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!

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 Simply 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)