The winners of the tenth annual Christy Awards were announced Saturday ahead of this week's International Christian Retail Show.
From each of the nine Christian fiction categories, a winner was selected by a panel of seven judges and recognized with the top honor, continuing a tradition that has been running since 1999.
Named in honor of Catherine Marshall's novel and of her contribution to growth of the fiction Christians love to read, the Christy Awards recognize excellence in fiction written by contemporary Christian authors and highlight the breadth and diversity of Christian fiction.
Each year since the awards' creation, publishers 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.
Each category of novels is then read and evaluated against a ten-point criteria by a panel of seven judges composed of librarians, reviewers, academicians, literary critics, and other qualified readers – none of whom have a direct affiliation with a publishing company.
Among this year's nine winners, two were published by Tyndale House Publishers and three were published by divisions of Baker Publishing Group, namely Revell and Bethany House.
Other publishers included WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, FaithWords, David C. Cook, and Moody Publishers.
The winners of the 2009 Christy Awards are:
Contemporary Romance Category
- Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Contemporary Series, Sequels & Novellas Category
- You Had Me at Good-bye by Tracey Bateman (FaithWords)
Contemporary Standalone Category
- Dogwood by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
First Novel Category
- Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake (David C. Cook)
- Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers)
Historical Romance Category
- From a Distance by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers)
- The Rook by Steven James (Revell)
- Vanish by Tom Pawlik (Tyndale House Publishers)
Young Adult Category
- I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke (Moody Publishers)