01 Jun

Announcing the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

Thirty-five Atlantic Canadian Books Nominated for 2020 Atlantic Book Awards

The Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to announce the shortlists for the thirteen different book prizes that make up the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards. The nominated titles represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada—everything from poetry to illustrated children’s books to adult fiction and non-fiction. The full shortlist of nominated titles is printed below and is available at www.atlanticbookawards.ca.

There are five double award nominees on this year’s shortlist, including writer Terry Doyle for his debut novel DIG (Breakwater Books); activist/author Gemma Hickey for

Almost Feral (Breakwater Books); acclaimed author Ami McKay for her non-fiction work Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate (Knopf Canada); first-time novelist Amy Spurway for Crow (Goose Lane Editions); and former Halifax Poet Laureate Rebecca Thomas for the children’s book, I’m Finding My Talk (Nimbus Publishing).

The 2020 Atlantic Book Awards includes one of Canada’s biggest book prizes, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, valued at $25,000. This year’s Raddall Award nominees are Halifax lawyer Jaime Burnet for her debut novel,  Crocuses Hatch from Snow (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint); Newfoundland’s Michael Crummey for The Innocents (Doubleday Canada); and Nova Scotia author and filmmaker Shandi Mitchell for The Waiting Hours (Viking Canada).

Twenty-five of the thirty-nine nominations are for books published by Atlantic publishers. Nova Scotia’s Nimbus Publishing/Vagrant Press leads with eight shortlisted titles, while Newfoundland’s Breakwater Books has five, including two of the three nominated titles for the APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award. Other regional publishers are:  Running the Goat Books and ISER Books (NL); Gaspereau Press, Nevermore Press, Fernwood Publishing (NS); Island Studies Press (PEI); and Goose Lane Editions and Bouton D’or Acadie (NB).

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the 2020 Atlantic Book Festival and awards gala, initially planned for this month, is now taking place online through the month of June, with the winners announced on June 30.   Details will be posted shortly at  www.atlanticbookawards.ca and through social media as they become available. 

The 2020 Pioneer Award, which will go to someone from Nova Scotia who has made a substantial contribution to the literary life of the region will be postponed until 2021, when it will be awarded in person. The 2021 awards gala is currently slated to take place on May 13 at Halifax Central Library.

The board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. The 2020 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Halifax Public Libraries and the sponsorship of Alliance Française Halifax and Chapters/Indigo/Coles.

2020 ATLANTIC BOOK AWARDS and FESTIVAL SHORTLIST

1.  Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

A Dark House and Other Stories by Ian Colford (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

DIG by Terry Doyle (Breakwater Books)

Nosy White Woman by Martha Wilson (Biblioasis)

2.  Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street by Sheree Fitch (Nimbus Publishing)

A World Below by Wesley King (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)

I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas (Nimbus Publishing)

3.  Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award Sponsored by Friesens Corporation

Almost Feral by Gemma Hickey (Breakwater Books)

I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe and I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas (companion books), illustrated by Pauline Young (Nimbus Publishing)

Land Beyond the Sea by Kevin Major (Breakwater Books)

4.  Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing

Shaped by Silence:  Stories from Inmates of the Good Shepherd Laundries and Reformatories by Rie Croll (ISER Books)

The Wake:  The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami by Linden MacIntyre (HarperCollins Canada)

Truth and Conviction:  Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice by L. Jane McMillan (UBC Press)

5.  Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

Listening for the Dead Bells by Marian Bruce (Island Studies Press)

As British as the King:  Lunenburg County During the First World War by Gerald Hallowell (Nimbus Publishing)

Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers:  Canadian Internment Camp B, 1940-1945 by Andrew Theobald (Goose Lane Editions)

6.  Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate by Ami McKay (Knopf Canada)

Mayann Francis: An Honourable Life by The Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis (Nimbus Publishing)

Hell and Damnation:  A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment by Marq de Villiers (University of Regina Press)

7.  Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke LLP

The Difference by Marina Endicott (Knopf Canada)

Broken Symmetry by Rosalie Osmond (Nevermore Press)

Crow by Amy Spurway (Goose Lane Editions)

8.  J.M. Abraham Poetry Award

Year of the Metal Rabbit by Tammy Armstrong (Gaspereau Press)

Smallholding by Anne Compton (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)

Belated Bris of the Brainsick by Lucas Crawford (Nightwood Editions)

9.  Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Denise Gallagher, illustrator for Peg Bearskin:  A Traditional Newfoundland Tale, written by adapted by Andy Jones and Philip Dinn from a story told by Mrs. Elizabeth Brewer (Running the Goat Books)

Danielle Loranger, illustrator for Un géant dans la tête, written by Danielle Loranger (Bouton D’or Acadie)

