rush to press news and updates


Twenty-eight Christian fiction titles just announced as top contenders for the year’s best novels

Winners to be revealed at The Christy Award Gala webcast on October 28th featuring ‘The Chosen’ director and creator DALLAS JENKINS

ART OF WRITING WEBINAR SERIES kicks off tonight with panel of acquisition editors discussing “How to Be a Publishing Team’s Dream Author”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 30, 2021, Tempe, AZ – Today, the ECPA announced 28 finalists in nine categories for the THE CHRISTY AWARD® program in an online webcast hosted by Christy Hall of Fame author, CHRIS FABRY.  The Christy Award® exists to celebrate excellence in the art of Christian Fiction and to honor the power of faith in story.

Three finalists were named in nine Fiction categories, with one tie in the First Novel category.  The finalists represent the work of 13 publishers, including six independent publishers.

The winners in each category – plus The Christy Award Book of the Year — will be announced via webcast on October 28 at 7 pm central time.  The Winners Gala will feature famed “The Chosen” series director and creator, DALLAS JENKINS, along with 2020 Book of the Year author AMANDA DYKES, with a special tribute to the literary impact of the late WALTER WANGERIN, JR. by bestselling author PHILIP YANCEY and playwright PETE PETERSON.  The evening’s emcee will be the winsome award-winning author CHRIS FABRY.

Registration is open for the free Winners Gala webcast, along with the five-part Art of Writing webinar series kicking off tonight.  Recordings are available to those who register.

“At a Christy Awards Gala years ago, the late Eugene Peterson reminded all of us in attendance that the holy work of writing and publishing stories can ground readers in the world of God’s grace,” states Jeff Crosby, ECPA president.  “The 2021 finalists of the Christy Awards represent just that:  books artfully conveying stories that not only entertain and captivate, but ground us in the amazing grace of God. I congratulate each of the authors and publishers represented on this list of finalists.”

The FINALISTS in nine fiction categories are:



Just Like Home, Courtney Walsh, Sweethaven Press, 9781735527604

Some Bright Someday, Melissa Tagg, Larkspur Press, 9780997964264

Stay with Me, Becky Wade, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764235603



A Noble Calling, Rhona Weaver, Two Oaks Press, 9781734750003

The Edge of Belonging, Amanda Cox, Revell/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780800737405

Rain, Dana McNeely, Mountain Brook Ink, 9781943959921

Roots of Wood and Stone, Amanda Wen, Kregel Publications, 9780825446689



Set the Stars Alight, Amanda Dykes, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764232671

The Water Keeper, Charles Martin, Thomas Nelson, 9780785230915

The Way It Should Be, Christina Suzann Nelson, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764235399



Like Flames in the Night, Connilyn Cossette, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764234330

Under the Tulip Tree, Michelle Shocklee, Tyndale House Publishers, 9781496446077

The White Rose Resists, Amanda Barratt, Kregel Publications, 9780825446481



A Portrait of Loyalty, Roseanna M. White, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764231834

The Prince of Spies, Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764232138

When Twilight Breaks, Sarah Sundin, Revell/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780800736361



Port of Origin, Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry, Harris-Gentry Suspense, 9798640219463

Relative Silence, Carrie Stuart Parks, Thomas Nelson, 9780785226185

Unknown Threat, Lynn H. Blackburn, Revell/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780800737955



A Match Made at Christmas, Courtney Walsh, Sweethaven Press, 9798697320600

Joy to the World: Far as the Curse is Found, Amanda Barratt, Kregel Publications, 9780825446696

Joy to the World: Wonders of His Love, Erica Vetsch, Kregel Publications, 9780825446696



Extinction Island, Janice Boekhoff, Lost Canyon Press, 9781948003063

Forsaken Island, Sharon Hinck, Enclave Publishing, 9781621841357

The Story Hunter, Lindsay A. Franklin, Enclave Publishing, 9781621841227 



Dust, Kara Swanson, Enclave Publishing, 9781621841265

Mortal Sight, Sandra Fernandez Rhoads, Enclave Publishing, 9781621841203

Rebel Daughter, Lori Banov Kaufmann, Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 9780593125816


For the fifth year, ECPA will also host The Art of Writing Conference, NOW featuring FIVE intensive seminars for writers and publishers. Held via weekly webcasts each Thursday (September 30 through October 21 at 7 pm central), the series has just added an additional webcast featuring NYT bestselling author JENNIE ALLEN (Get Out Of Your Head) on November 4 at 11 am central.

The five-part weekly series launches tonight, with these topics:

Sep 30:  How to Be A Publishing Team’s Dream Author with a panel of industry acquisition editors

Oct 7:  Book Promotion Design Principles for Non-Designers with Kristopher Orr, Art Director Random House

Oct 14:  Writing with Authenticity and Intentionality with Jamie Lapeyrolerie (WaterBrook), Jevon Bolden and Quantrilla Ard (Embolden Media)

Oct 21:  Emotional, Spiritual, and Mental Health for Creatives with Dr. Holly Oxhandler, Diana Gruver, and Sarah Robinson

JUST ADDED Nov 4:  Free Yourself to Thrive in Your Mission with Jennie Allen, New York Times bestselling author of “Get Out Of Your Head”

The Art of Writing online conference series is available for a special bundle price of only $79. Register at are available to those who register.)

Each Finalist is featured at and they will soon be promoted in an e-blast for CT Women as part of Christianity Today’s media support. For more information about the program, visit or contact


About The Christy Award®
The Christy Award is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999, and is named for Catherine Marshall’s novel, “Christy,” which has sold over 10 million copies since its publication in 1967. ECPA assumed ownership and administration of the award in 2017 to focus and grow the unique opportunity of fiction in Christian publishing.  @ChristyAward  IG: thechristyaward

About ECPA
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non-profit trade organization comprised of member companies that are involved in the publishing and distribution of Christian content worldwide. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building networking, information, and advocacy opportunities within the industry and throughout multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.  @ECPA

Media contacts:
Jeff Crosby, ECPA president and CEO,, 480-966-3998 ext. 101
Cindy Carter, ECPA Awards & Recognition Manager,, 480-966-3998 ext. 103