Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: From ICRS, Atlanta
Sunday– Four Meetings plus the Annual Books & Such Brunch. Plus the Baker-Bethany-Revell Dinner.
Monday– Ten Meetings plus the Gala Christy Awards
Condition: Totally Exhausted (but happy)
After a full day on the show floor today and ten excellent hour-long meetings with some of our favorite editors, Janet and I headed over to the Hyatt Regency for the Christy Awards.
The Christys are the premier awards for Christian fiction. Every year publishers are invited to submit novels written from a Christian worldview and copyrighted in the year preceding the awards. Each novel is entered in one of several genre categories and/or the first novel category or young adult category. Each category is then read and evaluated against a ten-point criteria by a panel of seven judges. The novel in each category with the highest score is named a Christy Award winner.
Books & Such had three finalists— DiAnn Mills in Contemporary Romance for Sworn to Protect; Anne Elisabeth Stengl in First Novel for Heartless; and Melanie Dickerson in Young Adult for The Healer’s Apprentice. We were so proud as each one went forward to receive her Christy Finalist medallion.
Liz Curtis Higgs emceed the event and she was at her funniest ever. We laughed our way through all the introductions and Liz’s infectious chuckle rang out above everyone’s. She announced that we would have to wait until the very end to learn who had won the awards. Dinner was served– a spring greens salad with crostini and goat cheese followed by roasted rosemary chicken with risotto. Desert was creme brulee with a chocolate dipped tea cookie.
Randall Wallace, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director, producer, songwriter and New York Times bestselling author was the keynote speaker. What a storyteller! He told us stories from his movies, Braveheart, The Man in the Iron Mask, Pearl Harbor, We Were Soldiers, and Secretariat, as well as from his life. He had us all laughing and crying throughout and jumping to our feet to give him a standing ovation when he finished. His publisher, Tyndale House, presented everyone with advance copies of his new book, The Touch.
When he finished, it was time for the presentation of the Christys. Both DiAnn Mills and Anne Elisabeth Stengl won! What a night!
The Christy Awards are always a sparkling affair and this year was no exception. It’s always fun to see everyone dressed to the nines.Congratulations to all the finalists and to the winners!