Judging Applications for the 2017 INSPY Awards are Now Open!

Not only are we turning the page on a new month – happy March 1st! – we’re thrilled to announce the 2017 INSPYs judging applications are now open. Bloggers, you can now apply to be a 2017 judge! We’re so excited you share an interest in the Inspy’s with us. Without you, this program wouldn’t work and we value your time, enthusiasm, individual perspective and dedication to these awards for the month-and-a-half you will be reading and critiquing the shortlisted novels with fellow judges. Before applying, we do ask that you carefully consider what is involved in judging and understand what you are agreeing to.

We have some upfront simple criteria that must be met:

• You must be a blogger.
• You must provide a link to a recent book review you’ve written.
• You must agree to our statement of faith. We are looking for judges who are people of the Christian faith.
• You must be willing to obtain all of the books if necessary.
• You must agree to read all five shortlisted books by June 14 and participate in an online discussion with the other judges to determine the winner.
• You agree not to blog/tweet/Facebook about the shortlisted books as you are reading them or discussing them. After the winners are announced, you are welcome to blog about them.

The judging for the INSPYs takes place in two stages.

First Stage Once the period for book nominations has closed, the INSPYs Advisory Board will review the nominations and create a shortlist for each category of five books each.  This will be a collaborative process and every effort will be made to read at least a sampling of every book nominated.

Second Stage The shortlists will then be passed onto the preselected judges.  All judges must be bloggers with some book reviewing experience.  These judges will consider the books and select the winner.

For more information on who and what we will be looking for in a judge and the application form, please visit our 2017 application page to apply.

We are so excited to find a fabulous panel of judges and look forward to working with you!

We will accept applications (via the application form) through March 31, 2017. Judges will be announced April 15, 2017 (and shortlists will be announced April 30).

2016 Judges

Computer and Desk3Now that the advisory board is (nearly) done with the task of shortlisting the books nominated in the 2016 INSPY Awards, the advisory board is pleased to introduce you to our 2016 panels of judges. We now hand the job of choosing the winning novel over to them. The INSPY Advisory Board thanks each and every applicant for their enthusiasm and is thrilled to announce the judges for 2016. The shortlists will be announced on April 30 and once these judges receive their respective books, they then have the task of narrowing the list from five novels to the one worthy of the 2016 INSPY in each category.

We welcome these judges and thank them for their service.

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense Judges

AnnieAnnie LOVES books – the look, the feel, the smell and the words. She’s an avid reader turned blogger reviewer. She dabbled at sharing her thoughts on her blog, Just Commonly for years (very sporadically), and only since 2015 have she focused on reviewing what she loves best, BOOKS! A widely known book nerd, once you get her started on a book, she might talk your ear off until you just had to get your own copy. She’s a big fan of all Christian fiction, as well as books in the Young Adult, Middle Grade and even Kids Fiction genre. She’ll test out recipes from cookbooks and share thoughts from biographies to books on nutrition, spiritual help or just any book that struck her fancy. Being a speed reader, she’s happy to be able to immerse herself in more books than normal. Next to reading, her other interests includes spending time with friends and family, eating and somehow challenge her non-existent athletic abilities to improve (tremendously) her tennis and golf game.

Becky Ritta

Becky Ritta is a thirty-something single girl from small town Nebraska. She’s been a voracious reader ever since the moment she realized c-a-t spelled “cat.” By day, she teaches journalism and manages the website and social media accounts for a Christian high school. By night, she reads, blogs, experiments with gluten free baking, and binge watches ’90s TV shows.

Becky began blogging on MySpace back in 2006; in 2008 she moved over to Christian Chick’s Thoughts  and posted her first book review. She loves interacting with authors and other book lovers, and her favorite part of reviewing is discovering great new (or new-to-her) authors.

Carrie SchmidtINSPYSCarrie Schmidt (aka MeezCarrie) is an avid reader, a book reviewer, a story addict, a KissingBooks fan and a book boyfriend collector. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Her passion in blogging/reviewing is to connect readers with a new favorite author or book, especially in the Christian fiction genre. Carrie lives in central Kentucky with her hubby Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu and is the long distance cool aunt to nine nieces and nephews. When she’s not reading or reviewing or “cool-aunting”, Carrie teaches English as a Second/Other Language to international adults. Learn more about Carrie at Reading is My Superpower.


Historical Romance Judges

Alyssa-Faith Washburn lives in the mountains of Northern California amidst Gold Rush country and former Maidu and Miwok territory. She began her reading journey with Nancy Drew and the Lord of the Rings at an early age, and never turned back. Alyssa also loves to write, classic films, music and all things vintage. She’s also very involved in her church as a Sunday School Teacher. She has a passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Pro-Life Movement, Politics, Personal Freedom, and an advocate against Human Sex Trafficking. Alyssa is an amateur Genealogist and has found her ancestry to have everything and the kitchen sink. Her stories are a mixture of truth, social issues and happily ever afters, because this world needs more happily ever afters. Éirinn go Brách (Clan O’Neill).

