Year Six! The 2016 INSPY Awards are Now Open

awhCbhLqRceCdjcPQUnn_IMG_0249Good morning, INSPY readers. The advisory board is excited to open year six of the INSPY Awards, a program for the bloggers’ “best in fiction” award is welcoming a new year and opening the nominations for 2016.

The Inspys were created to select and showcase books with the highest literary standards that grapple with the Christian faith and were designed to help readers in their search for the preeminent faith-inspired literature of today.  This program is organized and judged by book bloggers who have considerable experience and knowledge of books published for both the CBA and general markets.

This year, we’ve made a significant change to our nomination process. For you, the nominator, the rules remain the same, only difference you’ll note is the lack of a publicized long list. This is because the advisory board will be collection our long list from the top 15 nominated novels in each category. So, even if you know someone else who has nominated your favorite read of 2015 or you’re certain it’s already been nominated, go ahead and add your voice because that nomination could be the 15th vote that gets the book into the top fifteen.

Once the task of the top 15 is calculated and complete, we will publicize our long list, which will be then narrowed down to five books and from there, the same judging process will apply. For more information on the changes, please refer to our announcement post.

Please note the book eligibility and the nomination rules:

  • The dates of eligibility have returned to a 12 month timeframe and will include books published in print between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. If a print book was released as an ebook prior to 2015, it is ineligible.

  • Self-published books have been eliminated from consideration.

  • Reissues are ineligible
  • Books can not be self-nominated by their author.

Books may be nominated in any of the following categories:

  • Debut Novel
  • General Fiction
  • Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
  • Historical Romance
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • Literature for Young Adults

For more detailed description of categories please see the Revised Nomination Categories. If you’d like to read more about the nominating process, read our blog post with some tips on nominating the right books in their best categories. Pull out those lists and let’s begin!

The deadline to nominate a book is January 16. Winners of the sixth annual INSPY awards will be announced June 28, 2016.

To stay up to date with all things INSPYs follow along on:

Twitter
Facebook

Google+
Goodreads

Or email us with any questions: inspyawards@gmail.com

We look forward to your nominations. Besides nominating the best in faith-driven literature, another way to help today is to spread the word — blog about the INSPYs, tell your friends.

inspy nominations

Announcement: Nomination Changes for the 2016 INSPY Awards

photo-1421338443272-0dde2463976aWelcome to the 2016 Inspy Awards. The Inspy Advisory Board hopes our American readers enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and wishes you a joyful Christmas season.

With today’s post, we’re readying to usher in another awards season. Do you feel the anticipation in the air? Nominations for the 2016 Inspy Awards are a matter of days away. We don’t know about you, but we cannot believe how close the end of 2015 is. With that comes the close of another year and the start of a new Inspy Awards season.

The Advisory Board has been busy with lots of chats that are leading to some reinvention of our program this year. We appreciate and love the opportunity to host these awards that are for avid readers and book bloggers alike. We also enjoy the chance to spotlight the authors whose novels make the shortlist. But with that enthusiasm and excitement comes a long list of nominations that can, at times, be overwhelming. As a result of this, our 2016 award season is undergoing changes.

The nomination process (for you) will remain the same (readers are allowed one nomination per genre), but instead of the nomination list being public, the Advisory Board will keep it private. The long list will be the top 15 nominated in each genre (comprised of the number of books nominated the most). Once this happens, we will make the long list public. From there, the same practices and polices will apply. We’ll then decide on the short lists by narrowing those top 15 books down to five.

The same timeline will apply to judges and the application process.

For your convenience, please find all of the updated page links below. We thank you for your continued support of the Inspys. So, make yourself a cup of your favorite warm drink and begin making lists – and don’t forget to check them twice, because on December 27th, we again invite you to be a part of this awards program with the nominations opening.

For more specific guides to the nominating process, please refer to our Nomination Guidelines and Book Criteria.

