Winners in nine fiction categories to be revealed at The Christy Award Gala on November 7 at Lipscomb University’s Shamblin Theatre in Nashville

Program to feature bestselling authors Francine Rivers, Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, and Cynthia Ruchti, plus a tribute to the storytelling legacy of Madeleine L’Engle.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) announced the 28 finalists in nine categories for the 19th annual Christy Award, which celebrates excellence in the art of Christian Fiction and to honor the power of faith in story.

As noted by ECPA President & CEO Stan Jantz:

These finalists use the power of story well to tackle the serious issues of today, the frailties in the human heart, and the gritty histories of our past and imagined future. From terrorism, mental illness, addiction, racism, and human trafficking to WW2, the Middle East, paranormal activity, and a fairy tale–these writers have woven in their faith, imagination, and the fine art of storytelling into 28 fantastic novels!

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright (Bethany House) was named a finalist in both the First Novel category and in Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.

The Nominees for the best novels of the year in nine categories are:


The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, a contemporary romance novel by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
Bethany Turner

Troubled Waters
Susan May Warren

True to You
Becky Wade
Bethany House


Suspense novel 'The House on Foster Hill' from Jaime Jo Wright

Freedom’s Ring
Heidi Chiavaroli
Tyndale House Publishers

The House on Foster Hill
Jaime Jo Wright
Bethany House

Missing Isaac
Valerie Fraser Luesse

Turtles in the Road
Kaley Rhea and Rhonda Rhea
Bold Vision Books


A Time to Stand
Robert Whitlow
Thomas Nelson

Life After
Katie Ganshert

The Space Between Words
Michele Phoenix
Thomas Nelson



Catching the Wind
Melanie Dobson
Tyndale House

Isaiah’s Daughter
Mesu Andrews

Many Sparrows
Lori Benton



A Dangerous Legacy
Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House

The Lacemaker
Laura Frantz

To Wager Her Heart
Tamera Alexander


 Suspense novel 'The House on Foster Hill' from Jaime Jo Wright 

Samuel Parker

The House on Foster Hill
Jaime Jo Wright
Bethany House

Rule of Law
Randy Singer
Tyndale House



Guilt by Association
Heather Day Gilbert
Woodhaven Press

Her Secret Daughter 
Ruth Logan Herne
Harlequin Love Inspired

12 Days at Bleakly Manor 
Michelle Griep
Barbour Publishing


Speculative novel 'Awakened' by Morgan L. Busse  

Morgan Busse

The Day the Angels Fell
Shawn Smucker

The Man He Never Was
James Rubart
Thomas Nelson


The Delusion speculative novel by Laura Gallier  

The Delusion
Laura Gallier
Tyndale House

Last Summer at Eden
Christina Hergenrader
Concordia Publishing House

Sara Ella
Thomas Nelson

Winners will be announced at The Christy Award Gala, 7 pm November 7 in Nashville, Tennessee. The semi-formal dinner event will be hosted by bestselling Christian authors Francine Rivers, Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, and Cynthia Ruchti. The program will include a special tribute to the imaginative storytelling legacy of Madeleine L’Engle on what would be her 100th birthday, presented by her biographer Sarah Arthur (A Light So Lovely).

Tickets are on sale now for the Gala and the preceding Art of Writing Conference.

For the second year, ECPA will also host The Art of Writing Conference, held the afternoon of the Gala – from 1 to 5:30 pm – and featuring four intensive seminars for writers and publishers. Tickets for the Art of Writing conference and The Christy Award Gala are available for a special bundle price of only $99. Individual event tickets are $69. Register at

Both events follow the industry’s publisher program, ECPA PubU. PubU attendees receive a special rate to The Christy Award afternoon and evening events via their PubU registration form.

For more information about the program, visit

About The Christy Award™
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.

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.

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About The Author

Not so long ago, SARA ELLA dreamed she would marry a prince (just call her Mrs. Charming) and live in a castle (aka The Plaza Hotel). Though her fairy tale didn’t quite turn out as planned, she did work for Disney—that was an enchanted moment of its own. Now she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses and conquering realms of her own imaginings. She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away” for those who put their faith in the King of kings.