Briercrest alumna receives literary award

Posted: July 4, 2012

Media Release





MEDICINE HAT, AB, Canada — Briercrest alumna, Deb Elkink has received a major award in a national writing competition for her debut novel, The Third Grace.

The contest received a record number of almost 360 entries from writers in eight provinces. The 35 award categories included non-fiction books, novels, articles, columns, poems, blogs and song lyrics. The Third Grace was listed as a finalist in one category of The Word Guild’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards.

The Word Guild consists of more than 325 writers and editors across Canada who write from a Christian perspective and publish work in a variety of genres.

Elkink attended the June 13th black-tie awards gala held at World Vision’s headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario—the event honouring the work of Canadian writers who are Christian. Elkink hoped to win in her category, but the novelist did not expect to receive the prestigious $5,000 Grace Irwin Award. The award is Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian, this year celebrating the top pick of 53 short-listed books published in 2011.    


“To begin with, I was delighted to learn that The Third Grace was shortlisted in the contemporary novel category I entered,” Elkink said. “But I was truly astonished at the gala when it was named the overall book of the year! The feedback I’ve been getting on The Third Grace lets me know that readers are connecting with my characters, enjoying the plot, and finding that my message applies to their own lives. It’s lovely to receive this substantial recognition for my first novel, and I’m encouraged to finish writing the next one.”


In her book, Elkink weaves the fictional story of a big-city costume designer who grew up as a Mennonite farm girl and is now on her way to Paris in search of an old French boyfriend and her own misplaced identity. (Read more on her website: