23 Jun

2022 Atlantic Book Awards Festival Virtual Events

Creating Short Fiction Collections

Join acclaimed short story writer Alexander MacLeod (Light Lifting, Animal Person) in conversation with the nominees for the award named for his father, the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction: David Huebert (Chemical Valley), Amber McMillan (The Running Trees), and 

Claire Wilkshire (The Love Olympics). Learn more about the intricacies of their characters’ lives as they weave their way in and out of these collections of short fiction. 

Presented in partnership with the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia.


Small Town Mysteries 

Sit it on storytelling with nominees of the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction). Alexandra Harrington (The Last Time I Saw Her), C. S. Porter (Beneath Her Skin), and Colin Sweets Arsenault (Short Mercy) have all written riveting debut novels rife with mystery. Learn how small towns on the East Coast play a role in the works of these three authors. Moderated by Morgan Murray (Dirty Birds).

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


Indigenous Voices

Join us for a special presentation by nominees for this year’s Atlantic Book Awards. June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize and honour the rich history, heritage, resilience, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples across Canada. Authors Mi’sel Joe and Sheila O’Neill (My Indian), Rebecca Thomas (Swift Fox All Along), and Jodie Callaghan (The Train) will come together to discuss Oral history and the importance of Indigenous people telling their own stories. This online panel is hosted by Kelly Anne Butler, Indigenous Education Specialist at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Presented in partnership with Newfoundland Public Libraries.


An Evening of Poetry 

Join an evening of poetry readings and conversation featuring nominees for the J. M. Abraham Poetry Award: Alyda Faber (Poisonous if Eaten Raw), Triny Finlay (Myself a Paperclip), and Rebecca Salazar (Sulphurtongue). Hosted by musician, poet, performer and Prince Edward Island’s own Tanya Davis.

Presented in Partnership with the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia.


Tough Topics in Children’s Literature

Join the nominees of the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature, Jodie Callaghan (The Train) and Chad Lucas (Thanks a Lot, Universe) as they discuss writing about tough topics for young readers and explore the challenge of turning difficult subjects into compelling children’s literature. This conversation will be hosted by acclaimed author Sheree Fitch, recipient of the 2020 Brimer Award for Everybody’s Different on EveryBody Street.

Presented in Partnership with the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia. 

09 Jun

Atlantic Book Awards Return to Live Gala, 2022 Winners Announced

The 2022 Atlantic Book Awards made a triumphant return to Paul O’Regan Hall at Halifax Central Library on Thursday, June 9. 

The recipients of eight awards were announced at an evening gala hosted by CTV’s Lataevia Beezer. For the first time, a livestream of the awards show also allowed book lovers everywhere to enjoy the ceremony online. 

Last year’s award winners, including Afua Cooper, Sydney Smith, and Anne Simpson, presented the 2022 awards, with some authors joining live and in-person and others via video, in a truly hybrid virtual and in-person event.

At the top of the night, David Huebert received the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction for Chemical Valley, published by Biblioasis, which was also nominated for the prestigious Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. The jury shared that “in his courageous collection, David Huebert holds little back as he weaves superbly crafted stories of the dark, difficult, and gritty reality of being human.” 

Chad Lucas won the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature for his moving middle-grade debut novel, Thanks A Lot, Universe (Amulet Books). This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the award established to honour Ann Connor Brimer, a dedicated educator and Atlantic Officer for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The 2022 Atlantic Legacy Award, established to honour those who have made a lasting contribution to the development of the literary arts in Atlantic Canada, was awarded to Nova Scotia’s Lesley Choyce, publisher of Pottersfield Press and the author of more than 100 novels, books of non-fiction, children’s books, young adult novels, and poetry for adults, teens, and children. 

The APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award for an Atlantic Canadian publisher whose book best exemplifies excellence and achievement in publishing went to New Brunswick’s Goose Lane Editions with The Rooms Corporation for Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador by Mireille Eagan. The jury praised the book, saying, “the spectacular expedition through the visual arts of Newfoundland and Labrador is work of exceptional graphic quality that reveals a rich and astonishing artistic panorama of this territory, so vast and so diverse in its communities.” 

Following the awards honouring excellence in poetry, illustration, and scholarly writing, the finale of the evening was the presentation of one of Canada’s largest book prizes. The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award went to Newfoundland author Michelle Butler Hallett for her novel Constant Nobody (Goose Lane Editions). A spy thriller set in 1937 amid the Spanish Civil War, Constant Nobody is a gripping historical fiction that asks how far an individual will go to protect another — whether out of love or fear.

 The $30,000 prize is administered by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, with support from Thomas Head Raddall’s family. The award is intended to provide writers “the gift of time and peace of mind.”  Marilyn Smulders, Executive Director of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, paid tribute to Thomas Raddall II who peacefully passed away last Friday. T. H. Raddall’s son, the late Dr. Thomas Raddall, was instrumental in creating this generously funded prize in his father’s honour.

Of the book, the Raddall jury said, “Constant Nobody is a powerful book in which both profound inhumanity and unlikely tenderness are real and believable. It’s a novel for our times, shockingly reverberating right up to the present.” 

The board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. 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, Support4Culture, Atlantic Books Today, Chapters/Indigo/Coles, CTV Atlantic, Halifax Public Libraries, New Brunswick’s Frye Festival, and the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia. The Atlantic Book Awards Society also recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism, and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians. 

