25 Oct

Another Call for Nominations! APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book

The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association (APMA) has released the Call for Nominations for the APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award. The nomination deadline is November 30, 2021 — further information about the Award and the nomination process is available here.

L’association de commercialisation des éditeurs.trices de l’Atlantique (APMA) a lancé l’appel de candidatures pour le prix APMA du meilleur livre publié en Atlantique. La date limite de nomination est le 30 novembre 2021 — de plus amples informations sur le prix et le processus de nomination sont disponibles ici.

04 Oct

NEW: Calls for Submissions are Arriving! [Updated]

We’re pleased to announce that updated Calls for Submissions for the following Awards are now available: the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction; the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction; the Writing for Change Award (formerly the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction); and the Margaret and John Savage First Book Awards (Fiction and Non-Fiction). The nominations deadline for each of these awards is November 1, 2021.

We look forward to adding additional Calls for Submissions as they’re received in the coming days, so watch this space!

13 May

Welcome to the 2021 Virtual Awards Gala!

The winners of the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards were announced virtually in an event hosted by CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison on May 13, 2021, with titles ranging from poetry to nonfiction, fiction, and children’s books. Last year’s award winners, including Michael Crummey, Sheree Fitch and Ami McKay, presented the 2021 awards.
 
Halifax’s Tyler LeBlanc was a double winner for Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion (Goose Lane Editions), taking home both the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award and the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing. Shortlisted for four awards, the book traces LeBlanc’s discovery of his Acadian heritage all the way back to the Expulsion. The Richardson jury said of the book: “This rigorously researched narrative brings readers into the intimate fold of eighteenth-century life for the Acadian people and then deftly expands the view, reminding us that colonial persecution continues here on Turtle Island and around the world…A truly stunning work.”
 
The inaugural Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award, created by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and named in honour of the late African Nova Scotian poet and teacher, went to Tammy Armstrong for her collection, Year of the Metal Rabbit (Gaspereau Press). The award was presented by Tynes’s sister, Margaret Nyajeka.
 
One of Canada’s largest book prizes, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award went to Nova Scotia’s Anne Simpson for her novel Speechless (Freehand Books). The $25,000 prize is awarded by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, with support from Thomas Head Raddall’s family. Of the book, the Raddall jury said, “With a poet’s sensibility for language and a novelist’s acuity with narrative, Anne Simpson draws us into some of the pivotal questions of the twenty-first century…This beautifully wrought novel is a story for our times; it will leave you speechless.”
 
This year’s Pioneer Award went to Cape Breton’s Ronald Caplan, publisher of Breton Books, in recognition of his fifty years as a publisher and his lasting contribution to Canadian culture.  
 
Ronald Caplan came to Cape Breton in 1971, publishing the award-winning Cape Breton’s Magazine from 1972 until 1999.  He established Breton Books in 1986, producing nearly 200 books of literature, history, natural history, biography and Cape Breton classics.  Breton Books also publishes the SpeciaLink Series of books devoted to the inclusion of children with disabilities in childcare and early education. Caplan’s annual Cape Breton Catalogue brings news about Breton Book and off-island publishers’ books by Cape Breton writers to a worldwide audience. Caplan’s work to preserve and promote Cape Breton’s unique culture and history has earned him an honorary degree from Cape Breton University, the Order of Canada and the Nova Scotia Cultural Life Award.  
 
Silver Donald Cameron won the Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award posthumously for his non-fiction work, Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes. The acclaimed author died in June of 2020.
 
The winners of the fourteen Atlantic Book Awards are:
 
Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction 
Julie Curwin for The Appendage Formerly Known as Your Left Arm (Boularderie Island Press)
 
Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature
Tom Ryan for Keep This to Yourself  (Albert Whitman & Company)
 
Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, sponsored by Marquis Book Printing
Andrea Procter for A Long Journey: Residential Schools in Labrador and Newfoundland (ISER Books)
 
Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, Sponsored by Friesens Corporation
Breakwater Books for Dirty Birds by Morgan Murray
 
Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
Tyler LeBlanc for Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion (Goose Lane Editions)
 
Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
Tyler LeBlanc for Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion (Goose Lane Editions)
 
Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission and Cluett Insurance
Lesley Crewe for The Spoon Stealer (Nimbus Publishing)
 
J.M. Abraham Poetry Award
Afua Cooper for Black Matters, with photography by Wilfried Raussert (Roseway Publishing)
 
Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration
Sydney Smith for I Talk Like a River, written by Jordan Scott (Neal Porter Books)
 
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction), sponsored by the family of John and Margaret Savage and Royden Trainor
Alison Taylor for Aftershock (HarperCollins)
 
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction), sponsored by Weed Man Maritimes, Heritage House Law Office and I Love Renovations
Garry Leeson for The Dome Chronicles (Nevermore Press)
 
Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award
Tammy Armstrong for Year of the Metal Rabbit (Gaspereau Press)
 
Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction), presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth
Silver Donald Cameron (posthumously) for Blood on the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes (Viking Canada)
 
Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
Anne Simpson for Speechless (Freehand Books)

About the Awards:
 
Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian 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. This year’s jury members were Don Aker, Ray Fernandes and Jacqueline Halsey.
 
