Atlantic Book Awards 2021 shortlists

Shortlists for the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards have been announced! Congratulations to all of the shortlisted authors — and, in particular, to the fourteen authors shortlisted for WFNS’s five Atlantic Book Awards categories. The five shortlists below boast a number of acclaimed WFNS members, including the double-shortlisted shalan joudry. Click on a book cover for more details and to order directly from the publisher.

This year’s online Atlantic Book Festival (May 6 to 12) will culminate in a virtual Awards Gala (May 13), where the winners in each category will be announced.

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature (YA)

Annaka by Andre Fenton (Nimbus Publishing)

Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan (Albert Whitman & Company)

The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari (Penguin Teen)

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes by Silver Donald Cameron (Viking Canada)

Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion by Tyler LeBlanc (Goose Lane Editions)

Before the Parade: A History of Halifax’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Communities, 1972-1984 by Rebecca Rose (Nimbus Publishing)

J. M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award

Black Matters by Afua Cooper, with photographs by Wilfried Raussert (Roseway Publishing)

Humanimus by David Huebert (Palimpsest Press)

Waking Ground by shalan joudry (Gaspereau Press)

Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award

Year of the Metal Rabbit by Tammy Armstrong (Gaspereau Press)

Burden by Douglas Burnet Smith (University of Regina Press)

Waking Ground by shalan joudry (Gaspereau Press)

Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

Some People’s Children by Bridget Canning (Breakwater Books Ltd.)

Dirty Birds by Morgan Murray (Breakwater Books Ltd.)

Speechless by Anne Simpson (Freehand Books)

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, participant-to-participant) feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

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