Short lists for the 2014 Heritage and History Book Awards were released today in St. John’s. The Heritage and History Book Awards are given to works that exemplify excellence in the interpretation of the history and heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Alternating between works of fiction and children’s/young adult literature in even years, and non-fiction and poetry in alternate years, the shortlists are selected from among those books submitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards. The Heritage and History Book Awards are sponsored by the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and are presented by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The 2014 Heritage and History Book Awards short lists, listed alphabetically by author:
The Stranger’s Gallery, Paul Bowdring (Nimbus Publishing)
Finton Moon, Gerard Collins (Creative Book Publishing)
Say Nothing Saw Wood, Joel Thomas Hynes (Running the Goat Books & Broadsides)
Saltwater Joys, Wayne Chaulk (Flanker Press) illustrated by Dawn Baker
The Wonderful Dogfish Racket, Tom Dawe (Flanker Press) illustrated by C.Anne MacLeod
Almost Home: The Sinking of the SS Caribou, Jennifer Morgan (Breakwater Books)
The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, December 9, 7 pm at the Ship Pub in St. John’s preceding the Writers’ Alliance Christmas Party, and will include brief readings by shortlisted authors. Everyone is invited. Admission is free.
What the jury said about the shortlisted books:
“Stranger’s Gallery is a meandering novel, set in the recent past with a historical backstory. From the clever title to the circular plot to the descriptions of St. John’s neighbourhoods to the lectures on every known Newfoundland and Labrador topic, Bowdring’s book keeps the reader absorbed and following.”
Finton Moon: “This coming-of-age novel contains magical opening chapters and some memorable scenes and ideas. The sense of place and the characters’ internal torment are convincing.”
Say Nothing Saw Wood: “This small book is beautifully and concisely written. The text flows as if the narrator were in the room with the reader. Clearly, Hynes has been honing the tone, setting and content of his dark stories. This one has been attractively published in a pocket-sized, limited edition. The Gerald Squires ink drawings add considerably to the mood.”
Saltwater Joys: “This delightful version of the famous NL song works well as a bedtime story. Its main appeal is the gentle pictures which show traditional NL activities and typical scenic landscapes.”
The Wonderful Dogfish Racket: “This hardcover children’s storybook employs Newfoundland words to present a wacky event in an imaginary outport harbour. Because of the social commentary on public servants, government financial aid and the Newfoundland character, it may make adults sit up and take notice. The illustrations, particularly the aerial views over the land, are captivating.”
Almost Home: The Sinking of the SS Caribou: “This is probably the first Newfoundland historical novel to be presented in the graphic literature format. Older children, attracted to the illustrations, will be of an appropriate age to understand the distressing story.”
About the shortlisted authors:
Paul Bowdring’s most recent novel, The Strangers’ Gallery, won the 2013 BMO Winterset Award and has been nominated for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He is the author of two previous novels, The Roncesvalles Pass and The Night Season, the latter short-listed for the Newfoundland & Labrador Book Awards and broadcast nationally on CBC’s Between the Covers. He is a founding member and past president of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador. As an editor, he has worked with TickleAce, Newfoundland & Labrador Studies, and The Fiddlehead. He lives in St. John’s.
Wayne Chaulk was born in Charlottetown, Newfoundland. After graduating from Memorial University, Wayne returned to his beloved Bonavista Bay, and for the next fifteen years, he devoted himself to his teaching career. But when Ray Johnson and Kevin Blackmore moved to Glovertown, the die was cast, and Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers was born. Wayne turned his affection for rural Newfoundland and its people to the craft of songwriting, and the result has been a collection of lyrical gems, such as “Saltwater Joys.”
Gerard Collins’ Finton Moon was nominated for both the 2013 Sunburst Awards and the 2014 Dublin IMPAC International Literary Award, and won the Percy Janes First Novel Award. His short story collection Moonlight Sketches won the 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador book Award (Ches Crosbie Fiction Award). He has a Ph.D. in English literature, with a specialization in the postmodernization of ghost figures in North American fictions. He has taught at Memorial University since 1998 and also at the University of New Brunswick. Gerard often teaches workshops in creative writing, and he is working on a new urban gothic novel entitled My Sister’s Walls.
Tom Dawe has published seventeen volumes, including poetry, folklore and children’s literature. His latest works include Where Genesis Begins, winner of The Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Award and Moocher in the Lun, winner of the Bruneau Award for Children’s/YA Literature. In 2002 Martina Seifert’s comprehensive study, Rewriting Newfoundland Mythology: The Works of Tom Dawe, was published in Germany and in the U.S.A. He was awarded a WANL Lifetime Membership (2007) and was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Hall of Honour. In 2010 he was named St. John’s Poet Laureate. In 2012 he was named a member to the Order of Canada and also to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Joel Thomas Hynes is a multidisciplinary artist from Calvert, Newfoundland. His novels include Down to the Dirt and Right Away Monday, the notoriously cheeky God Help Thee: A Manifesto, and Straight Razor Days. He’s written and directed two short films; Clipper Gold and Little Man, and has recently penned the screen adaption of his book Say Nothing Saw Wood under the title Cast No Shadow. As an actor he’s performed numerous lead and principle roles for TV and film, including Down to the Dirt, Crackie, Cast No Shadow, Book of Negroes, ReGenesis and Republic of Doyle. JTH is a recent graduate of the Cineplex Screenwriter’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, where he’s developing a new feature film called Dry Swallow.
Jennifer Morgan is a visual artist and writer from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Thomas Moyst, the Second Engineer of the S.S. Caribou, was her great-grandfather. Although she never met him, Jennifer grew up hearing stories from her grandmother, Violet Moyst Morgan, her father George Morgan, and her aunts and uncles. Almost Home: The Sinking of the SS Caribou is as true as the stories her family told about the night the Caribou went down.