Sydney Smith, illustrator, for Small in the City, written by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books)

10.  Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction, sponsored by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Weed Man Maritimes, Heritage House Law Office, I Love Renovations and Simply Sage Solutions

Almost Feral by Gemma Hickey (Breakwater Books)

Wounded Hearts:  Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home by Lois Legge (Nimbus Publishing)

Transplanted:  My Cystic Fibrosis Double-Lung Transplant Story by Allison Watson (Nimbus Publishing)

11.  Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction, sponsored by the family of John and Margaret Savage and Royden Trainor

DIG by Terry Doyle (Breakwater Books)

Going Dutch:  A Novel by James Gregor (Simon & Schuster)

Crow by Amy Spurway (Goose Lane Editions)

12.  Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction), presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth

Grandfather’s House:  Returning to Cape Breton by Clive Doucet (Nimbus Publishing)

Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate by Ami McKay (Knopf Canada)

Ghosts Within:  Journeying Through PTSD by Garry Leech (Fernwood Publishing)

13.  Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

Crocuses Hatch from Snow by Jaime Burnet (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

The Innocents by Michael Crummey (Doubleday Canada)

The Waiting Hours by Shandi Mitchell (Viking Canada)

Halifax- N.-É. – 35 oeuvres du Canada atlantique nommés aux Prix littéraires de l’Atlantique

La Société des prix littéraires de l’Atlantique a le plaisir de vous présenter la liste des treize œuvres présélectionnées pour les Prix littéraires de l’Atlantique 2020. Les titres représentent une variété de livres du Canada atlantique – des recueils de poésie aux livres illustrés pour les enfants aux livres de fiction et de recherche pour un public adulte. La liste est disponible ci-dessous et sur le site internet www.atlanticbookawards.ca. 

Cette année il y a cinq nominés sélectionnés pour deux prix dont l’écrivain Terry Doyle pour son premier roman DIG (éditions Breakwater Books), l’auteure et activiste Gemma Hickey pour son livre Almost Feral (éditions Breakwater Books), l’écrivaine renommée Ami McKay pour son œuvre non-romanesque Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate (éditions Knopf Canada), la nouvelle romancière Amy Spurway pour son œuvre Crow (éditions Goose Lane) et enfin, l’ancienne poète officielle de la ville de Halifax, Rebecca Thomas pour son livre jeunesse I’m Finding My Talk (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

Les prix littéraires de l’Atlantique 2020 offre l’une des plus grandes récompenses littéraires du Canada le Prix œuvre de fiction Thomas Raddall à un auteur de l’Atlantique d’une valeur de 25 000 $. Cette année les auteurs en nomination sont Jaime Burnet, avocate à Halifax, pour son premier roman Crocuses Hatch from Snow (Collection Vagrant Press –éditions Nimbus Publishing), l’auteur de Terre-Neuve Michael Crummey pour The Innocents (éditions Doubleday Canada) et l’auteure et cinéaste néo-écossaise Shandi Mitchell pour The Waiting Hours (éditions Viking Canada).

Vingt-cinq des trente-neuf nominations sont des livres publiés par des éditeurs de l’Atlantique. Nimbus Publishing / Vagrant Press de la Nouvelle-Écosse est en tête avec huit titres présélectionnés, tandis que Breakwater Books de Terre-Neuve en a cinq, dont deux des trois titres en nomination pour le prix APMA du meilleur livre publié en Atlantique. Les autres éditeurs régionaux sont: Running the Goat Books et ISER Books (T.-N.-L), Gaspereau Press, Nevermore Press, Fernwood Publishing (N.-É.); Island Studies Press (Î.-P.-É.); et Goose Lane Editions et Bouton D’or Acadie (N.-B.).

Compte tenu de la situation liée à la COVID-19, le Festival du livre de l’Atlantique 2020 et le gala de remise des prix, initialement prévus pour ce mois-ci, se dérouleront en ligne tout au long du mois de juin, les gagnants seront annoncés le 30 juin. Les détails seront publiés sous peu à l’adresse suivante: www.atlanticbookawards.ca et sur les réseaux sociaux dès qu’ils seront disponibles.

Le prix Pionnier.ère 2020, qui est décerné à une personnalité de la Nouvelle-Écosse qui a apporté une contribution substantielle à la vie littéraire de la région, est reporté à 2021, date à laquelle il sera remis en personne. Le gala de remise des prix 2021 devrait avoir lieu le 13 mai à la Bibliothèque centrale d’Halifax

Le conseil d’administration de l’association de la Société des prix littéraires de l’Atlantique est composé de représentants de la communauté du livre et de la littérature dans le Canada atlantique. Le festival et les prix littéraires de l’Atlantique 2020 reconnaissent le soutien du Fonds du livre du Canada de Patrimoine Canadien, des bibliothèques publiques de Halifax ainsi que l’apport de l’Alliance Française Halifax et de Chapters/Indigo/Coles.

