26 Oct

Call for Book Awards Jurors

Call for Jury Members

2021 Atlantic Book Awards

The Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS) is currently seeking jury members for the following 2021 Atlantic Book Awards:

  • Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction 
  • Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction
  • Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction
  • Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Non-Fiction
  • Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
  • Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize

ABAS wishes to ensure that the composition of our juries is reflective of the diverse community of authors, illustrators, and publishers who participate in our awards programs. The jury for each award is made up of 3 members.


  • Read and evaluate all books submitted to the award (judging criteria for each award will be provided).
  • Keep concise notes on your evaluations. These will be submitted to the awards coordinator once the judging is complete as jury comments are used in promotion of the shortlisted titles and winners.
  • Attend the judging meeting where the shortlist of 3 books will be determined and if possible, the winner. A second judging meeting may be required if the jury cannot decide on a winner at the first session, but this is normally not required.
  • Note: All judging decisions must remain confidential until the shortlists are publicly announced.


What is the timeline?

  • November 15: Books ready for jury members to pick up.
  • February 8: Target date for judging meetings. Depending on public safety protocols and/or location of jurors, these meetings may be held either via Zoom or in-person at the Alderney Gate Library in Dartmouth.
  • March 2021: Shortlists are announced.
  • May 13, 2021: Awards Gala at Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library

How many books will I have to read?

The number of books submitted for each award varies but usually averages between 10 and 25.  As a guideline, here are the numbers of books submitted for each award for 2020, which was an average year:  

  • Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction): 12
  • Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction): 21
  • Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction): 9
  • Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction): 13
  • Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing: 16
  • Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize: 8

Do I get to keep the books?

Yes! As your thank-you for putting in all of those reading hours, you may keep any of the books you wish.

Will I have to serve on the jury more than one year? 

Not necessarily. We’re suggesting a maximum term of two years, provided new jury members can be found.

Interested? Want more information?

Contact Heather MacKenzie at mackenh@halifax.ca