The 2012 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival takes place May 10 – 17 with readings and events in all four Atlantic provinces. Join us at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s, NF for the awards celebration on Thursday, May 17!
The shortlist of nominated books for this year’s awards is coming in March. Stay tuned!
Top news of 2011:
2011 Atlantic Book Awards Winners Announced: Kathleen Winter takes home $20K Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize; Alexander MacLeod, Jerry Lockett and Johanna Skibsrud also among the winners.
It was a packed house at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth, NS Thursday night as over 200 of the region’s writers, illustrators, book publishers and readers celebrated the 29 nominees and recipients of 12 different literary prizes at the 2011 Atlantic Book Awards.
The biggest winner of the night was Newfoundland’s Kathleen Winter who took home the coveted $20,000 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize for Annabel (House of Anansi Press), her captivating novel about a baby—who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once—born in 1968 into the spare environment of remote coastal Labrador. Annabel was shortlisted for both the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize and a 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award.
Fellow Raddall and Giller nominee, Dartmouth’s Alexander MacLeod took home the prestigious Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for his collection of short stories, Light Lifting (Biblioasis).
Johanna Skibsrud, winner of the 2010 Giller Prize, took home this year’s Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Choice Award for her first novel, The Sentimentalists (Gaspereau Press). Skribsrud, who hails from Meadowville, Nova Scotia, was also shortlisted for the Atlantic Poetry Prize for her book of poetry, I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being (Gaspereau Press).
The 2011 Atlantic Poetry Prize went to long-time Newfoundland resident, John Steffler for Lookout(McClelland & Stewart), the fifth poetry collection from Canada’s former Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2006–2008).
New Brunswick author and professor Rusty Bittermann received the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing for Sailor’s Hope: The Life and Times of William Cooper, Agrarian Radical in an Age of Revolution (McGill-Queen’s University Press).
The Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, presented by Boyne Clarke, was awarded to Halifax lawyer, Anne Emery for Children in the Morning (ECW Press), the fifth in her popular Monty Collins mystery series.
The Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction in Memory of Robbie Robertson, presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth was presented to double nominee Jerry Lockett for Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada (Formac Publishing), the first book for the Nova Scotia writer, editor and sailor.
The Evelyn Richardson Non-fiction Prize, the longest-running writing award in Atlantic Canada, was awarded to bestselling Halifax author and professor, Laura Penny for More Money than Brains (McClelland & Stewart).
The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature went to New Brunswick’s Valerie Sherrard for her young adult novel, The Glory Wind (Fitzhenry & Whiteside).
Beloved Nova Scotia author Budge Wilson accepted the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration on behalf of Halifax artist Susan Tooke for The City Speaks in Drums, written by Shauntay Grant (Nimbus Publishing). Tooke’s previous collaboration withGrant, Up Home, received “the Lil” in 2009.
The gardening book Grow Organic by Elizabeth Peirce published by Nimbus Publishing of Halifax won the APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award. Administered by the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association (APMA), the award goes to the Atlantic Canadian publisher of the printed book that best exemplifies publishing activity in Atlantic Canada. The prize, sponsored by Friesens Corporation, awards the publisher with $4,000 and the writer with $1,000. Prizes for the runners-up—Outloud: Essays on Mental Illness, Stigma and Recovery, a collection of essays by various authors, published by Newfoundland’s Breakwater Books, and Kate Evans’s novel, Where Old Ghosts Meet, also published by Breakwater—are sponsored by Hignell Book Printing who bestow a $1,000 printing credit to each publisher and $250 to each author.
Two HRM illustrators were honoured this year with the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Book Illustration. Ivan Murphy took home the $1,500 prize for Gadzooks: The Christmas Goose by Jennifer McGrath Kent (Nimbus Publishing) and Sidney Smith also received the prize for Mabel Murple by Sheree Fitch (Nimbus Publishing). There was no recipient this year for the Mayor’s Award for Literary Achievement.
Newfoundland actor/comedian Greg Malone and Breakfast Television host Heidi Petracek kept the audience laughing as they hosted the big awards celebration. Eleanor Dawson, Director of Arts for Newfoundland & Labrador, announced that, in keeping with the mandate of the regional book awards society, the 2012 Atlantic Book Awards will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, launching an effort to move the annual event around the Atlantic region.