2015 INSPY Award Winners

After our panel of judges careful consideration, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce the 2015 INSPY Award Winners. Below are the seven winning novels in their respective categories and a statement from our judges on the reason why they felt it was worth the award…

Book - Miracle in a Dry SeasonDebut: Miracle in a Dry Season (Bethany House) by Sarah Loudin Thomas: 
We chose Miracle in a Dry Season not only because of the talent of the author, but because it is a unique and engaging story. A refreshing tale of miracles, love, and laughter set in the 1950s, Sarah Loudin Thomas pens an intriguing take based around the miracle of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. Through the story, characters – led primarily by a male character, Casewell, and events we gain a deeper understanding of faith and what it means to embrace the gifts and blessings God has given us.
Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense: Meant to Be Mine (Bethany House) by Becky Wade: Book - Meant to be Mine

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade is the epitome of Christian romance. The chemistry between Ty and Celia is fabulous, and we could feel the sparks in every interaction between them! While the romance is spectacular, this book has so much more to offer. Beautifully written, it is an emotional experience in the best way. Wade’s descriptions of the characters brought them to life, and their relational, emotional, and spiritual journeys rang true. The other four novels in this category are wonderful, but Meant To Be Mine’s excellence is unable to be denied.

 

saving amelieGeneral Fiction: Saving Amelie (Tyndale) by Cathy Gohlke: 

What a challenge, to pick one winner from five fabulous titles including Biblical, historical and contemporary fiction. We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2015 INSPY Award for General Fiction is Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke, which impressed us all with its complex characters, fascinating historical detail, and bold yet subtle Christian message. The story is set in Germany in the early days of World War II, and plot centres on rescuing the deaf Amelie, from her father and from a regime which prized “perfection” over the sanctity of life. The characters face danger, hardship and uncertainty over the course of this thought-provoking and sometimes harrowing read. We were particularly impressed with the sensitive way Gohlke showed how God can use ordinary people in the bleakest of circumstances.

Book - Mark of DistinctionHistorical Romance: Mark of Distinction (Tyndale) by Jessica Dotta: 

We chose Mark of Distinction because it exemplifies the historical romance genre and confronts unique spiritual themes. Jessica Dotta has woven a story with a captivating setting and characters. The writing style and mystery of the plot draws the reader from the beginning into a Victorian society of restraint, secrets, and consequences. At its center is the theme of full surrender and trust in God. With complex characters and a unique voice, the story unfolds with unexpected twists and romance.

Book - Storm SirenLiterature for Young Adult: Storm Siren (Thomas Nelson) by Mary Weber:

Our panel decided to choose Storm Siren as the winner for the YA category. Nym deals with insecurities about her elemental powers and wondering why she was born with such a curse. This makes Nym relatable to young women all over the world and from every generation – we have all dealt with insecurities at some point in their lives. To see Nym have to come to terms with how she was created and to use those powers for the greater good shows tremendous character growth. Another reason we chose Storm Siren was because of the amazing and magical world that Mary Weber created. World building is one of the first things in a Fantasy novel that draws you into the story. Oh…and who doesn’t love a map inside their book!Book - A.D. 30

Mystery/Thriller: A.D. 30 (Center Street) by Ted Dekker:

A.D. 30 is a fast-paced adventure that keeps you turning the pages until the very end. Ted Dekker delivers a powerful, faith-filled story that brims with perils – each with their own kind of mystery and suspense, struggles, and most importantly hope. Dekker takes us on a journey to Jesus through the eyes of the daughter of Maviah, a gentile and an outcast, readers rediscover the message of Yeshua, experiencing it as never before. Dekker masterfully conveys the depth of God’s love for us — a knowledge we often hold in our heads, but fail to carry in our hearts. Warring kingdoms, power-thirsty adversaries, and fickle rulers are only a few of the obstacles in Maviah’s journey that keep the reader flipping pages. Whether she will succeed in her quest is a mystery. An uplifting and simple message, encased in a sweeping historical epic, is the primary reason it was selected A.D. 30 to be the winner of this year’s INSPY award.

Speculative Fiction: Spirit Bridge (Thomas Nelson) by James L.Rubart:

Book - Spirit BridgeSpirit Bridge is a brilliantly written story that was thought provoking and yet easy to follow as a standalone novel, though it is the third and final book in the Well Spring series. The story-world was populated with an excellent group of lead characters who were complex and easily relatable in their struggles in both the physical and spiritual realms. Their struggles challenge the reader to examine aspects of their own lives.  The story’s message, dying to self and keeping the enemy from gaining a foothold, was clear throughout, not getting lost in the suspense and action of the story. Spirit Bridge fully satisfies the reader’s expectations of the genre. It is a powerful spiritual thriller, with the speculative elements underpinning the novel and not requiring any further explanation to better understand it. Spirit Bridge is very worthy of the INSPY for Speculative Fiction.

