The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award was established in 1978 to honour the work of non-fiction writers in Nova Scotia. It is named for Evelyn Richardson, who won the 1945 Governor General’s Non-Fiction Award for We Keep A Light, her memoir of life in a family of lighthousekeepers on Bon Portage Island, Shelburne County.

Richardson Non-fiction medallion

One prize is awarded each year for a book of creative non-fiction that was written by a full-time resident of Nova Scotia and published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the year prior to the submission deadline. Creative non-fiction includes narrative non-fiction, collected essays, biography, memoir, and long-form academic publication that offers a complex and reflective narrative about original research. See Submission Guidelines for details.

 


Past Recipients

 

Kate Inglis, Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief (Shambhala Publications) Lezlie Lowe, No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs (Coach House Books) Lori Neilsen Glenn, Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (Wolsak & Wy

2019: Kate Inglis, Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief (Shambhala Publications) | Finalists: Lezlie Lowe, No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs (Coach House Books); Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (Wolsak & Wynn)

Jury: Deidre Dwyer; Sandra Phinney; Simon Thibault

Jury's citation: "Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief by Kate Inglis is a compassionate exploration of the many guises of grief. It is an engaging, heart-warming, heart-wrenching guide that begins with the personal and takes us to the universal. In this sometimes lyrical book, Inglis, a lover of language and the founder of Glow in the Woods, a 'groundbreaking online community,' teaches us all what it means to face and live with grief."


John DeMont, The Long Way Home: A Personal History of Nova Scotia (McClelland & Stewart) Joan Baxter, The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest (Pottersfield Press) Pauline Dakin, Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood (Viking)

2018: John DeMont, The Long Way Home: A Personal History of Nova Scotia (McClelland & Stewart) | Finalists: Joan Baxter, The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest (Pottersfield Press); Pauline Dakin, Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood (Viking)


Erin Wunker, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on everday life (Book*hug) Burnley “Rocky” Jones & James W. St. G. Walker, Burnley “Rocky” Jones: Revolutionary (Roseway Publishing) Jon Tattrie, Redemption Songs: How Bob Marley's Nova Scotia Song Lights

2017: Erin Wunker, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on everyday life (Book*hug) | Finalists: Burnley “Rocky” Jones & James W. St. G. Walker, Burnley “Rocky” Jones: Revolutionary (Roseway Publishing); Jon Tattrie, Redemption Songs: How Bob Marley's Nova Scotia Song Lights The Way Past Racism (Pottersfield Press)

 

Gary L. Saunders, My Life With Trees (Gaspereau Press) Marq de Villiers, Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water (Goose Lane Editions) Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia—The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduc

2016: Gary Saunders, My Life With Trees (Gaspereau Press) | Finalists: Marq de Villiers, Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water (Goose Lane Editions); Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia—The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation (HarperCollins)

 

Kaleigh Trace, Hot, Wet, & Shaking: How I Learned To Talk About Sex (Invisible Publishing) Heather Sparling, Reeling Roosters & Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music (Cape Breton University Press) Graham Steele, What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise

2015: Kaleigh Trace, Hot, Wet, & Shaking: How I Learned to Talk About Sex (Invisible Publishing) | Finalists: Heather Sparling, Reeling Roosters & Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music (Cape Breton University Press); Graham Steele, What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise and Collapse of Nova Scotia's NDP Government (Nimbus Publishing)

 

Stephen Kimber, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five (Fernwood) John DeMont, A Good Day’s Work: In Pursuit of a Disappearing Canada (Doubleday) Richard Foot, Driven: How the Bathurst Tragedy Ignited a Crusade for Change (Goose Lane

2014: Stephen Kimber, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five (Fernwood) | Finalists: John DeMont, A Good Day’s Work: In Pursuit of a Disappearing Canada (Doubleday); Richard Foot, Driven: How the Bathurst Tragedy Ignited a Crusade for Change (Goose Lane Editions)

 

Steven Laffoley, Shadowboxing: the rise and fall of George Dixon (Pottersfield Press) Jerry Lockett, The Discovery of Weather: Stephen Saxby, the tumultuous birth of weather forecasting, and Saxby’s Gale of 1869 (Formac) Herb MacDonald, Cape Breton Railwa

2013: Steven Laffoley, Shadowboxing: the rise and fall of George Dixon (Pottersfield Press) | Finalists: Jerry Lockett, The Discovery of Weather: Stephen Saxby, the tumultuous birth of weather forecasting, and Saxby’s Gale of 1869 (Formac); Herb MacDonald, Cape Breton Railways: An Illustrated History (Cape Breton University Press)

 

Harry Thurston, The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History (Greystone Books/The David Suzuki Foundation) Chris Benjamin, Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada (Nimbus Publishing) Ray McLeod, Hope For Wildlife: True Stories of Animal Rescue (Nimbus

2012: Harry Thurston, The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History (Greystone Books & The David Suzuki Foundation) | Finalists: Chris Benjamin, Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada (Nimbus Publishing); Ray McLeod, Hope for Wildlife: True Stories of Animal Rescue (Nimbus Publishing)

 

