Christian Category Definitions

Works in this category will have the writer’s Christian worldview clearly represented in their writing. Faith elements will be woven in and grow out of the piece organically. The entry should not contain undue profanity, graphic sex, or other objectionable material, and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA as determined by The Word Guild. Judges may request submissions not meeting this requirement be disqualified.

Articles/Short Pieces


  • An online article published by the author and judged on originality, readability and interest of topic. It is similar to a column in that it may comment on a range of issues, including current events, faith and personal / spiritual growth, however the authorial voice may be stronger, more casual or intimate.

Column – series

  • Two consecutive columns from a minimum of five pieces that appeared on a regular schedule in a publication

Column – single

  • One column from a series that appeared in a publication or a one-time “guest” column. Pieces are editorial, first person essay, opinion or persuasive writing; commentary on a timely subject


  • Content that encourages, strengthens, moves, uplifts readers or
  • Content motivates readers to put their faith in God, or to deepen their trust in God
  • Daily or weekly devotionals are part of this category

Long Feature (1,000 words or more)

  • In-depth treatment of a trend, situation
  • Explicitly aims to do more than inform (e.g. analyze, contextualize, equip, etc.)
  • Research provides a variety of sources, quotations and references
  • Writer does not include his/her own thoughts or opinion on issue
  • Writer evidences neutrality, balance, evenness of tone and usually writes in third-person


  • This may be coverage of a spot news event, such as an accident, or a more general event. It covers the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of the issue. The writer shows neutrality, balance and evenness of tone. It is written in 3rd Person voice and is a sharing of facts. Weight is given for the accuracy of information found from reputable and multiple sources.

Personal Experience

  • First-person or as-told-to narrative in which the author writes about an incident or experience that provided significant personal meaning or a lesson learned, or it is a personal opinion about some topic or issue that is important to the writer


  • Rhymed or free verse; maximum of 40 lines

Profile/Human Interest

  • Stories about people; aims to inform and usually also to inspire

Short Feature (under 1,000 words)

  • Informs reader about a trend, situation or group of ideas
  • Writer should provide some variety of sources and references
  • Entry usually written in third-person

Short Story

  • A fictional story with a fully developed theme but significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel

Terence L. Bingley Award for Best Song Lyrics

  • An original song released to the public in 2017 via either
  1. CD recording available for sale to the public
  2. Public performance, including broadcast, concert, church or worship settings.
    • Proof of performance is required for this choice
      • List venue, date, approximate number in audience, name and phone number of contact person. Include a scanned copy of printed program/church bulletin if available, highlighting your performance.
    • In the online form:
  • Each entrant must upload a digital copy of typed lyrics with complete credits for lyrics and music
  • Each entrant must submit a digital copy of their song being performed. Ensure that the lyrics are clearly audible for judging. You may enter more than one song, but each song must be submitted separately.

Click here for more info


Short Scripts

  • SHORT scripts for stage, film, TV or webisodes up to 45 pages in total (collected sketches allowed in aggregate up to the max. ) **Published for scripts means available in paper manuscript form with the intention of distribution to a larger audience it is NOT a requirement that it be performed.**

Full-length stage OR screen play

  • A Script of 100 pages or less in standard format. The author has had a script professionally produced. **Published for scripts means available in paper manuscript form with the intention of distribution to a larger audience it is NOT a requirement that it be performed.**

Books Non Fiction


  • Includes topics such as theology, ethics, philosophy, history, doctrine, academic or theoretical content and entries have more complex content, references and terminology than contained in books aimed at lay readers.
  • Entries have a target market of, professors, scholars, church leaders, clergy, or seminary/post-secondary students


  • Entries aim to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections or relay information about the Christian faith to others with the object of conversion

Biblical Studies

  • Entries promote a deeper understanding of biblical topics


  • Nonfiction, including children’s picture books whose primary audience are children

Christian Living

  • Primary focus is reader’s personal growth; developing a relationship with God; helps readers to deepen their faith, become more mature as Christians, live a life that is pleasing to God
  • May include accounts of overcoming adversity; reaching new levels of understanding; inspiring readers that similar changes are possible in their own lives
  • May include content about spiritual formation; spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, study of Scripture, worship, and more


  • Focus oncontemporary social issues, global affairs; writing about social issues including justice, poverty, the environment, human rights, or Christianity’s role in contemporary culture


  • Content that encourages, strengthens, moves, uplifts readers


  • Content motivates readers to put their faith in God, or to deepen their trust in God


  • Primary focus on how-to, training, or reference material

Life Stories

  • Biography, autobiography, memoir, or family history

Books Fiction


  • Fiction, including children’s picture books whose primary audience are children

Young Adult

  • Fiction and non-fiction written for young adults within the 12-17 age range. These may be stand-alone novels or novels written as part of a series and may encompass a range of sub-genres including but not limited to contemporary, historical, biographical, and suspense.


  • Full-length novels whose characters, setting, and issues are within the context of the present time period (1960 – 2015)


  • Fiction that weaves stories about characters in historical epochs or settings (up to 1960)


  • Fiction whose characters and controlling theme focus on a romantic drama in a contemporary time period (1960 – 2015)


  • Imaginative fiction including allegory (fiction in the form of extended metaphor in which objects, person and actions are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself), fantasy (fiction that deliberately breaks free from reality, setting the story in a nonexistent and unreal world or concerning incredible or unreal characters), futuristic (fiction whose action, plot, and characters occur in a future period of time), and science fiction (fiction in which scientific facts or hypotheses form the basis of adventures, often in the future, on other planets, or in other dimensions of time)


  • Fiction that often focuses on a strange, frightening, or thrilling set of events
  • Fiction where the element of mystery or terror plays a controlling part often a tale of crime
  • Includes mystery, adventure, and thrillers