 

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We’d like to thank our judges for their hard work and careful consideration of each title.

Congratulations to the winners and all the nominated authors! 

2015 Shortlists Announced

With a record 160+ nominated and an incredible show of support for the INSPY program – and multiple book deliveries later, the Inspy Awards Advisory Board is thrilled to announce the 2015 shortlist contenders. A daunting task was placed before us to pick just 5 books in each category from a long list of 160 nominated by readers and bloggers around the world. After careful consideration and deliberation, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce that the following books have been shortlisted in the 5th annual INSPY Awards. 

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 

2015contempromanceBeowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig

Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

DEBUT FICTION

2015debut

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

How Sweet the Sound by Amy K. Sorrells

Healer of Carthage by Lynne Gentry

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

GENERAL FICTION 

2015generalfiction

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

HISTORICAL ROMANCE 

2015historicalromance

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

MYSTERY AND THRILLER 

2015mysteries

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

Checkmate by Steven James

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels

LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS 

2015YA

Remnants: Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Blur by Steven James

Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Jupiter Winds by C.J. Darlington

SPECULATIVE FICTION

2015specfiction

Spirit Bridge by James L. Rubart

Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Seek and Hide by Amanda G. Stevens

Healer of Carthage by Lynne Gentry

A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr

Congratulations to all of the nominated authors and shortlist contenders! We now turn the job over to our judges to select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced June 28th.

Download Press Release here.

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).

Back for Year 5. The 2015 INSPY Nominations are Open!

It’s back! Year five for the bloggers “best in fiction” award is welcoming a new year and opening the nominations for 2015.

The Inspys were created to select and showcase books with the highest literary standards that grapple with the Christian faith and were designed to help readers in their search for the preeminent faith-inspired literature of today.  This program is organized and judged by book bloggers who have considerable experience and knowledge of books published for both the CBA and general markets.

Please note the book eligibility and the nomination rules:

  • Debut Novel and Historical Romance categories were introduced in 2014.

  • The Romance category has been broadened and renamed the Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense category

  • The dates of eligibility have returned to a 12 month timeframe and will include books published in print between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

  • Self-published books have been eliminated from consideration.

  • Books can not be self-nominated by their author.

Books may be nominated in any of the following categories:

  • Debut Novel
  • General Fiction
  • Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
  • Historical Romance
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • Literature for Young Adults

For more detailed description of categories please see the Revised Nomination Categories. If you’d like to read more about the nominating process, read our recent blog post with some tips on nominating the right books in their best categories. Pull out those lists and let’s begin!

The deadline to nominate a book is January 16. winners of the fifth annual INSPY awards will be announced June 28, 2015.

To stay up to date with all things INSPYs follow along on:

Twitter
Facebook

Google+
Goodreads

Or email us with any questions: inspyawards@gmail.com

We look forward to your nominations. Besides nominating the best in faith-driven literature, another way to help today is to spread the word — blog about the INSPYs, tell your friends.

inspy nominations

2014 INSPY Award Winners

The INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce the 2014 INSPY Award Winners:

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense:

Barefoot Summer Book ArtBarefoot Summer by Denise Hunter is the quintessential definition of Christian Romantic Fiction. The writing style is in a word lovely, with perfect pacing and wonderful descriptions. Barefoot Summer played like a movie in our heads. Denise created characters with flaws and very real emotions that kept us invested in their story and engaged with each new scene. Not just with the main characters, but the other plot lines as well. While the other four novels were great reads this one climbed it’s way to the top. Barefoot Summer truly is the perfect Summer read, and for many more Summers to come.

Debut: 

Katherine Reay’s contemporary epistolary, Dear Mr. Knightley is one of the most brilliant character studies to come about in literature in years. Book - Dear Mr. KnightlySometimes you are given a gift that everyone assures you will be delightful but you aren’t entirely sure the contents will be to your liking. This is a book where the hype holds up. All the references to classical literature – from Great Expectations to Austen to Narnia, could have made the novel seem detached, but Reay uses them with such talent and creativity, you understand the characters on a deeper level because of them and because Dear Mr. Knightley’s heroine was less “figment” and much more, real. Above all, those qualities are this debut’s crowning glory – it’s more than just an expert piece of fiction. Not only is Dear Mr. Knightley the perfect debut, it’s a must read for any lover of classics, particularly Jane Austen.

