TORONTO – The Word Guild is once more offering a two-stage deadline system for entering books and articles in the Canadian Christian Writing Awards. November 15, 2011, is the first-round deadline for entries. In this round, work published during the first nine months of the year, January through September of 2011, may be entered.

In Round Two, entries for work published during the last three months of the year – October through December – must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2012. Writers who miss the first deadline will not be disqualified from the contest, but will need to pay a higher entry fee.

The contest is open to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident who affirms The Apostles’ Creed. Entrants range from professional journalists and academics, short story and article writers, royalty-published book authors, to writers who have self-published their first book or who publish exclusively on the Internet.

The Word Guild encourages writers to enter their work in the first round of submissions – any work published between January 1 and September 30, 2011. Entries for this first round must be postmarked no later than November 15, 2011. See the full list of contest category submission guidelines and our improved on-line entry form on the Awards website.

The Word Guild is a national association with the mandate of connecting, developing and promoting Canadian writers and editors who are Christian. The Canadian Christian Writing Awards honour the best writing published in 35 categories, including blogs, novels, nonfiction books, news articles, devotionals, columns, poems, short stories, song lyrics, and scripts or screenplays. Both writers and publishers may submit work for the contest.

The Writing Awards’ increasing popularity, including the black-tie Awards Galas that The Word Guild has produced for the past six years, are generating more recognition for these Canadians.

At the 2011 Gala, held in June, 47 awards were given with six of the book entries shortlisted for the $5000 Grace Irwin Award. The award, in honour of the late author, classics scholar and ordained minister Grace Lilian Irwin, is Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian.

The surprised winner, Tim Huff, won with his book, Dancing with Dynamite: Celebrating Against the Odds (Castle Quay Books). Other winners included Jack Dueck from Waterloo, Ontario, who received four awards over the night. Co-authors Tara Bradacs and Dennis Shackel received two awards and an honourable mention for the Grace Irwin Award for their book, Five Seconds at a Time: How Leaders Can Make the Impossible Possible (Harper Collins). The 2011 Leslie K. Tarr Award for career achievement was given to James I. Packer, recently named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

All entrants receive a copy of the judge’s comments, which will help them to improve their work. In addition to a cash prize and a certificate suitable for framing, winners will receive on-stage recognition at the Awards Gala on June 13, 2012.

Formerly known as The God Uses Ink Awards, these writing prizes have been awarded annually since 1988. Since The Word Guild assumed responsibility for the awards in 2002, the program has been revamped and expanded from six to 35 awards, encompassing 19 book categories and 16 article/short piece categories.

The Word Guild awards are open to all eligible writers who have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, and are not restricted to members of The Word Guild. All entrants are asked to affirm The Apostles’ Creed as a condition of acceptance in the contest.

The Word Guild, an association of almost 400 Canadian writers and editors who are Christian, including some 120 professional members, was founded in 2002. Members are committed to encouraging one another and fostering standards of excellence in the art, craft, practice and ministry of writing.

The long-term vision is to impact the Canadian culture through writing from a Christian worldview. Immediate goals are to help writers and editors at all stages connect with each other, develop new skills and discover new publishing opportunities.

Three categories of membership are available: professional writers and editors; associate members who are beginning to put together a body of published work; and affiliate members, for those working in related fields such as publishers, booksellers and church librarians. Member benefits include a discounted contest entry fee for The Canadian Christian Writing Awards.

For more information about The Word Guild, go to

Awards Categories – Books

Nonfiction Books

  1. Life Stories
  2. Christian Living
  3. Inspirational/Devotional
  4. Academic
  5. Christian Leadership
  6. Biblical Studies
  7. Apologetics/Evangelism
  8. Relationships
  9. Culture
  10. Instructional
  11. Special


  1. Contemporary
  2. Historical
  3. Romance
  4. Mystery/Suspense
  5. Futuristic/Fantasy

Other Book Categories

  1. General Readership
  2. Children
  3. Young Adult

Awards Categories – Articles, short pieces and other

Articles (Nonfiction):

  1. News
  2. Long Feature
  3. Short Feature
  4. Personal Experience
  5. Inspirational/Devotional
  6. Profile/Human Interest
  7. Review
  8. Column/editorial/first person essay – series
  9. Column/editorial/first person essay – single


  1. General Readership
  2. Blog Post – series
  3. Short story
  4. Children and Young Adult
  5. Poetry
  6. Song Lyrics
  7. Scripts and Screenplays

Media:   For more information:
Contact: Mary Ann Benjamins, Awards Administrator, The Word Guild
Email: awards[at]thewordguild[dot]com