The winners of the 2014 Atlantic Book Awards were announced Wednesday night in a ceremony held at the Delta Prince Edward/Prince Edward Island Convention Centre in Charlottetown, PEI. CBC Radio’s Matt Rainnie hosted the sold-out event,with books representing the wide range of literary works being produced in Atlantic Canada—from traditional novels to cutting edge fiction; thought-provoking non-fiction and deeply researched books on Atlantic Canadian history, to poetry; and illustrated children’s picture books to novels written for teens and young adults. Three PEI Book Awards were given out for Non-Fiction, Fiction and Poetry. This marks the first time the event has taken place on PEI.
The inaugural Atlantic Book Awards Pioneer Award was given to Bonshaw, PEI resident Harry Baglole for his path-breaking contribution to PEI writing and publishing, including his instrumental role in establishing one of the Island’s first publishing houses, Ragweed Press, in 1973, and his leadership in the development of the Institute of Island Studies and of its publishing arm, Island Studies Press. The Pioneer Award is given as a lifetime achievement award recognizing an individual’s exceptional contribution to the literary arts in Atlantic Canada.
The eleven award-winning books, publishers and authors/illustrators are:
1. Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature: Nix Minus One, by Jill MacLean, published by Pajama Press
2. Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, Sponsored by Friesens Corporation: Acorn Press for Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island by Jesse Francis and A.J.B. Johnston
3. Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing: Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia’s First Free Black Communities by Ruth Holmes Whitehead, published by Nimbus Publishing
4. Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction in Memory of Robbie Robertson Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth: Scapegoat: the extraordinary legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Joel Zemel, published by New World Publishing
5. Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing: The August Gales: The Tragic Loss of Fishing Schooners in the North Atlantic, 1926 and 1927, by Gerald Hallowell, published by Nimbus Publishing
6. Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke: Fallsy Downsies, by Stephanie Domet, published by Invisible Publishing
7. Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration: Susan Tooke for Lasso the Wind: Aurélia’s Verses and Other Poems, written by George Elliott Clarke, published by Nimbus Publishing
8. Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, Sponsored by Collins Barrow, Weed Man and the Savage Family: Turn Us Again by Charlotte R. Mendel, published by Roseway Publishing
9. PEI Book Award – Fiction (part of the Prince Edward Island Book Awards): Riptides: New Island Fiction, edited by Richard Lemm, published by Acorn Press
10. PEI Book Award – Non-Fiction (part of the Prince Edward Island Book Awards): Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island by Jesse Francis and A.J.B. Johnston, published by Acorn Press
11. PEI Book Award – Poetry (part of the Prince Edward Island Book Awards): The TWIG Collective – A Gathering of Twigs edited by P. Susan Buchanan and Margot Maddison-MacFadyen, published by TWiG Publications