The winners of the 2022 Atlantic Book Awards are:

  • Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

David Huebert, Chemical Valley (Biblioasis) 

  • Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature

Chad Lucas, Thanks a Lot, Universe (Amulet Books) 

  • APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award

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

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)

  • Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Alea Marley, This is Ruby, written by Sara O’Leary (Tundra)

  • Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

Michelle Butler Hallett, Constant Nobody (Goose Lane Editions) 

08 Jun

2022 Atlantic Book Awards Gala Livestream

Join us online for the 2022 Atlantic Book Awards Gala hosted by CTV’s Lataevia Beezer. Seven awards honouring excellence in writing, illustration, and publishing will be presented by past winners. Discover who will take home this year’s Atlantic Legacy Award honouring an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement and encouragement of the literary arts in Atlantic Canada, and who will win the $30,000 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize.

Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 p.m.

07 Jun

Nova Scotia Book Awards Celebration

Nova Scotian books took centrestage at the inaugural Nova Scotia Book Awards ceremony held Monday night at Halifax City Hall. 

“Well, everyone looks so nice,” said Lindsay Ruck, an author herself and the evening’s emcee, as she surveyed the packed room of mask-wearing attendees.

The event started with the presentation of the Margaret and John Savage First Book Awards for Nonfiction and Fiction. Named for his parents, the first book awards were introduced by Mayor Mike Savage. “Books in our house were a big deal,” he said.

Joanne Gallant received the debut non-fiction prize for her memoir about miscarriage and motherhood, A Womb in the Shape of a Heart, while Colin Sweets Arsenault claimed the debut fiction prize for his novel, Short Mercy. The win starts off a busy week for Sweets Arsenault; he’s getting married on Saturday. 

The new event introduced a new award: the George Borden Writing for Change Award. Previously the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction, this award is for an outstanding non-fiction book by a Nova Scotian author that inspires others and challenges the status quo and is named for the late George Borden (1935–2020). 

The first winner of the George Borden Writing for Change Award is Glen Canning for My Daughter Rehtaeh Parsons. “It has a special meaning to me, to know a tragic story can inspire others to take a stand against injustice and commit to making our communities a safer place for us all,” said Canning.

Sharon Robart-Johnson received the Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction for her meticulously researched novel Jude and Diana, inspired by the true story of an enslaved teenager’s murder in 19th century Nova Scotia. A delighted Robart-Johnson said she couldn’t believe she was even nominated when she first got the news. “When I got the email, I forwarded it to my editor to ask if it was real,” she said. “This means the world to me.”

Veteran journalist Stephen Kimber took home the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award for his biography of Alexa McDonough, Alexa! Changing the Face of Canadian Politics. Jury remarks praised Kimber’s storytelling in presenting “the remarkable journey of a legend.”

Until now, Nova Scotia didn’t have its own provincial literary awards celebration, as all the book awards for Nova Scotia authors were presented as part of the Atlantic Book Awards.

The new event separates Nova Scotia-only literary awards from those awards open to writers from all four Atlantic provinces, shining a more focused spotlight on Nova Scotia authors and books and bringing the province in line with the other three Atlantic provinces, each of which has its own provincial book awards celebration. 

Literary events continue all week, culminating with the Atlantic Book Awards Gala on Thursday, June 9, 7 pm at Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library. For tickets, please see www.atlanticbookawards.ca

The Nova Scotia Book Awards is a partnership between the Dartmouth Books Awards Committee and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, with support from the Atlantic Book Awards Society. The Society for the Nova Scotia Book Awards is grateful for generous funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism, and Heritage, Support4Culture, and the University of King’s College.

Here is the full list of winners as presented:  

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 Publishing)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction)

Colin Sweets Arsenault, Short Mercy (Pottersfield Press)  

George Borden Writing for Change Award

Glen Canning (with Susan McClelland), My Daughter Rehtaeh Parsons (Goose Lane Editions)

Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction)

Sharon Robart-Johnson, Jude and Diana (Fernwood Publishing)  

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

Stephen Kimber, Alexa!: Changing the Face of Canadian Politics (Goose Lane Editions)  

06 Jun

Nova Scotia Book Awards Livestream

2022 Nova Scotia Book Awards

The 2022 Nova Scotia Book Awards take place at Halifax City Hall on Monday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. The event will feature readings by Nova Scotia actors from the five award-winning books.

The inaugural Nova Scotia Book Awards celebrates those prizes open only to Nova Scotian authors. These provincial awards were previously awarded as part of the regional Atlantic Book Award ceremony.

These awards include:

  • The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
  • The George Borden Writing for Change Award
  • The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Fiction)
  • The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction)
  • The Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award

Find the shortlist of nominees here.

Enjoy the show!

26 May

2022 Atlantic Book Awards Gala — Tickets Available now!

Tickets for the 2022 Atlantic Book Awards Gala are now available for purchase.

Details:

Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library
The culmination of the Atlantic Book Awards Festival is the Atlantic Book Awards Gala. Seven book awards, including one of Canada’s biggest book prizes, will be presented along with 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. The gala includes live music, light refreshments, cash bar, and special guest authors will be in attendance. Hosted by CTV’s Lataevia Beezer.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/atlantic-book-awards-gala-tickets-342234772417.

The awards ceremony will also be live streamed so book lovers across the region and beyond can join in the celebration. Find the live stream here on our website or find us on Facebook.

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)

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)

Robbie Robertson 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)

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.