Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Awards for Christian Based Entertainment
Since entering the realm of what I guess is known as, "Christian entertainment," six years ago, with the publication of my first graphic novel, Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth, I wondered aloud....why weren't there any organizations which attempted to throw a spotlight on all the wonderful ways Christian comic book & graphic novel creators are honoring the kingdom, (as well as the people involved in many other forms of diverse entertainment)? Wouldn't that sort of thing be instrumental to helping expose many more people to this creative output who may not know about these kind of works currently?
Sure, there is the annual Christianity Today book awards, but their categories seem far to limited and restrictive to cover the broad nature of what's being published outside of standard prose only books...and they focus specifically on published works, not the entire spectrum of entertainment. Outreach Magazine seems like a natural to tackle this type of thing (since this is all about creativity in sharing the Gospel and/or the Biblical narrative), but likewise they just focus annually on a very narrow handful of publishing only categories, in their, Resources of the Year Awards.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by a gentlemen at a DFW area business to business networking group, (Professional Business Networking), who was one of the founding fathers of an annual awards contest/show, that though originally conceived to honor only those who've made a mark in world of Christian Music, had now expanded it to cover the wider spectrum of the diverse nature of "Christian Entertainment."
Now in their second year, The Christian Entertainment Awards, are now featuring awards in the categories of: Commercials, Film, Journalism, Literature, Live Entertainment, Music, Online (websites), Radio, Stage and TV. Within each of these main categories are subcategories. For example, within the Literature category, are sub-categories, including: Biography/Autobiography, children's books, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and graphic novels (which include comic books).
As with most awards contests (outside the major ones), there is a nominal fee to have your work considered, but the good news here is, that the fees go to the parent non-profit charity dedicated toward building a Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Here's a link to an overview about the awards and the charity.
Another unique wrinkle to these awards are, that anything published (in the case of graphic novels and/or comics) since Jan. 1, 2008 through the final deadline of May 31, 2009, is eligible for the 2009 awards. You can submit your works anytime up to that deadline. Each month an independent panel of judges will select a Gold Medal Award Winners from that month's submissions. The Gold award will be given to any entry the judges believe deserve special recognition within their category. There is no limit to the amount of Gold Award winners the judges can name, but to qualify the big prize, The Platinum Award, (what the judges consider the very best of all entries within each category), you must be named a Gold Award Winner, first.
This not only gives the publishers and creators a chance for multiple exposures and publicity on their exemplary titles, (since the Gold Award can be given out anytime between now and September 2009), but adds prestige and credibility to their works, to boot, through being named an award-winner!
The Platinum Award winners will be announced on September 1, 2009 and I believe there will be a ceremony at the 2009 Christian Music Hall of Fame awards, on Nov. 14th, 2009.
Personally, I think this kind of thing is a long overdue and it can only help develop more and better public appreciation of our works. I hope all my brother and sister creators help support this idea, by entering their books, graphic novels and comics in this inaugural season.
Hey...who knows, you might even get some TV exposure, as the CEAwards people are currently in negotiations with several cable networks to broadcast the awards ceremonies!