Laura Penny, More Money Than Brains: Why School Sucks, College is Crap & Idiots Think They're Right (McClelland & Stewart) J. A. Wainwright, Blazing Figures: A Life of Robert Markle (Wilfred Laurier University Press) Christopher A. Walsh, Under the Electr

2011: Laura Penny, More Money Than Brains: Why Schools Suck, College is Crap & Idiots Think They're Right (McClelland & Stewart) | Finalists: J. A. Wainwright, Blazing Figures: A Life of Robert Markle (Wilfred Laurier University Press); Christopher A. Walsh, Under the Electric Sky: The Legacy of the Bill Lynch Shows (Pottersfield Press)

 

John DeMont, Coal Black Heart: The Story of Coal and the Lives it Ruled (Doubleday) Jason I. Brown, Our Days Are Numbered: How Mathematics Orders Our Lives (McClelland & Stewart) Harry Bruce, Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers (McClelland

2010: John DeMont, Coal Black Heart: The Story of Coal and the Lives it Ruled (Doubleday) | Finalists: Jason I. Brown, Our Days Are Numbered: How Mathematics Orders Our Lives (McClelland & Stewart); Harry Bruce, Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers (McClelland & Stewart)

 

William D. Naftel, Halifax At War: Searchlights, Squadrons and Submarines, 1939-1945 (Formac) Marq de Villiers, Dangerous World: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival (Viking) Stephen Kimber, Loyalists & Layabouts: The

2009: William B. Naftel, Halifax at War: Searchlights, Squadrons and Submarines 1939-1945 (Formac) | Finalists: Marq de Villiers, Dangerous World: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival (Viking); Stephen Kimber, Loyalists & Layabouts: The rapid rise and faster fall of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 1783-1792 (Doubleday)

 

Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose (Thomas Allen Publishers) Stewart Donovan, The Forgotten World of R.J. MacSween: A Life (Cape Breton University Press) Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, My

2008: Marq de Villiers, The Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose (Thomas Allen Publishers) | Finalists: Stewart Donovan, The Forgotten World of R.J. MacSween: A Life (Cape Breton University Press); Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, Mystery and Murder (Pottersfield Press)

 

Linden MacIntyre, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence (HarperCollins) Marq de Villiers, Windswept: The Story of Wind and Weather (McClelland & Stewart) Natalie MacLean, Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass (Doubleday)

2007: Linden MacIntyre, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence (McClelland & Stewart) | Finalists: Marq de Villiers, Windswept: The Story of Wind and Weather (McClelland & Stewart); Natalie MacLean, Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass (Doubleday)

 

Linda Johns, Birds of a Feather: Tales of a Wild Bird Haven (Goose Lane Editions) Dean Jobb, The Acadians: A People’s Story of Exile and Triumph (John Wiley & Sons) Laura M. MacDonald, Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Explosion, 1917 (HarperCollins)

2006: Linda Johns, Birds of a Feather: Tales of a Wild Bird Haven (Goose Lane Editions) | Finalists: Dean Jobb, The Acadians: A People’s Story of Exile and Triumph (John Wiley & Sons); Laura M. MacDonald, Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Explosion, 1917 (HarperCollins)

 

Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle, A Dune Adrift: The Strange Origins and Curious History of Sable Island (McClelland & Stewart) David B. Flemming, Explosion in Halifax Harbour: The Illustrated Account of a Disaster that Shook the World (Formac) Roger Ma

2005: Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle, A Dune Adrift: The Strange Origins and Curious History of Sable Island (McClelland & Stewart) | Finalists: David B. Flemming, Explosion in Halifax Harbour: The Illustrated Account of a Disaster that Shook the World (Formac); Roger Marsters, Bold Privateers: Terror, Plunder and Profit on Canada’s Atlantic Coast (Formac)

 

Harry Thurston, Island of the Blessed: The Secrets of Egypt’s Everlasting Oasis (Doubleday) Billy Budge, Memoirs of a Lightkeeper’s Son: Life on St. Paul Island (Pottersfield Press)  Heather Laskey, Night Voices: Heard in the Shadow of Hitler and Stalin (

2004: Harry Thurston, Island of the Blessed: The Secrets of Egypt's Everlasting Oasis (Doubleday) | Finalists: Billy Budge, Memoirs of a Lightkeeper’s Son: Life on St. Paul Island (Pottersfield Press); Heather Laskey, Night Voices: Heard in the Shadow of Hitler and Stalin (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

 

Stephen Kimber, Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War (Doubleday) Dan Falk, Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for a Theory of Everything (Viking) Michael Harris, Con Game: The Truth About Canada's Prisons (McClelland & Stewart)

2003: Stephen Kimber, Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War (Doubleday) | Finalists: Dan Falk, Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for a Theory of Everything (Viking); Michael Harris, Con Game: The Truth About Canada's Prisons (McClelland & Stewart)

 

Kent Thompson, Getting Out of Town by Book & Bike (Gaspereau Press) Dean Beeby, Deadly Frontiers: Disaster and Rescue on Canada’s Atlantic Seaboard (Goose Lane Editions) Gary L. Saunders, Discover Nova Scotia: The Ultimate Nature Guide (Nimbus Publishing/

