The Editors’ Choice Award celebrates newly released books that are superbly written, well edited, and published by a Christian publisher or author. Judges evaluate the entries based on organization, plot and character development (for fiction), flow, clarity, tight writing, accuracy, consistency, lack of typos, and proper use of industry-standard guidelines for punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. Because our judges are professional editors, the competition is fierce.

Today, we’re pleased to feature our third winner announced during the 2022 PENCON. Sarah Barnum edited On Wings like Eagles, a memoir of perseverance and the power of forgiveness, reminding us that by the grace of God, it is possible to rise above our brokenness.

How did you become connected with the author?

I am part of Redemption Press’s stable of freelance editors, and they brought the author’s manuscript to me.

What do you enjoy the most about the editing process?

The aspect I enjoy the most about editing is the transformation of a manuscript. I see past the punctuation and plot holes to the potential in stories, and I find fulfillment in the process of taking something unfinished, uncut, or unedited and bringing it to publication. I love to help authors tell their story with excellence because I see editing as kingdom work.

What tips can you give other freelance editors about working with authors?

Handle with care. I respect the vulnerability authors experience in the editing process, and I value the trust they place in my judgment. I do my best to preserve the author’s voice. Encouragement and communication are key to a positive working relationship with authors.

What do you wish authors knew about working with freelance editors?

I wish authors came better prepared with knowledge about the publishing process, the editor’s role in it, and the timeline involved with multiple rounds of editing. If they did, they would book an editor earlier!

What does working on an award-winning book mean to you?

To me, winning this award validates that the author’s story needed to be told and affirms my calling as an editor.

Want to Learn More?

You can learn more about the Editors’ Choice Award in our recent blog post, Getting to Know the CEA’s Editors’ Choice Award. We’re currently accepting entries and recruiting judges for next year’s contest. You can learn more about submission guidelines and how to become a judge at Editors’ Choice Award | Christian Editors Association. Stay tuned to learn about our other winners in future posts.