Excellence in Publishing Award
The goal of the "Excellence in Publishing Awards" is to recognize the best in Catholic publishing
We recognize the first, second, and third place winners in the following categories. A minimum of 3 titles is required for a category to be judged. When only 3 titles are submitted, we award only first place.
- Children's Books (3 sub-categories)
- General Interest
- Music (3 sub-categories)
- Resources for Liturgy
- Resources for Ministry
In addition, the "Resource of the Year" is selected from among the first-place winners in the above categories by a separate judging panel.
Cost: Cost per title is based on the total number of titles submitted.
- For 1-4 titles: $125 per entry (ACP Members); $165 per entry (Non-ACP Members)
- For 5-9 titles: $105 per entry (ACP Members); $135 per entry (Non-ACP Members)
- For 10 or more titles: $95 per entry (ACP Members); $125 per entry (Non-ACP Members)
Publishers may submit multiple books.
Publishers who are Foundation Members at the time of submission will receive one free submission for every five (5) paid submission. If you are a Foundation Member, use the product "Excellence in Publishing Award--Foundation Member 5th Title Free" for every 5th title that you submit.
Payment may be submitted online.
How Many Books: Please send three (3) copies of each title that you are submitting. If you are submitting music, please include a link to a recording, if available.
- Non-music resources like books must have a copyright date of 2021.
- Music resources must have a copyright date of 2019-2021.
Time Frame: The deadline for submitting books for 2021 is past. Finalists will be announced in early April. Winners will be announced in June.
- Each category will have a three-person judging panel.
- Judges are former industry employees, members of related professional associations, or well-respected ministry practitioners.
- A special effort is made to ensure as diverse a judging pool as possible.
Though the categories below reference “books” as the object of the submission, submissions are largely format neutral with the exception of the music categories. Resources should be submitted based on the content of the resource, e.g., multimedia liturgical item would go under Resources for Liturgy. Compilations of previously published works are not accepted in any category.
Books in this category include biographies or autobiographies of Catholics whose work has made a valuable contribution to the Church and the world on a local level (through a ministry, e.g.) or a universal level (as a member of the Church’s hierarchy, e.g.) or whose example, teachings, or writings enrich Catholic spirituality and have had a wide-reaching influence.
Children/Youth: Picture Books
Books in this category are primarily written for young children who are learning to read. These titles may cover specific aspects or general information about the Catholic faith, the Church, or Catholicism; will be heavily illustrated.
Children/Youth: Young Readers
Books in this category are primarily written for children from reading age to age 11. These titles may cover specific aspects or general information about the Catholic faith, the Church, or Catholicism. This category does not include resources for preparation for specific sacraments. (See Resources for Liturgy.)
Books in this category are primarily written for youth between ages 12-18. These titles may provide instruction on specific aspects or general information about the Catholic faith, the Church, or Catholicism. These titles may include fiction or non-fiction with Catholic subject matter specifically directed to this age group. This category does not include resources for preparation for specific sacraments. (See Resources for Liturgy.)
Books in this category include biographies, Church history, collections of essays by theologians or important Catholic thinkers; books related to papal encyclicals or other Church documents; books that instruct readers on specific aspects of the faith or provide general information about the Catholic faith, the Church, or other aspects of Catholicism; books that connect an element or theme from popular culture to prayer or faith; and books on a wide-ranging variety of topics, rooted in faith, such as books on death and dying from a Catholic perspective, parenting books, and so forth.
This category includes devotional, spiritual, and meditation books and books on saints, holy people, and stories related to people living their faith. Unlike books on similar subjects in the general interest category, books in this group are intended to provide readers with guidance and inspiration that can compel them to make positive changes in their lives that will draw them closer to their faith and to God.
Music: Song of the Year
The award for "Song of the Year" honors liturgical compositions that address specified themes. For 2021, the theme is Justice. The text of the hymn or song must stand out among others for its theological depth, poetic beauty, and inspiration while the musical setting must be accessible, original, and reflect a seamless marriage with the text. Theme would vary by year. Possible future themes: Advent Song of the Year; Lenten Song of the Year, Psalm Setting of the Year, etc.
Music: Distinguished Mass Setting
The award for "Distinguished Mass Setting" honors a complete setting published in the past three years and intended for use in Roman Catholic liturgy. A "Distinguished Mass Setting" should have the flexibility to be used throughout the year, including Sundays, feast days, and other occasions. This setting should also be accessible to the entire parish music ministry.
Music: Distinguished Catholic Music Composer of the Year
The award for "Distinguished Composer of the Year" honors outstanding artistic achievement in the area of music composition for liturgy, worship, or personal prayer. This individual must be someone who has demonstrated excellence in the skill of music composition, have a body of work that reflects sound theology, and includes at least one composition published within the past 18-24 months.
These books focus on formal or informal prayer, e.g., day-by-day reflection books, seasonal reflection books, devotionals and reflection aides.Examples include praying with Scripture, 365 days of prayers, praying with the saints, books on lectio divina, as well as books instruct in specific prayer practices like journaling or meditation.
These books are largely narrative in form and structured in chapters often along a specific theme. Examples include the works of authors like Richard Rohr, Julian of Norwich, or Thomas Merton.
Resources for Liturgy
This category includes any book that serves as a formation and preparation tools in parish or school ministry for sacrament preparation, liturgy, and worship. Examples of books and products in this category include Liturgy Training Publications’ Guide for Cantors, lector training resources, and sacramental preparation.
Resources for Ministry
This category includes any book that serves as a faith formation tool in parish ministry for catechesis (other than basal programs), adult faith formation, and for use in enrichment programs. Also included are resources for parish ministers. Examples of books and products in this category include Loyola’s The Catechist’s Toolbox, OSV’s Faith Fusion, and RCL’s Foundations in Faith RCIA program. Basal religion programs are excluded from this category.
This category includes books about Scripture, whether scholarly treatments of particular books or collections of books of the Bible, in the vein of Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament or Daniel Harrington’s Interpreting the New Testament. Books that provide guided meditations using Scripture or that follow a "praying with Scripture” format are excluded, as these would be a part of the prayer and spirituality category. Bibles are excluded from this category.
This category includes books from any awards category (inspiration, biography, prayer and spirituality, etc.) originally published in Spanish for the U.S. market. Examples include Scripture study texts, biographies (of Hispanic or non-Hispanic figures), books on prayer or spiritual reflection, liturgy resources, and books for parish ministry.
This category includes books on the topic of Catholic theology, whether scholarly monographs or more popular treatments of theological aspects of Catholic teaching on, for example, the sacraments, the nature of the Church, etc. Books that are more specifically catechetical in nature belong more properly in the "Resources for Ministry” category or basal curriculum category.