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 fourth and final winner announced during the 2022 PENCON. Thomas Stewart wrote 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 develop the idea for this book?

A couple of close friends encouraged me to write my life story. In fact, one pastor said that it would be a sin not to tell my story! I felt I had a life-changing message for the whole world due to the trials I had been through and how God had brought me through them. My younger son’s death was a further catalyst in having my life story rewritten and eventually released in September 2021.

What did you enjoy most about the writing process?

To be honest, my ex-wife primarily wrote the first version of my life story, entitled “The Broken Scout.” Then God miraculously enabled me to work with Sarah Barnum and she primarily rewrote my life story with inputs from me. She was an absolute delight to work with, as I really enjoyed interacting with her.

What did you struggle with most during the writing process?

The writing of “The Broken Scout” was brutal due to my ex-wife not being flexible with the editor or myself concerning book content. Working with Sarah Barnum was wonderful the second time around. I can honestly say it was as close to perfect as it gets for a rewrite of my life story.

What tips can you give authors about working with editors?

I think one of the most important things is to be humble and realize that no one is right all the time. It’s important not to take things too personally and to work hard at developing a give-and-take relationship with the editor. We need to work with the editor, not against them.

What does winning the Excellence in Editing Award mean to you?

Winning the EIE Award means the world to me because of the fierce competition this year. I’m very humbled to win this award. I give all the glory to God for allowing my life story to be rewritten. Also, I’m forever grateful to Sarah Barnum for her amazing God-given talent in this endeavor.

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.