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Christian Book Award® | NonFiction Criteria

Category Descriptions for NonFiction

Biography & Memoir

This award is for nonfiction material presented as a biography, autobiography or memoir (narrative composed from personal experience).

  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Memoir

Faith & Culture

This award is for nonfiction material that is directed at the intersection of faith and culture:

  • Christianity & Society
  • Diversity
  • Political Themes 


Christian Living

This award is for nonfiction material that facilitates or models what it means to live as a Christian in all areas of life. This category is inclusive of the following:

  • Christian Living
  • Family & Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Missions/Evangelism


Judging Criteria *

Note:  If the book submitted is part of a package, the additional materials (video, workbook, etc.) are evaluated under "Format.”

1. Format
Is the depth and breadth of the information in the book communicated in the table of contents (if applicable)?
If the book has features such as an index, bibliography, etc., are they effective and useful?
If additional materials (video, workbook, etc) accompany the book, do they enhance the purpose of the work?

2. Content
Is the title a good match for the text?
Do the title and/or subtitle deliver what is promised?
Is the perspective and reading level consistent with the purpose of the book?
Is the information appropriate to the audience?
Is the material memorable and presented in a straightforward, logical, and engaging manner?
Is there adequate evidence to support the main points?

3. Writing Style / Mechanics
Does the style of writing make the book accessible to the intended audience?
Are there errors in spelling, grammar, paragraphing, and punctuation?
Are words used incorrectly?
Does the quality of the author’s prose (syntax, word choice, rhythm, etc.) enhance the content?

4. Author / Subject
Does the author have sufficient experience/employment in the field to be considered highly knowledgeable?
Does the material present the values of a Christian worldview?
If material is biographical or autobiographical in nature, does the life of the subject model what it means to live as a Christian with all the attendant complexities, challenges, and promises?

5. Design
Does the cover engage the audience?
Do the layout, internal design, and text size facilitate the reading experience?

6. Impact
Does the work meet a need in the intended audience and/or fulfill a need in the marketplace?
Is the presentation fresh and compelling in nature? Does the book have the potential to make a significant impact on the worldview or lifestyle of the audience?

* using a scale of 1-10


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