Canadian Historical Novelist Connie Brummel Crook - Wins Award For Career Achievement

Writer Author  The Word Guild
Christian Press Release : Ministry News  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Tarr Award marks 20 years of recognizing major career contributions to Christian writing and publishing in Canada

Mississauga, Ont.—The twentieth annual Leslie K. Tarr Award for outstanding career achievement, sponsored by Tyndale University College and Seminary, will be presented to Connie Brummel Crook of Peterborough, Ont. Crook is the author of nine young adult novels and three children’s picture books. All her titles portray Canadian history and are widely used in public school classrooms and libraries.

The presentation will take place on June 11 at a black-tie Awards Gala in Mississauga, Ont.

Named in honour of its first recipient, the late Leslie K. Tarr—a Toronto journalist, editor and teacher—the Tarr Award celebrates a major career contribution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada. Previous Tarr Award winners include Christian writing pioneers Grace Irwin, Margaret Epp and E. Margaret Clarkson; Janette Oke, whose inspirational novels have sold 28 million copies; author Rudy Wiebe and poet Margaret Avison, both two-time Governor General’s Literary Award winners.

Crook taught English in Ontario’s public secondary schools for 30 years. In 1988, with her family grown, she took early retirement and began her second career. She wanted to “bring to life our great Canadian Christian heritage” through novels and dramatized biographies.

Citing the examples of several of her subjects, Crook explained, “Nellie McClung is known as a great suffragette leader and a famous author, but few realize she was a Christian. Laura Secord is recognized today as a name for candy. Few know she was a brave heroine, and even fewer that she was a Christian.”

Crook’s publishing ambitions were motivated by attending her first God Uses Ink Christian writers’ conference in 1989 (now known as Write! Canada), where she met Donald G. Bastian, then managing editor of Stoddart Publishing.

In 1991, after several revisions, her first novel Flight was published by Stoddart. This tale of intrigue, set in the late 1700s during the American Revolutionary War, portrayed the escape to Canada of the Loyalist Meyers family, who later founded the town of Belleville, Ontario.

“It’s been inspiring to watch Connie highlight the history of Christian settlers through her writing—especially during a time when publishers have been focused on stories that deal with contemporary subjects,” commented Bastian, who is now publisher of BPS Books. “Connie has stayed true to her muse and her vision, and we’re the better for it.”

Crook’s 12 titles, most of which have won awards, all remain in print. Her storytelling skills have garnered many positive reviews and fan letters from young readers. She continues to work on new writing projects.

The Word Guild Canadian Christian Writing Awards have been greatly expanded since first presented in 1988. Along with the Tarr Award, 30 other awards for the most outstanding books, articles, poetry and scripts published during the past year will be presented.

The Gala will be hosted by Herbie Kuhn, popular speaker and in-house announcer for the Toronto Raptors basketball team. The twentieth anniversary celebration, to which the public is invited, will include a reception, book signings, and the formal launch of Hot Apple Cider, an anthology featuring 30 Canadian authors who are Christian.

The awards are sponsored by The Word Guild, whose membership consists of more than 325 writers and editors across Canada who write from a Christian perspective and publish work in a variety of genres. For more information, see

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