Awards & Rewards for Christian Writers
By Jen Jandavs-Hedlin

Tonight I have the privilege of attending The Word Awards, which together with The Word Guild, celebrate the very best in Canadian Christian writing. This will be my sixth time attending the gala, and as I unpack my dress and heat up the hotel iron, I must say that I always enjoy it.

There is a graciousness that is consistently present in the winners. They give a lot of credit to people around them: their editors, publishers, support team, and of course, much glory is given to the One from whom their gifting came.

There are always a few surprise winners (not necessarily a surprise to us, but visibly a shock to the winner). I find it almost gleeful to watch them stumble through the acceptance speech they did not write in advance. (Clearly, they did not expect to win amongst such worthy nominees. Ah, us humble Canadians, eh?)

There are also some who are deeply disappointed that theirs was not deemed the best mystery novel, or the best serial article, etc. That is a perfectly natural response to the awards as well. There is a small part of each of us that always hopes to win—be it at checkers or the office Stanley Cup Playoff pool or The Word Awards—even if we say that deep down inside we know that earthly recognition is not our goal, but rather that Kingdom impact is.

But today, I want to address a different crowd entirely… the writers that are not yet even in the game. And on one level, I’m speaking to myself with this post as well. Maybe you’ve always written short stories, or poetry, and you have boxes of dog-eared papers in a dusty corner somewhere. Or maybe you’ve been busy with the kids this past year (or twenty years) and your passion for writing devotionals has gone cold. Do you still think of the stories you used to tell your younger siblings? Is the four month sermon series that you’ve always wanted to turn into a book calling to you from the filing cabinet?

Maybe it’s time to pick up your pen (or quill, or typewriter, or laptop, or iPhone,) and put the message that God has given you down for others to read. You never know who it may touch or how the Holy Spirit may use your words. For some of you, there may even be an award in your future. And for others, there may not be any acknowledgement at all, apart from the contentment of knowing that you have been faithful with the gifts that you’ve been given. Then again, isn’t that really the best reward of all?

About this Contributor:

Jen Jandavs-Hedlin has worked in the publishing industry for over a decade and is passionate about helping authors to share their stories. She enjoys cooking, reading, writing, and organizing her home into boxes and containers. Jen lives in Winnipeg with her husband, and their canine companion, Montgomery.

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