Thirty Books Nominated for 2013 Atlantic Book Awards

A Sweet Release...

Posted: March 20, 2013

The Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to announce the full shortlist for the ten different book prizes that make up the 2013 Atlantic Book Awards. The thirty books up for awards represent the wide range of literary works being produced in Atlantic Canada—from traditional novels to cutting edge fiction; thought-provoking non-fiction and deeply researched books on Atlantic Canadian history, to poetry; and illustrated children’s picture books to novels written for teens and young adults. The full shortlist is printed below and is available at

Among the more familiar names on the shortlist are media personality and CTV Atlantic’s meteorologist, Cindy Day for her weather-related book, Grandma Says (Nimbus Publishing); prolific and celebrated Newfoundland novelist, Donna Morrissey for The Deception of Livvy Higgs (Viking Canada); and acclaimed poet Don McKay for Paradoxides (McClelland & Stewart).

McKay is nominated for The E.J. Pratt Poetry Award. The E.J. Pratt Award, along with the Rogers Communications Award for Non-fiction, is part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards which carry the distinguished patronage of the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador. These awards cover a two-calendar-year publishing period as they alternate between non-fiction/poetry one year, and fiction/children’s/young adult literature the next. Under the umbrella of the Atlantic Book Awards for the second time now, the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards are presented by the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador in partnership with the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A new Atlantic Book Award being presented for the first time this year is the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, sponsored by Marquis Imprimeur.

The region’s book publishers are well represented on the shortlist with 16 of the 30 awards going to books by Atlantic publishers. Halifax’s Nimbus Publishing leads, having published five of the shortlisted titles, while New Brunswick’s Goose Lane Editions has three nominations, and Cape Breton University Press and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Breakwater Books each have two nominations. Other regional publishers with short-listed titles are Nova Scotia’s Fernwood Publishing, PEI’s Acorn Press and St. John’s-based Creative Book Publishing and Flanker Press.

The Atlantic Book Awards Society announced the nominees last evening at a fundraising event that featured author Donna Morrissey hosting a conversation with fellow writers Catherine Banks, Sylvia Gunnery and Shandi Mitchell.

The 2013 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival runs May 9-16 with free literary events taking place in all four Atlantic Provinces. Festival details will be available at in the coming weeks.  Winners of the 2013 Atlantic Book Awards will be announced at a special awards show on the last night of the week-long festival, Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m. at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth, NS. It’s a special year this year for the Dartmouth Book Awards – 2013 is the 25th anniversary of these awards, some of the oldest in Canada.

The Board of the non-profit Atlantic Book Awards Society is made up of representatives of the Atlantic Canadian book and writing community. The 2013 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Province of Nova Scotia and Access Copyright, and the sponsorship of Chapters-Indigo, the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association, Advocate Printing, The Chronicle Herald, The Telegram, The Guardian, and The Telegraph-Journal.

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Twitter: @atlbookawards



Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

Live to Tell By Lisa Harrington Publisher: Dancing Cat Books

Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love, and Injustice in Sierra Leone By Kathleen Martin Publisher: Red Deer Press

Enemy Territory By Sharon E. McKay Publisher:  Annick Press


APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award
Sponsored by Friesens Corporation

Grandma Says By Cindy Day Publisher: Nimbus Publishing

Riptides: New Island Fiction Edited by Richard Lemm  Published by: Acorn Press

The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini By Bruce MacNab  Publisher: Goose Lane Editions


Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing
Sponsored by Marquis Imprimeur

The Ocean Ranger: Remaking the Promise of Oil By Susan Dodd Publisher: Fernwood Publishing

A History of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic to 1818 By Shannon Ryan Publisher: Flanker Press

The Language of This Land, Mi'kma'ki By Trudy Sable and Bernie Francis Publisher: Cape Breton University Press


Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction in Memory of Robbie Robertson
Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth

The Village of My Heart’s Mistake:  An Acadian Life By Denise Cormier Publisher: Encompass Editions

Nova Scotia’s Historic Rivers:  The Waterways that Shaped the Province By Joan Dawson Publisher: Nimbus Publishing

French Taste in Atlantic Canada 1604-1758:  A Gastronomic History/Le goût Français au Canada Atlantique 1604-1758: Une Histoire Gastronomique By Anne Marie Lane Jonah and Chantal VéChambre Publisher: Cape Breton University Press


Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

Haunted Girl:  Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery By Laurie Glenn Norris with Barbara Thompson Publisher: Nimbus Publishing

Master and Madman: The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN By Peter Thomas and Nicholas Tracy Publisher: Goose Lane Editions

In Search of R. B. Bennett By P.B. Waite Publisher:  McGill-Queen’s University Press


E.J. Pratt Poetry Award

Gift Horse By Mark Callanan Publisher: Signal Editions/Véhicule Press

Paradoxides By Don McKay Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Whiteout By George Murray Publisher: ECW Press


Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke

The Rest is Silence By Scott Fotheringham Publisher:  Goose Lane Editions

Anna From Away By D. R. MacDonald Publisher:  Harper Collins Publishers Limited

The Deception of Livvy Higgs By Donna Morrissey Publisher: Viking Canada


Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration

Driftwood Dragons and Other Seaside Poems By Tyne Brown Illustrated by Tamara Thiebaux Heikalo (nominee) Publisher: Nimbus Publishing

I is for Island: A Prince Edward Island Alphabet By Hugh MacDonald Illustrated by Brenda Jones (nominee) Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Toes In My Nose and Other Poems By Sheree Fitch Illustrated by Sydney Smith (nominee) Publisher: Nimbus Publishing


Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

High-Water Mark By Nicole Dixon Publisher:  The Porcupine’s Quill

Dirty Bird By Keir Lowther Publisher: Tightrope Books

Braco By Lesleyanne Ryan Publisher: Breakwater Books


Rogers Communications Award for Non-fiction

The Other Side of Midnight: Taxicab Stories By Mike Heffernan Publisher: Creative Book Publishing

Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders: The True Story of Newfoundland’s Confederation with Canada By Greg Malone Publisher: Knopf Canada

In the Field By Joan Sullivan Publisher: Breakwater Books

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