The Strangers' Gallery Paul Bowdring

Paul Bowdring won the 2013 BMO Winterset Award for his novel The Strangers' Gallery. (Amazon photo)

Bell Island author Paul Bowdring has won the 2013 BMO Winterset Award.

Bowdring won Atlantic Canada's most valuable literary award for his novel The Strangers' Gallery.

Lt.-Gov. Frank Fagan made the announcement Thursday afternoon at Government House in St. John's.

The award recognizes excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing and comes with a $10,000 prize.

Back in November, Bowdring spoke with CBC WAM about his novel.

One of the characters is a man obsessed with the idea that the Newfoundland could have continued on as a separate country, and shouldn't have joined with Canada.

"I grew up after Confederation, and I think my whole generation of Newfoundlanders grew up not even knowing anything about this — it's almost as if our history was kept from us," Bowdring said.

He said it wasn't until the 1970s that he became interested and began researching more about the province's history pre-Confederation.

Bowdring's award-winning novel was published by Vagrant Press.

Other nominees for the annual award were Lisa Moore, for Caught, and Carmelita McGrath for her poetry collection Escape Velocity.

Comedian Andy Jones won the award last year for his book Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves.