The appropriateness and applicability of distributing awards can be contested. Take, for instance, the Oscars. While it claims to be the premier award show for accomplishments in the film industry, it by no means offers unanimous results. Even nominations are hotly debated among general audiences and pundits alike.
After all, the movie WIDELY considered the best of all time, Citizen Kane, actually lost the Best Picture category in 1941.
Still, awards do hold some purpose. While they may not be perfect, nor as inclusive as some might hope, they do still help draw attention to certain works that are worth noting.
Christian fiction is typically showcased through two primary avenues: The Christy Awards and The Carol Awards. We could contest all day whether or not the winners deserve to be the winners. However, if you’re looking for some direction on what to read next (including new books and/or authors) – they can offer a decent starting point.
The Christy Awards was established by 12 Christian publishers in 1999 and has since become one of the standards in CF awards. Named after Catherine Marshall’s book, Christy (more than 25 million copies in print) the award seeks to honor excellent novelists and novels in various Christian Fiction categories.
Some categories honored include: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance/Suspense, First Novel, Suspense, Historical, Visionary, Young Adult, and an overall Book of the Year.
Find a list of recent Christy Award finalists and winners here.
Held by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), The Carol Awards are an annual recognition of some of the best books published by traditional publishing houses or by Qualified Independently Published authors.
The Carol Awards change categories frequently, but include ones such as: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Speculative, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Novella, Debut, and Young Adult.
2016 Carol Award winners can be found here.
In 2016, the James L. Rubart’s, The Five Times I Met Myself, was awarded by both the Christy Awards as well as the Carol Awards.
Considered speculative fiction, Rubart’s tale tells the story of a many who is able to revisit his past self in order to change prior decisions and, thus, the results of his life.
As a side note, I would argue that the Christy Awards are the more prestigious of the two and do the best job of presenting a variety of writing categories and offerings. However, for a glimpse at your next potential read, both could be useful.
Just don’t get too frustrated if you find yourself let down by one of their winners (or nominees). Remember the Oscars. I’m still confused about why and how Chicago beat out The Pianist in 2002 — And how Shakespeare in Love could have beaten out Saving Private Ryan in 1998. And let’s not bring up that Citizen Kane anomaly again…