judged based on criteria specific to that category.
  • *NEW* A list of judges will be published this year to honour their work. The categories they judge will not be made public.
  • It is your responsibility to choose the correct category. We reserve the right to re-categorize. No entry fee will be refunded if a judge deems it to be in the wrong category.
  • Entered material will not be returned and becomes the property of The Word Guild. The Word Guild is not responsible for the loss, damage, or return of any item submitted to the competition.
  • Book Entrants are automatically entered into the  Best Book Cover Award .
  • There are no refunds. If an entrant must withdraw from the contest for any reason, they must forfeit their entry fee.


Ready to Submit?  Click Here >


  • The Word Guild will accept books with an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) that have been published through a variety of methods, including POD (print-on-demand) services. To be accepted in this contest, the submitted book must meet standards of cover design, interior design, and binding. The Word Guild reserves the right to decline entries that do not meet adequate standards of professionalism.
  • The Word Guild communicates information and instructions during the time period leading up to The Word Awards Celebration/Gala via electronic newsletter mailings. If you unsubscribe to this mailing, you will not find out if you are a shortlisted finalist or winner. Join the mailing list.
  • All judges will look for an underlying expression of the writer’s Christian worldview informing and influencing the writing. The entry should not contain undue profanity, graphic sex, or other objectionable material (for all submissions), and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA (for Christian category submissions) as determined by The Word Guild. Judges may request submissions not meeting this requirement be disqualified.
  • The judges’ comments are not reviews and may not be used as endorsements of the work and under no circumstances should comment given by a judge be used for publicity purposes.
  • Judges’ decisions are final. Although The Word Guild requests that judges approach their task with an objective attitude, there is an inevitable degree of subjectivity involved in judging writing. If you enter more than one category, please note that the judges may vary in their opinions of your work and the marks and comments may reflect this discrepancy. The Word Guild is not responsible for any comments or decisions made by any judge.
  • The Word Guild shall have the permanent right to use and exploit, in any and all media, all radio, television, merchandising, promotional and publicity rights that publisher and author may have in connection with their participation in The Word Awards competition without further consent or payment. Publisher and writer also release any claim they might have either by virtue of their participation in The Word Awards for use of their respective photographs, names, likenesses, voice, or by appearances in connection with The Word Awards. Both publisher and writer consent to the permanent right of The Word Guild Award to publish or broadcast the content of The Word Awards Gala.
  • Disclaimer: The views expressed in the entries do not necessarily reflect the views of The Word Guild, the Board of Directors, or staff.
  • Amendments to Official Rules: Any amendments to the Official Rules will become binding upon all entrants at the time they are posted to the Contest Website. Entrants are advised to regularly check the Contest Website for updates, notices, and revisions to the Official Rules during the Contest Period.

Ready to Submit?  Click Here >

If you have any questions, or if you have not received an email confirmation for the receipt of your entry, please email the Awards Coordinator at awards [at]