The 2022 Christy Awards recognized the best faith-based novels published the previous year during a ceremony at Nashville’s Lipscomb University on November 17. The awards were preceded by the Art of Writing conference, which drew 110 writers, published authors, and Christian fiction publishers this year. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) sponsors both events.

Among the night’s top awards was the Amplify Award, which elevates and recognizes underrepresented ethnic stories and their authors. Given for the first time this year, the Amplify Award went to Toni Shiloh, author of In Search of a Prince (Bethany House).

Presenting the award, literary agent Jevon Bolden of Embolden Media Group, said, “We find it a unique privilege, as an ethnically diverse judge panel, to contribute toward a deeper read of books by BIPOC authors, and we look forward to continuing to amplify their voices and stories.”

Shiloh said of writing her winning novel, “It was with the hope that it would give representation to the many women who dreamed of being a princess and never saw one that looked like them.”

Another top award, the 2022 Book of the Year, went to Amanda Cox for The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery (Revell), which also won first place in the General Fiction category. Cox won the same award in 2021 for her debut novel, The Edge of Belonging, marking the first time in Christy Awards history that an author won consecutive Book of the Year awards.

In another first, Sharon Hinck’s Windward Shore won in the Speculative category, making it the first series to have won a Christy Award for each title in the three-book series. Patricia Raybon won in the First Novel category for All That is Secret (Tyndale). Becky Wade, author of numerous novels, was inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame, reserved for those who have won four or more Christy Awards. For a complete list of the winners, click here.

The Art of Writing conference featured four sessions, three of which were panel discussions that included publishers, authors, and influencers: What Makes a Gush-Worthy Book?; How Reading Diverse Books Makes Us Better Authors and Humans; and To Tok or Not to Tok. Carolyn Weber, an award-winning memoirist (Surprised by Oxford, Thomas Nelson), led the fourth session entitled When Weary & Discouraged: How We Can Care for Our Writing Souls.

Commenting on the conference, Jeff Crosby, ECPA president, tells PW, “Writing can be a very lonely endeavor, and I’m delighted that The Art of Writing can knit together like minds and hearts in a supportive and instructive atmosphere.”

ECPA presented its 2022 Top Shelf Book Cover Awards, honoring the year’s best book and Bible designs, on November 16. Winning publishers included Crossway, IVP, and The Good Book Company. For a complete list of those winners, click here. The awards took place during the ECPA’s PubU event, which is geared toward Christian publishing professionals and attracted 180 attendees this year.

Dates for next year’s Art of Writing conference, the Christy Awards, and PubU have not yet been finalized.