0Hayden Wand is a Christian, author, and college student who loves mysteries, musicals, and period dramas. She began blogging in 2010 as a way to share her love of reading and classic literature (and also to inquire if there was anyone else out there who loved The Scarlet Pimpernel). The piles of books stacked under her bed range from Christian fiction and Young Adult sci-fi to obscure Victorian novels and an 800-page biography of George Washington. She pens book reviews at A Tree, A Book, and a Breeze and blogs about everything else at A Singular and Whimsical Problem.

Tressa has been an avid reader her whole life. She grew up listening to her parents read such classics as C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Robert Louis Copy of Blog ProfileStevenson’s Treasure Island and Kidnapped, and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, among others. She developed a love for the inspirational and happily-ever-after aspects  of Christian Fiction as an adult and busy mother. She also reads in the Young Adult and sweet Romance genres. Tressa blogs at Wishful Endings and is a tour co-host at Prism Book Tours. Outside of blogging and reading, she is active in her church and spends most of her time with her husband, four children, and spoiled puppy. She also enjoys watching movies, cooking, playing racquetball, gardening, sewing, and crafting when she can fit them in.


General Fiction Judges

Amy MAmy M has been enthusiastic about reading for as long as she can remember. She has a deep love of history and literature and reads both fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys sharing her love of Christ, books, and reading on her blog, Building Life’s Library, and is always happy to connect with authors and fellow readers there. Amy lives in Virginia with her husband and son, where she practices law. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her family.

KarenCollier

Karen Collier writes and reviews Christian fiction, enjoys a good book discussion, and likes to keep an audiobook and an ebook handy at all times. She puts her Master of Library Science degree to use as a substitute librarian for a local public library but spends most days mothering two adorable kids and squeezing in writing and reading time whenever she can. Karen and her husband Dave make their home on a stretch of farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Her full bio, social links, and bookish blog posts can be found at karencollier.com, where she loves to connect with fellow readers.

rosie wilsonRosie Lapp is a writer with a passion for the written word. She blogs at Writings of Rosie, loves to read, writes sometime in between, and is a wife to the most wonderful man on the planet. Recently, she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Thomas Edison State University. Rosie strives to glorify God in both word and deed (Col. 3:17), endeavoring to share the Gospel and her love for Christ in all she does. It is her pleasure to endorse Godly fiction as it comes her way, but her greatest joy is to lift up Christ in her writing. Whenever she isn’t busy she likes to curl up on the couch and drink iced tea.

Literature for Young People Judges

alyssa-zech

Alyssa is a wife and SAHM to Baby Girl (3 1/2) and Baby Boy (3 months). She has been reading since before she can remember and devours all kinds of books. Her blog Sunrise Avenue is her home for blogging about all things book related. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, Alyssa can be found blogging, drinking coffee, watching Doctor Who, or hanging with family. Find her also on Instagram or Goodreads.

Bekah Malik is a 21 year old living in the Chicago area, homeschool graduate, and college student pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts. She’s a dreamer and you canBekah M usually find her with her nose in a book, whipping up a batch of cookies, binge-watching Netflix, drinking coffee, or hanging out with her three wonderful sisters. She blogs over at Will Bake for Books, where you can find recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth and book reviews usually of the Christian fiction or Young Adult genres.

IreneIrene Wesley is a Southern born, quiet, book loving, BBC drama kind of girl.

Which means there’s always some sort of grand adventure going on in her world!  She started book blogging a year ago after realizing the joy and opportunity of sharing the love of literature with fellow readers.  And as the story goes, she has embraced it whole heartily ever since.

You can find out more about Irene – plus check out book reviews and other bookish fun – on her blog, A Thought Reflected.


Mystery / Thriller Judges

Beckie Burnham is very happily married 31 years (in June) and the mother of three grown children. She has always loved to read, but alas, the years she chased after11072929_855775971135473_3544893896183617040_n children curtailed her reading time. As the kids became more independent and able to take care of themselves, Beckie restarted her love affair with the written word. Six years ago she began to share her thoughts online with her blog, By The Book. Still energized by nagging, er, encouraging others to read good books, Beckie also leads three book clubs, including an informal group at the local women’s transitional center. When not reading or blogging, she enjoys time with family (still chasing after kids across the country), leading a Bible study and volunteering.

35568_137295162954529_621761_nRebekah Johnson – I am an avid reader. I love ebooks and paper books too. I started my blog Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews  three years ago to take my love for reading and books to share with others. I have just recently branched out in my reading adventures to include Historical Fiction (Civil War, World War II and The Renaissance Eras) and am finding a whole new adventure in reading. I am have also just started discovering “new” and “new to me” authors too. I am loving my new adventures in reading.  I am also involved in a Christian Ladies Book club and this even expands my love of reading.20160323_112002

Karen Weido is a wife, mom, blogger, avid reader and Instagram addict. Her blog, Ting’s Mom Books, features new releases from various Christian fiction genres, well as non-fiction and children’s books. She also blogs about her family life at Ting’s Mom Blog. Karen lives in South Arkansas with her husband and two children.


Speculative Fiction Judges

19_Ian Acheson_22.05.12_by rasha photography

Ian Acheson’s debut novel, Angelguard, is available in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. This is the first release in the Angelguard Chronicles, a series of speculative fiction novels that explore the interconnection of the spiritual and physical worlds and the power of prayer. Ian is busy completing the second in the series.

