raddall award 30 years

“A literary conga line”

Sept 23, 7:30pm >>

Celebrating 30 years of award-winning Atlantic fiction

At the Atlantic Book Awards earlier this year, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award was awarded for the 30th time to a writer living and working in the Atlantic region. Antigonish writer Anne Simpson took home the $25,000 prize and accompanying gold medallion for her novel Speechless (Freehand Press).

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is honored to facilitate this award with the generous support of the Raddall family of Liverpool. Named in honor of award-winning and best-selling author Thomas Head Raddall (1903-1994), the award was initially funded through payments received for Raddall’s books through the Public Lending Right program.

Through the years, the endowment fund for the award has been carefully tended by Thomas Raddall II, a retired dentist, and now Thomas Raddall III, a dentist working in Liverpool. From the beginning, the aim of the award has been to give writers “the gift of time and peace of mind” that is so crucial to continuing to write.

(Please see “The Gift of Time” by Alexander MacLeod in Atlantic Books Today.)

On Thursday, Sept. 23, winners of the award will gather (virtually) to talk about the impact of the award on their lives and writing—and to read a passage from a favorite winning book from the past 30 years. Host Alexander MacLeod calls it a “literary conga line.”

Starting things off is Anne Simpson, who will read from 2008 winner Ragged Islands by Don Hannah. Don will, in turn, read from 1993 winner The Afterlife of George Cartwright by John Steffler. And John will, in turn, read from 2000 winner No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod. Alistair MacLeod’s son, Alexander, a distinguished writer himself, will read from 2019 winner Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore, who will read from 2007 winner Scotch River by Linda Little, who will read from 2020 winner The Innocents by Michael Crummey. Michael will close the loop and the evening by reading from Anne Simpson’s novel, Speechless.

The celebration is free to attend and will be held on Zoom. All registered attendees will have a chance to win a basket of books by the featured authors! Register below to receive the link to attend.

The Raddall Award 30th Anniversary Celebration is co-presented by Dalhousie Libraries and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

The featured author gift basket has been generously assembled by Mike Hamm of Bookmark Halifax, with titles by Steffler, MacLeod, and Crummey courtesy of Penguin Random House; by Moore courtesy of House of Anansi; and by Simpson courtesy of Freehand Books.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca