TORONTO – Tickets are now on sale for the fifth annual Canadian Christian Writing Awards Gala. This black tie event, hosted for the third year by Herbie Kuhn, in-house voice of the Toronto Raptors, and honouring the best work published in 2009 by Canadian writers who are Christian, will be held Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at the headquarters of World Vision Canada, (1 World Drive, Mississauga, Ontario).
This year’s gala marks the fifth anniversary of the event as a stand-alone occasion. One of the highlights of the evening is expected to be the announcement of the recipient of the first ever Grace Irwin Award. The $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 award for writers who are Christian. It will celebrate the best book published in 2009 by a Canadian author who writes from a Christian worldview.
The award was established to honour the late author, classics scholar and ordained minister Grace Lilian Irwin, a Canadian Christian who published works of both fiction and nonfiction.
"Aunt Grace would be pleased to be remembered in this way," says John Irwin. "Anything that recognizes outstanding Christian writing would have pleased her."
Once again, the evening promises to be a highlight for the diverse group of more than 200 amateur and professional writers, journalists and authors expected to gather from across the country. Together with family, friends, reading fans and members of the Canadian publishing industry, they will celebrate the breadth and depth of work published by Canadian Christians throughout the previous year.
Awards will be presented in 34 categories including best nonfiction books, novels, articles, columns, poems and song lyrics. A brand new category will honour the best blog post series of 2009.
"Entries this year represent work by Christians from across the denominational spectrum," says Denise Rumble, managing director of The Word Guild, the organization behind the event. "There may be differences in how each writer expresses his or her faith, but these awards unite us in the core elements of Christian belief and witness common to all who follow Jesus Christ."
Last year’s award winners include author and newspaper columnist Thomas Froese, theologian and cultural commentator John G. Stackhouse, and singer, songwriter and author Carolyn Arends.

The evening will also see the presentation of two other key awards: The Leslie K. Tarr Awardfor career achievement and The Word Guild Partnership Awardfor exceptional support and encouragement for Canadian writers who are Christian. Last years’ winners were Ray Wiseman (Tarr) and Brian Stiller (Partnership).
Join us for an exciting evening of entertainment and readings from winning work, followed by a reception.

Ticket prices start at $10 (for members of The Word Guild, $15 for non-members). To purchase tickets visit Payment can be processed through PayPal. Purchasers will receive a receipt, which they can print off and bring to the Gala to use as their "ticket." Tickets also available at the door for $20.
Each year, this event kicks off Canada’s largest writers’ conference for Christians, Write! Canada.


The Word Guild is a growing team of more than 350 Canadian writers, editors, speakers, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other interested individuals who are Christian. From all parts of Canada and many denominational and cultural backgrounds, we are united in our common passion to positively influence individuals – and ultimately the Canadian culture – through life-changing words that bring God’s message of hope.
We encourage the exploration of God-given gifts and talents; provide opportunities for people to work together; and foster excellence in the art, craft, practice and ministry of writing, editing and speaking.
In addition to Write! Canada, its flagship event, The Word Guild sponsors a number of awards programs for published and unpublished writers including Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian, the $5,000 Grace Irwin Award. It also holds an annual black-tie Writing Awards Gala and regional Write! events in locations such as Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Halifax, Montreal, and London, Ont.
Three categories of membership, renewed yearly, are available: professional writers and editors; associate members, who are beginning to put together a body of published work; and affiliates working in publishing, bookselling, libraries, etc. Membership benefits include discounted rates for Write! Canada.
More information at

Media: For photos or more information, email Judy Bingley, The Word Guild Administrative Assistant, at twgjudy [at] gmail [dot] com