"Christian Sex Book Walks Away with Top Literary Prize…"

Good Girl's Guide to Great SexSo 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 Girls 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 Word Guild is a national association of writers and editors who are Christian. (www.thewordguild.com)


Grace Irwin Winner 2013
Surprised winner Sheila Wray Gregoire with Mr. & Mrs. Irwin




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 Girls Guide to Great Sex (Zondervan)

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.


  1. Warmest congratulations to you! May God continue to use this book to affect the intimate lives of women all over the world.

  2. Congratulations, Sheila!! You’re writing has been a great help to many, many couples! We’ll continue to pray for you, for sure, and for Holly. We used to live in CA & had a few wildfires pretty close, so I know how harrowing that can be!


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  3. Congratulations!!!! That is awesome!
    Bethany Turner recently posted…my favorite date ideas from marriage adventuresMy Profile

  4. Congrats! So glad to see my Christian neighbours to the north are not terrified of sex!

  5. Wow!!! Huge congrats to you! How exciting and encouraging! 😀
    Nicole Elliott recently posted…My Very First Noah’s Ark PlaytimeMy Profile

  6. If you ever doubted if you were doing what you were meant to be doing, DON’T!! A huge congrats to you :)

  7. Wow! Congrats Sheila! So glad you decided to put the dress on and make the drive to Mississauga. Ha! So happy for you. You deserve it. You have brought great value to so many people and are transforming marriages with your message. So glad you obeyed when God directed you to write on sex!!

  8. Well deserved, Shelia! I recently read your book, and I think it’s fantastic. I’ve recommended it to some friends who are getting married this summer.
    Angela Deni recently posted…The Lord provides a surprising homeMy Profile

  9. What a wonderful honor! Thrilled for you!
    Gaye @CalmHealthySexy recently posted…4 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Health – and Your Sex Life!My Profile

  10. Wow! How exciting! Congratulations!! And, I’m joining you in praying for Holly and others in the path of the wildfires.
    Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers recently posted…Top 10 of 2013My Profile

  11. Wow! Congratulations, Sheila!!! So glad God is using and blessing you in this way!

  12. Way to go and very well deserved.

  13. That is so exciting!! Congratulations!

  14. Congratulations!
    Annabel recently posted…Columbia River GorgeMy Profile

  15. Melanie Jones says:

    Congrats! I am so proud of you! You are so very deserving of this award and many, many more. Through you God has ministered to me, on being a better wife to my husband, stepping up when it comes to our sex life, not giving up, helping him over come his porn addiction…(sometimes i believe he slips, but with love and prayer he is making it)
    God led me to you, I would have given up long ago without his devine intervention!!!
    God bless!!!!!!!

  16. Hey, we in Colorado could use something to celebrate! Congratulations Sheila! 😀 And may I just say, lookin’ good in that black gown!
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  17. Congratulations! I was so excited for you when I saw this blog post!

  18. So thrilled for you! It really is a great book. And I love your dress!
    Megan G. recently posted…more summer fun!My Profile

  19. Congrats and great job! You’ve done a great job of representing God’s Word and passion about ALL areas of our lives. I am glad people chose to honor you with an award for a great book.


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  20. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    Congratulations Sheila! So thrilled for you! What an honor! I’m so glad you won that award! Well deserved for sure! I read your blog every day and l’ve told you before how much your writings have helped me over these last two years!

  21. That’s awesome! Congratulations!

  22. Congratulations! I found your website today and am so glad to have done so: I agree that the world seems to be crying out for a healthy, truthful word about sex… And I’m delighted that your book is out there. I’m going looking for it!
    I started blogging relatively recently and was amazed that one post in particular has drawn nearly a thousand views in 3 days, but not a single comment. The topic? Sex. I was stunned: I think it speaks to how much people are desperately thirsty for not just entertainment, but truth, and the blogosphere allows them to read privately. I’m so glad your blog is here! I’m signing up to follow.

    (My link, by the way, is at http://bronlea.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/a-moms-momentary-insight-on-god-and-sex/)

  23. Jim Van Handel says:

    Please add me to you email list
    Jim VH

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