Celebrating 30 years of Atlantic fiction with a $30,000 prize

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021

HALIFAX — The Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, already the most generous literary award in the Atlantic Region, is now even more so.

During a Zoom event held in celebration of the award’s 30th anniversary, Thomas Raddall III announced the prize money for the winner will go up to $30,000.

To commemorate and celebrate the 30th anniversary of this award, the Raddall family would like to announce tonight that the award, commencing in 2022, will go from $25,000 to $30,000,” said Raddall, speaking from a replica of his grandfather’s writing room in Queen’s County Museum in Liverpool. “We hope it will continue to provide the authors of Atlantic Canada the gift of time and peace of mind.

The award is named for Thomas Head Raddall, a best-selling author and three-time Governor General’s Award winner. Established in 1991 by the author’s son, Thomas Raddall II, and the late Jane Buss at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the award was initially funded through Public Lending Right payments—money paid to authors for free public use of their works in libraries. Through the years, the now-retired dentist carefully tended the award endowment with the idea that the prize money could provide authors time to continue writing without financial worry.

Over the past three decades, the support of the Raddall family of Liverpool has nurtured the Atlantic literary scene. Past winners of the award include a who’s who of acclaimed Canadian novelists, including three-time winner Donna Morrissey, Carol Bruneau, David Adams Richards, Wayne Johnston, Bernice Morgan, and the late Alistair MacLeod. During the Zoom event, winners Anne Simpson, Don Hannah, John Steffler, Linda Little, Lisa Moore, and Michael Crummey talked about the award and its impact.

The family has done such a wonderful thing for all of us,” said Anne Simpson, who won the award earlier this year for her novel Speechless (Freehand Books). “It means a lot, not only for the financial support it provides but for the sense that writing is important to the broader culture,” said John Steffler, whose novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright (McClelland & Stewart) was the winner in 1993. “And the sense of community it builds,” added Lisa Moore, 2019 winner for the short story collection Something for Everyone (House of Anansi).

The celebration event was co-sponsored by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie Libraries. 

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is currently accepting submissions of books published between Nov. 2, 2020, and Nov. 1, 2021, for four of its annual literary awards: the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award, J.M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award, and Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature.

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For more info, please see:
https://writers.ns.ca/programs-awards/atlantic-book-awards/thomas-raddall-atlantic-fiction-award/

Marilyn Smulders
Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
director@writers.ns.ca
902-266-7411

Heading photograph of Thomas Head Raddall courtesy of Thomas Head Raddall, Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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