Submissions for the 2019 Awards are now being accepted.
Deadline is Friday, November 1, 2019.
The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) celebrates and promotes excellence in Atlantic Canadian writing by giving out the following annual awards:
- The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award (valued at $25,000)
- The JM Abraham Poetry Award (valued at $2,000)
- The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award (valued at $2,000)
- The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children's Literature (valued at $2,000)
Eligible titles for each award are adjudicated by independent juries recruited and facilitated by WFNS. Submissions are evaluated for their originality, creativity, and quality of writing. One prize will be awarded annually to a winner for each award.
Complete submissions must be mailed to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and postmarked no later than the November 1, 2019 submission deadline. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.
NEW: The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children's Literature alternates between young adult (YA) literature and children's literature. Thus, in 2019, we will accept submissions of children's literature (for readers up to 11 years of age) published between November 2nd 2017 - November 1st 2019. The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia took over the administration of this award from the now defunct Ann Connor Award Society in May 2019. Additional information about the award submissions is provided in the guidelines and rules.
NEW: For shortlisted titles, publishers will pay, within 30 days of shortlist notification, $300 per shortlisted title to offset travel and promotional costs. In the event that a book is shortlisted for multiple awards, the fee will be payable only once. Payment can be made by cheque, money order, or bank draft made out to the Atlantic Book Awards Society.
2. Submission Guidelines & Rules
2.1 All submitted titles must be books that have been published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada between November 2, 2018 and November 1, 2019.
2.2 The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the JM Abraham Poetry Award, and Ann Connor Brimer Award are open to full-time residents of Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick) who have lived in one or a combination of these provinces for at least two concurrent years immediately prior to the submission deadline date.
2.3 The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award is open to full-time residents of Nova Scotia who have lived in the province for at least two concurrent years immediately prior to the submission deadline date.
2.4 The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia reserves the right not to present an award should there not be enough entries for a competitive adjudication process.
2.5 The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award is awarded for a novel or a book of short fiction by an Atlantic Canadian writer (as defined in 2.2). Three times is the maximum that any one writer can win this award. YA titles are not eligible for this award. Please submit all YA titles to the Ann Connor Brimer Award.
2.6 The JM Abraham Poetry Award is awarded for a book of poetry by an Atlantic Canadian writer (as defined in 2.2).
2.7 The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award is awarded for a book of creative non-fiction by a Nova Scotian writer (as defined in 2.3). (Note: the WFNS defines creative non-fiction as a narrative non-fiction book, a collection of essays, a biography, a memoir, or a long-form academic publication that offers a complex and reflective narrative about original research.)
2.8 The following are not eligible submissions for the WFNS's administered awards: co-authored books for which one of the writers does not meet residency requirements; books for which the applicant writer has written only an introduction; anthologies; selected or collected works; reissued books from a previous submission year; unpublished manuscripts; books less than 48 pages in length; dictionaries; reference books.
2.9 NEW! The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature alternates between young adult literature and children’s literature. For the purposes of this award, young adult literature is for readers aged 12 to 17, and children’s literature is for readers up to 11 years old. Each cycle of the award will cover two publication years to ensure no books are missed when the award alternates between YA and children's literature.
3. Submission Procedures
3.1 Each submission must include:
1. Four copies of each nominated book. In the event a title is shortlisted, the publisher will be expected to provide an additional two copies.
2. This form filled out, printed, and signed by the publisher.
Publishers must provide contact information for a representative who will be the best person for any follow up regarding submitted titles. After the submission of titles and the confirmation we provide that submissions have been received, publishers will not receive additional communication from the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia until the spring.
***NOTE: Publishers submitting multiple titles must include one submission form per entry. A single cheque for all entry fees is acceptable.
3. A non-refundable $35 administrative fee per entry per award. Cheques must be made out to the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia.
Multiple submissions from one publisher may be eligible for a multiple submission discount, depending on the resources of the publisher and how many titles the publisher proposes submitting. Please contact the Executive Director at 902.423.8116 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. Entries that do not include the $35 entry fee will be considered incomplete.
3.2 Ineligible and/or incomplete submissions will not be returned and the $35 fee for such submissions will not be refunded. Please contact the WFNS office prior to submitting if there are any questions with regards to title eligibility.
3.3 The list of books deemed eligible by WFNS and submitted to award juries is final.
3.4 Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged via email messages to both publisher contact and writer.
3.5 Complete submissions must be mailed to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia at the following address and postmarked no later than the November 1, 2019 submission deadline. Mail submissions and the required entry fee (see section 3.1) to:
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
3.6 The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia does not accept incomplete or late submissions.
3.7 For assistance, please call 902.423.8116 or e-mail email@example.com
4. Assessment Process & Timeline
4.1 Assessment of all eligible submissions to the WFNS's awards will be adjudicated by independent juries recruited and facilitated by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. There will be a jury with appropriate literary expertise convened for each award.
4.2 The independent jury for each award will abide by the following adjudication process:
1. Jurors recruited for each award receive a package from WFNS prior to their in-person meeting. That package contains copies of all eligible submissions as well as instructions and general criteria for the adjudication process.
2. Jurors for each award attend an in-person meeting facilitated by a WFNS representative. During the in-person meeting, jurors:
a. Disclose any conflicts of interest. Note: WFNS defines conflicts of interest in terms of whether a juror stands to gain any financial benefit through association with a submitted title, or if the juror stands to gain from any moral or intellectual rights, or if the juror has a significant personal relationship with the writer of a submitted title. If there is a conflict of interest, the juror claiming the conflict will be absent during discussion of the book in question.
b. Discuss each book, drawing on each juror’s notes taken during individual assessment before the in-person jury meeting.
c. Reach consensus on a shortlist of three books and a winning book from that shortlist.
4.3 Adjudication for all awards is based on the following general assessment criteria, both for each book on its own terms and in relation to all other books received for the award under consideration:
1. merit of the writing (such as creativity and quality);
2. social and/or cultural merit of the text; and
3. originality of content, approach, or technique.
Peer assessment jurors are asked to read all entries thoughtfully and rigourously, assessing, where appropriate, how the entries may be read and appreciated in response to the following questions:
- Does the work challenge any assumptions about a genre or form?
- Is the work cohesive in story, theme and content?
- Does the text make use of interesting or unusual structure and/or language?
- Is the language evocative?
- Is the work well-organized?
- Is the work fresh, not imitative?
- Has the writer been intentional about the use of style and language?
- Are there any social or cultural considerations that apply?
- Does the work make a contribution to the literary arts?
4.4 Jurors will receive compensation of $250, plus $5 for each book under consideration, plus compensation for travel and accomodations.
4.4 The decisions made by the WFNS juries are final.
4.5 Shortlists and award winners will be announced in spring 2020 in partnership with the Atlantic Book Awards.
4.6 Publishers of winning titles will be supplied with gold seals to attach to books. Digital copies of the seals will also be available.