The Conference on Christianity and Literature recognizes literary achievement in the form of awards given for lifetime achievement, best book in the field, the Margaret Patterson Hannay Service Award, and the Lionel Basney Award for the best article published each year in Christianity & Literature.  



Monica West
Revival Season: A Novel 
Simon & Schuster

Christina Bieber Lake
A Beyond the Story: American Literary Fiction and the Limits of Materialism
University of Notre Dame Press

Brian Doyle
One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder 
Little, Brown, and Company

Michael Mears Bruner
A Subversive Gospel: Flannery O'Connor and the Reimagining of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth 
InterVarsity Press

Micheal O’Siadhail 
The Five Quintets
Baylor University Press

David Marno
Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention
University of Chicago Press

Michael Tomko
Beyond the Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Poetic Faith from Coleridge to Tolkien
Boomsbury Academic

Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings
Farrar, Straus and Giroux


The award committee for the 2023 Book-of-the-Year Award will consider entries from the category of literary criticism and biography

The CCL Book Award does not apply to volumes written to explore general links between Christianity and politics, or Christianity and history. We consider only volumes that relate Christianity and literature.

The CCL, an interdisciplinary association allied with the Modern Language Association (MLA), has been engaged since 1956 with exploring the relations between Christianity and literatures throughout history and across national traditions. The Conference now includes hundreds of active members from a variety of religious traditions and academic institutions in the United States, Canada, and more than a dozen other countries; it publishes the quarterly journal Christianity and Literature.

Publishers, not authors, initiate all submissions; and publishers may nominate any number of eligible books. Please note that any work within the categories of literary criticism and literary biography published during the last two year period will be eligible for the award. To be considered for the 2023 award, the original date of publication must fall between September 1, 2021 and September 1, 2023.

The award is currently scheduled to be presented at a CCL special event during the annual Modern Language Association Convention in Philadelphia, January 4-7, 2024. To ensure that judges have adequate time to evaluate the entries, copies of nominated books should be sent as soon as possible, and before September 1, 2023, to each of the three Book Award Committee members listed below:

Chad Schrock
Attn. CCL Award
3606 Crestwood Dr.
Cleveland, TN 37312

Patricia Brown
Attn. CCL Award
5385 Declan Street
Riverside, CA 92504

Jonathan Sircy

Attn. CCL Award

291 Terry Shop Rd.
Fountain Inn, SC 29644

Books received after September 1, 2023 will not be eligible for consideration. Access to a digital copy, when feasible, would be appropriate, to the email addresses,, and

See our Guidelines for more information about nominating a book for the award.

View recent Book of the Year Award recipients.



The Lionel Basney Award is given annually to the article deemed by the CCL Publications Committee to be the most outstanding article of the year in Christianity & Literature. First presented in 2000, the award commemorates the scholarly career and personal character of Lionel Basney. During more than three decades of teaching at Houghton College and Calvin College, this exceptional teacher, scholar, poet, and essayist remained steadfastly committed to CCL and its vision of a dynamic Christian engagement with literature and culture.

View recent Lionel Basney Award recipients.



The Margaret Patterson Hannay Service Award is given to a long-time member of the Conference on Christianity and Literature who has provided remarkable service to the society over a period of years. Criteria for selection include sustained membership in the CCL, service in one or more offices of the society, exemplary leadership, dedication to the core values of the CCL, and recognition in the larger scholarly world. The award will be given as the Board deems appropriate; there is no obligation to present the award annually. This award is given in honor of Dr. Margaret Patterson Hannay, former President of the Conference on Christianity and Literature, who was well known in the field of early modern studies and published more than fifty articles and seventeen books in her field.




To honor great artists and scholars who have enabled us to think more profoundly, more intelligently, more critically, and more self-critically about the relations between literature and Christian faith and practice. In honoring them, CCL affirms the value of the religious dimension in literature and scholarship and draws attention to the issues that guide the organization and its members' intellectual commitments.


The recipient of the award will meet the following criteria:


1. Must have served the profession of letters for a substantial number of years;

2. Must have produced a significant and mature body of written work, whether theoretical, critical, or creative;

Professional recognition

3. Must be recognized and respected in the larger professional community for scholarship or creative writing;


4. Must have enriched the understanding of the relation of Christianity and literature;

5. Must have contributed significantly to the dialogue among Christian scholars and between Christian scholars and the secular community of professionals.

Religious witness

6. All other things being equal, special consideration will be given to candidates who are explicitly associated with a Christian or Jewish religious community.


Any member of CCL may submit the name of a person to be considered for the award. All nominations are to be made in writing and submitted to the President no later than November 1. Each nomination should be accompanied by a brief letter of recommendation along with either a copy of the nominee's CV or an equivalent biographical sketch; the latter documents may be supplied in electronic form or as links to web sites containing the information. The CCL Board of Directors will consider the nominations and conclude the selection process at its annual meeting in early January. For a nominee to be selected for the award, that individual must receive an affirmative vote from at least 75% of the Board.


This is a competitive fellowship program open to members of the Conference on Christianity and Literature who demonstrate a need to travel to undertake their research and writing. Grants may be used to support scholarly research that will lead to the publication of an article or book-length study. They may also be used to support the writing of creative works of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction.

The maximum grant for travel, research, and writing will be $2000. The committee evaluating proposals may choose to award the entire amount to a single applicant or to divide the sum between two or more recipients.

The deadline for the submission of grant proposals is November 15.

To apply for a grant, please submit in electronic form (pdf or text file):

A cover sheet that includes your name and title, your postal address, email address, and phone number. In addition, the sheet should contain the title of your project and the location(s) to which you will travel to undertake it.

Along with the cover sheet, please include a clear, concise description of the work you propose to do. The proposal should contain the three following components:

1. A 1-2 page summary that highlights your goals and describes the significance of the work you intend to undertake. If you are planning to work on a scholarly project, please explain its significance by comparing your work to that of other scholars in your field and by indicating the importance of your research and writing to your own scholarly development. Should you be proposing to write a work of fiction or creative non-fiction, or a series of poems, please situate your project in relation to the work of other creative artists and within the context of your own previous work.

2. An updated c.v, including educational training, current and past academic appointments, scholarly or artistic publications, awards, and presentations.

3. A brief statement describing how the success of your project may be evaluated.

Applications must be no more than five pages in length, excluding the cover sheet; do not send additional materials.

Please send your electronic files as attachments to the following email address:

Dr. Carissa Turner Smith, 

Be sure to include the phrase “Travel Grant for Scholars and Writers” in the subject line of your message.

Award recipients will be notified in mid-late December.



Any paper presented at a regional conference may be submitted to the CCL undergraduate writing contest for that calendar year. Conference directors should publicize the opportunity to present papers and to submit work to the national contest to undergraduates in their region. Directors should submit the best undergraduate work (up to 3 critical and 3 creative papers) from the conference along with the conference report to the CCL Vice President, within two weeks of the conference’s conclusion. The VP will then forward the submissions to a committee for evaluation. Only papers presented at regional conferences are eligible for the contest. Contest winners will be selected by January 2 for work submitted the previous calendar year. Winners of best creative paper and best critical paper will be announced at the annual CCL luncheon and will each receive a $100 cash prize.


CCL Undergraduate Student Writing Contest Recipients:

2020 Danielle Chalker, Union University, “George MacDonald’s Sacramental Poetics”

2019 Garrett Mikulka, Lee University, “Incarnate Language: Means of Articulating the Ineffable”



The Conference on Christianity and Literature offers grants of up to $500 to help meet travel expenses and registration fees for graduate students and faculty to present accepted papers at regional CCL meetings. For more information, please click here.