Submissions for the 2021 Awards are Closed
1. Eligibility Criteria
- Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature ($2,000 prize): awarded for a book of fiction or non-fiction written by a living, full-time resident of Atlantic Canada that is readily available in print and that was published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the two years prior to and including the submission deadline. Because this award alternates annually between children’s literature (for readers up to 11 years old) and young adult (YA) literature (for readers aged 12 to 17), each cycle of the award covers two publication years. For the 2022 award for children’s literature, eligibility years run from November 2, 2019, to November 1, 2021.
- Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award ($2,000 prize): awarded for a book of creative non-fiction (a narrative non-fiction book, a collection of essays, a biography, a memoir, or a long-form academic publication that offers a complex and reflective narrative about original research) written by a full-time resident of Nova Scotia that was published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the year prior to and including the submission deadline. For the 2022 award, the eligibility year runs from November 2, 2020, to November 1, 2021.
- J.M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award ($2,000 prize): awarded for a book of poetry written by a full-time resident of Atlantic Canada that was published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the year prior to and including the submission deadline. For the 2022 award, the eligibility year runs from November 2, 2020, to November 1, 2021.
- Nova Scotia Poetry Award ($500 prize): awarded for a book of poetry written by a full-time resident of Nova Scotia that was published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the two years prior to and including the submission deadline. Because this award is biennial, each cycle of the award covers two publication years. This award category will not be awarded in 2022. For the 2023 award, eligibility years will run from November 2, 2020, to November 1, 2022.
- Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award ($25,000 prize): awarded for a novel or a book of short fiction written by a full-time resident of Atlantic Canada that was published and/or distributed for the first time in Canada in the year prior to and including the submission deadline. A writer may win the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award a maximum of three times. YA titles are ineligible for this award and should be submitted to the Ann Connor Brimer Award. For the 2022 award, the eligibility year runs from November 2, 2020, to November 1, 2021.
Author residency: Full-time residents of Atlantic Canada are those who have lived in one or a combination of the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island) for at least two consecutive years immediately prior to the submission deadline date. Full-time residents of Nova Scotia are those who have lived in Nova Scotia for at least two consecutive years immediately prior to the submission deadline date.
Titles ineligible for submission to any of the WFNS-administered Atlantic Book Awards: reissued titles from a previous submission year; co-authored titles for which one of the writers does not meet residency requirements; titles for which the applicant writer has written only an introduction; anthologies; selected or collected works; unpublished manuscripts; titles less than 48 pages in length; and reference titles, including dictionaries and textbooks.
WFNS reserves the right to accept (as eligible) or reject (as ineligible) any submitted title. The list of titles deemed eligible by WFNS and submitted to award juries is final. For submissions deemed ineligible due to title ineligibility, author ineligibility, or the lateness or incompleteness of submission, administrative fees cannot be refunded and submitted books cannot be returned.
2. Submission Requirements
Each award entry must be submitted by the program deadline and must include all three components listed below. Early submissions are strongly encouraged. Late or incomplete submissions will be rejected as ineligible.
1. Submission form completed and signed by the publisher
- A publisher submitting multiple titles must include one submission form per entry per award category.
- The publisher must provide information for a publisher contact, who will be the best representative for any follow up regarding submitted titles.
2. Four printed and bound copies of the title being submitted
- Printed and bound copies of the title are required for the adjudication process.
3. Non-refundable $35 administrative fee per entry per award
- A publisher submitting multiple titles may submit a single payment or cheque in the total of all entry fees.
- A publisher submitting eight or more titles may be eligible for discounted administrative fees. The WFNS reserves the right to offer an such discount depending on the resources of the publisher and how many titles the publisher proposes submitting. Please contact the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
Titles should be submitted by publishers. If you are the author of an eligible book and are unsure whether it has been or will be submitted, please contact both the WFNS (email@example.com) and your publisher to enquire.
In the event a submitted title is shortlisted, the publisher must provide the following supplementary components within 30 days of shortlist notification.
- Printed and bound copies of the title are required for the adjudication process.
- This fee is payable by cheque to the Atlantic Book Awards Society.
- If a title is shortlisted for multiple awards, the shortlist fee will be payable only once.
3. How to Submit
Complete submissions (including administrative fees) must be received by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia no later than the submission deadline. If mailed, components may be received later but must be postmarked no later than the submission deadline.
1. Submission form(s)
- Online: click the “Submission Form” button above, complete and sign form digitally, and email form to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: “Atlantic Book Awards”).
- By mail: click the “Submission Form” button above, complete and sign form digitally or manually, and send hardcopy to WFNS, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7 (attn: “Atlantic Book Awards”).
2. Hardcopies of submitted title(s)
- By mail: send to WFNS, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7 (attn: “Atlantic Book Awards”).
3. Administrative fee(s)
- Online: click the “Add Administrative Fee to Cart” button above to pay via PayPal account or credit card. You may add multiple administrative fees to your cart prior before checkout.
- By phone: call 902 423 8116 from 9 – 5 on a weekday and have your credit card information ready. You may pay multiple administrative fees with a single call.
- By mail: send a cheque payable to “Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia” and address to WFNS, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7 (attn: “Atlantic Book Awards”). You may pay multiple administrative fees at with a single cheque.
Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged via email messages to both press contact and writer, after which publishers will not receive additional communication from the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia until the spring following the adjudication process.
4. Adjudication Process
All eligible titles submitted to the WNFS-stewarded awards are adjudicated by independent juries with literary expertise appropriate to each award. The juries are recruited and facilitated by the WFNS. All decisions made by the WFNS juries are final.
- Prior to a prize jury meeting in person, the WFNS sends each member of the prize jury a package containing (A) a copy of each title submitted for the prize, (B) adjudication instructions, and (C) general criteria for assessment.
- Jurors complete individual assessment of all submitted titles.
- Jurors attend an in-person meeting facilitated by a WFNS representaitve, where the jurors discuss each book (drawing on their notes taken during individual assessment) and reach a consensus on a shortlist of three books and a winning book from that shortlist. (Prior to discussing a title, jurors must disclose any conflicts of interest, determined by whether a juror stands to gain any financial benefit through association with a submitted title; stands to gain from any moral or intellectual rights; or has a significant personal relationship with the author of a submitted title. If there is a conflict of interest, the juror claiming the conflict will be absent during discussion of the book in question.)
- Jurors are compensated $250, an additional $5 for each title under consideration, and reimbursement for any necessary travel or accomodations.
- In partnership with the Atlantic Book Awards, the WFNS announces award shortlists in the spring following the adjudication period. Award winners are subsequently announced at the Atlantic Book Awards Gala.
- Publishers of winning titles will be supplied with gold seals to attach to books. Digital copies of the seals will also be available.
Each eligible title submitted to an award is assessed according to the following general criteria, both on its own terms and in relation to all other titles received for the same award.
- Merit of the writing (such as creativity and quality)
- Social and/or cultural merit of the text
- Originality of content, approach, or technique
Eligible titles received for the Ann Connor Brimer Award are also assessed for their appeal to the intended target audience. The quality of any illustration or photography within a title is not considered.
During individual assessment, jury members are asked to read all entries thoughtfully and rigorously, assessing, where appropriate, how the entries may be read and appreciated in response to the following specific questions: Does the work challenge any assumptions about a genre or form? Is the work cohesive in story, theme and content? Does the text make use of interesting or unusual structure and/or language? Is the language evocative? Is the work well-organized? Is the work fresh, not imitative? Has the writer been intentional about the use of style and language? Are there any social or cultural considerations that apply? Does the work make a contribution to the literary arts