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Contact Media :  Peggy Walt – peggy@culturalaffairs.ca (902) 422-5403

Cellulaire : (902) 476-1096

Site internet : www.atlanticbookawards.ca

Facebook :  https://www.facebook.com/AtlanticBookAwards

Twitter :  http://twitter.com/atlbookawards

Festival et Prix littéraires de l’Atlantique 2020 – liste des présélectionnés

1.  Prix Alistair MacLeod pour recueil de nouvelles

A Dark House and Other Stories de Ian Colford (Collection Vagrant Press – éditions Nimbus Publishing)

DIG de Terry Doyle (éditions Breakwater Books)

Nosy White Woman de Martha Wilson (éditions Biblioasis)

2.  Prix Ann Connor Brimer pour la littérature pour enfants

EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street de Sheree Fitch (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

A World Below de Wesley King (éditions Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)

I’m Finding My Talk de Rebecca Thomas (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

3.  le prix APMA (Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association du meilleur livre publié en Atlantique – parrainé par Friesens Corporation

Almost Feral de Gemma Hickey (éditions Breakwater Books)

I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe & I’m Finding My Talk de Rebecca Thomas (companion books), illustré par Pauline Young (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

Land Beyond the Sea de Kevin Major (éditions Breakwater Books)

4. Prix littéraire de l’Atlantique pour publication scientifique, parrainé par Marquis Book Printing

Shaped by Silence:  Stories from Inmates of the Good Shepherd Laundries and Reformatories de Rie Croll (éditions ISER Books)

The Wake:  The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami de Linden MacIntyre (éditions HarperCollins Canada)

Truth and Conviction:  Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice de L. Jane McMillan (éditions UBC Press)

5.  Prix littéraire de l’Atlantique Democracy 250 pour publication historique

Listening for the Dead Bells de Marian Bruce (éditions Island Studies Press)

As British as the King:  Lunenburg County During the First World War de Gerald Hallowell (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers:  Canadian Internment Camp B, 1940-1945 de Andrew Theobald (éditions Goose Lane Editions)

6.  Prix littéraire Evelyn Richardson pour une œuvre non romanesque

Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate de Ami McKay (éditions Knopf Canada)

Mayann Francis: An Honourable Life de The Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

Hell and Damnation:  A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment de Marq de Villiers (éditions University of Regina Press)

7.  Prix littéraire de Dartmouth Jim Connors pour œuvre de fiction, présenté par Boyne Clarke LLP

The Difference de Marina Endicott (Knopf Canada)

Broken Symmetry de Rosalie Osmond (éditions Nevermore Press)

Crow de Amy Spurway (éditions Goose Lane)

8.  Prix de Poésie J.M. Abraham

Year of the Metal Rabbit de Tammy Armstrong (éditions Gaspereau Press)

Smallholding de Anne Compton (éditions Fitzhenry and Whiteside)

Belated Bris of the Brainsick de Lucas Crawford (éditions Nightwood Editions)

9.  Prix Lillian Shepherd pour l’excellence des illustrations

Denise Gallagher, illustratrice du livre Peg Bearskin:  A Traditional Newfoundland Tale, adapté à l’écrit par Andy Jones et Philip Dinn d’une histoire racontée par Mme. Elizabeth Brewer (éditions Running the Goat Books)

Danielle Loranger, illustratrice pour Un géant dans la tête, écrit par Danielle Loranger (éditions Bouton D’or Acadie)

Sydney Smith, illustrateur de Small in the City, écrit par Sydney Smith (éditions Groundwood Books)

10.  Prix première œuvre littéraire Margaret et John Savage – œuvre de non-romanesque parrainé par la Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Weed Man Maritimes, Heritage House Law Office, I Love Renovations et  Simply Sage Solutions

Almost Feral de Gemma Hickey (Breakwater Books)

Wounded Hearts:  Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home de Lois Legge (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

Transplanted:  My Cystic Fibrosis Double-Lung Transplant Story de Allison Watson (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

11.  Prix première œuvre littéraire Margaret et John Savage, parrainé la famille de John et Margaret Savage et Royden Trainor

DIG de Terry Doyle (éditions Breakwater Books)

Going Dutch:  A Novel de James Gregor (éditions Simon & Schuster)

Crow de Amy Spurway (éditions Goose Lane)

12.  Prix littéraire Dartmouth Robbie Roberston pour œuvre non romanesque présenté par le Club Kiwanis de Dartmouth

Grandfather’s House:  Returning to Cape Breton de Clive Doucet (éditions Nimbus Publishing)

Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate de Ami McKay (éditions Knopf Canada)

Ghosts Within:  Journeying Through PTSD de Garry Leech (éditions Fernwood Publishing)

13Prix œuvre de fiction Thomas Raddall par un auteur de l’Atlantique

Crocuses Hatch from Snow de Jaime Burnet (collection Vagrant Press – éditions Nimbus Publishing)

The Innocents de Michael Crummey (éditions Doubleday Canada)

The Waiting Hours de Shandi Mitchell  (éditions Viking Canada)

27 Mar

Call For Submissions: 2020 Pioneer Award (Nova Scotia)

Although the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards Festival and Gala have been postponed due to the COVID 19 emergency, the Atlantic Book Awards Society is moving ahead with the call for nominations for the 2020 Pioneer Award. This award is designed to honor trail blazers and ground-breakers who have made a lasting contribution to the development of the literary arts in Atlantic Canada. The recipient can be from the field of publishing, writing, book-selling, literary arts organizations etc. In keeping with our tradition, since our 2020 Book Awards Gala is being held in Halifax in the Fall of 2020, the Pioneer Award recipient this year will be someone from Nova Scotia, as that is the host province for this year’s Gala.

If you would like to nominate someone, please send a brief biographical summary of the person, focusing on their career in literary arts, and reasons why you feel they would be a worthy recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award. Also include full contact information for your nominee. Send submissions to mackenh@halifax.ca by June 1, 2020. More information about the Award is available here.

Submissions will be judged by a committee independent of the Atlantic Book Awards Society Board.

19 Mar

POSTPONEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the board of the Atlantic Book Awards Society has decided to postpone the 2020 Atlantic Book Festival and Awards Gala initially planned for May, 2020.

While pandemic-related disruptions are likely to continue for some time, we are now planning to announce our shortlist in late June or early July and to hold the festival and gala in late fall, if possible. We will keep you posted. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Stay well, and enjoy the comfort and wisdom of a good book—a good Atlantic Canadian book—during these challenging times.

24 Oct

Call for Submissions (Nov. 1 Deadline) for 4 Awards

The Atlantic Book Awards celebrate and promote excellence in writing from Atlantic Canada. The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) administers and acts as steward for four of these literary awards, including:

·     Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award ($25,000 prize)

·     J.M. Abraham Poetry Award ($2,000 prize)

·     Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award ($2,000 prize)

·     Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature ($2,000 prize)

The Call for Submissions is now open with a deadline of November 1, 2019. Submit now! Please see submission details here: https://www.writers.ns.ca/atlantic-book-awards/submission-guidelines.html

07 Oct

Autumn-time = Awards Submission-time!

It’s that time of year again — time to give those great books (and writers and illustrators) the great boost they deserve by nominating them for an Atlantic Book Award! New calls for submissions have been posted for the following Awards: the Alistair MacLeod Award for Short Fiction; the Dartmouth Book Awards (Fiction & Non-Fiction); the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing; the Democracy 250 (D250) Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing, and; the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. Further nomination calls coming soon!

07 Jun

A Few Pictures from our Gala Evening!

Congratulations to all the short-listed nominees and thank you to everyone who helped make the 2019 ABAs Gala happen (and kept it rolling, even when the power went out!) Below are a few photos from the evening, courtesy of our event photographer, Alex Tsui.

Our Wonderful Winners!
Standing, l to r: John Cunningham, Mark Critch, Carol Bruneau, Ingrid R.G. Waldron, Alison Smith, Christine LeGrow, Susan Sinnott, Shirley A. Scott, Tom Dawe.
Seated, l to r: Marilyn Davidson Elliott, Nicola Davison, Lisa Moore, Kate Inglis
Missing: Eva Campbell.
Our Fabulous EmCee, Angela Antle.
As Mark Critch steps to the stage to receive his Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction) … the lights come back on! Coincidence?
It’s a great literary evening when the book sales’ table and the bar are equally busy!
“Like Selling Haddock from a Wheelbarrow …”
Pioneer Award Winner Tom Dawe delights the crowd with tales and verse inspired by his many decades as part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s literary community.
06 Jun

Power Outage at 2019 Awards Doesn’t Dampen Excitement!

June 6, 2019

EMBARGOED – PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE UNTIL 9:30 P.M., THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2019  

(Halifax, NS)  2019 Atlantic Book Awards Winners Announced

The lights went off and the lights went on, and the thirteen winners of the 2019 Atlantic BookAwards were announced Thursday night in a gala ceremony held in St, John’s, NL at the Sheraton Hotel. Hosted by CBC’s Angela Antle in a bilingual ceremony, the Awards concluded this year’s festival, which ran from May 30 to June 6 with events in Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

Newfoundland author Lisa Moore was a double award winner for her short story collection, Something for Everyone (House of Anansi Press), taking home both the Alistair Macleod Prize for Short Fiction and one of Canada’s largest literary prizes, the $25,000 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award.

