Author, columnist Wiseman wins 2009 Tarr award for career achievement

Ray Wise­man, 75, of Fergus, will receive the 21st annual Leslie K. Tarr Award for outstanding career achievement.

The award was presented on Wednesday at The Word Guild awards gala in Missis­sauga.

Tarr was a Toronto jour­nalist, editor, and teacher. The award celebrates a career con­tri­bution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada. Previous recipients include auth­­or Rudy Wiebe and poet Margaret Avison, both two-time Governor General’s Liter­ary award winners, and Janette Oke, whose inspira­tional nov­els have sold over 28 million copies.

Wiseman, who writes a weekly column for The Well­ington Advertiser, has writ­ten a novel, seven non-fic­tion books, ten technical manuals and hun­dreds of Newspaper col­umns. Along with Anna, his wife of 53 years, he runs a manuscript-critiquing business.

Wiseman finds “tremen­dous satisfaction in being able to help writers improve their work and get published.”

Several of the books he has critiqued have won awards, including Alan Reynolds’ work on Christian apologetics, A Troubled Faith.

Wiseman said Anna, who reads every­thing he writes be­fore it goes to print, is integral to his success. “We comple­ment each other. I’m the one with the creative talent. She’s the one with good admi­nistrative, organizational and proofreading skills.”

Don Ranney, a former or­tho­paedic surgeon and mis­sion­ary who co-authored When Cobras Laugh with Wise­man, said, “He critiqued everything I wrote, but did it in a gentle way.” He said his medical writing has also improved, thanks to Wiseman’s tutelage.

Wiseman was forced to leave school in grade 9 to help support his family. But he con­tinued his education as a ma­ture student, and first be­came an electronics technician and later discovered his writing skills while at Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan.

In 1982 Rogers Engineering asked him to take charge of its technical writing and publica­tions, and he then edited a mag­a­zine and wrote several biog­ra­phies of world Christian lead­ers.  He has earned two bachelor degrees, has visited more than 30 countries, has served as a missionary overseas and a pastor in Canada.