Ian reads a lot, and a lot, and a lot more. He reads widely in fiction, non-fiction, magazines, web and newspapers. He’s been telling and writing stories for most of his life since early childhood.

When Ian’s not writing he’s a professional strategy consultant having been in the Corporate world for the past 25 years. He brings some of this experience into his stories. He’s lives in Sydney, Australia, and shares life with his wife, Fiona, two adult sons and one gorgeous daughter-in-law. In addition, they have two adored kelpies that keep them active.

This will be Ian’s second year as an INSPY judge and he’s excited about getting his hands on the shortlisted finalists. Ian is also a judge for the three contests offered by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the CALEB Awards that recognize Australia and New Zealand’s best Christian fiction.

You can connect with Ian on his Website,  Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads

Meagan

Meagan Myhren-Bennett developed an early love of reading growing up in a family where books were the gift of choice.  This love was the perfect excuse to become both a reviewer and a librarian.

When not at the library, she can be found at home, which is a small farm in rural Northwest Central Wisconsin, spending time with her family or reading with some of the family’s 13 dachshunds piled on her lap.  

Meagan’s reviews can be found at Blooming with Books (http://BloomingwithBooks.blogspot.com) where her eclectic reading tastes can be fully appreciated.  And she’s more than willing to help other readers discover her favorite authors.

socialMichelle R. Wood has been an avid reader from a very tender age, since her mother first began reading aloud to her. Eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and English, Michelle has worked as an editorial intern, staff writer, blogger, and print/web designer. Her personal musings and book reviews can be found at her blog, Distractions of Grandeur (www.woodmr.net/blog). She is honored and excited to once again serve as a judge in the speculative fiction category, having previously taken part in 2011 and 2014.

Judging Applications for the 2016 INSPY Awards are Now Open!

Computer and Desk3Dear Potential Judges!

Not only are we turning the page on a new month – happy March 1st! – the judging applications are now open. Bloggers, you can now apply to be a 2016 judge! We’re so excited you share an interest in the Inspy’s with us. Without you, this program wouldn’t work and we value your time, enthusiasm, individual perspective and dedication to these awards for the month-and-a-half you will be reading and critiquing the shortlisted novels with fellow judges. Before applying, we do ask that you carefully consider what is involved in judging and understand what you are agreeing to.

We have some upfront simple criteria that must be met:

• You must be a blogger.
• You must provide a link to a recent book review you’ve written.
• You must agree to our statement of faith. We are looking for judges who are people of the Christian faith.
• You must be willing to obtain all of the books if necessary.
• You must agree to read all five shortlisted books by June 14 and participate in an online discussion with the other judges to determine the winner.
• You agree not to blog/tweet/facebook about the shortlisted books as you are reading them or discussing them. After the winners are announced, you are welcome to blog about them.

The judging for the INSPYs takes place in two stages.

First Stage Once the period for book nominations has closed, the INSPYs Advisory Board will review the nominations and create a shortlist for each category of five books each.  This will be a collaborative process and every effort will be made to read at least a sampling of every book nominated.

Second Stage The shortlists will then be passed onto the preselected judges.  All judges must be bloggers with some book reviewing experience.  These judges will consider the books and select the winner.

For more information on who and what we will be looking for in a judge and the application form, please visit our 2016 application page to apply.

We are so excited to find a fabulous panel of judges and look forward to working with you!

We will accept applications (via the application form) through March 31, 2016. Judges will be announced April 15, 2016 (and shortlists will be announced April 30).

Welcoming the 2015 Panel of Judges

Thanks to the many veteran bloggers and avid readers who volunteered to be a INSPYs judge, The Advisory Board is pleased to welcome our 2015 shortlist judges. Six of our seven categories will be judged by our respective three-panel judges while the Debut Novel category will be determined by our Advisory Board. Visit our 2015 Judges page to meet the fabulous judges!

We’d like to welcome all of our judges and thank them for their commitment to be a part of the INSPYs. We now hand over the task of selecting the winning work of fiction in the respective categories to their capable hands. Our thanks to everyone who applied for a judging position; we would also like to invite bloggers to apply again next year when we’ll be in our seventh year celebrating the  INSPY Awards. Your support and enthusiasm for Christian fiction is appreciated and we’re grateful for that. Be sure to check back on April 30th for the shortlist announcement.

Meet the 2015 Judges

General Fiction Judges

KarenCollierKaren Collier writes and reviews Christian fiction, enjoys a good book discussion, and likes to keep an audiobook and an ebook handy at all times. She’s a librarian by training, but currently spends her days mothering two adorable kids and squeezing in writing and reading time whenever she can. Karen and her husband Dave make their home on a stretch of farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Her full bio, social links, and bookish blog posts can be found at karencollier.com, where she loves to connect with fellow readers, writers, and followers of Jesus.

 

35568_137295162954529_621761_nRebekah Johnson – I am an avid reader. I love ebooks and paper books too. I started my blog Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews two years ago to take my love for reading and books to share with others. I have just recently branched out in my reading adventures to include Historical Fiction (Civil War, World War II and The Renaissance Eras) and am finding a whole new adventure in reading. I am have also just started discovering “new” and “new to me” authors too. I am loving my new adventures in reading. 

