How Spotlighted Novels Are Selected

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GRACE AWARDS is changing with the times. It’s evolving into the GRACE FILLED FICTION SPOTLIGHT. As we go into our ninth year, our board has decided to shift our focus from the concept of “winners” to the idea of “novels we love.”  During our eight years we attracted a stellar group of 18 judges. We also have a group of 20 or more authors who are active in our Grace Awards Face Book group. This group is open to all Christian fiction authors. This year, we will be relying on these two groups to select novels and authors to be spotlighted.

BOOK CATEGORIES:

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction  —  women’s and/or men’s issues, can have humor and/or suspense elements

Contemporary Romance/Historic Romance — the primary element is love/marriage, then or now

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historic Suspense — crime fiction, there’s probably a body

Speculative Fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc

Action-Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction — exploits, quest, daring, expansive

Young Adult (YA) — includes Middle Grade and New Adult (NA)

**Note: submit Urban Fiction into the category where it best fits (ie, Speculative, Young Adult, etc.)

TYPES OF NOVELS READERS MAY CONSIDER: Traditional Christian, Inspirational, uber contemporary Christian, gritty Christian, and/or edgy Christian without crossing the line, stories from a Christian/Messianic worldview, redemptive themed, biblical, faith-based, Christian and/or Messianic mystical themes, values imbued, grace and forgiveness oriented, inspirational marriage/family friendly, depicting Christian lifestyle (can be struggling with it), spiritually and emotionally healing fiction…of 55 thousand words or more. At this time we do not have a category for anthologies.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN SELECTING NOVELS TO SPOTLIGHT:

All past Grace Awards judges and all authors, editors, publishing professionals, and readers who participate in the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight Facebook group.

An author cannot nominate their own novel/novella. Anyone working in publishing cannot nominate a novel they worked on. Authors…Please, please DON’T nominate against yourself. Simply nominate your favorite novel(s) in OTHER genre categories.

Board members and judges can nominate, but not for their own novel(s).

CRITERIA FOR NOVELS:

Original novels presenting a Christian worldview written in English, published in hard cover, trade paperback, or in Ebook format.

Traditional publishers, Small press, Indie publishers, self-published works. To us, Pbooks and Ebooks all compete on the same level playing field.

Most of all, the novel must reach the highest of literary standards and add something of value to Christian, inspirational, faith-based fiction and to the world at large.

Book, Reading 4READER VOTING SUGGESTIONS:

1. Was the novel well written? Did the author use language correctly? Did it make sense?

2. Was the plotline logical? Did any plot turns surprise you? In a good way, as in what a surprise but this really works — or in a bad way, as in “Yikes” this doesn’t work at all?

3. Did the characters feel like living people? Could you identify with the characters and their situations in the novel? Were the scenes plausible? Does the story fit the genre?

4. How about pacing? Did you ever get bored?

5. Was the novel true to its setting: time, place?

6. Was the novel entertaining? Did it uplift, send you on an emotional roller coaster, have you on the edge of your seat, tickle your funny bone (depending on the category)?

7. Did the novel engage your Christian walk in a meaningful way? Did it depict Christian life in a plausible manner (in some genres, this would be symbolic)?  Do you think the work adds something of literary value?

Below is the format we will use:

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: Name of novel and author. In 45+ words, why did you like the book.

Contemporary Romance/Historical Romance: Name of novel and author. In 45+ words, why you like the book. 

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense: Name of novel and author. In 45+ words, why you like the book.

Speculative Fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc: Name of the novel and author. In 45+words, why you like the book.

Action-Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction: Name of the novel and author. In 45+ words, why you like the book.

Young Audlt (YA): Name of the novel. In 45+ words, why you like the book.

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