Atlantic Book Award winners announced

Nova Scotia writers sweep the first of two regional awards.

Last night, Atlantic authors were presented with the first of two regional book awards. The Atlantic Book Awards, hosted by Stephanie Domet and Bill Carr, gave away nine, including the announcement of a $25,000 endowment for the new "Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing." Any time more money goes to the arts, a little cheer rises from the pit of my soul, but I am curious about how D250 has allocated its culture-related funds. At least this makes more sense than a free Hedley concert.

Anyway, the winners of the 2009 Atlantic Book Awards are:

Ian Colford, Evidence (The Porcupine’s Quill, Inc.), winner of the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.

Shauntay Grant's lovely Up Home (Nimbus Publishing), winner of the Best Atlantic Published Book Award, a $5,000 prize sponsored by Friesens Corporation, that is shared with Halifax-based publisher, Nimbus. Illustrator Susan Tooke also took the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration.

William D. Naftel, Halifax At War: Searchlights, Squadrons and Submarines 1939-1945 (Formac Publishing), winner of the inaugural Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction.

Eric Orchard, illustrator of The Terrible, Horrible, Smelly Pirate (Nimbus Publishing), winner of the Mayor's Award for Excellence in Book Illustration.

Anne Simpson, Falling (McClelland & Steward Ltd.), winner of the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction.

Dan Soucoup, general manager of Nimbus Publishing, recipient of the Mayor's Award for Literary Achievement.

Budge Wilson, Before Green Gables (Penguin), winner of the Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award.

Four more prizes will be given out at the Atlantic Ink festival, May 4-9, including the Thomas H. Raddall fiction award. Of course, having multiple literary events is never a bad thing, but I'll be curious to get people's reactions after the two award ceremonies, and whether it waters down the celebrations.

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