Recently the winners of the Christy Awards have been announced, and now ACFW members are eagerly awaiting the results of the Book of the Year contest. The accolades of colleagues are great. It’s proof that you’ve succeeded in creating a superior product.
My friend Donita Paul, author of the wonderful DragonKeeper Chronicles, recently posted in an online writer’s loop that there’s an even better prize: the Grand Prize. That’s when God orchestrates the presentation of proof that your writing has touched a life for eternity. For Donita, it was when a young fan told her that she had decided to keep her relationships pure, like Kale and Bardon, Donita’s characters.
Too often we cast our eyes on the earthly prizes available for writers: Christy Awards, BOTY Award, amazing sales figures, having our books bought by the movie industry. Don’t get me wrong, these prizes certainly aren’t bad. And I think it’s wonderful to draw attention to the amazing offerings available in the Christian fiction industry. But if we concentrate more on the Grand Prize, then the rejections and disappointments experienced in the career of a writer will have less of a sting.
I’m thrilled to tell you that I’ve received a few Grand Prizes in my short career as a published author. One reader wrote to say that Searching for Spice “reminded me how important it is to keep God in your relationship and to know that he is there always! In our busy, hectic lives I think it is easy to think that we are fighting our battles alone, when really we are never alone as long as we let him into our lives. Thanks for reminding me of that!!” Wow.
Another reader said, “You touched on so many issues and emotions that we all face at times. I am inspired by your words.” Double wow.
And the other day I spoke to a gentleman who read Searching for Spice (brave fellow, he picked up a pink book). He said that after he and his wife both read the book, they’ve been enjoying deep and necessary conversations about their marriage. Triple wow.
I wish I could claim total credit for the kind words those readers blessed me with. I don’t even dare. I know that my words would be lifeless without the Author of Life breathing meaning into them. He is the one that uses my words to minister to readers. His purposes are done. Halleluiah! That’s why the Grand Prize is the best of all.
Psalm 40: 8
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
PS: Thanks to my friend, author Jill Nelson, for blogging about Searching for Spice on her Artistic Blogger blog. Commenters on her blog get an opportunity to win a copy of Searching for Spice--so hop on over!