So last night my mother and I headed 2 hours west on the highway to attend the Canadian Christian Writing Awards (the Word Gala) in Mississauga, ON. The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex had been nominated for Best Christian Book in the Christian Living category.
That category came and went, and I didn’t win. I wasn’t surprised at all; I’ve been nominated about 10 times for different awards, and I think I won for a column once a few years back. I don’t normally win. And this is a weird book, after all.
But the last award given was the Grace Irwin Prize. Here’s how the program described it:
“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.”
I assumed I wasn’t even eligible, because I hadn’t won in my category. But they take all books in all categories that had been shortlisted, and then a new panel of judges looks at them and chooses.
They announced the five finalists and put the covers on the screen; there was mine. I was floored. And then they started a reading from it. Wow. I hadn’t even prepared a speech!
I’ll let the press release take it from here…
Christian Sex Book Walks Away With Top Writing Award
Twenty-five years of awards celebrated at black-tie Gala
Mississauga, 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…
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.
I’m still flying high today! I’m really thrilled.
So celebrate with me, but do keep praying for my assistant Holly, whose house is in the path of the Colorado wildfires. Let’s rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.