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.

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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

Looking Back: Authors who Brought Inspirational Fiction into the 21st Century

Every generation brings with it a crop of new authors.  What we sometimes forget in our excitement welcoming new authors  are the names that inspired the market of Christian fiction. Unlike secular fiction, the Christian fiction genre and its subgenres, has not been as wildly popular until the more recent years.  Since the below authors came on the scene the Christian Fiction genre has exploded with brilliant talent targeting a wider audience by tackling thrillers, contemporary and even recently, dystopion fiction.   With the recent influx of talented writers genre readers have been able to discover and enjoy this genre.  In an effort to highlight the Christian Fiction genre the Inspy’s Advisory Board is looking back at some of the authors who helped to bring this genre the recognition it deserves.

Ted DekkerTed Dekker: In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood. Two years and three novels later his first novel was published.

Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

Dee Henderson: Award-winning novelist Dee Henderson excels at creating believable, challenging characters. Dee is the author of two series: the Uncommon Dee HendersonHeroes series and the O’Malley series of romantic suspense novels. Her books have won a host of awards, including the prestigious RITA Award, Bookseller’s Best Award, and National Reader’s Choice Award and Christy Award, Romance category.

Karen KingsburyKaren Kingsbury: Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist. There are more than 25 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Karen’s recent dozen titles have all debuted at or near the top of the New York Times Bestseller’s list. She is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen lives and works outside Nashville, Tenn., with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. Also living nearby is their only daughter, Kelsey.

Most popular to Karen’s name is the many intersecting novels that tell the saga of the Baxter family in the Redemption, Firstborn and Baily Flannigan series’.

Tim LaHaye: LaHaye is best known for authoring the Left Behind fiction series, co-authored with Jerry B. Jenkins, which have broken all pTim Lahayeublishing records with a total of 80 million in print. These books have appeared on the best-seller lists of The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Christian Booksellers Association.  Based on the Bible’s book of Revelation, the apocalyptic thrillers follow the lives of those left behind after the sudden disappearance of millions of believers.

Frank PerettiFrank Peretti: With more than 15 million novels in print, Frank Peretti is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon and has been called “America’s hottest Christian novelist.” The Oath (Word Publishing 1995), sold more than half a million copies within the first six months of release. The Visitation (Word Publishing 1999), was #1 on the CBA Fiction Bestseller list for four months. Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada in 1951, Frank is a natural storyteller who, as a youngster in Seattle, regularly gathered the neighborhood children for animated storytelling sessions, drew comics, and tapped out stories on his mother’s portable typewriter.

Janette Oke: Bestselling author Janette Oke (pronounced “oak”) is celebrated across the world for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry. She is credited with launching the modern era of inspirational fiction with the publication of her first novel, Love Comes Softly, in 1979. Today, her novels have sold more than 30 million copies, and she is thJanette Okee recipient of the ECPA President’s Award, the CBA Life Impact Award, the Gold Medallion, and the Christy Award. Janette and her husband, Edward, live in Alberta, Canada.

Janette is well-known for her prairie fiction stories – including the Love Comes Softly Series and the Canadian West novels, and many of her books have been inspiration behind several of the Hallmark Channel’s programming.

Francine RiversFrancine Rivers: Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith.  First published by Bantam Books, and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid- 1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered a classic work of Christian fiction and continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association’s top-selling titles; it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade.

Lori Wick: Lori Wick is a multifaceted author of Christian fiction. As comfortable writing period stories as she is penning contemporary works, Lori’s Lori Wickbooks (more than 6 million in print) vary widely in location and time period. Many of her books are published by Harvest House. Wick lives in Wisconsin with her husband Bob and 3 children.

Some of Wick’s well-known novels are the stand-alone contemporaries, Bamboo & Lace and Pretense, and her English Garden series.

Just to update you all on where the Inspy Awards are – our 2014 Inspy nominations have now closed and the Advisory Board is getting to work determining the five shortlist nominees in all seven categories before we put the winning decision in the capable hands of our judges. Judging applications open on March first. Until then, feel free to join the Inspy Awards on our Goodreads page where we ask that you leave us some helpful feedback via polls or invite you to join in some discussion threads. Stay tuned for more news!