WFNS Literary Awards shortlists

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists Although the WFNS Literary Awards shortlists were announced much earlier in the summer, I didn’t get a chance to highlight them here. So I thought I would redress that oversight now 🙂

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia facilitates three annual prizes for published works – the Atlantic Poetry Prize ($2000), The Evelyn Richardson Non-fiction Award ($2000), and the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize ($20,000), and offers support for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature. Shortlists for the prizes are announced annually in June, and awards are presented annually in October.

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize Shortlist:

by Valerie Compton

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists Memory changes, as the events of history never do. On a strange warm day in January, Stella vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a young daughter and a husband bewildered by her sudden absence. The police officially label her disappearance an accident, a drowning. Stella somehow slipping beneath the thin ice of a nearby river. As her mother Sonia clings to the remnants of her family, she begins to harbour a deepening suspicion that Stella’s departure was no accident. With the deceptive draw of an undertow, the chaotic flotsam of misplaced dreams, bruised hopes and buried loves of Sonia’s past wells up to overwhelm her. Confronted with her own history of ill-considered choices and failures, Sonia is compelled to revise her preconceptions of her daughter’s life and dramatically alter the way she lives her own life.”–Publisher

by Heather Jessup
WFNS Literary Awards shortlists

“Set against the backdrop of Cold War Toronto, The Lightning Field follows the lives of Peter and Lucy Jacobs from their post-war courtship through marriage and child-rearing in the suburbs. Though spanning four decades, the book pivots on the events of a single day: October 4, 1957. On this day, the Russians launch Sputnik into orbit, the Avro Arrow–the most advanced jet plane of its time, whose wings Peter Jacobs has engineered–rolls out onto the tarmac to great ceremony, and, in a nearby field, Lucy Jacobs is struck by lightning on her way to the event. In the aftermath of that day, Peter struggles with his wife’s hospitalization and recovery, the care of their children, and, eventually, the loss of his job when the Arrow project is suddenly terminated.

Their children–Kier, Andy and Rose–grow up in the sheltered cul-de-sacs of their Toronto suburb, troubled by the disappointments of their parents’ world, yet drawn to the infinite possibilities inspired by Laika the space dog and the mysteries of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. If so much of what their parents hoped for in life seemed ultimately out of reach, how will this next generation of dreamers find their way? The Lightning Field is about loss and unexpected offerings, personal dismantling and reassembly.”–Publisher

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists
by David Adams Richards

“When a terrible accident unsettles the peace in a small, tight-knit community, who will pay the price? The novel is a meticulous study of the various half truths, political machinations and outright lies that lead to the unfair incrimination of one man, Roger Savage, in the death of Hector Penniac, a promising young Micmac man from a local First Nations reserve.”–Publisher

Atlantic Poetry Prize Shortlist:

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists

by Sue Goyette
Sue Goyette’s outskirts is a tour de force. Its originality lies in Goyette’s refusal of despair, her conviction that the connections among people, their conversation, curiosity, empathy and awe, can help us see a way forward. Her aim is to find energy in human love, a way to walk the darkness rather than hide from it. This book will name you, and frighten you; make you laugh, and arm you for what is to come” — Publisher

by Warren Heiti
WFNS Literary Awards shortlists
“Hydrologos is one long poem composed in five suites and a coda, and spoken through masks. It is a poem about a specific passion, the one that always follows love: sorrow. What happens to a human being under the geologic pressure of this passion? — One calls out, and the world’s response is silence. The work of sorrowing, one learns, is the work — the endless work — of listening, by which the listener is changed. At the poem’s centre is the original lyric elegy, the myth of Orpheus, but reimagined from the perspective of Eurydike, who makes her own descent into the underworld, to rescue Death.

The poem spirals out from this centre, ranging widely across literary eras and genres, engaging with ancient Greek myth tellers and philosophers; with Polish painters and Russian film makers; with German Romantic and contemporary Canadian poets.” –Publisher

Is (M)
by Anne Simpson

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists “A cell is a world within a world within a world. In this remarkable new collection, Anne Simpson finds form and inspiration in the cell – as it divides and multiplies, expanding beyond its borders. As these poems journey from the creation of the world emerging out of chaos to the slow unravelling of a life that is revealed in a poem that twists like a double helix, Simpson illuminates what it means to be alive, here and now. Rich with the muscular craft, vibrant imagery, and exquisite musicality for which her poetry is widely acclaimed, this collection sees Simpson continuing to “negotiate an ever-changing path between language and structure” (Vancouver Sun) – with astonishing results. It is a work of great vision from one of our most compelling poetic voices.” –Publisher
Evelyn Richardson Memorial Non-Fiction Award Shortlist:
by Chris Benjamin

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists
Eco-Innovators profiles some of the region’s most innovative and forward-thinking leaders in sustainability. These entrepreneurs and educators, activists and agitators, farmers and fishers have all made measurable contributions both in their respective fields of interest and in motivating others to make change.

With ten chapters on matters like reducing consumption, greening the home, sustainable eating, dressing, transportation, and vacationing, the book is an important look into the lives of Atlantic Canadians committed to creating viable green options in our region.” -Publisher

by Ray MacLeod

WFNS Literary Awards shortlists
Since 1997, thousands of animals have been saved through the tireless efforts of the staff and volunteers at Hope for Wildlife, a Nova Scotia wildlife rehabilitation centre. Some animals’ stories were so unique that they garnered national attention— such as founder Hope Swinimer’s battle with the Department of Natural Resources over Gretel, a member of the endangered pine marten species. Each creature comes with its own challenges, either through a difficult injury or a quirky personality—like Lucifer the inexplicably bald and ornery raccoon—but each patient leaves an indelible mark on the lives of those around them. Hope for Wildlife tells the stories of fourteen different wild animals that have passed through the centre. Colour photographs of the animals and the centre’s efforts supplement the text, and info boxes offer further information on the region’s wildlife. The stories in Hope for Wildlife are educational, heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking—but always filled with hope.” –Publisher

by Harry Thurston
WFNS Literary Awards shortlists

“Mixing observations, in-depth research, and vivid prose, Thurston explores the region’s geologic, ecologic, and cultural history, from the plate tectonics that created the landscape millions of years ago to the recent legislation protecting the degraded waterways of the east coast. Barrett’s gorgeous color photographs of land, sea, and sky supplement Thurston’s vivid descriptions, reminding us of our country’s great beauty.” – Publishers Weekly


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