Iola Goulton HeadshotIola Goulton (@iolagoulton, pronounced yo-la, not eye-ola) has always been a bookworm. She owns hundreds of Christian novels in paperback, and hundreds more as ebooks. She reviews around 150 books each year on her blog, Iola’s Christian Reads, and contributes reviews to Australasian Christian Writers, The Christian Manifesto, and Suspense Sisters Reviews. Iola lives with her husband and two children in New Zealand, in a seaside city near Hobbiton.

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense Judges

2014-10-03 17.22.33Becky Ritta is a thirty-something single girl from small town Nebraska. She’s been a voracious reader ever since the moment she realized c-a-t spelled “cat.” By day, she teaches journalism and manages the website and social media accounts for a Christian high school. By night, she reads, blogs, experiments with gluten free baking, and binge watches ’90s TV shows.

Becky began blogging on MySpace back in 2006; in 2008 she moved over to Christian Chick’s Thoughts  and posted her first book review. She loves interacting with authors and other book lovers, and her favorite part of reviewing is discovering great new (or new-to-her) authors.

 

Brooke_iblog4books2Brooke M began reading when she was four years old and has rarely been seen without a book since. When she isn’t reading, she can be found drinking Dr. Pepper, listening to an eclectic mix of tunes (and often singing along—loudly), pretending to be crafty, cheering on the Auburn Tigers, or spending time with her husband. You can find her online at i blog 4 books where she has been blogging since 2010.

image1Kara is an avid reader whose love of books is well known among her circle of friends. She blogs at Flowers of Quiet Happiness, where she writes about her eclectic reading and anything else that catches her fancy. Things that make her smile are: books, hot tea, period dramas (particularly North and South, also any Jane Austen adaptation), writing, friendships, and Jesus. Persuasion remains one of her most favorite stories ever!

Rosie-Biopic

Historical Romance Judges

Rosie Wilson is a college senior about to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with a passion for the written word. She blogs at Writings of Rosie (www.writingsofrosie.blogspot.com), reads when she has a chance, works as a freelance editor, writes sometime in between, and is very soon to be a wife to the most handsome man on the planet. In the last few years, she has strived to glorify God in both word and deed, endeavoring to share the Gospel and her love for Christ in all she does. It is her pleasure to endorse Godly fiction as it comes her way, but her greatest desire is to help others lift up Christ in their stories. Whenever she isn’t busy she likes to curl up on the couch and drink warm tea.

courtney-clarkCourtney Clark is a small-town girl from Arkansas who loves Jesus, reading, photography, period dramas, baking, crocheting, and hot tea (in any combination). She especially loves reading great books and sharing about them on her blog. When she’s not doing any of those things, she’s working at her family’s restaurant or teaching at the local community college. Catch up with Courtney at her blog, The Green Mockingbird, or follow her on twitter @CameraCourt.

11072929_855775971135473_3544893896183617040_nBeckie Burnham is very happily married (30 years in June) and the mother of three grown children. She has always loved to read, but alas, the years she chased after children curtailed her reading time. As the kids became more independent and able to take care of themselves, Beckie restarted her love affair with the written word. Nine years ago she began to share her thoughts online with her blog, By The Book. Still energized by nagging, er, encouraging others to read good books, Beckie also leads three book clubs, including an informal group at the local women’s transitional center. When not reading or blogging, she enjoys time with family (still chasing after kids across the country), leading a Bible study and volunteering.

Literature for Young People Judges

alyssa-zechAlyssa is a wife and SAHM to Baby Girl (2 1/2). She has been reading since before she can remember and devours all kinds of books. Her blog Sunrise Avenue is her home for blogging about all things book related. When she isn’t wrestling her new puppy, Alyssa can be found reading, blogging, drinking coffee, watching Doctor Who, or hanging with family. Find her also on Twitter or Goodreads.

shannon griffin bioShannon Griffin is a stay at home mom, school library volunteer and stray animal rescuer. My never ending book pile is the reason I started blogging over at Gidget Girls Reading. When my nose isn’t stuck in a book you can find me baking, taking pictures, hiking, bible journaling, and spending time with family and friends. The book that made me fall in love with reading and I have not slowed down since was Charlotte’s Web. I read mostly YA, Christian fiction and middle grade/ YA cross overs. I’m not a tv watcher but you can catch me watching Gilmore Girls, I love seeing what books Rory is going to be “reading” in each episode. I’m slowly working through the Rory Gilmore reading challenge. It might take me a lifetime but as a big Gilmore Girls fan and reader I just had to do this challenge.

alyssa-washburnAlyssa-Faith Washburn a twenty-one years young, homeschool grad, raven haired, Jesus loving girl. She began with Tolkien and Lewis at an early age, and never turned back. Alyssa has always loved to write since she can remember, but didn’t begin to take it seriously until she was seventeen. She writes whenever she can get a chance.  When she isn’t reading or writing you can find her listening to her favorite music artists, fangirling over her favourite fandoms (ala Tolkien, C.S. Lewis & OUAT.), and volunteering at her church. She has a passion for the Pro-Life Movement. An advocate against Human Sex Trafficking. Alyssa makes her home in Northern California where she reads every book she can get her hands on {preferably Fantasy, Dystopian, or Historical}, writing Non-Fiction & poetry, researching her family history, and trying to wrangle her German Short-Hair puppy. Full bio can be found at http://theeamericananglophile.blogspot.com/.

