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Annabel by Montreal-based, N.L.-raised Kathleen Winter is published by Anansi. ((House of Anansi))

A Newfoundland and Labrador writer is the big winner at the 2011 Atlantic Book Awards.

Kathleen Winter won the Atlantic Fiction Prize for her book Annabel.

The award was handed out in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Thursday night. It comes  with a $20,000 cheque.

Annabel was shortlisted last year  for the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award and the Writers' Trust Award — competing alongside her younger brother Michael (The Death of Donna Whalen). It went on to vie for the prestigious Orange Prize in the U.K., celebrating the best in female writing. 

Winter wrote Annabel, which did not capture any awards, mainly in Montreal where she has lived for the last two years.

However, she says she first became familiar with Labrador when she went to the Innu community of Sheshatshiu in 1993 to make a film about a local musician.