​The story of an Upper Beaconsfield woman who was left with life-threatening burns to 85 per cent of her body in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires was named the Australian Christian Book of the Year on 8 August.
 
Ann Fogarty and Anne Crawford received the award for their book Forged with Flames: A True Story of Courage and Survival, about Ms Fogarty’s experiences after the fires.
 
The judges described the book as a “distinctively Australian saga”.
 
“Ann brings to her writing the same humour, honesty and courage with which she suffered the pain, doubt and despair,” they said. “The hope forged by this extreme experience is shared with simplicity and an open heart. It is profoundly comforting to follow her growing assurance of God’s presence and loving care. Ann’s story is compelling, unforgettable and inspiring.”
 
Second prize was awarded to Stephen Judd, Anne Robinson and Felicity Errington for Driven by Purpose: Charities that Make the Difference.
 
Director of Anglican Media Melbourne Roland Ashby received third prize for his book A Faith to Live By: What an Intelligent, Compassionate and Authentic Christian Faith Looks Like, published by Mosaic Press.  The judges described the book as “a reasoned, honest and expansive response to the roar of the new atheism and an antidote to the silence of the Christian cringe”: a book in which “faith in Jesus Christ emerges as real, adult and vital”.
 
The Australian Christian Book of the Year Award, held at St Alfred’s Anglican Church Blackburn North, is given annually to an original book written by an Australian and published by an Australian publisher. The Award recognises and celebrates excellence in Australian Christian writing.
 
Matthew Pullar won the Young Australian Christian Writer Award for writers aged under 30 for his Imperceptible Arms: A Memoir in Poems, and Alex Chi was named Australian Christian Teen Writer of the Year for Hello God … It’s Me.
 

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