Nova Scotia

Atlantic Book Awards shortlist announced

The shortlist for the Atlantic Book Awards has been announced. 30 books are nominated for 11 literary awards.
Thirty books are nominated for 11 Atlantic Book Awards to be handed out May 19, including Alexander MacLeod's Light Lifting (shown). (Biblioasis)

The shortlist for the Atlantic Book Awards has been announced.

Thirty books are nominated for 11 literary awards.

Five are double nominees, including Alexander MacLeod's compilation of short fiction Light Lifting, which was a 2010 Giller Prize short list selection. The Dartmouth, N.S.-based St. Mary's University teacher is up for the region's top literary prize — the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. The other two nominees for that award are New Brunswick's Beth Powning for The Sea Captain's Wife and Newfoundland's Kathleen Winter for Annabel. Winter's novel was also nominated for both the Giller Prize and a Governor General's Literary Award.

Other double nominees include Newfoundland's Kate Evans for Where Old Ghosts Meet, Nova Scotia's Jerry Lockett for Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada, and Nova Scotia-native Johanna Skibsrud for I Do Not Think That I Could Love A Human Being and The Sentimentalists, which won the 2010 Giller Prize.

Shauntay Grant and Susan Tooke's children's book, The City Speaks in Drums is also nominated for two awards: one for Grant as author, the other for Tooke as illustrator.

Nate Crawford, executive director of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and an Atlantic Book Awards Society board member, said it's good to see a balanced shortlist featuring authors from around the region.

"For the Raddall Award, I'm pleased that there's a Newfoundlander, a New Brunswicker and a Nova Scotian represented in that category, which is nice," said Crawford. "Off the top of my head, this is the first year in some time we've seen all those provinces represented."

Publishers from all four Atlantic provinces are well represented on this year's shortlist. Apart from Halifax's Nimbus Publishing, which has three books nominated for four awards, Nova Scotia's Pottersfield Press and Gaspereau Press each have two nominated titles, as does Newfoundland's Breakwater Books. P.E.I.'s Acorn Press, New Brunswick's Goose Lane Editions, Cape Breton University Press, and Halifax's Formac Publishing each have one title on the list.

The awards will be handed out in Dartmouth May 19 during the 2011 Atlantic Book Awards and Festival. The festival runs May 12 to 19 with free literary events taking place in all four Atlantic provinces.

2011 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature:

  • Jan L. Coates, A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk (Red Deer Press).
  • Shauntay Grant, The City Speaks in Drums (Nimbus Publishing).
  • Valerie Sherrard, The Glory Wind (Fitzhenry & Whiteside).

APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award:

  • Grow Organic by Elizabeth Pierce (Nimbus Publishing).
  • Out Loud: Essays on Mental Illness, Stigma and Recovery by various authors (Breakwater Books).
  • Where Old Ghosts Meet by Kate Evans (Breakwater Books).

Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award:

  • Deborah Carr, Sanctuary (Goose Lane Editions).
  • Sheree Fitch, Pluto's Ghost (Random House).
  • Johanna Skibsrud, The Sentimentalists (Gaspereau Press).

Atlantic Poetry Prize:

  • Johanna Skibsrud, I Do Not Think That I Could Love A Human Being (Gaspereau Press).
  • Douglas Burnet Smith, Learning To Count (Frontenac House Ltd.)
  • John Steffler, Lookout (McClelland & Stewart).

Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction):

  • Lesley Choyce, Raising Orion (Thistledown Press).
  • Sheldon Currie, Two More Solitudes (Key Porter Books).
  • Anne Emery, Children in the Morning (ECW Press).

Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction):

  • John Boileau, Halifax & the Royal Canadian Navy (Nimbus Publishing).
  • Daniel Doucet, Élizabeth LeFort: Canada's Artist in Wool (Cape Breton University Press).
  • Jerry Lockett, Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada (Formac Publishing).

Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing:

  • Rusty Bittermann, Sailor's Hope (McGill-Queen's University Press).
  • Josie Penny, So Few on Earth (Dundurn Press).
  • Jon Tattrie, The Hermit of Africville (Pottersfield Press).

Evelyn Richardson Memorial Literary Prize for Non-fiction:

  • Laura Penny, More Money Than Brains (McClelland & Stewart).
  • J. A. Wainwright, Blazing Figures: A Life of Robert Markle (Wilfred Laurier University Press).
  • Christopher A. Walsh, Under the Electric Sky (Pottersfield Press).

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Illustration

  • Brian Deines, One Hockey Night by David Ward (Scholastic).
  • Doretta Groenendyk, Snow for Christmas (Acorn Press).
  • Susan Tooke, The City Speaks in Drums by Shauntay Grant (Nimbus Publishing).

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award:

  • Kate Evans, Where Old Ghosts Meet (Breakwater Books).
  • Jerry Lockett, Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada (Formac Publishing).
  • Alexander MacLeod, Light Lifting (Biblioasis).

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award:

  • Alexander MacLeod, Light Lifting (Biblioasis).
  • Beth Powning, The Sea Captain's Wife (Random House of Canada Ltd.)
  • Kathleen Winter, Annabel (House of Anansi Press).