The Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick and The Fiddlehead have announced the 12 finalists for the second annual New Brunswick Book Awards. The awards encompass four genres: poetry (sponsored by The Fiddlehead), fiction, non-fiction and children’s writing. Three finalists have been shortlisted in each category.
The 2016 finalists range from seasoned veterans (M. Travis Lane) to relative newcomers (Kerry Lee Powell) in Canadian literature. The competition is open to any writer who has lived in New Brunswick for three out of the last five years.
Atlantic Books Today spoke to some of the finalists for their reactions:
“I was so happy to see the New Brunswick Book Awards established last year, as it’s a way to highlight some of the wonderful work being written in this province,” says Powell, who was shortlisted for her collection of short stories Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush. “There are so many talented writers here! I’m deeply honoured that my book has been shortlisted and proud to be part of New Brunswick’s vibrant arts community.”
Robert Moore was shortlisted for his book of poetry Based on Actual Events. He says, “As someone who viewed the creation of this award as a significant step forward in New Brunswick’s support of the arts and who very much admires its first recipient for poetry, M. Travis Lane, I’m more than honoured that my book is included in this year’s nominees.”
Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon was also shortlisted. “I’m honoured to be shortlisted from among the numerous meaningful works produced in 2016 by some of New Brunswick’s most talented writers, ” says MacKinnon. “(Shadow of Doubt) was an extremely challenging story to tell and as a first-time author, I’m thrilled it has been so well-received by the judges and readers.”
The full list of finalists is below:
The Mrs. Dunster’s Award for Fiction judged by Robin Maharaj
Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush by Kerry Lee Powell (HarperCollins Canada)
All the Things We Leave Behind by Riel Nason (Goose Lane Editions)
Bistro by Roger Moore (self-published)
Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing judged by Helaine Becker
My Two Grandmothers by Diane Carmel Leger (Nimbus)
The Snow Knows by Jennifer McGrath (Nimbus)
Sea Glass Summer by Heidi Jardine Stoddart (Nimbus)
The Fiddlehead Poetry Book Prize judged by Jeramy Dodds
The Exile’s Papers by Wayne Clifford (Porcupine’s Quill)
The Witch of the Inner Wood by M. Travis Lane (Goose Lane Editions)
Based on Actual Events by Robert Moore (Signal Editions)
Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction judged by Myrl Coulter
Letters from Beauly: Pat Hennessy and the Canadian Forestry Corps in Scotland, 1940-1945 by Melynda Jarratt (Goose Lane Editions)
Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon (Goose Lane Editions)
Lucy Jarvis: Even Stones Have Life by Roslyn Rosenfeld (Goose Lane Editions)
The awards will be presented on May 24 at the University of New Brunswick’s Memorial Hall in Fredericton.