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
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.
APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, Sponsored 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, a publisher whose book possesses the best balance of content, presentation, quality of design and production, as well as contributing the most to an understanding of Atlantic Canada, receives the award. The first prize of $5,000 (sponsored by Friesens) is shared between the winning publishing firm ($4,000) and the book’s author ($1,000), with each of the other two short-listed authors receiving $250.
Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing
Presented for the first time in 2013 by the Atlantic Book Awards Society.
Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction in Memory of Robbie Robertson, 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 $1,500 each, honour the best books 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.
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 now-closed independent bookstore, The Book Room in Halifax. This award was established by her many friends to applaud the book that combines Lillian’s love for illustrated children’s books and her affinity for locally produced work. The 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. The Award is sponsored by The Savage Family, Collins Barrow and Weed Man.
Prince Edward Island Book Awards
The Prince Edward Island Book Awards are held every two years and are open to authors, editors and book producers resident in the province. In addition to recognizing the quality of publications, the Awards raise the profile of Island books in order to increase sales.
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 2014 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of Prince Edward Island and the City of Charlottetown, and the sponsorship of Chapters-Indigo, the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association, The Chronicle Herald, The Telegram, The Guardian, The Coast, University of Prince Edward Island Robertson Library, Halifax Public Libraries and The Telegraph-Journal.
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Media contact: Peggy Walt – email@example.com (902) 422-5403
Web Site: www.atlanticbookawards.ca
Author photos and book covers available upon request.