the shape of leadership

Evangelical Press Association Gives Influence High Marks

Magazine receives nine awards, including top honor

Rick Knoth on May 4, 2021

Influence magazine garnered nine awards, the most in its six-year publishing history, during the annual Evangelical Press Association (EPA) convention, held April 27–30. The EPA awards contest honored the best work done in Christian publishing during the 2020 calendar year.

Originally scheduled to be held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the conference went virtual because of lingering COVID-19 concerns. The 2020 convention was canceled altogether due to the pandemic.

The awards contest is divided into two categories: Higher Goals in Christian Journalism and Awards of Excellence. EPA’s Higher Goals competition honors individual, original aspects of a publication, such as writing, photography, or design.

Meanwhile, the prestigious Awards of Excellence competition honors overall excellence in Christian publishing. Judges review the entire publication, including writing quality, content choices, imagery, and overall design. Entrants in the Awards of Excellence compete against peer publications.

Influence received three first-place awards, one second-place award, and four fifth-place awards in the Higher Goals division.

Influence lives up to its name. It invites readers in and keeps them reading.”
— EPA judge

Honored with a first-place award in the Cause of the Year (Christian Citizenship) category was Don Everts’ article, “Neighboring for the Common Good.” The judge commented, “A really fine piece on what neighbor love looks like in the face of hostility; it’s quite good.”

A first-place award was also given to Influence Executive Editor George P. Wood, in the Interview Article category for his piece, “From Necessity to Opportunity.” The judge said, “The writer was deft in handling multiple sources on the multi-faceted topic of being a bivocational pastor. His interview skills rewarded the reader with thoughtful responses from his subjects, while also using his pen to craft his own memorable lines. Well done.”

The final first-place award was in the Infographic category. The judge said, “Best overall integration of content, design and data with a clear message.”

The second-place award was in the Typography and Lettering category for an entry titled, “Create Positive Change.” The categories in which Influence won fifth place were Evangelism Article; General Article: Short; First-Person Article; and Original Art: Digital/Mixed Media.

To round out the awards, Influence received the Award of Excellence, the highest honor given to a publication, in the Christian Ministry category. The judge said, “A well-presented publication, graphically and textually. Influence lives up to its name. It invites readers in and keeps them reading.”

EPA is the world’s largest professional organization for the evangelical periodical publishing industry. It is comprised of over 200 Christian magazines, newsletters, newspapers, and content-rich websites from across North America.

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