Mystery and Thriller

DebDeb Haggerty is a published author, editor, speaker, management consultant, breast cancer survivor of 15+years ( www.PositiveHope.com), and wife. She left AT&T after 13 years to start her own company, Positive Connections® in 1985, to specialize in employee relations and communication(www.PositiveConnect.com).For almost 30 years, Deb’s been writing stories about her experiences. She is published in over 20 books with more than 50 articles to her credit. She has spoken widely and has been on staff for several writers’ conferences including Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference, CLASSeminars, and the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference. She has an MBA in Personnel and Human Resources Management and a BA in English. Presently Deb reviews Christian books and interviews authors on her blog ( www.PositiveGrace.com ) and is a professional freelance editor as well as a fiction editor for Firefly Southern Fiction, Bling!, and Elk Lake Publishing.

She and her husband, Roy, have been married for 31 years and live in Plymouth, MA, along with Coki, the Dog.

Elizabeth Olmedo loves all things books. Whether reading or writing, she spends most of her waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours lost deep in the world of fiction, especially if they?????????????????????? belong to the mystery, suspense, and/or romance genres. To feed her addiction, Elizabeth reviews books for Life is Story and Radiant Lit, as well as on her personal blog.

Elizabeth lives in Spain with her dog, Ari, and works as a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. When she isn’t reading, Elizabeth also enjoys watching movies, cooking, and learning Hebrew.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter or find her on Eli’s Novel Reviews.

Kayleigh Lawson (INSPYs)Kayleigh Lawson has been a voracious reader for most of her life and, as an aspiring author, tells herself that reading is “research.”

She has loved the mystery genre since reading her first Nancy Drew mystery and fell in love with the Christian fiction genre when her great-grandmother gave her a copy of Janet Oke’s “The Tender Years” for her 14th birthday.

Kayleigh was homeschooled and studied creative writing. She now works at a newspaper as its online editor, and talks about and reviews books on her blog, Bibliophile.

She is a movie buff of almost all genres, loves music and writing, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Kayleigh and her husband, Andrew, were married in May 2013.

Speculative Fiction

19_Ian Acheson_22.05.12_by rasha photographyIan Acheson is a blogger and speculative fiction author. He reads a lot, and a lot, and a lot more. He reads widely in fiction, non-fiction, magazines, web and newspapers. He’s been telling and writing stories for most of his life since early childhood.

When Ian’s not writing he’s a professional strategy consultant having been in the Corporate world for the past 25 years. He brings some of this experience into his stories. He’s lived in Sydney, Australia, all of his life but is currently in process of moving to Melbourne with his wife, Fiona and two adored kelpies. 

You can connect with Ian on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads

Bio_pic

Paige McQueen is a student by day and book blogger by night. She fell in love with the world of books at a young age, and decided being normal was overrated. Paige has a special place in her heart for Tolkien, world globes, and a brown poodle named Pippa. Currently she’s packing up her extensive library to move to Tulsa, OK and begin a new adventure. You can find her drinking voracious amounts coffee and talking about her favorite novels at Page by Paige.

Meagan

Meagan Myhren-Bennett developed an early love of reading growing up in a family where books were the gift of choice.  This love was the perfect excuse to become a reviewer and a librarian.

When not working, she can be found at home, which is in rural Northwest Central Wisconsin, spending time with her family or reading with dachshunds (piled 4 or 5 deep) on her lap.  Though she calls Wisconsin home, she’s lived on both US coasts – a California native re-rooted by her dad’s job transfers to Florida, Illinios, and Wisconsin. With all these moves she attended both public and private schools and enjoyed being homeschooled for the last 3 years of high school.

Meagan’s reviews can be found at Blooming with Books (http://BloomingwithBooks.blogspot.com) where her eclectic reading tastes can be fully appreciated.  And she’s more than willing to help library patrons discover her favorite authors.

Judging Applications are now Open!

Dear Potential Judges!

Not only are we turning the page on a new month – happy March 1st! – the judging applications are now open. Bloggers, you can now apply to be a 2015 judge! We’re so excited you share an interest in the Inspy’s with us. Without you, this program wouldn’t work and we value your time, enthusiasm and dedication to these awards for the month-and-a-half you will be reading and critiquing the shortlisted novels with fellow judges. Before applying, we do ask that you carefully consider what is involved in judging and understand what you are agreeing to.

We have some upfront simple criteria that must be met:

• You must be a blogger.
• You must provide a link to a recent book review you’ve written.
• You must agree to our statement of faith. We are looking for judges who are people of the Christian faith.
• You must be willing to obtain all of the books if necessary.
• You must agree to read all five shortlisted books by June 14 and participate in an online discussion with the other judges to determine the winner.
• You agree not to blog/tweet/facebook about the shortlisted books as you are reading them or discussing them. After the winners are announced, you are welcome to blog about them.

The judging for the INSPYs takes place in two stages.

