New Finalists Vie for Top Prizes in Canadian Christian Writing Awards

New record total of submissions expands The Word Guild's popular Christian Writing Awards as new contestants join familiar names in the list of finalists.

TORONTO—On June 13, The Word Guild will present Canada's top Christian writing awards for 2012, rewarding the best in Christian writing during 2011. Awards Administrator Mary Ann Benjamins reports a record of almost 360 submissions—up more than one hundred over last year! Entries in the 35 award categories included non-fiction books, novels, articles, columns, blogs, poems, and scripts and screen plays.
The quality of entries remains high. Audrey Dorsch, a judge in one of the book categories, remarked, “It was very difficult to choose among the top three in the category—but that sort of difficulty says a lot about the calibre of books entered.” 
New finalist, Ann Voskamp of Gowenstown, Ontario, whose New York Times bestselling book One Thousand Gifts (Zondervan) is shortlisted in the Inspirational/Devotional category is in good company with former Tarr Award recipient and winner Connie Brummel Crook of Peterborough, Ontario, whose book Flight (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) is listed for three categories—Children, Young Adult, and Historical.
The above mentioned authors, along with dozens of other Canadian writers, many of them finalists for the first time, will be honoured at the 2012 Awards Gala in Mississauga, Ontario, on Wednesday evening, June 13.
A highlight of the evening will be the third annual presentation of the Grace Irwin Award. This $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 prize for writers who are Christian. It will celebrate the best book published in 2011 by a Canadian author who writes from a Christian worldview. The evening will also see the presentation of another key award: the Leslie K. Tarr Award for career achievement.
The Word Guild Canadian Christian Writing Awards Gala will be held at the World Vision headquarters, 1 World Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the general public. Tickets are available at the door for $20.00, and online. 
Following the gala 250 writers, editors, agents, and publishers will meet in Guelph, Ontario, from June 14 to 16 for Canada's largest Christian writers' conference, Write! Canada, also sponsored by The Word Guild.  
You can see the complete media release and attached shortlist for The Word Guild 2012 Writing Awards here.