Several book awards are presented by JWHA each year at its annual conference.

Judges select the best nominated books (privileging works that are most relevant to Community of Christ history, regardless of the time period they encompass) based on the following criteria:

  • Books include substantive content about Community of Christ history or other related denominations in the Latter Day Saint movement.
  • Books published in the calendar year (January 1 – December 31) prior to the award.
  • Clear research methodology with a knowledgeable approach to the subject material, a clearly stated thesis, and well-developed and well-supported argumentation with a balanced approach, particularly on points of controversy.
  • Factual and accurate documentation with corroborating source material—including an appropriate familiarity and use of primary and secondary sources—and care to position the argument in the broader historical context, religious studies, and national/international history where relevant (i.e. footnotes, endnotes, appendices, bibliography, index).
  • Well written (clear, concise, readable) with appropriate attention to organization, transitional elements, and interesting and specific supporting details.
  • While a book may be considered in multiple categories, no book may receive more than one award.

Best Documentary History

Documentary-editing volumes are considered based on scholarly standards of transcription, annotation, and document contextualization. The published document(s) should deal with topics of the restoration and particularly with Community of Christ history. Annotation, introductions, and other resource material should support the documents and be of the highest scholarly quality. Selection criteria should be clearly and logically followed in cases of collections of documents.

Best Biography

Books based on the life of a single individual or family will be considered for the best biography award. Though biographical works are largely about telling an individual’s life story, the JWHA awards committee encourages works that place the individual within the larger historical narrative, providing contextual information about the individual’s life. The same rigorous, scholarly standards looked for in other works will be sought after in biographies.

Best Anthology

Articles within anthologies, edited collections, or collections of essays are normally considered on that article’s individual merit. However, the JWHA awards committee also considers entire volumes based on merit and academic standards. Committee members look for a logical thematic approach to the articles within the volume, in addition to historiographical contribution.

Review Process

A review committee of JWHA members individually evaluate books based on the above criteria on an annual basis.

The committee gladly accepts nominations of works meeting the above criteria. Submit your nominations through our online form before the deadline, April 6, 2024.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the awards committee at Thank you for your nominations.