Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

The Christy Awards make another major mistake…

May 26th, 2013 | Awards, Conferences, Current Affairs | 36 Comments

So, if you haven’t heard the news, I’ve been asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Christy Awards. Yes — me. Chip MacGregor, literary agent. I’m fairly certain this was a clerical error, but it’s exactly this sort of thing that causes people to shake their heads at the decline of Solid American Values in publishing. Next thing you know, they’ll be having an agent serve as the Master of Ceremonies…

Oh, wait. It turns out they also asked my good buddy Steve Laube to serve as the emcee. He is also a longtime literary agent. Um… Well this just goes to show that anyone can make a mistake. I mean, first they forgot to give Jerry Jenkins a Christy Award, now they hire a couple of agents to man the microphone. I’m telling you, we need a blue-ribbon panel to check into this. (Heads will roll.)

If you’re not familiar, the Christy Awards are really the premier award for those who write inspirational fiction. They’ve been around about 15 years, and are named after Catherine Marshall’s seminal novel, Christy. Originally created by a dozen CBA publishers, the awards intended to honor Ms Marshall’s contribution to the field of faith-infused fiction, as well as providing opportunities to recognize the best novels and novelists in the genre. I’ve long been a fan of the Christy Awards, and have represented dozens of finalists and several Christy winners (including last year’s winners Mindy Starns Clark, Leslie Gould, and Ann Tatlock). We have several finalists again this year in the different categories — which you can find by going to .

So I’m completely surprised and flattered that they’d invite me to speak, even if the person on the other end of the line MEANT to call Chip Kelly, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and, like me, a former Oregon Duck. (Don’t worry — I get that a lot.) But it’s too late now. They asked, I said yes, and they’re stuck with me. The event takes place Monday, June 24, at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St Louis. It’s always a fun time. And yes, I’ll be wearing my kilt.

Lovely RITA and other awards — MacGregor Literary Winners at 2012 RWA Conference

July 31st, 2012 | Author News, Deals, Awards, Conferences | 15 Comments

It’s always a big deal to win an award. We know authors can go a long way on recognition. And they aren’t the only ones.

When we agents have the honor of being present when awards are presented to our authors, it adds a huge measure of joy to the work we do on their behalf. And often, we are the lucky ones to receive awards for them.

I travelled to RWA last week, but knew I couldn’t arrive in time on Thursday last week to attend the Faith, Hope & Love chapter meeting at which our author Carla Stewart was up for an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award … but I had a feeling she’d win, and so asked Amanda to be there just in case. And YES!! Carla won for her novel BROKEN WINGS, edited by Christina Boys, (Faithwords/Hachette). Of course it’s a team effort around here — but thanks, Amanda, for accepting. We’re so proud to represent Carla and looking forward to more continued success together, to more of her lovely stories about bygone times, and more of those equally lovely Faithwords covers! Go team Carla!

As the conference progressed and the RITA AWARDS approached, I had that feeling again. Really. It’s not like I actually KNEW we’d win again this year, but we had had a winner last year, and did have three finalists in the Inspirational Romance category this year: author Jenny B. Jones for her Thomas Nelson release SAVE THE DATE (editor, Natalie Hanemann) and Irene Hannon for her Revell title, DEADLY PURSUIT (Jennifer Leep, editor) and Serena Miller for THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLAWAY, Revell (Vicki Crumton, editor) so, the odds were good. Thankfully I heeded the little voice telling me to jot a few key notes and be ready to accept on Serena’s behalf for her debut novel. Granted, she was up against some heavy hitters and long time authors, but … I just had that feeling.
Still, I was a bit stunned when DiAnn Mills announced “and the winner of the RITA for Inspirational Romance is THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLAWAY by Serena Miller”  It just made me want to … giggle. I think I jumped up and down, to tell you the truth. I don’t remember weaving my way through the crowd, or making my way to the stage. I was too busy trying to get my urge to bust out laughing under control. Seriously. I was totally overjoyed and so pleased for Serena I could barely compose myself.
I did, though. I took a deep breath, stepped up to the podium, thanked DiAnn for helping me not drop RITA (she’s heavy!!), expressed how grateful we are to work with such a fabulous author (Serena … now do you believe me?), thanked Vicki Crumpton for recognizing Serena’s talent, RWA for paying attention to inspirational fiction (clearly it’s not the only kind of fiction we represent, but it is an important one — and we are honored to represent so many fine authors who write in this inspired category) and marched off the stage to go call Serena feeling incredibly happy for her, and insanely victorious for us all.
And then I realized, about halfway down the stairs, that I hadn’t remembered to mention my own name or acknowledge the team at MacGregor Literary. Really? Seriously? Ugh. So much for being composed.
Oh well. Would you humor me for a moment while I take a quick moment to boast?
I said a few years ago when I started agenting that I felt I had good instincts — but that we’d just have to wait and see. I have continued to believe this, and I work hard for the projects and authors I believe in.  But it takes a team — and it feels good to be on the winning one, truly.
Would you please join me in celebrating our success alongside our winning authors and my fellow agents at MacGregor Literary.
Way to go team!!!
Click here for a complete list of this year’s RWA RITA (and Golden Heart) winners.