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  • Writer's picturePatti Callahan Henry

ECPA: Ten Novels Honored as the Year’s Best Christian Fiction “Becoming Mrs. Lewis” Patti Callahan

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Ten Novels Honored as the Year’s Best Christian Fiction

“Becoming Mrs. Lewis” by Patti Callahan wins The Christy Award® Book of the Year

Author James L. Rubart inducted into The Christy Award® Hall of Fame

The Christy Award®NASHVILLE, TENN., NOVEMBER 7, 2019 – Last night, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) announced the winners of The Christy Award® in nine fiction categories at the Christy Award Gala held in Nashville at Lipscomb University’s new George Shinn Center. The event was attended by more than 200 authors, writers, publishers and industry professionals to honor the year’s best in Christian fiction, and followed an afternoon of “Art of Writing” workshops led by authors and publishers, and headlined by LYSA TERKEURST.

The evening’s program featured award-winning authors PATTI CALLAHAN, BECKY WADE, and JAMES L. RUBART — and included an inspiring tribute to JANETTE OKE on the 40th anniversary of her seminal classic, Love Comes Softly (Bethany House). Published in 1979, the novel and subsequent book series became a huge success, launching both the “inspirational fiction” genre and a successful career for Oke, who many consider the “pioneer of inspirational fiction.” Janette Oke’s more than 70 novels have sold over 30 million copies in 14 languages, and have inspired successful television and film projects with the Hallmark Channel.

“BECOMING MRS. LEWIS” by Patti Callahan (Thomas Nelson) was awarded top honors as the 2019 Christy Award Book of the Year. The title also won in the Historical Romance category, in a tie with “WITH THIS PLEDGE” by Tamera Alexander (Thomas Nelson).

The 2019 Christy Award winners by category are:

Pictured below from left are: Tamera Alexander, Amanda Bostic (publisher for Terri Blackstock), Leisl Huhn (accepted award for husband Steven James), Hall of Fame recipient James L. Rubart (accepted award for friend David Rawlings), Melanie Dickerson, Becky Wade, Connilyn Cossette, Patti Callahan, Katie Ganshert, and ECPA president Stan Jantz. Photo credit: Sara Ella Carrington Not pictured: Enclave publisher Steve Laube who accepted the award for Kathy Tyer


Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Patti Callahan

Thomas Nelson, 9780785224501


Falling for You, Becky Wade

Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764219375


The Baggage Handler, David Rawlings

Thomas Nelson, 9780785224938


No One Ever Asked, Katie Ganshert

WaterBrook, 9781601429049


Shelter of the Most High, Connilyn Cossette

Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764219870


With this Pledge, Tamera Alexander

Thomas Nelson, 9780718081836

Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Patti Callahan

Thomas Nelson, 9780785224501


Every Wicked Man, Steven James

Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 9781101991596


Catching Christmas, Terri Blackstock

Thomas Nelson, 9780310351726


Shivering World, Kathy Tyers

Enclave Publishing, 9781683701552


The Warrior Maiden, Melanie Dickerson

Thomas Nelson, 9780718074777

“Once again ECPA was honored to host the Christy Award® Gala in Nashville,” said ECPA president Stan Jantz. “More than a special event, the Christy Award is an ongoing program that encourages, supports and recognizes excellence in fiction that is informed by the true Christian story. ECPA congratulates the authors and publishers of the winning titles and celebrates the important contributions they are making in storytelling.”

Also honored during the evening, was five-time Christy Award winning author JAMES L. RUBART, who was inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame for his legacy and contributions to Christian fiction. He joins prior honorees Chris Fabry, Lynn Austin, Davis Bunn, and Karen Hancock in this highest author honor of the program. All have won at least four Christy Awards.

The evening capped off two days of events that helped inspire, train and encourage those established in the publishing industry as well as those aspiring to break into the market as writers, authors, or business leaders:

ECPA PubU was held as a training and connection event for the Christian publishing professional. The Art of Writing Conference was created to build community and explore the leading questions and pressing issues facing creators and curators.

For more information about The Christy Award® program and to sign up for award and event updates for the 2020 season, go to

About ECPA

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non-profit trade organization comprised of member companies that are involved in the publishing and distribution of Christian content worldwide. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building networking, information, and advocacy opportunities within the industry and throughout multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.

The Christy Award® is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999, and is named for Catherine Marshall’s novel, “Christy,” which has sold over 10 million copies since its publication in 1967. ECPA assumed ownership and administration of the award in 2017 to focus and grow the unique opportunity of fiction in Christian publishing.

Media Contacts:

Stan Jantz, ECPA President & CEO,, 480-966-3998 ext. 101

Cindy Carter, ECPA Awards & Recognition Manager,, 480-966-3998 ext. 103




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