The Manitoba writers who have won this award, who have been nominated for this award - are many of my favourite writers. So following in that lineage is really an honour, but I love the title 'most promising'. It's like wow - there's something else to come! That feels really good especially when you are at the stages of working on a new project.
—Jennifer Stills, Winner of Most Promising Manitoba Writer
There were a few surprises when the Manitoba Book Awards were presented Saturday, April 28, at the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre
Notably, Bandit by Wayne Tefs landed five nominations but at the end of the gala awards night Tefs left empty handed.
The prestigious McNally Robinson Book of the Year went to first time author Esmé Claire Keith for her debut novel Not Being on a Boat
Keith was up against strong competition, including Dancing, With Mirrors by George Amabile (Porcupine's Quill), King: William Lyon MacKenzie King: A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny by Allan Levine (Douglas and McIntyre), Dale Barbour's Winnipeg Beach (University of Manitoba Press) and the afore mentioned Bandit by Wayne Tefs.
Jennifer Still (Jennifer Beaudry)
The John Hirsch
Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer is one of the longest running awards given out (since 1992).
This year Jennifer Still
, author of Girlwood,
took home the award. Still is formerly from Saskatchewan and now firmly ensconced in Winnipeg.
Jennifer joins the ranks of past winners David Bergen
, Miriam Toews
and Michael Van Rooy
CBC's Ismaila Alfa interviewed Jennifer after she received her award. She told him that this particular award has such a wonderful legacy. "The Manitoba writers who have won this award, who have been nominated for this award - are many of my favourite writers. So following in that lineage is really an honour, but I love the title 'most promising'. It's like wow - there's something else to come! That feels really good especially when you are at the stages of working on a new project."
The Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction
was introduced this year, in memory of Winnipeg crime novelist Van Rooy, who died suddenly in January 2011.Susie Moloney
won the inaugural award for her book The Thirteen
, published by Random House Canada
. Moloney's fourth novel has been described as "Desperate Housewives" meets "The Witches of Eastwick".J. R. Léveillé
was the only author to take away two awards this year, for his book of poetry Poème Pierre Prière
(Les Éditions du Blé); The Aqua Lansdowne Prize for Poetry and Book Design of the Year. Léveillé has written more than a dozen works of fiction, poetry and essays. In 1999 he was inducted into the Manitoban Cultural Hall of Fame for his contribution to literature.
"Ravenscraig" (Heartland Assoc.)
by Sandi Krawchenko Altner
, (Heartland Associates
) won the Carol Shields
Winnipeg Book Award.
Just days before the award Krawchenko Altner told SCENE
she was "deeply honoured that Ravenscraig, my novel about Winnipeg at the turn of the 20th century, has been shortlisted for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and thrilled to be in the company of the many fine writers nominated for the Manitoba Book Awards."
The 24th annual awards were presented by the Manitoba Writers' Guild
and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers
The Manitoba Book of the Year Awards also included:
- Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book: A Large Harmonium by Sue Sorensen, Coteau Books
- Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher: Butterfly Winter by W.P. Kinsella, Enfield and Wizenty (an imprint of Great Plains Publications)
- McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award:
Younger Category: S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet
by Larry Verstraete, Sleeping Bear Press
Older Category: Tori by Design
by Colleen Nelson, Great Plains Teen Fiction