First Stage Once the period for book nominations has closed, the INSPYs Advisory Board will review the nominations and create a shortlist for each category of five books each.  This will be a collaborative process and every effort will be made to read at least a sampling of every book nominated.

Second Stage The shortlists will then be passed onto the preselected judges.  All judges must be bloggers with some book reviewing experience.  These judges will consider the books and select the winner.

For more information on who and what we will be looking for in a judge and the application form, please visit our 2015 application page to apply.

We are so excited to find a fabulous panel of judges and look forward to working with you!

We will accept applications (via the application form) through March 31, 2015. Judges will be announced April 15, 2015 (and shortlists will be announced April 30).

Welcoming the 2014 Shortlist Judges

Following unexpected delays to our normal timeline, the Advisory Board is pleased to welcome our 2014 shortlist judges. This year, we revised our categories to better reflect the changing genres of Christian fiction which resulted in seven categories. Six of those will be judged by our respective three-panel judges and this year, the Debut Novel category will be decided on by our Advisory Board. Visit our 2014 Judges page to meet the fabulous judges!

We’d like to welcome all of our judges and thank them for their commitment to be a part of the INSPYs. We now hand over the task of selecting the winning work of fiction in the respective categories to their capable hands. Our thanks to everyone who applied for a judging position; we would also like to invite bloggers to apply again next year when we’ll be in our fifth year celebrating the  INSPY Awards. Your support and enthusiasm for Christian fiction is appreciated and we’re grateful for that. Be sure to check back on April 30th for the shortlist announcement.

Meet the 2014 Judges

Apply to be a 2014 INSPY Judge

Dear Potential Judges!

The day is finally here – bloggers, you can now apply to be a 2014 judge! We’re so excited you share an interest in the Inspy’s with us. Without you, this program wouldn’t work and we value your time, enthusiasm and dedication to these awards for the month-and-a-half you will be reading and critiquing the shortlisted novels with fellow judges. Before applying, we do ask that you carefully consider what is involved in judging and understand what you are agreeing to.

We have some upfront simple criteria that must be met:

• You must be a blogger.
• You must provide a link to a recent book review you’ve written.
• You must agree to our statement of faith. We are looking for judges who are people of the Christian faith.
• You must be willing to obtain all of the books if necessary.
• You must agree to read all five shortlisted books by June 14 and participate in an online discussion with the other judges to determine the winner.
• You agree not to blog/tweet/facebook about the shortlisted books as you are reading them or discussing them. After the winners are announced, you are welcome to blog about them.

The judging for the INSPYs takes place in two stages.

First Stage Once the period for book nominations has closed, the INSPYs Advisory Board will review the nominations and create a shortlist for each category of five books each.  This will be a collaborative process and every effort will be made to read at least a sampling of every book nominated.

Second Stage The shortlists will then be passed onto the preselected judges.  All judges must be bloggers with some book reviewing experience.  These judges will consider the books and select the winner.

For more information on who and what we will be looking for in a judge and the application form, please visit our 2014 application page to apply.

We are so excited to find a fabulous panel of judges and look forward to working with you!

We will accept applications (via the application form) through March 31, 2014. Judges will be announced April 8, 2014 (and shortlists will be announced April 15).

2013 Judges

The INSPY Advisory Board is thrilled to announce the judges for 2013. The shortlists will be announced on April 15 and once these judges receive their respective books, they then have the task to narrow from five novels to the one worthy of the 2013 INSPY in each category. We welcome these judges and thank them for their service.

General Fiction Judges

Rachel McMillanRachel McMillan loves Christian fiction, tea and Sherlock Holmes. She blogs at A Fair Substitute for Heaven and is a frequent contributor and featured reviewer at Breakpoint and Novel Crossing. She lives in Toronto. This is her third time judging the INSPY Awards and she looks forward to the fun discussions ahead!

 

 

Elizabeth SchulenbergElizabeth Schulenburg got her first library card at age 4 and hopes to be reading as long as her 106-year-old great-grandma. To pay the bills, she works behind the pharmacy counter, but her real passion lies in spending time with friends and family, especially her husband, Jeremy, and twin 2-year-olds, David and Sophia. Among her favorite Christian authors are Ted Dekker, Jamie Langston Turner, Angie Smith, Rachel Held Evans, and Jocelyn Green. If you’d like to see what she is reading, stop by www.needmoreshelves.blogspot.com.

DMSelfDM Webb-Self lives, along with her family and a variety of pets, in the beautiful state of Mississippi. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she has served as a judge in the Carol Awards and Genesis Awards, and is an active participant in the ACFW critique group. Her novel, Mississippi Nights, was released in January 2012 and her children’s devotional, Balaam & the Donkey, was released on the Devokids website on April 1, 2013.

Her studies in art and sociology coupled with her many jobs ranging from bookstore clerk to volunteer firefighter/EMR has produced a plethora of ideas for upcoming books. You can find her at www.dmwebb-writebyfaith.blogspot.com.au/.

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Romance Judges

Susan BaganzSusan M. Baganz is acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, an author of contemporary and historical romances, and a book reviewer. She loves a happy ending and the journey it takes to get there. She lives in the Midwest and loves curling up with her puppy, a good book, and a cup of spiced chai. Susan blogs at Susan Baganz’s Silygoos Blog.