2002: Kent Thompson, Getting Out of Town by Book and Bike (Gaspereau Press) | Finalists: Dean Beeby, Deadly Frontiers: Disaster and Rescue on Canada’s Atlantic Seaboard (Goose Lane Editions); Gary L. Saunders, Discover Nova Scotia: The Ultimate Nature Guide (Nimbus Publishing & Nova Scotia Museum)

 

Joan Baxter, A Serious Pair Of Shoes: An African Journal (Pottersfield Press) Andria Hill, Mona Parsons: From privilege to prison, from Nova Scotia to Nazi Europe (Nimbus Publishing) Harold Horwood, Among the Lions: A Lamb in the Literary Jungle (Creative

2001: Joan Baxter, A Serious Pair Of Shoes: An African Journal (Pottersfield Press) | Finalists: Andria Hill, Mona Parsons: From privilege to prison, from Nova Scotia to Nazi Europe (Nimbus Publishing); Harold Horwood, Among the Lions: A Lamb in the Literary Jungle (Creative Book Publishing)

 

Robin Metcalfe, Studio Rally: Art and Craft of Nova Scotia (Goose Lane Editions) Marq de Villiers, Water: Why You Should Worry (Stoddart) Linda Johns, For the Birds: Nature Notes from a Woodland Studio (McClelland & Stewart)

2000: Robin Metcalfe, Studio Rally: Art and Craft of Nova Scotia (Goose Lane Editions) | Finalists: Marq de Villiers, Water: Why You Should Worry (Stoddart); Linda Johns, For the Birds: Nature Notes from a Woodland Studio (McClelland & Stewart)

 

Silver Donald Cameron, The Living Beach: Life, Death and Politics where the Land Meets the Sea (Macmillan) Michael Harris, Lament for An Ocean: The Collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery: A True Crime Story (McClelland & Stewart) Ann Spencer, Alone at Sea:

1999: Silver Donald Cameron, The Living Beach: Life, Death and Politics where the Land Meets the Sea (Macmillan) | This was the first year in which finalists for the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Prize were announced. Finalists: Michael Harris, Lament for An Ocean: The Collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery: A True Crime Story (McClelland & Stewart); Ann Spencer, Alone at Sea: The Adventures of Joshua Slocum (Doubleday)

 

1998: Harry Bruce, An Illustrated History of Nova Scotia (Nimbus Publishing)

 

Harry Thurston, The Nature of Shorebirds: Nomads of the Wetlands (Greystone Books)

1997: Harry Thurston, The Nature of Shorebirds: Nomads of the Wetlands (Greystone Books)

 

Simone Poirier-Bures, That Shining Place (Oberon Press)

1996: Simone Poirier-Bures, That Shining Place (Oberon Press)

 

1995: Elizabeth Pacey, Landmarks: Historic Buildings of Nova Scotia (Nimbus Publishing)

 

1994: Peter Brock, Variations on a Planet (Pottersfield Press)


1993: Sally Ross and Alphonse Deveau, The Acadians of Nova Scotia: Past and Present (Nimbus Publishing)


1992: Robert Pope, Illness & Healing: Images of Cancer (Lancelot Press)

 

1991: Harry Thurston, Tidal Life: A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy (Camden House)


Judith Fingard, The Dark Side of Life in Victorian Halifax (Pottersfield Press)

1990: Judith Fingard, The Dark Side of Life in Victorian Halifax (Pottersfield Press)

 

1989: Dean Jobb, Shades of Justice: Seven Nova Scotia Murder Cases (Nimbus Publishing)


1988: Harold Horwood, Dancing on the Shore: A Celebration of Life at Annapolis Basin (McClelland & Stewart)

 

1987: Tony Foster, Meeting of Generals (Methuen)

 

1986: P. B. Waite, The Man from Halifax: Sir John Thompson, Prime Minister (University of Toronto Press)

 

1985: Lilias M. Toward, Mabel Bell: Alexander's Silent Partner (Methuen)

 

1984: Brian C. Cuthbertson, The Loyalist Governor: Biography of Sir John Wentworth (Petheric)

 

J. Murray Beck, Joseph Howe: Volume 1, Conservative Reformer, 1804-1848 (McGill-Queen's University Press)

1983: J. Murray Beck, Joseph Howe: Volume 1, Conservative Reformer, 1804-1848 (McGill-Queen's University Press)

 

1982: Bruce Armstrong, Sable Island: Nova Scotia's Mysterious Island of Sand (Doubleday)


Kay Hill, Joe Howe: The Man Who Was Nova Scotia (McClelland & Stewart)

1981: Kay Hill, Joe Howe: The Man Who Was Nova Scotia (McClelland & Stewart)


1980: Joan and Lewis Payzant, Like a Weaver's Shuttle: A History of the Halifax-Dartmouth Ferries (Nimbus Publishing)

 

1979: Alden Nowlan, Double Exposure (Brunswick)

 

Harry Bruce, Lifeline: The Story of the Atlantic Ferries and Coastal Boats (MacMillan)

1978: Harry Bruce, Lifeline: The Story of the Atlantic Ferries and Coastal Boats (MacMillan)