Atlantic Book Awards 2020 Winners!

(The highlighted titles will take you to reviews written by myself or some of my other blogging friends.)

1.  Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

A Dark House and Other Stories by Ian Colford (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

DIG by Terry Doyle(Breakwater Books)

Nosy White Woman by Martha Wilson(Biblioasis)


2.  Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street by Sheree Fitch(Nimbus Publishing)

A World Below by Wesley King(Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)

I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas(Nimbus Publishing)


3.  Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award Sponsored by Friesens Corporation

Almost Feral by Gemma Hickey (Breakwater Books)

I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe and I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas (companion books), illustrated by Pauline Young(Nimbus Publishing)

Land Beyond the Sea by Kevin Major(Breakwater Books)


4.  Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing

Shaped by Silence:  Stories from Inmates of the Good Shepherd Laundries and Reformatories by Rie Croll (ISER Books)

The Wake:  The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami by Linden MacIntyre (HarperCollins Canada)

Truth and Conviction:  Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice by L. Jane McMillan (UBC Press)


5.  Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

Listening for the Dead Bells by Marian Bruce(Island Studies Press)

As British as the King:  Lunenburg County During the First World War by Gerald Hallowell(Nimbus Publishing)

Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers:  Canadian Internment Camp B, 1940-1945 by Andrew Theobald (Goose Lane Editions)


6.  Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate by Ami McKay(Knopf Canada)

Mayann Francis: An Honourable Life by The Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis(Nimbus Publishing)

Hell and Damnation:  A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment by Marq de Villiers(University of Regina Press)


7.  Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke LLP

The Difference by Marina Endicott(Knopf Canada)

Broken Symmetry by Rosalie Osmond(Nevermore Press)

Crow by Amy Spurway(Goose Lane Editions)


8.  J.M. Abraham Poetry Award

Year of the Metal Rabbit by Tammy Armstrong(Gaspereau Press)

Smallholding by Anne Compton(Fitzhenry and Whiteside)

Belated Bris of the Brainsick by Lucas Crawford(Nightwood Editions)


9.  Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Denise Gallagher, illustrator for Peg Bearskin:  A Traditional Newfoundland Tale,written by adapted by Andy Jones and Philip Dinn from a story told by Mrs. Elizabeth Brewer (Running the Goat Books)

Danielle Loranger, illustrator for Un géant dans la tête, written by Danielle Loranger (Bouton D’or Acadie)

Sydney Smith, illustrator, for Small in the City, written by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books)


10.  Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction, sponsored by Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Weed Man Maritimes, Heritage House Law Office, I Love Renovations and Simply Sage Solutions

Almost Feral by Gemma Hickey (Breakwater Books)

Wounded Hearts:  Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home by Lois Legge(Nimbus Publishing)

Transplanted:  My Cystic Fibrosis Double-Lung Transplant Story by Allison Watson(Nimbus Publishing)


11.  Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction, sponsored by the family of John and Margaret Savage and Royden Trainor

DIG by Terry Doyle(Breakwater Books)

Going Dutch:  A Novel by James Gregor(Simon & Schuster)

Crow by Amy Spurway (Goose Lane Editions)


12.  Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction), presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth

Grandfather’s House:  Returning to Cape Breton by Clive Doucet(Nimbus Publishing)

Daughter of Family G:  A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate by Ami McKay (Knopf Canada)

Ghosts Within:  Journeying Through PTSD by Garry Leech(Fernwood Publishing)


13.  Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

Crocuses Hatch from Snow by Jaime Burnet(Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

The Innocents by Michael Crummey(Doubleday Canada)

The Waiting Hours by Shandi Mitchell(Viking Canada)


Congratulations to all the nominated authors, illustrators, and publishers – including the publishers from the Atlantic region: Nimbus Publishing/Vagrant Press, Breakwater Books, Running the Goat Books, ISER Books, Gaspereau Press, Nevermore Press, Fernwood Publishing, Island Studies Press, Goose Lane Editions, and Bouton D’or Acadie.

Due to Covid 19, this year’s “Gala” was virtual. View it here! 

10 thoughts on “Atlantic Book Awards 2020 Winners!

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    Oh my, so much to choose from!
    (Interesting that one of the winners was a book about WW2 internment… I read a book about the same subject, as it took place in Australia. Much more interesting that you might expect).

    • Naomi says:

      I always find those stories interesting, and I always learn something. For example, it doesn’t surprise me that there was one in New Brunswick, but I didn’t know about it until now. I’m thankful for other people’s areas of interest!
      Thanks for reading, Lisa!

  2. Rebecca Foster says:

    Besides the Endicott, I’m most interested in reading Daughter of Family G. Did you attend the virtual gala? I’ve enjoyed going to online prize ceremonies and author readings during lockdown.

    • Naomi says:

      It was a pre-recorded video, but yes, I attended! I was even biting my nails! I felt very invested. 🙂
      Thanks for following along, Rebecca!

  3. Liz Dexter says:

    What a wonderful selection of books on the shortlists and winners’ lists. I didn’t know Canada had internment camps, too, so that would be one I’d be interested in, too.

    • Naomi says:

      Yes, we absolutely did! But I have to admit, I didn’t know about the one written about in Theobald’s book.
      The more awards and lists the better, as far as I’m concerned – so much fun!
      Thanks for reading, Liz!

    • Naomi says:

      There’s something for everyone here! And, yes, some beautiful covers. The cover of The Difference is my favourite.
      Thanks for reading, Cathy! 🙂

  4. buriedinprint says:

    You’ve added some good reading to my TBR with your coverage of these awards. There’s a copy of the book about restorative justice on the way for my next library curbside pickup already! wonder if people still got dressed up to attend the virtual gala,even if it was prerecorded, the way that some of the guests/attendees at online graduations and other ceremonies did! One category I’d like to pay more attention to, more often, is the illustration category (in this set of awards and in others too); for some reason, I overlook this sector, and I shouldn’t, because it often brings a great deal of joy and wonder into a reading stack, even for us grown-ups.

    • Naomi says:

      Ooo… I’m glad to hear you’ve requested that book – I’m curious to know what you think!

      One of the reasons these awards are so much fun is that I find myself looking more closely at book categories I would normally skim over, like illustrators and scholarly writing, etc. Pretty much everything but fiction! I wish I could read them all.

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