Atlantic Canadian Books Nominated for 2021 Atlantic Book Awards
(Halifax, NS) Atlantic Canadian Books Nominated for 2021 Atlantic Book Awards
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.
Nova Scotia author Tyler LeBlanc leads the way, with an unprecedented four nominations for a compelling account of his family history, Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion, published by Goose Lane Editions. Dirty Birds (Breakwater Books Ltd.), a coming-of-age rom-com thriller by Newfoundland author Morgan Murray, has three nominations.
There are four double award nominees on this year’s shortlist, including the late Silver Donald Cameron for his non-fiction work about the 2013 murder of Cape Breton fisher Phillip Boudreau, Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes (Viking Canada); shalan joudry for her collection of poetry, Waking Ground (Gaspereau Press); Julie Curwin for her novel The Appendage Formerly Known as Your Left Arm (Boularaderie Island Press); and Halifax’s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper, for her book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences, Black Matters (Roseway Publishing), with photography by Wilfried Raussert.
The 2021 Atlantic Book Awards includes one of Canada’s biggest book prizes, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, valued at $25,000 and celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year. This year’s Raddall Award nominees are St. John’s author Bridget Canning for her darkly comedic coming-of-age novel, Some People’s Children, (Breakwater Books); Morgan Murray for Dirty Birds (Breakwater Books); and Nova Scotia author Anne Simpson for her powerful novel about justice, witness and courage, Speechless (Freehand Books). Established in 1991 with an endowment by celebrated author Thomas Head Raddall, it provides “the gift of time and peace of mind” so essential to the creation of new work.
Twenty-nine of the forty-two nominations are for books published by Atlantic publishers. Nova Scotia’s Nimbus Publishing leads with six shortlisted titles, followed by Goose Lane Editions with five, while Newfoundland’s Breakwater Books has four. Other regional publishers are: Boulder Press and ISER Books (NL), and Boularderie Island Press, Gaspereau Press, Nevermore Press, New World Publishing, Roseway Publishing and Pottersfield Press (NS).
The 2021 Atlantic Book Festival and Awards takes place online, with the announcement of the shortlist made in partnership with New Brunswick’s Frye Festival. The winners will be announced on May 13. Please visit www.atlanticbookawards.ca for details on the virtual author readings and events taking place May 6 to12.
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 virtual Gala on May 13.
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.
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 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 (Breakwater Books Ltd.) Black Matters by Afua Cooper, with photographs by Wilfried Raussert (Roseway Publishing)
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)
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 Thornhill-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 – 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)
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)
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)