Paul Bowdring and Jennifer Morgan each took home an Award on Tuesday night at the 2014 Heritage and History Book Awards Ceremony. Bowdring won the Fiction Award for The Stranger’s Gallery (Nimbus Publishing). Morgan won the Children’s/Young Adult Literature Award for Almost Home: The Sinking of the SS Caribou (Breakwater Books). Each award came with a $250 cash prize.
Sponsored by the Historic Sites Association of NL (HSA) and administered by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL), these awards alternate between works of fiction and children’s/young adult literature in even years, and works of non-fiction and poetry in alternate years. The awards recognize works that exemplify excellence in the interpretation of the history and heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We are delighted to once again partner with the Historic Sites Association to present the Heritage and History Book Awards,” said Alison Dyer, WANL’s executive director. “These awards acknowledge the important role of the literary arts in celebrating our provincial heritage and history. I recommend reading the works of all six finalists.”
The event took place at the Ship Pub, a culture landmark in St. John’s, and was emceed by Trudy Morgan Cole, a past winner of the awards. The audience was treated to brief readings by finalists.
“A new, 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,” said the jury about Bowdring’s The Stranger’s Gallery. “This book may warrant a second reading.”
About Almost Home: The Sinking of the SS Caribou by Morgan the jury said “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.”
Other finalists for the awards included: Gerard Collins, Finton Moon (Creative Books), Joel Thomas Hynes, Say Nothing Saw Wood (Running the Goat Books & Broadsides), Wayne Chaulk, Saltwater Joys (Flanker Press), and Tom Dawe, The Wonderful Dogfish Racket (Flanker Press).
The shortlists for the Heritage and History Book Awards are chosen from books submitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards. The jury for the 2014 Heritage and History Book Awards was composed of members and former members of the Historic Sites Association board of directors.