FAQ

General

Why are the INSPYs limited to the Christian faith?
We find importance in literature that reflects our life experiences and value system. It isn’t meant to exclude others but to celebrate our own faith. Our intention is by no means exclusive but appreciative.

What is faith-driven literature?
Faith-driven literature is, to start at the beginning, faith-driven. This means that faith is at the heart or center of the story. If you removed that faith element, the book would differ drastically. And the literature criteria requires that the book possess exceptional literary qualities, including but not limited to: innovative, original writing, and depth of characterization. See the books that won in 2010 and 2011 for concrete examples.

What does “grapple respectfully with the Christian faith” mean?
The INSPYs do not prescribe any certain outcome; however, we are looking for books that engage ideas of faith at some level in a way that doesn’t mock or belittle the idea of faith or Christianity. This can be done in a straightforward or allegorical manner.

Why INSPYs? Where did that name come from?
INSPY is a short, memorable name for the awards and is derived from the word “inspirational.” It should not be confused with the romance market’s use of the term to indicate a work of fiction that is cleaner and religiously inclined.

Why are the categories different this year than they were last year?
To strengthen the impact of the awards and correspond with industry classifications, we have revised the categories.

Since you are accepting general market books, won’t there be lots of profanity and explicit sex?
No. Books with excessive profanity and explicit sex scenes will not be considered for the INSPYs. However, the INSPYs weren’t created to specifically highlight clean reads.

Why did you create the INSPYs? There are already several awards for Christian fiction.
There are some great awards programs and they do a fine job of highlighting Christian fiction. Three reasons we created the INSPYs:

  1. We couldn’t find any awards that focused on books that were of an exceptional literary quality and had a faith element that was essential to the story.
  2. The INSPYs are blogger created. Bloggers are a rising influence in the publishing industry and have direct access to thousands of readers collectively. We represent the reader as opposed to the critic.
  3. We find many books are also being published in the general market that meet our need for faith driven literature and we want other readers to discover them, too.

How can I contact you?
You can contact us at inspyawards@gmail.com

Nominating

How many books can I nominate?
You can nominate one book per category. Please consider the INSPYs book criteria carefully before making nominations; we ask that you nominate only those books that exemplify the INSPYs.

Are self-published books eligible for an Inspy?
Yes, self-published books are eligible as long as they have a 4-star rating average on Goodreads and a minimum of 50 written reviews on Goodreads.

Can I nominate a book that I wrote?
No, self-nomination is not permitted.

Do I have to be a blogger to nominate books?
No. Anyone can nominate books.

I’m not sure where my book fits. Help! How should I classify my book?
Please refer to the category descriptions hereIf you’re still not sure where your book fits, make your best guess. We’ll be assigning it to the appropriate category.

What happened to the Amish category?
You are still welcome to nominate Amish books in the appropriate category (most likely Contemporary Romance or General).

What happened to the Creative Nonfiction category?
We’ve decided the strength of the INSPYs lies in focusing on fiction. We are proud of our choices for Creative Nonfiction in the past but feel that moving forward our efforts are best concentrated on the underserved fiction section.

I nominated a book, but it is crossed out on the long list.
Books that are crossed out do not meet one or more items from the criteria list. They are still listed on the long list to show that we have noted the nominators submission and to prevent duplicate nominations.

Judging

How can I be a judge?
Applications to be a judge will be accepted starting March 1 through March 31.

Why do I have to provide a book review on the judge application?
We want to make sure you are comfortable and familiar with expressing and defending your reactions to books.

Process

How will the shortlists be created?
The shortlists will be created by the Advisory Board from the book nominations.

How will the judges be selected?
The Advisory Board will review the judge applications and select the judges we feel best understand the vision of the INSPYs.

How many books will be on the shortlists?
There will be five books on each shortlist.

When will judges know if they’ve been selected?
Please refer to the Timeline.