22 Apr

And the nominees are …

The 36 books shortlisted for awards to be presented during the 2022 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival were revealed today during the Atlantic Spotlight at the Frye Festival in Moncton, NB. The nominated titles represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s books.

The books shortlisted for 12 different prizes comprise 28 authors and three illustrators across 16 publishers, representing the best in Atlantic Canadian writing and publishing.

This year features the inaugural Nova Scotia Book Awards gala, celebrating those prizes open only to Nova Scotian authors. These provincial awards were previously awarded as part of the regional Atlantic Book Awards.

The Atlantic Book Awards Festival, a hybrid of in-person and virtual events featuring shortlisted authors and illustrators, runs June 2–9. A highlight this year is the Nova Scotia Book Awards ceremony, which will take place at Halifax City Hall on Monday, June 6.

The Atlantic Book Awards Gala takes place on Thursday, June 9, at Paul O’Regan Hall in Halifax Central Library. The awards ceremony will also be live streamed so book lovers across the region and beyond can join in the celebration.

The Atlantic Legacy Award, honouring an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement and encouragement of the literary arts in Atlantic Canada, will also be presented at the Atlantic Book Awards Gala on June 9.

2022 Nova Scotia Book Awards

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

  • Stephen Kimber, Alexa!: Changing the Face of Canadian Politics (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Susan MacLeod, Dying for Attention: A Graphic Memoir of Nursing Home Care (Conundrum Press)
  • Donna Morrissey, Pluck: A Memoir of a Newfoundland Childhood and the Raucous, Terrible, Amazing Journey to Becoming a Novelist (Penguin Random House Canada)

George Borden Writing for Change Award

  • Glen Canning (with Susan McClelland), My Daughter Rehtaeh Parsons (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Stephen Kimber, Alexa!: Changing the Face of Canadian Politics (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Don Oliver, A Matter of Equality: The Life’s Work of Senator Don Oliver (Nimbus)

Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction)

  • Hannah Moscovitch, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Sharon Robart-Johnson, Jude and Diana (Fernwood Publishing)
  • Colin Sweets Arsenault, Short Mercy (Pottersfield Press)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction)

  • Alexandra Harrington, The Last Time I Saw Her (Nimbus)
  • C. S. Porter, Beneath Her Skin (Nimbus)
  • Colin Sweets Arsenault, Short Mercy (Pottersfield Press)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction)

  • Joanne Gallant, A Womb in the Shape of a Heart: My Story of Miscarriage and Motherhood (Nimbus)
  • Susan MacLeod, Dying for Attention: A Graphic Memoir of Nursing Home Care (Conundrum Press)
  • Don Oliver, A Matter of Equality: The Life’s Work of Senator Don Oliver (Nimbus)

2022 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

  • David Huebert, Chemical Valley (Biblioasis)
  • Amber McMillan, The Running Trees (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Claire Wilkshire, The Love Olympics (Breakwater Books)

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature

  • Jodie Callaghan, The Train (Second Story Press)
  • Chad Lucas, Thanks a Lot, Universe (Amulet Books)
  • Rebecca Thomas, Swift Fox All Along (Annick Press)

APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award

  • Breakwater Books, My Indian by Saqamaw Mi’sel Joe & Sheila O’Neill
  • Goose Lane Editions, Alexa! Changing the Face of Canadian Politics by Stephen Kimber
  • Goose Lane Editions with The Rooms Corporation, Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador by Mireille Eagan

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing

  • Matthew W. Betts & M. Gabriel Hrynick, The Archaeology of the Atlantic Northeast (University of Toronto Press)
  • George Elliott Clarke, Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir (Knopf Canada)
  • Ardath Whynacht, Insurgent Love: Abolition and Domestic Homicide (Fernwood Publishing)

J. M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award

  • Alyda Faber, Poisonous if Eaten Raw (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Triny Finlay, Myself a Paper Clip (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Rebecca Salazar, Sulphurtongue (Penguin Random House)

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

  • Marie Lafrance, Gemma and the Giant Girl, written by Sara O’Leary (Tundra)
  • Alea Marley, This is Ruby written by Sara O’Leary (Tundra)
  • Réjean Roy, Le Géant du Nord Canadien written by Réjean Roy (Bouton d’or Acadie)

Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

  • Michelle Butler Hallett, Constant Nobody (Goose Lane Editions)
  • David Huebert, Chemical Valley (Biblioasis)
  • Sharon Robart-Johnson, Jude and Diana (Fernwood Publishing)

The Atlantic Book Awards Society extends a big congratulations to all of this year’s nominees.

The board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. We’d like to thank the Frye Festival for presenting this year’s shortlist. The 2022 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of our partners and sponsors: the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Atlantic Books Today, Halifax Public Libraries, New Brunswick’s Frye Festival, and the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia.

13 Apr

Stay tuned! The Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist Announcement is coming Friday, April 22, 2022

The Atlantic Book Awards Society is excited to soon present the outstanding books shortlisted for the 2022 Atlantic Book Awards. 

The nominees for this year’s 12 book prizes will be announced during the Frye Festival’s event Spotlight on Atlantic Authors, an evening of readings celebrating great Atlantic Canadian writing from the past year. The event takes place at Bernard-LeBlanc Hall in Moncton, NB on Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m. 

You will be able to find the complete shortlist online here as well as on Facebook and Twitter, where you can stay up-to-date on the Atlantic Book Awards Festival events. 

We look forward to celebrating the Atlantic region’s literary excellence. We hope you can join us online and in-person for this year’s festival and awards from June 2- 9, 2022. Stay tuned for more information on this year’s festival programming. 
We’d like to thank the Frye Festival for presenting this year’s shortlist, as well as our partners and sponsors for their support: the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Atlantic Books Today, Halifax Public Libraries, and the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia.

10 Mar

Atlantic Legacy Award – Call for Nominations

The Atlantic Book Awards Society seeks nominations for the 2022 Atlantic Legacy Award. This award honours individuals who have made a lasting contribution to the development of the literary arts in Atlantic Canada, people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and who have, through innovation, risk-taking, self-sacrifice, and/or creativity, provided opportunity or inspiration (or both) for those sharing Atlantic Canadian stories through writing and publishing.

The recipient might be from the field of publishing, writing, bookselling, or literary arts organizations, but people from all occupations, trades, and walks of life may be nominated—the most important consideration is that the person has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement and encouragement of Atlantic books and writers. Particular consideration will be given to trailblazers, individuals whose work has had (or will have) a lasting impact. With this in mind, the award can be given posthumously.

If you would like to nominate someone, please send a brief biographical summary of the person, focusing on their contribution to the world of books and authors, and reasons why you feel they would be a worthy recipient of the Atlantic Legacy Award. Also include full contact information for your nominee. Please send submissions to Heather MacKenzie (mackenh@halifax.ca) by April 15, 2022.

Submissions will be assessed by a committee made of industry professionals from the home province of each of the nominees. The recipient of the Atlantic Legacy Award will be announced at the Atlantic Book Awards gala.

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