Realm Makers Reveals Finalists in 2022 Realm Awards for Best Christian-Made Fantasy

Record numbers of Christian creators entered their fantastical stories for the awards this July, judges said.
on Jun 20, 2022 · No comments

THE REALMSPHERE—Record numbers of Christian creators have finaled for their fantastical story entries in the 2022 Realm Awards.

Conference judges announced the finalists earlier this month. Creators finaled in eight categories of full-length novels as well as in a readers’ choice award (voted by fans) and cover design.

Authors and narrators reached the semifinals in several categories of audiobooks and short audio fiction. Meanwhile, as of June 4, judges were still reading submissions in short story categories, thanks to record-breaking numbers of entries.

Organizers will announce winners in all categories, plus a Book of the Year award, at this year’s Realm Awards banquet. That event will be hosted Friday, July 22 at the annual conference in Atlantic City, NJ. Hundreds of authors, writers, and other creators are expected to crowd the banquet hall, many in fantastical costumes, to celebrate the winners. More attendees are expected to watch online live-streaming of the event.

Realm Makers is the premier writers community for Christian authors of fantasy and science fiction. Members mingle and sharpen their creative skills year-round in the RealmSphere, a dedicated social network. Each summer, registrants gather in person for writers’ conferences, or watch livestreams of classes and other addresses. This year’s keynote speakers are bestselling novelists Tosca Lee, James L. Rubart, and C. J. Redwine. (Previous keynote speakers have included Frank E. Peretti, Brent Weeks, N. D. Wilson, Mary Weber, and Ted Dekker.)

Registration remains open for the conference, which is the tenth annual event since the first gathering of August 2013 in St. Louis.

Realm Awards novels

Debut novel

  • Coyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows by Robert Adauto (independently published)
  • House of Bastiion by K.L. Kolarich (Rogue Kite Publishing)
  • Operation Lionhearted by Maribeth Barber (independently published)
  • Recorder by Cathy McCrumb (Enclave Publishing)
  • The Sword in His Hand by J. J. Fischer (Ambassador International)

Epic/high fantasy

  • Evernigh by M. J. Padgett (MJ Padgett Books)
  • Of Fire and Ash by Gillian Bronte Adams (Enclave Escape)
  • House of Bastiion by K.L. Kolarich (Rogue Kite Publishing)
  • Kingdom Lost by Dawn Shipman (Elk Lake Publishing)

General fantasy

  • Power On by H. L. Burke (independently published)
  • Realms of Light by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads (Enclave Escape)
  • Shadow by Kara Swanson (Enclave Escape)
  • Silverblood by Jamie Foley (Fayette Press)
  • Wraithwood by Alyssa Roat (Mountain Brook Fire)

Science fiction

  • Elite by Kristen Young (Enclave Escape)
  • Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer (Enclave Publishing)
  • Operation Lionhearted by Maribeth Barber (independently published)
  • Recorder by Cathy McCrumb (Enclave Publishing)
  • Secrets in the Mist by Morgan Busse (Enclave Escape)

Paranormal, supernatural, horror

  • Forging Darkness by Julie Hall (independently published)
  • Mercury with Style by Steve Rzasa (Interstice Books)
  • Mina: Warrior in the Shadows by Deborah Cullins Smith (Ye Olde Dragon Books)

Young adult

  • Of Fire and Ash by Gillian Bronte Adams (independently published)
  • Power On by H. L. Burke (independently published)
  • Realms of Light by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads (Enclave Escape)
  • Secrets in the Mist by Morgan Busse (Enclave Escape)
  • Shadow by Kara Swanson (Enclave Escape)

Middle grade

  • The Conductor by Talia Prewette (independently published)
  • The Not-So-Chosen One by Tamara Grantham (Cedar Fort)
  • Sing to Me of Rain by E.B. Dawson (independently published)

Book of the year

Book of the Year finalists and the winner will be announced from the books listed above at the Realm Awards Ceremony on July 22, 2022.

Readers choice

  • A Thieving Curse by Selina R. Gonzalez (Wyvern Wing Press)
  • Of Fire and Ash by Gillian Bronte Adams (Enclave Escape)
  • Secrets in the Mist by Morgan L. Busse (Enclave Escape)
  • Shadow by Kara Swanson (Enclave Escape)
  • The Goblin and the Dancer by Allison Tebo (independently published)

Cover design

  • Crownkeeper by Anne Wheeler (Catherine Wheeler), cover by Stefanie Saw at Seventhstar Art
  • What Darkness Fears: An Anthology (Twenty Hills Publishing), cover by Psycat Digital Ink & Motion
  • On These Black Sands by Vanessa Rasanen (Crab Apple Books), cover by Maria Spada
  • Shadow by Kara Swanson (Enclave Escape), cover by Kirk DouPonce at Dog Eared Design
  • These War-Torn Hands by Emily Hayse (Blue Maverick Press), cover by James T. Egan at Bookfly Design

Realm Awards audiobooks

Science fiction, paranormal, supernatural, horror

  • Firebird by Kathy Tyers (Oasis Audio), narrated by Natasha Soudek
  • Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer (Oasis Audio), narrated by Adam Verner
  • Secrets in the Mist by Morgan Busse (Oasis Audio), narrated by Taylor Meskimen
  • Stealing Embers by Julie Hall (independently published), narrated by Vanessa Moyen and Adam Gold


  • Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams (Oasis Audio), narrated by Ann Richardson
  • Rosefire by Carolyn Clare Givens (Bandersnatch Books, LLC), narrated by Carolyn Clare Givens
  • Wraithwood by Alyssa Roat (Mountain Brook Ink), narrated by Katie Marchant
  • Wolf Soldier by James R. Hannibal (Oasis Audio), narrated by Adam Verner

Realm Awards short audio fiction

Audio stories under 15 minutes

  • “Bad Help is Hard to Find” by Todd Hertz (Havok Story Podcast), narrated by Aud Andrews
  • “Dragon’s Spite” by Edward Sand (Havok Story Podcast), narrated by Shogo Miyakita
  • “The Toughest Crowd” by Beka Gremikova (Havok Story Podcast), directed by Magnus Carlssen, performed by David Izquierdo, Aud Andrews, Ginger Sue, Maximilian Conteras, Magnus Carlssen, Dallis MacKenzie, and Shogo Miyakita

Audio stories over 15 minutes

  • “The Architect” by Ben Kempf (Somewhat Significant Audio Productions), directed by Benjamin Kempf, performed by Peter Fazzari, Jonathan Cooke, Trisha Rose, Brian Kirk, Boyd Barrett, Benjamin Krispin, Marc LaPointe
  • “The Final Line” by A. K. Preston, (Untold Podcast), narrated by Kristin L. Norman
  • “The Warehouse Tour” by K.A. Cummins (independently published), narrated by Keira Grace

Audio stories under two hours

  • Blind Date with a Supervillain by H. L. Burke (ACX), narrated by Kylah Williams
  • The Book of Evie by Jean Pascal (independently published), narrated by Kate Rudd
  • Met By Midnight by Janeen Ippolito (ACX), narrated by Kate Prendergast
  • Snow Globe Travelers: Samuel’s Legacy by K.A. Cummins (Eleonora Press), narrated by Nancy Peterson

Realm Awards short fiction

Novella (under 30,000 words)

  • Cut to the Heart by Janeen Ippolito (independently published)
  • Dusk Crier by E.J. Kitchens (Brier Road Press)
  • Mercury off Course by Steve Rzasa (Interstice Books)
  • Reunion by H. L. Burke (independently published)

Novelette (between 10–30,000 words)

  • Awakened by T.E. Bradford (Elk Lake Publishing)
  • Basilica Obscura by Jason Karpf (Elk Lake Publishing)
  • The Beauty of Magic by Rachel Harris (independently published)
  • Daughter of the Beastly Beauty by Michelle Levigne (Ye Olde Dragon Books)

Realm Awards short story (1-10K) semifinalists1

  • “After Happil Ever” by Kristiana Sfirlea (Ye Olde Dragon Books)
  • “Backlash Frontlash Whiplash” by Bria Burton (Soul Attitude Press)
  • “Behind Walls” by Amy Earls (independently published)
  • “The Clock-Work Heart” by Kat Heckenbach (Dream Forge Press)
  • “Forbidden Library” by Anne J. Hill (Twenty Hills Publishing)
  • “Haven” by Lauren Smyth (Ambassador International)
  • “The Headless Henwoman and the Kissing Curse” by Kristiana Sfirlea (Twenty Hills Publishing)
  • “The Inksmith” by Katherine Briggs (Mysterion)
  • “Possession” by L.A. Thornhill (Twenty Hills Publishing)
  • “Shadow of the Cinchona Grove” by Cassandra Hamm (Ye Olde Dragon Books)

Realm Awards flash fiction (under 1,000 words) semifinalists

  • “The Art You See” by Kat Heckenbach (Havok Publishing)
  • “Captain of the Nebula” by Jane Maree (Havok Publishing)
  • “The Color of Grasshoppers” by Crystal Grant (Havok Publishing)
  • “CT 1109” by Rachel Harris (Havok Publishing)
  • “The Curse of Medusa” by Artfitch (Havok Publishing)
  • “The Glasswright” by A.C. Williams (Havok Publishing)
  • “A Home for Nova” by Hannah Carter (Havok Publishing)
  • “Potts & Pumpkins” by Hannah Carter (Havok Publishing)
  • “Jester’s Maze” by Lincoln Reed (Havok Publishing)
  • “The Ripple Effect” by Andra Marquardt (Havok Publishing)

About Realm Makers: Realm Makers began in 2013, and from small origins has grown to serve thousands of Christian fiction authors online and at annual conferences. Faculty members have included bestselling novelists such as Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Brent Weeks, and N. D. Wilson. Realm Makers exists to help creative Christians in their journeys, providing education in craft, connections with industry professionals, and strategies for finding readers who love these kinds of stories. Meanwhile, the Realm Makers Bookstore offers a curated collection of speculative fiction from Christian authors, traveling to events such as homeschool conventions and renaissance fairs.

  1. Due to record-breaking numbers of submissions for 2022, Realm Makers judges are still judging some of our short story categories. We will update our listing as soon as the results from the final rounds of judging are in. Thank you for your patience.
Lorehaven helps fans of all ages explore fantastical stories for God’s glory. Find the newest fiction for young readers plus teens+YA and adults. Get articles and podcasts that engage the best Christian-made fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond. Subscribe free to join our Guild for monthly book quests!

What say you?