Allison Watson believes in living every day to the fullest. Raised in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick, she had an active childhood despite daily treatment for cystic fibrosis. In 2014, she received new lungs in Toronto. As a side effect, she was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder. After intensive chemotherapy, she is now cancer free and is again able to physically do the things she enjoys.
Marq de Villiers is a journalist and the author of more than a dozen books. His vision and skill have been recognized with prestigious literary awards both in Canada and in his native South Africa, including a Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction for his book Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource and South Africa’s Alan Paton Award for White Tribe Dreaming.
Based in Halifax, Ian Colford writes short fiction, novels, and literary criticism. His first book, the short fiction collection Evidence (Porcupine’s Quill, 2008), won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award and was a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize, the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and the ReLit Award. Since then, he has gone on to publish two novels.
Originally from Cape Breton and now based in Dartmouth, Amy Spurway is a writer, performer, and editor. She has worked with CBC Radio and published in Today’s Parent, The Toronto Star, and other venues. Her debut novel, Crow (Goose Lane Editions) was released a year ago and was recently shortlisted for two Atlantic Book Awards, the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction) and the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.
Anne Kelly’s first published novel is Jacques’ Escape, released by Trap Door Books in 2019. But she has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She got her first taste of sharing her writing in Grade 4, when she wrote a class newspaper with a friend. Anne is an avid reader, and especially enjoys reading historical fiction, crime novels and stories from Atlantic Canada.
Jen Powley is a prairie girl living in Canada’s ocean playground. Since moving to Halifax in 2001, she has held jobs at the Independent Living Resource Centre (now Independent Living Nova Scotia) and the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities. Realizing she could not engineer the type of societal change she wanted, Powley returned to school earning her Master’s of Urban Planning at Dalhousie University, and then worked for five years at the Ecology Action Centre.
The Atlantic Book Awards Society has announced the shortlists for the 13 different book prizes that make up the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards. The nominated titles represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada—everything from poetry to illustrated children’s books to adult fiction and non-fiction.
Ray Cronin is a writer, editor, and curator. Between 2001 and 2015 he worked at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as both curator and director, and he is the founding curator of the Sobey Art Award. Cronin has been writing about visual arts for magazines and newspapers for almost thirty years. As well as writing a series of “field guides” on Atlantic Canadian artists published by Gaspereau Press, he is the author of Our Maud: The Art, Life and Legacy of Maud Lewis, and the Arts Canada Institute e-books Alex Colville: Life & Work and Mary Pratt: Life & Work.