The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature was established in 1991 by the family of Ann Elisabeth Connor Brimer — a teacher, researcher, and program coordinator who served as executive director of the Canadian Learning Materials Centre, founding member of the Nova Scotia Coalition on Arts and Culture, and Atlantic Officer for the Canadian Children's Book Centre. The award honours outstanding contributions to writing for Atlantic Canadian young people.
Beginning with the 2016 submission period, the focus of the award began alternating annually between children's literature (for readers up to 11 years old) and YA literature (for readers aged 12 to 17). The first prize for YA literature in particular was awarded in 2017, and the first prize for children's literature in particular was awarded in 2018.
In 2019, stewardship and administration of the award was passed to the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia from the now-defunct Ann Connor Brimer Society.
One prize is awarded each year for a book of fiction or non-fiction that is readily available in print and that was written by a living, full-time resident of Atlantic Canada and published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the two years prior to the submission deadline. Each cycle of the award covers two publication years to allow for the award's annual alternation between children’s literature (with submissions accepted in odd-numbered years and the prize awarded in the subsequent spring) and YA literature (with submissions accepted in even-numbered years and the prize awarded in the subsequent spring). See Submission Guidelines for details.
2019 prize for YA literature: Susan Sinnott, Catching the Light (Vagrant Press) | Finalists: Vicki Grant, Short for Chameleon (HarperCollins); Daphne Greer, Finding Grace (Nimbus Publishing)
2018 prize for children's literature: Charis Cotter, The Painting (Tundra Books) | Finalists: Sheree Fitch, Polly MacCauley’s Finest Divinest, Wooliest Gift of All (Running the Goat Books & Broadsides); Susan White, The Memory Chair (Acorn Press)
2017 prize for YA literature: Lesley Choyce, Into the Wasteland (Red Deer Press) | Finalistis: Lisa Moore, Flannery (Groundwood Books); Valerie Sherrard, Rain Shadow (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
2016: Sharon E. McKay, Prison Boy (Annick Press) | Finalists: Don Aker, Delusion Road (HarperCollins); Valerie Sherrard, Rain Shadow (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
2015: Sharon E. McKay, The End of the Line (Annick Press) | Finalists: Andy Jones, Jack, the King of Ashes (Running Goat Books & Broadsides); Janet McNaughton, Flame and Ashes: The Great Fire Diary of Triffie Winsor (Scholastic)
2014: Jill MacLean, Nix Minus One (Pajama Press) | Finalists: Jan L. Coates, The Power of Harmony (Red Deer Press); Meghan Marentette, The Stowaways (Pajama Press)
2013: Lisa Harrington, Live to Tell (Dancing Cat Books) | Finalists: Kathleen Martin, Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love, and Injustice in Sierra Leone (Red Deer Press); Sharon E. McKay, Enemy Territory (Annick Press)
2012: Susan White, The Year Mrs. Montague Cried (Acorn Press) | Finalists: Vicki Grant, Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret (HarperCollins); Gloria Ann Wesley, Chasing Freedom (Roseway Publishing)
2011: Valerie Sherrard, The Glory Wind (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) | Finalists: Jan L. Coates, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press); Shauntay Grant, The City Speaks in Drums (Nimbus Publishing)
2010: Jill MacLean, The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) | Finalists: Darlene Ryan, Five Minutes More (Orca Book Publishers); Valerie Sherrard, Tumbleweed Skies (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
2009: Jill MacLean, The Nine Lives of Travis Keating (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) | Finalists: Joanne Jefferson, Lightning and Blackberries (Nimbus Press); Philip Roy, The Submarine Outlaw (Ronsdale Press)
2008: K.V. Johansen, Nightwalker: The Warlocks of Talverdin (Orca Book Publishers) | Finalists: Valerie Sherrard, Speechless (Dundurn); Alice Walsh, A Sky Black with Crows (Red Deer Press)
2007: Budge Wilson, Friendships (Penguin) | Finalists: Janet McNaughton, The Raintree Rebellion (HarperCollins); Darlene Ryan, Saving Grace (Orca Book Publishers)
2006: Kevin Major, Aunt Olga’s Christmas Postcards (Groundwood Books) | Finalists: Vicki Grant, Quid Pro Quo (Orca Book Publishers); Nancy Shouse, Any Pet Will Do (Orca Book Publishers)
2005: Alice Walsh, Pomiuk, Prince of the North (Beach Holme) | Finalists: Maureen Hull, Rainy Days With Bear (Lobster Press); Joanne Taylor, There You Are (Tundra Books)
2004: Don Aker, The First Stone (HarperCollins) | Finalists: Kevin Major, Ann and Seamus (Groundwood); Janet MacNaughton, An Earthly Knight (HarperCollins)
2003: Lesley Choyce, Shoulder the Sky (Dundurn) | Finalists: Robert Rayner, Walker’s Runners (James Lorimer & Co.); Joanne Taylor, Full Moon Rising (Tundra Books)
2002: Frances Wolfe, Where I Live (Tundra Books) | Finalists: David Weale, Everything That Shines (Acorn Press); Budge Wilson, A Fiddle for Angus (Tundra Books)
2001: Janet McNaughton, The Secret Under My Skin (Stoddart Kids) | Finalists: Kevin Major, Eh? To Zed: A Canadian Abecedarium (Red Door Press); Robin McGrath, Hoist Your Sails and Run (Tuckamore)
2000: David Weale, The True Meaning of Crumbfest I (Acorn Press) | Finalists: Sheree Fitch, If I Were the Moon (Doubleday); Shirley Woods, Kit: the Adventures of a Raccoon (Groundwood Books)
1999: Janet McNaughton, Make or Break Spring (Tuckamore) | Finalists: Christina Gunn, Lily (Roseway); Sandra Lightburn, Driftwood Cove (Doubleday); Anne Lousie MacDonald, The Memory Stone (Ragweed); Wenda Young, Angels in the Snow (Coteau Books)
1998: Kevin Major, The House of Wooden Santas (Red Deer Press) | Finalists: Don Aker, Stranger at Bay (Stoddart Kids); Pamela Hickman, Animal Senses (Kids Can Press); Budge Wilson, Sharla (Stoddart Kids)
1997: Janet McNaughton, To Dance at the Palais Royale (Tuckamore) | Finalists: Elaine Breault Hammond, The Secret Under the Whirlpool (Ragweed); Sheree Fitch, If You Could Wear My Sneakers (Doubleday)
1996: Don Aker, Of Things Not Seen (Stoddart) | Finalists: Geoff Butler, The Killick (Tundra); Marjorie Speed, Alexander's Sky Blue Eggs (Roseway)
1995: Sheree Fitch, Mabel Murpel (Nimbus)
1994: Lesley Choyce, Good Idea Gone Bad (Formac)
1993: Budge Wilson, Oliver's War (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
1992: Kevin Major, Eating Between the Lines (Seal Books)
1991: Joyce Barkhouse, Pit Pony (Gage)