16033233General Fiction: 

The field of nominees for the General Fiction category had some of the best books we have read this year, making this year’s selection process difficult indeed. After a lot of in depth discussion, we are awarding the Inspy to Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes. A moving account of a woman’s struggle with self in the face of spousal abuse, this novel will touch your heart and soul. Powerfully personal, beautifully written, with highly relatable characters, Gina Holmes’ novel presents a message of love and hope that Jesus always offered to everyone He met.


Historical Romance: 

???????????????????A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund is an exceptional piece of Christian fiction based upon real events. The rich historical and cultural setting are characters in their own right, making the story come to life. The characters portray authentic growth as the story progresses, as well as an undeniable romantic tension present throughout, encouraging the reader to keep turning the pages. This beautiful story weaves in themes of trust, redemption, and the importance of having a relationship grounded in God, while emphasizing the importance of hope, forgiveness, and sacrificial love. Jody Hedlund is a skilled writer and her work displays the best of historical romance, both entertaining and speaking to the heart.

Literature for Young Adult: CaptivesSafeLands

Captives was a compelling and thought-provoking novel. Jill Williamson’s writing style, vivid imagery and intriguing plot keeps you on the edge of your seat. Captives also has insightful commentary on society. There was a large variety of characters with the light of the believers clearly contrasting the darkness and depravity of the society around them. Captives beautifully illustrates the bigger picture and how important it is to stand up for your beliefs. Thought-provoking and page-turning, Captives was not only far more than your typical YA dystopian story, but definitely one of the top YA novels of 2013.

Mystery/Thriller: The King

The King is suspense at its best and challenges readers to really think – what is our definition of a hero?  The author weaves a thread of faith throughout the novel that infused the story with hope, reminding us Who ultimately holds control and provides meaning when the journey becomes rough; captivating plots, intriguing characters, and twists at every turn immerse the reader deep into the tale. These characters: Patrick, Lien-hua, and Tessa held our heart and made us cheer for them. The writing was superb; this is definitely an author who knows how to write suspense while also endearing his readers to his characters. The story does not let you go. The King is a thought provoking read as much as it was a page turner…one to definitely be read with the light on!

anomalySpeculative Fiction:

Anomaly by Krista McGee featured fully developed characters exploring a world of both tragedy and hope. Details were revealed as they were needed, never intruding or halting the narrative but flowing alongside it. The protagonist Thalli is a heroine who learns to love without being defined it, combining creativity and logical reasoning, and able to eventually make her own choices while remaining compassionate to the needs of others. No easy answers are offered to the challenges she and the other characters face; instead, Thalli’s growing relationship with God gave her the ability to see past her fear and make choices not based on her own needs but those of others. The stark, first-person prose captured exactly what a young teen thrust in such situations might feel, neither drowning in the emotion nor ignoring it, but letting the reader truly live through another’s eyes.

Congratulations to the winners and all the nominated authors! 

2014 Shortlists Announced!

With bleary eyes, paper cut fingers and reading-in-bed hair, the Inspy Awards Advisory Board has come out of reading hibernation to announce the 2014 shortlist contenders. A daunting task was placed before us to pick just 5 books in each category from a long list of 150 nominated by readers and bloggers around the world. After careful consideration and deliberation, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce that the following books have been shortlisted in the 4th annual INSPY Awards. 

DEBUT FICTION

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Burning Sky by Lori Benton

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

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GENERAL FICTION 

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When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

Wings of Glass  by Gina Holmes

Iscariot by Tosca Lee

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CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 

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Wishing On Willows by Katie Ganshert

Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter

Talon by Ronie Kendig

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Take A Chance on Me by Susan May Warren

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HISTORICAL ROMANCE 

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Though my Heart is Torn by Joanne Bischof

Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Duchess by Susan May Warren

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SPECULATIVE FICTION

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Hero’s Lot by Patrick W Carr

Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore

Anomaly  by Krista McGee

Memory’s Door by James L Rubart

The Rising by Lynn Chandler-Willis

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MYSTERY AND THRILLER 

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Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

The King by Steven James

Poison by Jordyn Redwood

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

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LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS 

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Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill

Hurt by Travis Thrasher

Captives by Jill Williamson

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Congratulations to all of the nominated authors and shortlist contenders! We now turn the job over to our judges to select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced June 28th.

Download Press Release here.

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