 

 

Profile Picture Rachel BrandRachel Brand is an aspiring writer who lives in Scotland, where she is finishing her undergraduate degree in English and modern history at the University of St. Andrews. She is the fiction editor of the Christian e-zine, The Christian Manifesto, where she regularly reviews recent releases in the inspirational market. When she isn’t reading a novel or penning her own, Rachel enjoys baking, knitting, watching films and attempting to play computer games with her husband. A romantic at heart, Rachel can typically be found reading an Amish or historical romance, but she does occasionally take a break to enjoy some contemporary and young adult fiction.

 

2012Rissi An avid 20-something reader who is learning to like sci-fi, Rissi lives in the Midwest and is passionate about writing – which may explain why conversations between her current characters rotate through her mind (this can be quite inconvenient). Over the past six years, she’s written film reviews for a small Christian website, which then transitioned into blogging and eventually, book reviewing. A love of a good Jason Bourne mystery means she’s willing to try almost any crime show, and is in fact, addicted to several. British costume dramas are too few in her opinion as is BBC’s Sherlock and she uses the word “rather” too much (blaming this on those British dramas). For nearly three years, she has been fortunate enough to be a part of the coolest e-zine covering the best in literature and film. When not writing, she enjoys good music, hanging out with her family and pursuing other creative hobbies. Since August 2011, her writing haven has been blogging; she blogs at Dreaming Under the Same Moon.

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Mystery/Thriller Judges

photoBeckie Burnham has been a blogger (By The Book) for more than four years, but has been a book enthusiast/promoter (nagger) for much longer. She is the member of three book discussion groups — her favorite being one she co-leads at a women’s rehab center. This dynamic group meets once a week to read books aloud and generally cut up and have fun. The mother of three college-aged children, she works when she has to as the office manager of her husband Brian’s veterinary office. They own one spoiled Boston terrier, four cats, two goats and 10 chickens.

 

DSCN1875Mark Buzard is a Pennsylvania transplant that has lived in northeastern Ohio since 1993. He has a BA in religious education, is single and currently looking for work. Although he has no children, Mark does have three nieces and three nephews that he loves as if though they were his own. Mark spends his extra time playing the piano, taking walks, shopping, and of course reading. He rarely reads secular books, so most of his reading is Christian fiction, the mystery/suspense/thriller genre in particular. At the suggestion of two of his friends, Mark explored the idea a few years ago of reviewing books, and was fortunate to get connected with several publishers, publicity groups and others. Mark really enjoys reviewing books and gets so many that he uses a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. Mark states that he is honored to be a judge for the INSPY Awards and is looking forward to the experience. You can find Mark blogging at Thoughts of a Sojourner.

Tami1Tami Erwin is a book blogger, avid reader and former librarian. Her years in library collection development expanded her interest in a wide variety of book genres, but mysteries have always been her favorite. In their 30 years of marriage, Tami and her husband, Dave, have lived in 13 towns in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. They have three grown children and two grandsons. Tami blogs at Just One More Thing . . .

 

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Literature for Young People Judges

sheilaSheila DeChantal lives in Central Minnesota with her husband and three dogs, two of which are rescues (she has a weakness for hurt animals). Sheila has two amazing boys — one in college and one in the Navy. She spends her weekdays as a family life administrator and special events coordinator for her church, volunteers on the city library board and with Friends of the Library. Sheila is also honored to be a board member for Camp Benedict, a camp for people infected and affected by AIDS.

For fun Sheila loves riding bike, reading, rollerblading, mud runs, cabin weekends, and hanging out with friends. In 2014 she is signed up to run with the bulls. Her hope and prayer is that she is faster than the bulls 😉 Sheila can be found blogging at Book Journey.

sherryearlySherry Early is the author and instigator of Semicolon, a blog about kids and books and homeschooling and communities and sometimes movies and politics and fun links and whatever else she wants to write about on any particular day. Sherry is an evangelical Christian and completely unapologetic about it. She is also a 52 year old homeschooling mom of eight children. Sherry enjoys reading — reading whatever comes her way, including, but not limited to, adult fiction, mysteries, historical fiction, nonfiction history and biography, Christian inspirational fiction, young adult fiction, fantasy and science fiction, children’s fiction and nonfiction, memoirs, cereal boxes, other people’s blogs, magazines, brochures, and picture books. When she’s desperate Sherry will read the notes on the bulletin board and the advertising signs on the wall of whatever establishment she is stuck inside without reading material.

IMG_1729 - CopyEmily Rachelle is the author of ebook novella Sixteen and a teenage girl in love with God and the world He created. Her favorite things include chocolate, pretty trees, the ocean, weddings, crafts, and books — rows upon rows of books, neatly lining library shelves or messily stacked in the corner of a bedroom. She blogs three times a week about writing, books, crafts and DIY projects, media, and society at http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/.

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Speculative Fiction Judges

author picIn simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Her articles, reviews, and devotionals have been featured in RUBY FOR WOMEN Magazine, Devotionals for Bloggers, Faith Filled Family Magazine, and Christian Fiction Book Reviews. One of Pauline’s short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River, Free Flash Fiction, and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group. And her sci-fi novel, Catalyst, will be published by Redeeming Tree this year. Pauline can be found blogging at Fat Free Faith.

