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New: Woman Alive Readers’ Choice Award

Get involved with our Readers Choice Awards and nominate your favourite books. Amy Boucher Pye explains how ...

We’re excited to be sponsoring an award at this year’s Christian Resources Together (CRT) conference in September. Amy Boucher Pye explains how you can get involved and vote for your favourite read

As you probably know from my hosting the book club in Woman Alive, I love books – the reading of them, the recommending of them, and even the creating of them. So I was thrilled when I heard about a kernel of an idea for a new award that will, we hope, come from you – the Woman Alive Readers’ Choice Award.

The idea was hatched when Andy Moreman, the CEO of CPO, parent company of Woman Alive, attended the 2016 Christian Resources Together (CRT) awards at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, an annual gathering of publishers, retailers, authors and other industry professionals. As he witnessed the various books and Bibles winning awards, he turned to Laura Treneer, CPO’s innovation director, and said: “We need the Woman Alive readers to pick a winner!” What a fantastic idea – I so agree.

I was at that awards ceremony, sitting with the folks from Authentic Media who published my first book, Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity. I was nervous and thrilled, for it was one of the shortlisted titles for the Christian Living Book of the Year, along with There Are No Ordinary People by Jeff Lucas and If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This by Katharine Hill. With the quality of the other contenders I hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech.

As we moved through the categories, I felt a level of nervousness I hadn’t expected. Then came the Christian living category. We heard the list of books up for the award and my heart pounded. I started to breathe faster and then heard ... “And the winner is … Finding Myself in Britain!” I was truly stunned. Donna Harris, the MD of Authentic, grabbed my hand and we dashed to the front to receive the award. It was a blur – an adrenaline-filled, joyous blur.

It feels a bit odd (and very non-British) to share that experience, but I do so because it was humbling and really wonderful too. My publisher and I had worked on the conception and realisation of the book, and spent a lot of time spreading the word about it too. To have our work recognised thrilled me from top to bottom. And having had this amazing experience, I’m even more excited to extend the opportunity of this joy and recognition to other authors. Especially those chosen by my favourite readers – you.

Which leads me to ask, what’s your best read? Which books have you loved and gushed over? What do you want your friends to delve into?

We want you to be the judge, so we want you to tell us which books have moved you or inspired you; which are the ones that keep you reading until 2 am and which have stuck with you for months. We want to know if it’s a novel or a non-fiction work that has helped you in your walk with God. The winner and the two runners-up will be announced at the CRT gathering in September, and also, of course, in our pages here and online.

What’s behind this desire for a new award? We’re excited to enable our readers to express which are their favourite books from the latest Christian releases. We hope we’ll have a strong response from you, for we know the power of a word-of-mouth recommendation. These will be the books that get passed from one person to the next. We hope too that we’ll be alerted to books that we might otherwise miss out on. We want your voice to reverberate!

This is your decision and we’re so excited to hear which books you will select. May the voting commence!    

Although we acknowledge that people have different opinions about what constitutes a Christian book, we’ve decided to narrow the field to books that have been produced by the publishers at the bottom of the page.

The only other constraint is that the book was released between 1st September 2015 to 1st March 2017.

Within this constraint, however, we want to give you as much freedom as possible: you can choose an Amish novel, a book on church leadership, a memoir, a children’s picture book or a cosy mystery ... It’s up to you.

We’re having a two-pronged approach in the voting. First, between now and 21st May, we welcome you to nominate your favourite books. This is the grand gathering stage, and we’re keen to know which works emerge as the top dozen.
We’ll collate the nominations into a shortlist of the top 12, and you’ll be welcome to vote on your favourite from these between 12th July and 13th August, when the voting will then close.

We’re happy for you to nominate three books in the first round, and vote for one in the second. While we will have technological means in place to police this, we ask that you honour the process.

In the first round, you’ll be asked to name your three favourite books, the date they were published, and the publisher. Please note if your selection falls outside of the eligibility criteria, your vote won’t count. The second round will be a simple listing of the top 12 books from which to select your favourite and we will give you this information nearer the time.

Click on link to send in your nominations

Authentic Media
Autumn House Publishing (Europe) Ltd
Baker (Bethany House, Revell, Brazos, Chosen)
Books to Treasure
Christian Focus Publications
Church House Publishing
Darton Longman & Todd
David C Cook
Dernier Publishing
Discovery House
EP Books
HarperCollins Christian (Thomas Nelson, Zondervan)
Harvest House
Hodder Faith
Instant Apostle
Inter-Varsity Press
InterVarsity Press (US)
John Ritchie Ltd
Lion Hudson plc (including Monarch and Candle)
Malcolm Down Publishing
Muddy Pearl
Onwards and Upwards Publishers
PUSH Publishing
Rickfords Hill Publishing
River Publishing & Media Ltd
Saffron Planet Publishing
Scripture Union
Sovereign World Ltd
The Good Book Company
WaterBrook & Multnomah
Worthy publishing
Please note that anyone employed or directly involved with any of these companies is unable to vote

The winner and the two runners-up will be announced on 13th September at the Christian Resources Together retreat and online. We’ll also announce the winners in the December issue of Woman Alive and in the November issue of Together magazine, published by Christian Resources Together.

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