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ECPA Wire: Industry News

The Christy Award™ Has a New Home at ECPA

Thursday, August 18, 2016  
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(PHOENIX, ARIZ., August 18, 2016) Those administering The Christy Award™, the nation’s most prestigious award for Christian fiction, have entered into an agreement with the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) to assume ownership and administration of The Christy Award program beginning September 1, 2016.


Donna Kehoe, executive director for The Christy Awards LLC, has been working with ECPA to find a new home for the celebrated award program she has guided since its inception in 1999 when a dozen Christian publishers established a Christian fiction award to recognize novelists and novels of excellence in several genres of Christian fiction. 


“For seventeen years, The Christy Award program has nurtured and encouraged creativity in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview, highlighted the power of story to communicate truth and change lives, and showcased the diversity of the fiction genres,” said Kehoe. “We are confident that ECPA not only shares these objectives but also will use its position and resources as a leader in the industry to give added breadth and depth to the reach of the Award.”


“We are honored and excited to be entrusted with The Christy Award,” said Stan Jantz, executive director of ECPA. “Christian fiction is a vital part of publishing, and this unique and respected program recognizes the most accomplished authors and their novels each year.”


The Award itself is named for and inspired by Catherine Marshall, described by the New York Times as “America’s most inspirational author” with more than 25 million copies of her books in print. Catherine Marshall’s best-known work, the novel Christy, has more than 10 million copies in print and is estimated to have been read by more than 30 million people.  ECPA will operate The Christy Award program under license from Marshall-LeSourd LLC, owner of THE CHRISTY AWARD trademark.


As ECPA takes on the program, there is a keen awareness of the history and legacy of this award. “ECPA intends to operate The Christy Award program as a steward,” said Jantz. “Our mission is to protect, preserve, and advance the name and spirit of the Award in the manner it was first conceived.”


As new owners and administrators for The Christy Award, ECPA will continue to follow the guidelines for submission that have characterized the award. “We have been inspired by Donna Kehoe, who has faithfully and skillfully established The Christy Award as the premiere Christian fiction award program,” said Cindy Carter, who directs the awards and recognition program for ECPA. “Our team is looking forward to working with Donna and the other members of the program’s advisory board.”


Carter noted that ECPA’s Christian Book Award® program no longer includes a fiction category now that The Christy Award program is part of ECPA. The submission and judging process for The Christy Award will be distinct from the Christian Book Award, and the celebration event that recognizes The Christy Award recipients will be held at a different time and place than ECPA’s Christian Book Award celebration event.


“We’re anticipating the launch of a new celebration event for The Christy Award in 2017, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Christy,” said Jantz. “By writing this new chapter in the history of The Christy Award program, we are excited to be shining a spotlight on the legacy of Catherine Marshall’s book as well as the importance of outstanding fiction books being written now and in the future by contemporary authors.”




The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non-profit trade organization, comprised of nearly 200 member companies worldwide, representing a combined revenue of nearly $1.4 billion. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building Networking, Information, and Advocacy opportunities within the industry and across multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content. For more information about ECPA:,,


The Christy Award™ is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction. The Christy Awards are online at,, and


Media contacts:

Stan Jantz, ECPA Executive Director  480-966-3998

Cindy Carter, ECPA Awards & Recognition Manager 480-966-3998







Christian Book Award® is a registered trademark of ECPA.

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