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 of $1,000 both recognizes the importance of this genre and hopefully encourages the creation of more work in this area. This year’s jury were Jane Ledwell, Amanda Peters and Darcy Rhyno.
 
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, the Atlantic Canadian publisher of the printed book that best exemplifies publishing activity in Atlantic Canada receives the award. The APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award is generously sponsored 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. This year’s jury members were Elisabeth Bailey, Dian Day and Sarah Ziolkowska.
 
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. This year’s jury members were Danielle Metcafe-Chenail, Kirby Ross and Pam Wile.
 
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 award is $2,000. This year’s jury members were Joan Baxter, Paul Mariner and Kaleigh Trace.
 
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 Father Joseph Murray Abraham.  It is valued at $2,000. This year’s jury members were Asha Jeffers, Virginia Konchan and Shannon Webb-Campbell.
 
Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission and Cluett Insurance 
Dartmouth lawyer and activist Jim Connors was a volunteer juror of the fiction entries to the Dartmouth Book Awards from the outset of the annual competitions in 1989 until his death in 2008.  The award is valued at $2,500. This year’s jury members were Nancy Bowes, Kathy Chapman and Rosalie Osmond.
 
Lillian Shepherd Memorial 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. This year’s jury were Karen Dahl, Lisa Doucet and Carolyn Gillis.
 
Margaret and John Savage First Book Awards, sponsored by the family of John and Margaret Savage and Royden Trainor (Fiction) and Weed Man Maritimes, Heritage House Law Office and I Love Renovations (Non-Fiction)
The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award was presented for the first time in 2003 with a value of $1,500 to recognize the best first book published in the previous year by an Atlantic Canadian writer. There are now two awards, valued at $2,500 each (fiction and non-fiction) and supported by many Dartmouth contributors. This year’s fiction jury was Naomi MacKinnon, Corey Redekop and Jessica Scott-Kerrin. The non-fiction jury was Larry Bent, Michelle Porter, and Lana Shupe.
 
The Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award.  
The Nova Scotia Poetry Award was established in 2020 through the efforts of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and poets from across the province, who raised funds to biennially honour the best book of poetry by a Nova Scotia writer. In 2021, the $1,000 prize was named for beloved African Nova Scotia poet and teacher Maxine Tynes (1949-2011). The jury members for the inaugural award were Genevieve Lehr, Anna Quon and Sue Sinclair.
 
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 and at $25,000 is one of Canada’s largest literary awards ($25,000). This year’s jury members were Nicola Davison, Linda Little and Gloria Ann Wesley.
 
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 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, Atlantic Books Today, Halifax Public Libraries, and the support of Chapters/Indigo/Coles, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, and Alliance Française Halifax. 

06 May

Time to Celebrate! Join us for the virtual 2021 Atlantic Book Awards Gala

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.

When: Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: www.atlanticbookawards.ca

Want to celebrate alongside this year’s nominees and publishers? We encourage book lovers to join us for a virtual party hosted in partnership with Atlantic Books Today. Sign up for this free virtual event here (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqf-mhpz4uGNG3-RP0O7J1JwC6gexX7Lix) and be entered to win copies of this year’s nominated books!

If you have any questions, please reach out to festival coordinator Laura Carter at abafcoordinator@gmail.com.

Timeline:
6:30 p.m.: Zoom Viewing Party Starts
7:00 p.m.: Pre-recorded Virtual Gala Starts
7:45 p.m.: Virtual Gala Concludes
8:30 p.m. (or later): Zoom Viewing Party Concludes

22 Apr

Atlantic Book Awards and Festival 2021: A Virtual Experience

Celebrate with this year’s nominees in the comfort of your home during our virtual Atlantic Book Awards festival May 6–13.

Thursday, May 6, 7:00 pm ADT

Family Dynamics in Fiction

Event link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85943093353

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.

Featuring:

Presented in partnership with Halifax Public Libraries.

Monday, May 10, 7:00 pm ADT

Storytellers of Cape Breton

Register for this free event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ilo2yfJEQW268cmXbDnnAQ

Cape Breton is home to a vibrant community of writers that have provided readers with an abundance of treasured novels. Learn how the island plays a role in the works of these three nominees:

Moderated by author and Artistic Director of the Cabot Trail Writers Festival, Rebecca Silver Slayter.

Presented in partnership with the Cabot Trail Writers Festival and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, May 12, 7:00 pm ADT

Understanding Our Past: Exploring Nova Scotia’s history

Register for this free event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_–kBcFAUQNKhdmchfaQ3gA

Writers have historically played an essential role in helping us understand our past, allowing us to see who we are and how we got here. Author Lindsay Ruck (Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians: Inspiring stories of courage and achievement) will lead a discussion of this tradition through the lens of marginalized communities. Featuring:

Presented in partnership with the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, May 18, 7:00 pm ADT

Poetry & Prose: A discussion of craft

Register for this free event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3aw5zlcFQSGM5QIztGskqQ

Join us for a discussion on craft and how, or if, the approach changes when writing in different literary genres. Hosted by author Amanda Peters and featuring:

Presented in partnership with the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

20 Apr

Thanks to our Jurors!

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

16 Apr

Announcing the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

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.