The Atlantic Book Awards and Festival runs April 10 to 18, and right in the middle of the regional literary celebration sits the awards ceremony. Hosted by Newfoundland comedian and author Berni Stapleton, along with CBC Radio's Costas Halavrezos, the ceremony will dish out 13 awards, with shortlisted authors including first-time novelists Shandi Mitchell and Anna Quon, and The Coast's Stephen Kimber for the Dartmouth Book Award (non-fiction). "The event is an awards ceremony, but we've worked to make it celebratory, not stiff," says ABA's Marianne Ward. She adds that cabaret seating keeps the evening open,
with two bars, a silent auction and a reception with free food. If you want to snatch any one of the nominated books, Bookmark II and Woozles will have them all out on the table to purchase. "Last year the awards celebration was standing room only," says Ward, adding that the only tip she has for first-time awards ceremony attendees is simple: "Get there early!"