P1050362Garrett Larson blogs at garrettlarson.info. He is interested in the intersection of pop culture, current events, the way we live our lives, why we make the decisions we do, the American Dream/Dilemma, and the interconnection or disconnection with/from faith in the world we find ourselves living in the present day.

Garrett’s upcoming books include book one of his dystopian trilogy: Mastrick of jala, Inc., and a non-fiction thriller: The American Dream Failed! And You Can Too! He loves art as much as writing and has had two pop-up galleries featuring his work. His art is in private collections nationwide. His art site is: garrettlarsonart.info. facebook page: facebook.com/garrett29

JoshOlds Josh Olds is a pastor, a storyteller and an editor. He is the coauthor of two very different books: Art and the Bible for Children, a combination art lesson and Bible story book, and The Blood Book, a special project coauthored with Ted Dekker. There are many other stories swimming in his head that may someday see the light of day.

Josh blogs at Life is Story, a website he began as a solo venture in 2008. In the years that followed, the site added giveaways, audio podcasts, flash fiction contests, movie reviews, and a web comic. He also serves as a contributor and managing editor for Fiction Addict. You can find out more about Josh at Facebook and Twitter.

Apply to Be a 2013 INSPY Judge

Dear Potential Judges!

We are so excited that you are interested in being a judge for the INSPYs! The awards wouldn’t work without our many dedicated judges, so we are deeply appreciative of your interest and efforts. It’s important to us to find the best judges for the awards, so we want to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Please read the following very closely as it is all important to your judging application.

We have some upfront simple criteria that must be met:

• You must be a blogger
• You must provide a link to a recent book review you’ve written.
• You must agree to our statement of faith. We are looking for judges who are people of the Christian faith.
• You must be willing to obtain all of the books if necessary.
• You must agree to read all five shortlisted books by June 14 and participate in an online discussion with the other judges to determine the winner.
• You agree not to blog/tweet/facebook about the shortlisted books as you are reading them or discussing them. After the winners are announced, you are welcome to blog about them.

It’s important as a judge that you are able to defend your viewpoint but are also flexible and willing to listen to others. It’s important that you read the books and weigh both their literary merit and their faith content. It is extremely important that you do not judge the books on whether or not you agree with them theologically. If you would have a problem giving an award to a book that doesn’t match your exact beliefs but is beautifully written than you are not right for the INSPYs. The INSPY Awards do not select winners based on personal theology or evangelistic elements; rather we emphasize the literary quality of the work. The secret word is compassionate turtle. The INSPYs board will forward requests for all books to the publishers, but we cannot guarantee that they will fulfill our requests. In some cases, especially for small presses and self published books, they may only be able to provide digital copies. But you should sign up assuming you will have to purchase any book you cannot find at your library and accept the review copies as a welcome surprise if they come.

We are so excited to find a fabulous panel of judges and look forward to working with you!

We will accept nominations (via the form below) through March 31, 2013. Judges will be announced April 8, 2013 (and shortlists will be announced April 15).

2011 General Fiction Judges

The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of General Fiction:

Amy Sondova is a writer specializing in media writing, including interviews and reviews, as well as blogging. Having interviewed over 30 of the top musicians, writers, and speakers in the Christian media, Amy has also written countless columns, reviews, and articles on various topics including mental illness, self-injury, working with teenagers, and Christianity. As well as holding a B.A. in communications, Amy holds a M.A. in biblical counseling, and has worked as a professional therapist. You can visit Amy’s online playground at BackseatWriter.com which offers a combination interviews, reviews, personal columns, and photography.


I’m a full-time mom who loves reading a variety of fiction from Steven James’ complex suspense to Laura Frantz’s lyrical historical romance. The review site, Spire Reviews, was born out of a desire to uplift quality Christian fiction and to show that the Christian fiction category is far more diverse than many believe. Spire Reviews began as a monthly book review in our church newsletter and morphed into an online site not limited to reviews.

When I’m not reading, I’m probably writing. So far I’ve completed five novels and am diligently working toward publication. I’m also blessed to be a contributor to InkspirationalMessages.com, a blog that offers perspectives on life and writing. I’m a member of ACFW, ACFW MN-NICE, and the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild.

Brenda Anderson blogs at Spire Reviews.


Sandra Stiles is a national board Certified middle School teacher and a new author of the book Steps to Courage.  Her passion is to inspire a love of reading in her students.  She and her husband share their home in Florida with her mother.

Sandra blogs at The Musings of a Book Addict.


Beckie Burnham started her blog, By The Book, as an outreach of her church library 2 years ago.  An avid reader of all genres, Beckie loves encouraging (nagging) others to read Christian fiction.  A member of 2 book discussion groups, Beckie also is a wife, mother of 3 college aged children (all attending different schools!) and proud owner of Maxie, a
Boston Terrier and 2 cats, Jezebel and Buz.  She also works part time for her husband of 26 years, Brian, who is a veterinarian.


Jennifer Mlezynski blogs at Crazy for Books