This year, the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia joins with the Atlantic Book Awards Society in celebrating and promoting Atlantic Canadian writing. The three awards administered and managed by the WFNS will be given at this year's Atlantic Book Awards Gala.
Those awards comprise:
- The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, valued at $25,000 for the winning book;
- The JM Abraham Poetry Award, valued at $2,000 for the winning book; and
- The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award, valued at $2,000 for the winning book.
The 2019 Atlantic Book Awards & Festival takes place May 30 to June 6 with shortlisted authors and illustrators featured in events throughout the Atlantic Provinces. The festival culminates on Thursday, June 6 in the awards gala at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John's, NL. The recipients of 13 different book awards (and The Pioneer Award) will be revealed at this special celebration.
The number of titles submitted each year for the WFNS's three awards are a testament to the diversity and quality of writing from all four Atlantic provinces. And although jurors have the unenviable task of selecting one winner for each award, each year's shortlists introduce local, national, and international readers to a tremendous body of work and the vibrant culture of the region.
Eligible titles are adjudicated by an independent jury recruited and facilitated by WFNS. Submissions are evaluated for their originality, creativity, and quality of writing.
Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
- Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief by Kate Inglis (Shambhala Publications)
- No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs by Lezlie Lowe (Coach House Books)
- Following the River: Traces of Red River Women by Lorri Neilsen Glenn (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.)
- Deirde Dwyer
- Sandra Phinney
- Simon Thibault
JM Abraham Poetry Award
- Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots by Basma Kavanagh (Frontenac House)
- No Meeting Without Body by Annick MacAskill (Gaspereau Press)
- this kind of thinking does no good by Alison Smith (Gaspereau Press)
- Alice Burdick
- Georgette LeBlanc
- Matt Robinson
"This kind of thinking does no good is an unapologetic, tough and expertly driven collection of poems written by poet Alison Smith. Tough—keen observations of life's most difficult circumstances and experiences come to light. Courageous—her sharp wit surprises you out of lethargy and shakes the foundations of what even the best convention has to offer. Her concise observations surprise and delight—all in a book's work. "... Or is it the skin itself a second brain? /We barely know how feelings think." In This kind of thinking does no good, Alison Smith writes like no other about everything you shouldn't be saying out loud. Here, feelings think, the skin's vulnerabilities are told. As only Alison Smith’s expertly crafted verse can."
Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
- The Boat People by Sharon Bala (McClelland & Stewart)
- Hysteria by Elisabeth de Mariaffi (HarperCollins Publishers)
- Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)
- Ian Colford
- Gwen Davies
- Sarah Faber
The winner of the 2019 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award is Lisa Moore for Something for Everyone. Here is the jury's citation:
The stories in Lisa Moore’s collection, Something for Everyone, pulsate with raw energy and a fierce, searching intelligence. In a series of unconventional tales that explode off the page, Moore ushers her reader into a familiar but fractured and anything-but-straightforward reality. Lisa Moore writes of quotidian lives in crisis. Her characters’ anxieties mirror our own: family, love, employment, finances. But from these commonplace lives she conjures spellbinding mini-dramas, drawing us in from each story’s opening line, generating great suspense and fully engaging our sympathies. Throughout, the writing is vibrant, uninhibited and packed with sensual detail. Moore acknowledges the beauty of nature and the human capacity for kindness; she is no stranger to the essential comedy of the human condition. But never does she shy away from the dark undercurrents of her characters’ lives. Something for Everyone is an important book by a major talent working at the height of her considerable powers, an author who isn’t afraid to stretch the boundaries of her art and who pursues her singular aesthetic vision in an uncompromising and wildly entertaining manner."