The 2017 Excellence in Editing Awards were held on June 24 at the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference in La Mirada, California. Out of dozens of entries, seven books won the EIE Award. On PEN Tips, we will be featuring the award-winning books, along with the authors and editors.

Our first EIE Award spotlight is The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents by Jane S. Daly, edited by Mick Silva, and published by Focus on the Family/Tyndale.

Christi McGuire, director of the Christian Editor Connection, which hosts the annual EIE Awards, interviewed author Jane Daly and editor Mick Silva.

Author Jane S. Daly

Jane, how did you develop the idea for this book?  

After I wrote my first book, I was in the midst of caring for my ailing father. I thought if I was going through this season, surely others were too. I asked friends and acquaintances if they felt overwhelmed by the issues surrounding watching their parents age, and I received a resounding YES. It seemed like everyone I knew was in my position.

What did you enjoy the most about the writing process? 

It forced me to dig deep and look at issues I hadn’t been aware of in my relationships with my brothers.

What did you struggle with the most during the writing process?

Ha, ha—see above! The Lord used the writing process to clear out some gunk in my thinking, and it was difficult to face.

What tips can you give authors about working with freelance editors? 

Find someone you like and trust. Don’t be afraid to interview more than one person. I created a list of questions for the editors I interviewed, and we chatted over the phone. Ask for recommendations from friends and other writers. Don’t be afraid to discuss price, as this process can be a huge expense.

What does winning the Excellence in Editing Award mean to you?

I am grateful to have won because it gave me the chance to honor Mick, who made this book shine. I couldn’t have done it without him. I LOVED being able to give him the credit for being an excellent editor.


Editor Mick Silva

Mick, how did you become connected with the author?

It was through a mutual friend. I remember loving her writing sample and thinking it’d make a great book for Focus. I’d worked there for many years and they largely trained me in what to look for—a solid concept, engaging, conversational writing, and a strong network of support. Jane was the total package.

What do you enjoy the most about the editing process?

Oh gosh, can I say everything? I’m endlessly inspired by the editing process and wish there were more hours in the day. There’s the teaching aspect, of course, which is really an extension of the relationship you gain through reading and talking weekly. We revel a bit about books we’re reading and share our joy and excitement for capturing ideas in clear, compelling language. It’s a remarkable gift to get to shepherd so many brilliant minds and God-haunted stories.

What tips can you give other freelance editors about working with authors?

This will sound strange, but cherish the whole messy, unresolved, frankly tedious gestation of that book. It’s got to be given priority—not your ideas or the author’s vision or even readers, though those are important. The book has to reveal what it needs to be. Only prayer and the persistence of a certain biblical widow can make that fledgling sparrow sprout wings and add its unique voice to the ever-expanding conversation. As editor, you get to hold hostage for a limited time all that power and energy and vitality that book is going to have in many lives. Cherish it—it’ll be time to let go sooner than you’d like.

What do you wish authors knew about working with freelance editors?

Good question. Initially, I always tell people I’m not running a charity. I’ve got plenty to do and I’m not your mom. I don’t wipe noses or clean up your messes, and I’m certainly not doing this for my mental health. We need to set a schedule and stick to it or it’ll cost extra. You can have fast, cheap, or good, so decide which one you want most. After that’s out of the way, we commiserate about how hard this book stuff is. Editors can be the most generous, friendly, engaging, and intelligent people, aside from second-grade teachers, who are God’s perfect people.

What does working on an award-winning book mean to you?

Hopefully, more amazing clients! (Not more amazing than Jane, of course.) Also, fame, fortune, and bragging rights. Although I’d settle for working with Jane again. I’m honored and touched by the award and certainly there are many editors who work behind the scenes that deserve awards for their tireless work. Mostly, I’m grateful for the recognition of Jane, her excellent book, the Christian editing field, and the inspiring art of editing.

Thanks, Jane and Mick! And congrats again on winning the 2017 EIE Award!

About the Author

Jane S. Daly is a Christian author, columnist, and speaker. Since 2008 she’s had articles published in Compass Magazine, Gospel Publishing House LIVE, Covenant Home Altar, and Splickety Magazine. She has a bi-weekly column in her local paper, The Grapevine Independent, covering Chamber of Commerce and other community events. She is a member of Inspire Christian Writers, Oregon Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers Association, and Christian Author’s Network. Her website is

About the Editor

Mick Silva is a freelance editor with nearly 20 years’ publishing experience and an advisor to several bestselling authors, agents, and publishers. He writes a weekly blog of inspiration for writers and lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Sheri, and their two daughters. His website is

About the Book

Caring for elderly parents is challenging. It’s a season of life that requires grace and strength that can only come from God. In The Caregiving Season, Jane Daly shares personal caregiving stories, offering practical advice to help you honor your aging parents well and deepen your personal relationship with Christ along the journey. It is available on Amazon.




Enter the EIE Awards!

Are you the author, editor, or publisher of a 2017 published book? Submit it for the 2018 Excellence in Editing Award! The Christian Editor Connection wants to honor the teams behind well-written and well-edited books and is proud to announce our third annual Excellence in Editing Award.

This award celebrates newly released books that are superbly written, well edited, and published by a CBA publisher or self-published by a Christian author.

The CEC Excellence in Editing Award is open to all books published in hardcover or paperback in 2017. Books must be written in English, have been released in North America, and contain a Christian worldview.

The publication teams (authors, editors, publishers) behind the EIE award-winning books will be honored for their dedication and work and may mention this honor in their marketing, promotion, and publicity. The most valuable aspect of the award is its use as a book sales stimulator.

Visit for more information and to submit your entry. Deadline is December 31, 2017.