Shortlisted titles announced for New Brunswick Book Awards

March 29, 2021 – The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick and The Fiddlehead have announced the shortlisted titles for the 6th annual New Brunswick Book Awards. The winners will be revealed at a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, May 6.

The program will celebrate books published in the 2020 calendar year in the poetry, fiction and nonfiction categories and children’s picture books published in the 2019 and 2020 calendar years.


The finalists are as follows:

Mrs. Dunster’s Award for Fiction
Judge: Mark Sampson, author of several novels, most recent All the Animals on Earth, short story and poetry collections

Mark Anthony Jarman, Fredericton, Czech Techno (Anvil Press)

Riel Nason, Quispamsis, Waiting under Water (Scholastic Canada Ltd.)

Kathleen Peacock, Fredericton, You Were Never Here (Harper Teen, imprint of Harper Collins Publishers)

Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing
Judge: Frieda Wishinsky, author of over 60 trade and educational children’s books including picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction

Shyla Augustine, Fredericton, Mi’kmaq Alphabet Book (Herman’s Monster House Publishing)
Illustrator Braelyn Cyr, Fredericton

Marla Lesage, Lincoln, We Wear Masks (Orca Book Publishers)
Illustrator Marla Lesage

Kim Renton, Stilesville, What-Cha-Doing? (Chocolate River Publishing)
Illustrator Tamara Thiebaux Heikalo, St-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec

The Fiddlehead Poetry Book Prize
Judge: Yusuf Saadi, winner of the The Malahat Review‘s 2016 Far Horizons Award for Poetry and the 2016 Vallum Chapbook Award. His first collection, Pluviophile, was selected for the CBC’s 2020 summer reading list

Allan Cooper, Riverview, Waiting for the Small Ship of Desire (Pottersfield Press)

M. Travis Lane, Fredericton, Keeping Count (Gordon Hill Press)

Emily Skov-Nielsen, Saint John, The Knowing Animals (Brick Books)

Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Nonfiction Award
JudgeNaomi Lewis fiction and nonfiction writer, editor, and creative writing teacher. Her 2019 memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers has won numerous awards including Alberta’s Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction

Odette Barr, Petit-Cap, Teaching at the Top of the World (Pottersfield Press)

Virginia Bliss Bjerkelund, Fredericton, Meadowlands: A Chronicle of the Scovil Family (Chapel Street Editions)

Phillip Lee, Fredericton, Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River (Goose Lane Editions)

The New Brunswick Book Awards are open to traditionally published and self-published authors who have lived in the province for three of the last five years, including the award year.

The book awards program represents a partnership between the Writers’ Federation, which for more than 30 years has passionately supported the development of home-grown writers at all stages of development, and The Fiddlehead, Canada’s oldest literary magazine, which has nurtured New Brunswick’s literary culture for more than 75 years.


Media Contacts:
Ian LeTourneau
Cell: (506) 440-8072

Rayanne Brennan
Cell: (506) 961-3633

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