“An arts program that hopes to serve and promote a writing community such as ours can only do so through the support of that community.”
     —Carol Bruneau, former WFNS President

The East Coast Literary Awards (ECLAs) were a promotional program and accompanying reading series that strove to highlight the best Atlantic Canadian work in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction through three annual literary awards: the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the J.M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award (known prior to 2014 as the Atlantic Poetry Award), and the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award.

Eligible titles for the ECLAs were the works of writers who lived full-time in Atlantic Canada. This residency requirement ensured that eligible authors were able to engage in our region’s cultural life and creative economy. Shortlists and winners for each award were determined through a peer assessment process, conducted by professional writers selected from throughout the Atlantic region.

The ECLAs began in 2014 and ended in 2017. Prior to 2014, the Raddall, Abraham, and Richardson awards were collectively known as the WFNS Literary Awards. After 2017, the Raddall, Abraham, and Richardson awards were joined with the Atlantic Books Award. Throughout these changes, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia has stewarded and administered all three awards, which were founded by several endowments, including significant support from the families of Thomas Head Raddall and Joseph Murray Abraham.

The ECLAs and WFNS Literary Awards were celebrations not only of the shortlisted writers but also of all publishers and authors who invested time and resources in submitting entries to the awards.

Number of titles submitted to the Raddall, Abraham, and Richardson awards each year:

  • 79 titles in 2017
  • 69 titles in 2016
  • 62 titles in 2015
  • 64 titles in 2014
  • 68 titles in 2013

Past Events

Each year from 2012 to 2016, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia organized a series of free readings that featured the finalists for the year’s three awards.

2016

  • May 31 at Lexicon Books, Lunenburg, NS: Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Marq de Villiers, Dean Jobb, and Gary L. Saunders)
  • June 1 at Box of Delights Bookshop, Wolfville, NS: J.M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award shortlist reading (featuring Phillip Crymble, Sue Goyette, and John Wall Barger)
  • June 2 at Lane’s Privateer Inn, Liverpool, NS: Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Elisabeth de Mariaffi, R.W. Gray, and Mark Anthony Jarman)
  • June 4 at Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS: Announcement of the award winners at the East Coast Literary Awards Celebration

2015

  • June 3 at Box of Delights Bookshop, Wolfville, NS: Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Heather Sparling, Graham Steele, and Kaleigh Trace)
  • June 4 at Lexicon Books, Lunenburg, NS: J.M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award shortlist reading (featuring Brian Bartlett, Sylvia D. Hamilton, and Susan Paddon)
  • June 4 at Lane’s Privateer Inn, Liverpool, NS: Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring David Adams Richards, Michael Crummey, and Darren Greer)
  • June 6 at Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS: Announcement of the award winners at the East Coast Literary Awards Celebration

2014

  • September 16 at University of King’s College, Halifax, NS: Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring John DeMont, Richard Foot, and Stephen Kimber)
  • September 19 at Alderney Gate Library, Dartmouth, NS: first Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Shashi Bhat, Ed Kavanagh, William Kowalski)
  • September 19 at Lane’s Privateer Inn, Liverpool, NS: second Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Shashi Bhat, Ed Kavanagh, William Kowalski)
  • September 19 at The Nook on Gottingen, Halifax, NS: J.M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award shortlist reading (featuring Mary Dalton and Alice Burdick reading on behalf of Don Domanski)
  • September 20 at Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS: Announcement of the award winners at the East Coast Literary Awards Celebration

2013

  • September 20 in Mahone Bay, NS: Atlantic Poetry Prize shortlist reading (featuring Carole Langille and George Murray)
  • September 20 in Wolfville, NS: Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Jerry Lockett and Herb MacDonald)
  • September 20 in Liverpool, NS: Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Keir Lowther, Donna Morrissey, and Russell Wangersky)
  • September 21 in Halifax, NS: Readings by authors shortlisted for all three awards (featuring Lesley Choyce, Steven Laffoley, Carole Langille, Keir Lowther, Herb MacDonald, Donna Morrissey, George Murray, and Russell Wangersky)
  • September 21 in Halifax NS: Announcement of the award winners at the WFNS Literary Awards Ceremony & Celebration

2012

  • July 28 in Wolfville, NS: Atlantic Poetry Prize shortlist readings (featuring Sue Goyette, Warren Heiti, and Anne Simpson)
  • August 11 in Shelburne, NS: Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award shortlist reading (featuring Chris Benjamin, Harry Thurston, and Ray McLeod)
  • October 11 in Liverpool, NS: Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award shortlist readings (featuring David Adams RichardsValerie Compton, and Heather Jessup)
  • October 12 in Halifax, NS: Announcement of the award winners at the WFNS Literary Awards Ceremony & Celebration