Friday, May 6, 2011

2011 Christy Award Nominees Announced

For those of you who love to read exceptional fiction, the 2011 Christy Awards Nominees were announced this morning. This is one awards list I anticipate seeing as I do believe the Christy Award honors the best in Christian fiction.

It's always interesting to note which books I've already read (11 of them), which ones need to go on my gotta read list, which nominees I agree with (or disagree), and which books did they miss?

I'm thrilled to see A SEASON OF MIRACLES, one of my favorite books for 2010, on the list twice: once for Contemporary Standalone and once for First Novel. ALMOST HEAVEN by Chris Fabry and THE BISHOP by Steven James are two other titles I'm rooting for.

I'm disappointed that Lisa Samson's RESURRECTION IN MAY and River's Jordan's THE MIRACLE OF MERCY LAND failed to make the list. In historical romance, I would have loved to see Laura Frantz's COURTING MORROW LITTLE nominated. All exceptional novels.

The one category I wish they'd change or, rather, diversify, is Contemporary--and I say this for book awards across the board as most are guilty of the miscategorization (in my opinion). I'll never understand how Amish fits into Contemporary. That's like comparing apples to cucumbers. Right now there are enough Amish books and authors to create its very own category. If Amish had its own category, perhaps there would have been room for true contemporaries such as Resurrection in May and Mercy Land.

I'd love to know your thoughts. How many of the Christy Awards nominees have you read? What are your favorites? Which do you still want to read? Did they miss any of your favorite novels?


  1. Oh Brenda, I agree with you - Amish is so big it should have its own category. I'm so thrilled to see Chris Fabry on the list! And our very own Stephen James from Revell:) Thanks for the thumbs for Morrow here. I congratulate heartily all the nominees! And bless you for a great post!

  2. You're welcome, Laura. Someday, your name will be on that list. Maybe with The Colonel's Lady ... ?

    And I second your Congratulations to all the nominees! What an amazing and deserved honor.

  3. Wow -- I haven't read as many as I thought I would. Thrilled to see Melanie Dickerson's Healer's Apprentice make the cut. And I see what you mean about Amish -- I think two of the three are in the contemporary line-up. I haven't read any of the historical nominees. And was there a suspense? I don't remember now.

    So the Christy finalists are selected by a mix of readers, right -- writers, people in the publishing industry and librarians? And the 2011 awards are really 2010 publications? I'm still new to this.

    Thanks for posting this here. I'd have never found it out in cyberspace. :-)

  4. Glad to help you out, Kav. And yes, the 2011 awards are for 2010 publications. It looks like the final nominees are chosen by an advisory board made up of industry pros (

    The suspense nominees are The Bishop (Steven James), The Bride Collector (Ted Dekker), & Predator (Terry Blackstock).

  5. Not to be a spoil-sport, but I think they need more categories. Putting Suspense as the catch-all for mysteries and thrillers lumps books together which really don't belong (i.e. Comes A Horseman by Robert Liparulo and River Rising by Athol Dickson. What?!).

    And, yeah, "Bonnet Books" should be a category all its own. "Visionary" makes me roll my eyes. Call it what it is: Fantasy.

    As you know, Brenda, I loved A Season of Miracles too, and The Bishop, Crossing Oceans, and Almost Heaven. You and I had differing opinions on The Reluctant Prophet. ;)

    I've been disappointed in this award in the past--or maybe I should say its recipients and nominees. I think it can be a bit misleading because some publishers don't pay the fee to nominate their authors. There doesn't seem to be a notable bump in sales for the winners either.

  6. Nicole - I'd never heard that about the publishers paying a free to nominate their authors. Interesting.

    Still, I have found the award to be an very good gauge of the best in Christian fiction. I may not always agree with the nominees or the eventual winners, but generally the stories are not formulaic or stereotypical, and the quality of the prose is typically better than the norm.