Non-fiction books by Toronto poverty activists Tim Huff and Greg Paul won multiple awards June 17 in a national contest, along with a suspense novel set during the Roman Empire.
The Canadian Christian Writing Awards are given annually in 30 independently judged categories, including non-fiction books, novels, articles, columns and poems. The awards are sponsored by The Word Guild, a national association with the mandate of connecting, developing and promoting Canadian writers and editors who are Christian ( www.thewordguild.com 519-886-4196).
Huff, a social activist who has worked for 20 years with homeless and marginalized youth and adults, won for Bent Hope: A Street Journal (Castle Quay Books) in the general readership category and tied for first in the culture book category with Greg Paul. Paul, who founded the inner-city ministry Sanctuary, also won the Christian living book category for The Twenty Piece Shuffle: Why the Poor and Rich Need Each Other (David C. Cook).
The suspense novel Christianus Sum (Latin for "I am a Christian") won awards in three categories -- best suspense, romance and historical novel -- for first- time author Shawn J. Pollett of Golden Valley, Ont. (near Parry Sound).
Author and singer/songwriter Carolyn Arends of Surrey, B.C., was shortlisted in five categories -- the most of any writer this year -- and won for best book of "life stories" for Wrestling with Angels: Adventures in Faith and Doubt (Harvest House Publishers).
Donna Dawson of St. Marys, Ont., author of the suspense thriller Vengeance (Word Alive Press) and a writing instructor at Fanshawe College in London, Ont., won for best contemporary novel and best independently published fiction.
The cash awards were announced at a public black- tie gala event June 17 in Mississauga, Ont., hosted by Herbie Kuhn, in-house announcer for the Toronto Raptors basketball team.
"This is the premier event honouring the work of Canadians who write from a Christian worldview," explained Denise Rumble, the managing director of The Word Guild. "We want to showcase examples of excellence and increase public awareness of the quality and variety of our homegrown writers."
The complete list of winners is at www.thewordguild.com/contestsawards/2009winners.html
The Word Guild also sponsors Canada's largest Christian writers' conference ( www.writecanada.org).