Join us online for the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards Gala hosted by CTV’s Amanda Debison. Awards honouring excellence in writing, illustration, and publishing will be presented by past winners, including Michael Crummey, Ami McKay, and Sheree Fitch. Discover who will take home this year’s Pioneer Award for lifetime achievement and who will win the $25,000 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. The event will include ASL interpretation and French closed captioning.
Stories that explore familial relationships have always resonated with readers. Join journalist and author Pauline Dakin (Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood) for a discussion on how some of this year’s nominated fiction titles captured beautiful and challenging family dynamics.
In addition to the events above, we will be sharing a selection of readings from shortlisted books through our partnership with Halifax Public Libraries and bringing authors into classrooms through virtual presentations.
Thursday, May 13, 7:00 pm ADT
2021 Atlantic Book Awards Gala
We are excited to announce that CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison will host this year’s virtual awards gala. Details on our live Zoom viewing party will be announced soon!
The just-announced shortlist of nominees (now available in lovely poster format) comes thanks to 14 different three-person juries, one for each award. Thank you so much to each of these individuals, for volunteering their time and expertise to evaluate the books submitted to each award and to work together to come up with the shortlists. Read More →
Representing the best in Atlantic writing, illustration and publishing, the Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to announce the shortlists for the fourteen different book prizes that make up the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards. The nominated titles represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada—everything from hard-hitting non-fiction to illustrated children’s books to adult fiction, and a new poetry award created in 2020 by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia in honour of the late celebrated African-Nova Scotian poet and teacher, Maxine Tynes.
Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction Boy with a Problem by Chris Benjamin (Pottersfield Press) Winter Road by Wayne Curtis (Pottersfield Press) The Appendage Formerly Known as Your Left Arm by Julie Curwin (Boularderie Island Press)
Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature Annaka by Andre Fenton (Nimbus Publishing) Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan (Albert Whitman & Company) The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari (Penguin Teen)
Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing At the Ocean’s Edge: A History of Nova Scotia to Confederation by Margaret Conrad (University of Toronto Press) The Miramichi Fire: A History by Alan MacEachern (McGill-Queen’s University Press) A Long Journey: Residential Schools in Labrador and Newfoundland by Andrea Procter (ISER Books)
Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, Sponsored by Friesens Corporation The Forager’s Dinner: Finding, harvesting, and preparing Newfoundland and Labrador’s edible plants by Shawn Dawson (Boulder Books) Dirty Birds by Morgan Murray (Breakwater Books Ltd.) Black Matters by Afua Cooper, with photographs by Wilfried Raussert (Roseway Publishing)
Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing Silver Hair and Golden Voice: Austin Willis, From Halifax to Hollywood by Ernest J. Dick (Nimbus Publishing) Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion by Tyler LeBlanc (Goose Lane Editions) Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland’s Saltwater Cowboys by Jennifer Thonhill-Verma (Nimbus Publishing)
Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes by Silver Donald Cameron (Viking Canada) Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion by Tyler LeBlanc (Goose Lane Editions) Before the Parade: A History of Halifax’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Communities, 1972-1984 by Rebecca Rose (Nimbus Publishing)
Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission and Cluett Insurance Good Mothers Don’t by Laura Best (Nimbus Publishing) The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe (Nimbus Publishing) The Silence of the Vessel: A Novel by Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy (Pottersfield Press)
J. M. Abraham Poetry Award Black Matters by Afua Cooper, with photographs by Wilfried Raussert (Roseway Publishing) Humanimus by David Huebert (Palimpsest Press) Waking Ground by shalan joudry (Gaspereau Press)
Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration Byron Eggenschwiler, illustrator for The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt, written by Riel Nason (Tundra Books) Sydney Smith, illustrator for I Talk Like a River, written by Jordan Scott (Neal Porter Books) Lauren Soloy, illustrator, for When Emily Was Small, written by Lauren Soloy (Tundra Books)
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction, sponsored by the family of John and Margaret Savage and Royden Trainor The Appendage Formerly Known as Your Left Arm by Julie Curwin (Boularderie Island Press) Dirty Birds by Morgan Murray (Breakwater Books Ltd.) Aftershock: A Novel by Alison Taylor (HarperCollins)
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction, sponsored by Weed Man Maritimes, Heritage House Law Office and I Love Renovations Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion by Tyler LeBlanc (Goose Lane Editions) The Dome Chronicles by Garry Leeson (Nevermore Press) Capturing Crime by Carol Taylor (New World Publishing)
Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award Year of the Metal Rabbit by Tammy Armstrong (Gaspereau Press) Burden by Douglas Burnet Smith (University of Regina Press) Waking Ground by shalan joudry (Gaspereau Press)
Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction), sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes by Silver Donald Cameron (Viking Canada) Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion by Tyler LeBlanc (Goose Lane Editions) Peace by Chocolate: The Hadhad Family’s Remarkable Journey from Syria to Canada by Jon Tattrie (Goose Lane Editions)
Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award Some People’s Children by Bridget Canning (Breakwater Books Ltd.) Dirty Birds by Morgan Murray (Breakwater Books Ltd.) Speechless by Anne Simpson (Freehand Books)
The 2021 Atlantic Book Festival and Awards will take place online with virtual author events happening May 6 to 12 and a virtual Awards Gala on May 13.