Newfoundland was also represented in the Best Atlantic-Published Book Award category, with Boulder Books receiving the award for Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland by Christine LeGrow and Shirley A. Scott.

The sixth Atlantic Book Awards Pioneer Award was given to Newfoundland’s Tom Dawe. The Pioneer Award is given as a lifetime achievement award recognizing an individual’s exceptional contribution to the literary arts in Atlantic Canada. In the 1970s, during what has been called the “Newfoundland Renaissance,” Dawe was one of the founders of Breakwater Books, Newfoundland’s first publisher. He was also one of the founding editors of the literary journal, TickleAce. Both of these endeavors were essential to the literary community of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was often overlooked by mainland publishers and literary periodicals at the time.  

Tom was born in Long Pond/Manuels, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. He has worked as a high-school teacher, professor of English, visual artist, editor, writer, and poet. He is the author of eighteen books, including poetry, fiction, dramatic script, folklore, and children’s literature. His Collected and New Poems, a testament to nearly fifty years of literary excellence, was published in April of 2019.  From 2010-2013, Dawe was the Poet Laureate of the City of St. John’s. In 2011, he was appointed a Member of The Order of Canada, and in the following year, he was awarded The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. He lives in Conception Bay South.

Other books celebrated with prizes included illustrator Eva Campbell for her illustrations in author Shauntay Grant’s Africville children’s book, and the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (non-fiction) to first time author and comedian Mark Critch for his biography, Son of a Critich:  A Childish Newfoundland Memoir. Nova Scotia’s Nimbus Publishing won four of 13 awards.  

The thirteen award-winning books, publishers and authors/illustrators are:

Alistair Macleod Prize for Short Fiction: Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature: Catching the Light, by Susan Sinnott (Vagrant Press – A Nimbus imprint)

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly WritingSponsored by Marquis Book Printing: There’s Something in the Water:  Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron (Fernwood Publishing)

Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, Sponsored by Friesens Corporation: Boulder Books for Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland:  More than 20 heritage designs to knit by Christine LeGrow and Shirley A. Scott

Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing: Where Duty Lies:  A New Brunswick Soldier in the Trenches of World War 1, by John Cunningham (Pottersfield Press)

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award: Notes for the Everlost:  A Field Guide to Grief by Kate Inglis (Shambhala Publications)

Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by BoyneClarke LLP: A Circle on the Surface, by Carol Bruneau (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

J.M. Abraham Poetry Award: This Kind of Thinking Does No Good by Alison Smith (Gaspereau Press)

Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration: Eva Campbell for Africville, written by Shauntay Grant (Groundwood Books)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction), Sponsored by Royden Trainor, Weed Man Maritimes and the family of John and Margaret Savage: In the Wake by Nicola Davison (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction sponsored by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Sensor Technology Ltd., Heritage House Law Office, I Love Renovations and Simple Sage Solutions: Son of a Critch:  A Childish Newfoundland Memoir by Mark Critch (Viking Canada)

The Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction), Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth: The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott (Nimbus Publishing)

Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award: Something for Everyoneby Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)

Special Lifetime Achievement Award: Atlantic Book Awards’ Pioneer Award– Tom Dawe

About the Awards:

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

The impetus for this $2,000 award came from the late Ann Connor Brimer who was a strong advocate of Canadian children’s literature and saw the need to recognize and encourage children’s writers in Atlantic Canada. It’s presented annually to an Atlantic Canadian writer deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to literature for young people.

Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

Established in 2015, the prize was created in honor of Alistair MacLeod (1936-2014), Atlantic literary icon and master of the short story. The prize both recognizes he importance of this genre and hopefully encourage the creation of more work in this area.

APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book AwardSponsored by Friesens Corporation

The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s award for Best Atlantic-Published Book recognizes publishing companies and their hardworking professionals who bring out new books each season. Each year, the Atlantic Canadian publisher of the printed book which best exemplifies publishing activity in Atlantic Canada receives the award. The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Awards has been generously sponsored for the eleventh year by Friesens Corporation.  The prize of $4,000 is shared between the winning publishing firm ($3,000) and the book’s author ($1,000). 

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing

Presented for the first time in 2013 by the Atlantic Book Awards Society, this award recognizes literary achievement in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  The $1,000 prize is awarded each year to the author(s) of a published book determined to have had (or likely to have) a significant literary, social and academic impact leading to a deeper understanding of society.

The Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction), Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth

The Dartmouth Book Awards were established in 1989 by then mayor of Dartmouth, Dr. John Savage. The annual awards for fiction and non-fiction, valued at $2,500 each, honour the best books by Canadian authors published the previous year in celebration of Nova Scotia and its people.  

Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

The Atlantic Book Awards Society created the Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and received an endowment from the Democracy 250 committee to fund the $2,000 annual prize for an outstanding work of non-fiction that promotes awareness of, and appreciation for, an aspect of the history of the Atlantic Provinces.

The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award was first presented in 1978. It is named in honour of Evelyn Richardson, who in 1945 won the Governor General’s Non-Fiction Award for We Keep A Light, her memoir of life in a family of lighthouse keepers in Shelburne County. The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award honors the best non fiction titles by Nova Scotian writers and is facilitated by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

The J.M. Abraham Poetry Award was created by the writing community in the late 1990s. The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, with the assistance of several poets, publishers, and post-secondary institutions, raised funds for an annual award program designed to honour the best book of poetry by an Atlantic Canadian. The Award was first presented in 1998. In 2014, the award was named for the legacy of J.M. Abraham.  

Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke

The Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for fiction is sponsored by Boyne Clarke Barristers and Solicitors. Dartmouth lawyer and activist Jim Connors was a volunteer juror of the fiction entries from the outset of the annual competitions until his death in 2008.  

Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration

Lillian Shepherd was a long-time buyer for the sadly defunct independent bookstore, The Book Room in Halifax. After her sudden death in 1997, this award was established by her many friends in 2002 to applaud the book that combines Lillian’s love for illustrated children’s books and her affinity for locally produced work.  The $1000 award that bears her name is sponsored by the Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Association and the Atlantic Provinces Publishers’ Representatives. 

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, presented for the first time in 2003 with a value of $1,500, recognizes the best first book of fiction or non-fiction published in the previous year by an Atlantic writer. There are now two awards, valued at $2,500 each, one for fiction and one for non-fiction, and supported by many contributors from Dartmouth.

The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award was first presented in 1991. Established with an endowment by Thomas Head Raddall himself, and with ongoing support from the Raddall family, this award honours the work of fiction writers in the Atlantic region and, as the original benefactor envisioned, provides “the gift of time and peace of mind” so essential to the creation of new work. The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award is facilitated by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

About the Atlantic Book Awards Society

The Board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS) is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. The 2019 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Halifax Public Libraries, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the sponsorship of Chapters/Indigo/Coles, AllianceFrançaise Halifax and theUniversity of King’s College. 

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Media contact: Peggy Walt – peggy@culturalaffairs.ca(902) 422-5403 (office), (902) 476-1096 (cell).

Web Site: www.atlanticbookawards.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AtlanticBookAwardsSociety

Twitter:     http://twitter.com/atlbookawards

06 May

Check out the 2019 Atlantic Book Awards Festival Lineup!

New Brunswick

Sunday, June 2 at 1:00 pm
Café C’est la Vie, 785 Main St, Moncton
Take a walking tour of downtown Moncton with journalist Lezlie Lowe exploring how the city measures up in terms of access to public washrooms in support of her nominated book No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs. Tour will start at C’est la Vie and conclude with a Q&A at the café. Books will be for sale by Tidewater Books.

Newfoundland

Wednesday, June 5 at 7:00 pm
Johnson GEO CENTRE, 175 Signal Hill Rd, St. John’s
To celebrate the arrival of warm weather, new books, and the Atlantic Book Awards, Breakwater Books presents an evening of great literature, featuring readings by Breakwater authors Terry Doyle, Susie Taylor, and Kevin Major, and Atlantic Book Award shortlisted authors Sharon Bala, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, and Mark Critch. Shortlisted authors Christine LeGrow and Shirley Anne Scott, of Saltwater Mittens fame, will also be on hand with a display of Newfoundland knitwear and knowledge.

Nova Scotia

Thursday, May 30 at 5:00 pm
New Scotland Brewing, 91 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Dartmouth Book Awards and hear from 2019 nominees RC Shaw (Louisbourg or Bust:  A Surfer’s Wild Ride Down Nova Scotia’s Drowned Coast) and Marilyn Davidson Elliott (The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion). Kris Bertin, nominated for the 2017 Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction, will read from his new book, Use Your Imagination! Books will be for sale by Bookmark Halifax.

Thursday, May 30 at 7:00 pm
Lane’s Privateer Inn, 27 Bristol Ave, Liverpool
Join us for readings by the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award nominees for 2019: Sharon Bala (The Boat People), Elisabeth de Mariaffi (Hysteria) and Lisa Moore (Something for Everyone).  

Friday, May 31 at 10:00 am
Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax
The 20th annual Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award ceremony. The Hackmatack program encourages children in grades 4 to 6 in Atlantic Canada to read from pre-selected lists of Canadian books then cast their votes to determine the award winners. The event is free, but seating for the general public will be limited.

Saturday, June 1 at 1:00 pm
Open Book Coffee, 3660 Strawberry Hill St, Halifax
Discover Halifax’s newest bookstore and coffee shop along with this year’s nominees for the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. Carol Bruneau will be reading from A Circle on the Surface, Lesley Crewe from Beholden and Nicola Davison from In the Wake.

Saturday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Drs. Coady & Tompkins Memorial Library, 7972 Cabot Trail, Margaree Forks
Please join us for a special presentation by the authors shortlisted for this year’s Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction.  Featuring readings by Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour winner Bill Conall from Some Days Run Long, Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Johanna Skibsrud from Tiger, Tiger and CBC’s Canada Reads winner Lisa Moore from Something for Everyone. This free event is co-presented with the Cabot Trail Writers’ Festival. All are welcome.

Sunday, June 2 at 2:00 pm 
Musquodoboit Valley Bicentennial Theatre, 12390 Hwy. 224, Middle Musquodoboit
Please join us for a special afternoon with Nova Scotia author Lesley Crewe.  She will be reading from her new novel Beholden, which is nominated for the 2019 Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award. Presented in partnership with Halifax Public Libraries.

Monday, June 3, at 4:30 pm
President’s Lodge, University of King’s College, Halifax
University of King’s College President William Lahey and the King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction program will host a celebration of the 2019 nonfiction finalists. Copies of the finalists’ books will be available for sale and signing. To enquire about joining us for this event contact festival coordinator Laura Carter at abafcoordinator@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30 pm
Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax
Join nominated authors as they explore the challenge of turning a difficult subject into a compelling read. Kayla Hounsell chronicles one of our city’s most shocking homicides in First Degree: From Medical School to Murder, Lorri Neilsen Glenn brings to life the role of her grandmothers and other Indigenous women in 19th Century in Following the River: Traces of Red River Women and Kate Inglis will share her experience as a grieving mother and how it allowed her to create an invaluable resource for others navigating tremendous loss with Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief. Hosted by Kim Pittaway, Executive Director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College.
Books will be for sale by King’s Co-op Bookstore.

Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30 pm
Kentville Library, 440 Main Street, Kentville
An evening of poetry readings featuring the winner of the 2018 J.M. Abraham Poetry Award, Julia McCarthy (All the Names Between) and 2019 nominees Basma Kavanagh (Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots), Annick MacAskill (No Meeting Without Body) and Alison Smith (This Kind of Thinking Does No Good).

02 May

Announcing the 2019 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

The Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to announce the shortlist for the thirteen different book prizes that make up the 2019 Atlantic Book Awards. The nominated titles represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada—everything from the story of a well-known blind mechanic to the biography of 22 Minutes comedian Mark Critch. The full shortlist is printed below and is available at www.atlanticbookawards.ca.  

For the second time in seven years, the Atlantic Book Awards gala is travelling to Newfoundland.  The event will take place in St. John’s on Thursday, June 6, including the presentation of the 2019 Pioneer Award, which will go to someone from Newfoundland and Labrador who has made a substantial contribution to the literary life of the region.

There are six double award nominees on this year’s shortlist, including writer Nicola Davison for her debut novel In the Wake (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint); journalist Lezlie Lowe for No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs (Coach House Books); Marilyn Davidson Elliott for The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion (Nimbus Publishing); Sharon Bala for The Boat People (McClelland & Stewart); author Lisa Moore for Something for Everyone (House of Anansi Press) and Susan Sinnott for Catching the Light (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint).

Three awards provided by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia will be given out at this year’s Atlantic Book Awards Gala, including one of Canada’s biggest book prizes, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award (valued at $25,000).  All three nominees for the Raddall are writers from Newfoundland this year.

Twenty-three of the thirty-nine nominations are for books published by Atlantic publishers. Nova Scotia’s Nimbus Publishing/Vagrant Press leads with twelve shortlisted titles, while Pottersfield Publishing (also from NS) has four. Other regional publishers include Fernwood Publishing/Roseway (NS), Boularderie Island Press and Breton Books (Cape Breton), Boulder Books (NL) and Gaspereau Press (NS).

The Atlantic Book Awards Society announced the nominees at a press conference on Thursday, May 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Halifax City Hall with several of the nominated authors present. Councilor Waye Mason was also on hand for the announcement. Other special guests included The Honourable Gary Burrill, M.L.A. for Halifax Chebucto, Jacqueline Ruck, author Lindsay Ruck and their father, Douglas Ruck. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Dartmouth Book Awards, with a special celebration planned to mark the occasion on May 30 at New Scotland Brewing.

