Philip Yancey is no stranger to The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's Awards Celebration held during their annual Leadership Summit. The author has been honored numerous times for sales in the millions and unflinching prose. On May 9, Yancey reached the top, the Pinnacle Award for an author's impact on the Church and society, and Luci Shaw — editor, poet, and co-founder of Harold Shaw Publishers — was presented with the Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award. The ECPA cited her 'innovative, influential and enduring" contributions, raising the bar for "literary excellence in Christian publishing."

In naming Yancey, the ECPA cited his 12 Gold Medallion Book Awards titles that exceeded 500,000 copies in sales, a Christian Book Award for Grace Notes in 2010, and two Book of the Year Awards for The Jesus I Never Knew in 1996, and What’s So Amazing About Grace in 1998. ECPA president Jeff Crosby praised Yancey for decades of writing with "honesty, piercing questions, and resilient hopefulness" in a string of titles including Disappointment with God, The Question That Never Goes Away, Soul Survivor, and, most recently, the memoir Where the Light Fell.

This year is the 25th anniversary of his first book, Where Is God When It Hurts (Zondervan), on living without anger or fear in the face of physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. The book has been updated through the years as issues have arisen. And in a new edition this falll of his book What's So Amazing about Grace, Yancey, who frequently shares his own experiences, doubts, and struggles in his works, may add a new perspective — dealing with his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

Yancey, who is 73, wrote in a blog post, "My future is full of question marks, and I’m not unduly anxious. I have excellent medical care and support from friends. I trust a good and loving God who often chooses to reveal those qualities through his followers on earth. I have written many words on suffering and now am being called to put them into practice. May I be a faithful steward of this latest chapter."

Meanwhile, he's on to writing his 26th book — co-authoring What Went Wrong: Russia's U-Turn and the Path to Ukraine (Wipf and Stock Publishing, late fall) with John Bernbaum, founder of the Moscow American Christian University, recently shuttered by Vladimir Putin. They are exploring "what happened to turn Russia from a westward-looking freedom-loving society to a closed hostile society," Yancey said.

Ninety-four-year-old Luci Shaw's long career as a writer, editor, and publisher has come nearly full circle with the Lifetime Achievement Career named for Taylor, the late founder and president of Tyndale House publishers. She was the English stylist who worked with him on his paraphrase of the New Testament Epistles, Living Letters, published in 1963. She and her husband launched Harold Shaw Publishers in 1967 (an imprint of WaterBrook since 2000) with her as v-p and senior editor and later president after her husband's death in 1966.

She is part of the Chrysostom Society of Christian poets, essayists, novelists, and nonfiction writers. The ECPA announcement cited her ongoing work as an editor for literary publications and her "numerous works of poetry, essays, children’s books, and nonfiction including Writing the River, Sea Glass, Water My Soul, God in the Dark, Angels Everywhere, The Green Earth, and The Crime of Living Cautiously. Iron Pen, an imprint of Paraclete, will release her latest poetry collection Reversing Entropy in April 2024. Paraclete poetry editor Lillian Miao told PW the book offers "grace-filled expressions of all the gifts her life has held." Tuesday evening at the Awards Celebration she read a poem she composed for the occasion.

The Christian Book of the Year

Jennie Allen's bestseller, Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World, an energetic roadmap to creating deep, healthy, joyful relationships, has been named Christian Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. It was among the 13 categories of winning titles in Christian publishing announced Tuesday at the ECPA's annual Leadership Conference in Nashville.

Find Your People is the second book in a run of blockbuster titles by Allen for WaterBrook, a Penguin Random House imprint. It debuted in February 2022 at the top of the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, reflecting the global popularity of Allen, a Bible teacher and founder of the IF: Gathering women's conferences that are streamed to 40 countries. Together with Get Out of Your Head, published in 2020, the two books have sold nearly a million copies according to Circana BookScan. Laura Barker, v-p and publisher for WaterBrook and Multnomah, told PW, that what keeps readers "coming back book after book is that she delivers tangible, relevant, Bible-infused solutions to the tensions we all face in walking out our faith in daily life.” In 2013, she received the Christian Book Award for New Author of the Year for Anything (Thomas Nelson).

The 2023 New Author of the Year honor went to graphic designer and first-time author Jennifer Tucker for Breath as Prayer: Calm Your Anxiety, Focus Your Mind, and Renew Your Soul from Thomas Nelson Gift, an illustrated guide to the practice of prayers centered on Christ and Scripture.

The Christian Living winner was James K.A. Smith's How to Inhabit Time: Understanding the Past, Facing the Future, Living Faithfully Now (Brazos Press/Baker Publishing Group). The philosophy professor told PW that reconciling faith and history is about "finding the space to hit the pause button on our immersion in this frenetic present, and to contemplate and reckon with where we’ve come from and what we are called to do."

Tim Challies' Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God (Zondervan Reflective) won in the Biography & Memoir category. Challies, a pastor, author, and blogger, writes about living in Christian hope after the sudden death of his son, Nick, in 2020.

There was a tie for the top honor in the Children's category. Sharing the honors were The Biggest Story Bible Storybook, (Crossway) by pastor and writer Kevin DeYoung with illustrations by Don Clark, and Our God is Bigger Than That! (End Game Press) by Michelle Medlock Adams and Eva Marie Everson, both prolific authors of scores of books, with illustrations by Anna Jones.

In Bible Study, the win went to Bible teacher, speaker, and author Nancy Guthrie for Blessed: Experiencing the Promise of the Book of Revelation (Crossway). According to the publisher, she "takes the fear, intimidation, and confusion away from studying Revelation" and helps readers make sense of its "unique apocalyptic symbolism, visual imagery, and Old Testament allusions."

For a full list of the winners, click here.