The 2021 Pioneer Award, going to someone from Nova Scotia who’s made a substantial contribution to the literary life of the region, will be announced when it’s awarded at the Gala.
The board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. The 2021 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, CTV, Halifax Public Libraries and the sponsorship of Alliance Française Halifax and Chapters/Indigo/Coles.
We are excited to announce that we have partnered with New Brunswick’s Frye Festival for the announcement of the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards shortlist. Join us online on April 16 at 8:00 PM on the @FryeMoncton YouTube channel for a special event, Spotlight on Atlantic Authors, and be the first to hear which books have been selected as nominees for the 14 Atlantic Book Awards, honouring the best in Atlantic writing, illustration and publishing.
Full event details below: Spotlight on Atlantic Authors / Pleins feux sur les auteur·es de l’Atlantique Friday, April 16, 8 pm / Le vendredi 16 avril, 20h An evening celebrating great successes in Atlantic Canadian literature over the past year. Be there as the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards finalists are revealed, and enjoy readings by winners of the Atlantic Book Awards, New Brunswick Book Awards, and Éloizes. Afterwards, discover a short film titled Matin Ecchymose, which features a sign language performance of poetry by Mo Bolduc.
Une soirée qui souligne l’excellence littéraire de la dernière année au Canada atlantique. Assistez au dévoilement des finalistes des Atlantic Book Awards 2021, et profitez des lectures de lauréats des Atlantic Book Awards, des New Brunswick Book Awards et des Éloizes. Ensuite, découvrez Matin Ecchymose, un court métrage mettant en scène une performance en langue des signes de poèmes de Mo Bolduc.
Stay tuned for details on our virtual awards gala, to be held May 13, 2021, and check out the full schedule for the Frye Festival online now.
The Atlantic Book Awards Society is inviting nominations for the 2021 Pioneer Award. This award is designed to honour trailblazers and groundbreakers 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, bookselling, literary arts organizations, etc. This year, the Pioneer Award recognizes someone from Nova Scotia.
To nominate someone for the Pioneer Award, 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 the 2021 Pioneer Award. Also include full contact information for your nominee. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 9, 2021. A jury of industry professionals will evaluate the submissions and select a recipient.
For further information about the Pioneer Award, please click here.
The Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS) is currently seeking jury members for the following 2021 Atlantic Book Awards:
Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction
Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Non-Fiction
Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize
ABAS wishes to ensure that the composition of our juries is reflective of the diverse community of authors, illustrators, and publishers who participate in our awards programs. The jury for each award is made up of 3 members.
JURY MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES
Read and evaluate all books submitted to the award (judging criteria for each award will be provided).
Keep concise notes on your evaluations. These will be submitted to the awards coordinator once the judging is complete as jury comments are used in promotion of the shortlisted titles and winners.
Attend the judging meeting where the shortlist of 3 books will be determined and if possible, the winner. A second judging meeting may be required if the jury cannot decide on a winner at the first session, but this is normally not required.
Note: All judging decisions must remain confidential until the shortlists are publicly announced.
What is the timeline?
November 15: Books ready for jury members to pick up.
February 8: Target date for judging meetings. Depending on public safety protocols and/or location of jurors, these meetings may be held either via Zoom or in-person at the Alderney Gate Library in Dartmouth.
March 2021: Shortlists are announced.
May 13, 2021: Awards Gala at Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library
How many books will I have to read?
The number of books submitted for each award varies but usually averages between 10 and 25. As a guideline, here are the numbers of books submitted for each award for 2020, which was an average year:
Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction): 12
Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction): 21
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction): 9
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction): 13
Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing: 16
Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize: 8
Do I get to keep the books?
Yes! As your thank-you for putting in all of those reading hours, you may keep any of the books you wish.
Will I have to serve on the jury more than one year?
Not necessarily. We’re suggesting a maximum term of two years, provided new jury members can be found.
The Atlantic Book Awards are pleased to join with the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association (APMA) in issuing this call for submissions for the APMA Best Atlantic Published Book Award. Submissions must be postmarked no later than November 30, 2020.
Please click the following links for the full Submissions guidelines: