The Australian Christian Book of the Year Award is given annually to an original book written by an Australian citizen. The award recognises and encourages excellence in Australian Christian writing. The ACBOTY Award carries a prize of $3,000 for the author, and a framed certificate for the author and publisher. Entries are judged with an eye to the: 

  • Original nature of the work.
  • Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
  • Design, layout, cover, text and illustrations.
  • Contribution that the book makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in the Australian situation and in the Australian market.

Entries are read and judged by a panel selected by the SparkLit Council.

2015 Winner SP

Captains of the Soul: A History of Australian Army Chaplains by Michael Gladwin

The letters and journals of both chaplains and soldiers animate this account of the work of chaplains in every theatre of war involving Australian troops. While the role of the chaplain has changed over time, the common task remains the ministry of God’s Word and the sacraments to soldiers, burying the dead and representing an alternative reality to the conflict, chaos and suffering. Increasingly unfashionable in some spheres of society, chaplains continue to be valued in proportion to the proximity of battle. Gladwin does not flinch from portraying chaplains who behaved disgracefully nor from facing up to the problem of fatalism amongst some Australian troops. However, acts of heroism by ‘the soldier without a gun’ abound and provide Christian communicators with a treasury of inspiring, home-grown stories. This is a history of national importance and an insight into the Australian character.

To read about the other eight books short-listed, visit