The 2019 Atlantic Book Awards and Festivalruns May 30 to June 6 this year,with free literary events in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Full festival event details at and a link to purchase tickets to the Gala Award Show are at www.atlanticbookawards.ca.  There are school readings and events in libraries, pubs and coffee shops, as well as a non-traditional tour of public washrooms in downtown Moncton with author Lezlie Lowe, nominated for No Place to Go:  How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs. In Cape Breton, Newfoundland author Lisa Moore will read alongside Johanna Skibsrud and Bill Conall, while in St. John’s, Breakwater Books will present a spring book launch featuring five short-listed writers including comedian and author Mark Critch at the Johnson GEO Centre.

The Board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. The 2019 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, The Canada Council for the Arts, Halifax Public Libraries, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Halifax Regional Municipality and the sponsorship of Alliance Française Halifax, University of King’s College and Chapters/Indigo/Coles.

2019 ATLANTIC BOOK AWARDS and FESTIVAL SHORTLIST

1.  Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

Some Days Run Long by Bill Conall (Boularderie Island Press)

Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)

Tiger, Tiger by Johanna Skibsrud (Hamish Hamilton)

2.  Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

Short for Chameleon by Vicki Grant (HarperCollins Publishers)

Finding Grace by Daphne Greer (Nimbus Publishing)

Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

3.  Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award Sponsored by Friesens Corporation

Viola Desmond:  Her Life and Times by Graham Reynolds and Wanda Robson (Roseway Publishing)

Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland:  More than 20 heritage designs to knit by Christine LeGrow & Shirley A. Scott (Boulder Books)

Hope Blooms:  Plant a Seed, Harvest a Dream by Mamadou Wade and the youth of Hope Blooms (Nimbus Publishing)

4.  Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing

The Age of Increasing Inequality:  The Astonishing Rise of Canada’s 1% by Lars Osberg (Lorimer)

The Tides of Time:  A Nova Scotia Book of Seasons by Suzanne Stewart (Pottersfield Press)

There’s Something in the Water:  Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron (Fernwood Publishing)

5.  Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

A Stone for Andrew Dunphy by Ronald Caplan (Breton Books)

Where Duty Lies:  A New Brunswick Soldier in the Trenches of World War 1 by John Cunningham (Pottersfield Press)

The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott (Nimbus Publishing)

6.  Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief  by Kate Inglis (Shambhala Publications)

No Place to Go:  How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs by Lezlie Lowe (Coach House Books)

Following the River:  Traces of Red River Women by Lorri Neilsen Glenn (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.)

7.  Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke LLP

A Circle on the Surface by Carol Bruneau (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

Beholden by Lesley Crewe (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

In the Wake by Nicola Davison (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

8.  J.M. Abraham Poetry Award

Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots by Basma Kavanagh (Frontenac House)

No Meeting Without Body by Annick MacAskill (Gaspereau Press)

This Kind of Thinking Does No Good by Alison Smith (Gaspereau Press)

9.  Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Illustrator:  Eva Campbell (nominee) for Africville

Written by Shauntay Grant (Groundwood Books)

Illustrator: Lil Crump (nominee) for Anna at the Art Museum

Written by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert (Annick Press)

Illustrator:  Alan Syliboy (nominee) for Mi’kmaw Animals/Mi’kmaw Waisisk

Written by Alan Syliboy (Nimbus Publishing)

10.  Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction sponsored by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Sensor Technology Ltd., Heritage House Law Office, I Love Renovations and Simple Sage Solutions

Son of a Critch:  A Childish Newfoundland Memoir by Mark Critch (Viking Canada)

No Place To Go:  How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs by Lezlie Lowe (Coach House Books)

Louisbourg or Bust:  A Surfer’s Wild Ride Down Nova Scotia’s Drowned Coast by RC Shaw (Pottersfield Press)

11.  Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction sponsored by Royden Trainor, Weed Man Maritimes and the family of John and Margaret Savage

The Boat People by Sharon Bala (McClelland & Stewart)

In The Wake by Nicola Davison (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

12.  Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction), presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth

The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott (Nimbus Publishing)

First Degree:  From Medical School to Murder by Kayla Hounsell (Nimbus Publishing)

Threads in the Acadian Fabric:  Nine Generations of an Acadian Family by Simone Poirier-Bures (Pottersfield Press)

13.  Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

The Boat People by Sharon Bala(McClelland & Stewart)

Hysteria by Elisabeth de Mariaffi (HarperCollins Publishers)

Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)