Eighteen Authors and Illustrators up for 2009 Atlantic Book Awards March 3, 2009

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The Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to reveal the eighteen authors and illustrators and sixteen books that are in contention for the 2009 Atlantic Book Awards. Winners will be announced April 15, 2009 at a gala celebration at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, co-hosted by actor / humorist Bill Carr and CBC Radio host and author, Stephanie Domet (winner of the 2008 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award).

This year a total of nine awards will be presented, including the two Mayor’s Awards — for Excellence in Book Illustration and for Literary Achievement — for which there is no short list. New this year is the Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing, established to acknowledge the exceptional work of authors and publishers in illuminating our region’s vibrant history.

The 2009 finalists are a stellar line-up of some of the finest authors and illustrators in Atlantic Canada. They are:

Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing (inaugural year)

Robert J. Morgan, Rise Again! The Story of Cape Breton Island, Book One (Breton Books)

William D. Naftel, Halifax At War (Formac Publishing)

Susan Young de Biagi, Cibou (Cape Breton University Press)

Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Choice Award

John Leroux, Building New Brunswick: An Architectural History (Goose Lane Editions)

Donna Morrissey, What they Wanted (Penguin)

Budge Wilson, Before Green Gables (Penguin)

Best Atlantic Published Book Award

Up Home by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Susan Tooke (Nimbus Publishing)

Building New Brunswick: An Architectural History by John Leroux (Goose Lane Editions)

Forget-Me-Not by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Nancy Keating (Creative Book Publishing)

Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction

Douglas Arthur Brown, Quintet (Key Porter Books)

Anne Simpson, Falling (McClelland & Steward Ltd.)

Susan Young de Biagi, Cibou (Cape Breton University Press)

Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction

Stephen Kimber, Loyalists and Layabouts (Doubleday Canada)

Robert J. Morgan, Rise Again! The Story of Cape Breton Island, Book One (Breton Books)

William D. Naftel, Halifax At War (Formac Publishing)

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Eric Orchard, illustrator, The Terrible, Horrible, Smelly Pirate by Carrie Muller and Jacqueline Halsey (Nimbus Publishing)

Susan Tooke, illustrator, Up Home by Shauntay Grant (Nimbus Publishing)

Frances Wolfe, Little Toy Shop (Tundra Books)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

Catherine Banks, Bone Cage (Playwrights Canada Press)

Mark Blagrave, Silver Salts (Cormorant Books)

Ian Colford, Evidence (The Porcupine’s Quill, Inc.)

The sixteen nominated books provide a spectacularly rich offering of adult fiction and non-fiction, and gorgeously illustrated children’s fiction. The settings are contemporary and historical, and range across the urban and rural landscape of Atlantic Canada. There are new offerings from seasoned veterans of the literary scene, and first forays into fiction. The short list includes books by fourteen national and regional publishers — a vivid cross-section of the dynamic literary community of the region.

The Atlantic Book Awards celebration anchors a week of book-related events, taking place April 14-18, 2009 in all four Atlantic Provinces with author signings, readings, panel discussions, and book launches — a literary jackpot for book lovers of all kinds. Stay tuned for details.

The awards and festival are produced by the newly-formed Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS), a registered, non-profit, organization with full regional representation. The ABAS is very pleased to be partnering with Feed the Mind, a non-profit group that provides free books for children who may not otherwise have their own. Thanks to the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Transcontinental Printing, Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association, Halifax Regional Municipality, Chapters / Indigo, the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, the Chronicle-Herald, Atlantic Books Today, CBC Radio, the St. John’s Telegram, and the Charlottetown Guardian, admission to all Atlantic Book Awards events is free! Guests attending the April 15 awards celebration are asked to bring donations of new or gently used children’s books for Feed the Mind.

Details on the finalists, including book descriptions and cover art, and author bios are available at www.atlanticbookawards.ca.

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