Submission Guidelines

NEXT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2020

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 2021 award for YA literature, the eligibility years run from November 2, 2018, to November 1, 2020.)
  • 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 2021 award, this eligibility year runs from November 2, 2019, to November 1, 2020.)
  • 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 2021 award, this eligibility year runs from November 2, 2019, to November 1, 2020.)
  • 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. (For the 2021 award, this eligibility years run from November 2, 2018, to November 1, 2020.)
  • 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. (For the 2020 award, this eligibility year runs from November 2, 2019, to November 1, 2020.) 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.

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 include the following:

reissued books from a previous submission year; co-authored books for which one of the writers does not meet residency requirements; books for which the applicant writer has written only an introduction; anthologies; selected or collected works; unpublished manuscripts; books less than 48 pages in length; dictionaries; reference books; 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/author ineligibility or lateness/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. Entry form completed, printed, and signed by the publisher

  • A publisher submitting multiple titles must include one submission form per entry.
  • The publisher must provide information for a publisher contact, who will be the best representative for any follow up regarding submitted titles.

2. 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 director@writers.ns.ca to enquire.
3. Four copies of the title being submitted

In the event a submitted title is shortlisted, the publisher must provide an additional two copies of the title and, within 30 days of shortlist notification, pay $300 per shortlisted title to offset travel and promotional costs. In the event that a book is shortlisted for multiple awards, the shortlist fee will be payable only once. Payment can be made by cheque, money order, or bank draft made out to the Atlantic Book Awards Society.

3. How to Submit

Complete entries (including administrative fees) must be mailed to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and postmarked no later than the submission deadline.

Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS  B3H 4P7

Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged via email messages to both publisher 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.

Entries 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 (admin@writers.ns.ca) and your publisher to enquire.

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.

Adjudication procedure

  1. 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.
  2. Jurors complete individual assessment of all submitted titles.
  3. 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.)
  4. Jurors are compensated $250, an additional $5 for each title under consideration, and reimbursement for any necessary travel or accomodations.
  5. 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.
  6. Publishers of winning titles will be supplied with gold seals to attach to books. Digital copies of the seals will also be available.

Assessment criteria

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 are 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

Submission Checklist

☐ Submission package containing five items per entry:

  • A completed, printed, and signed entry form.
  • Four printed and bound copies of the submitted title.

☐ Administrative fees ($35 per entry) paid via telephone (using a credit card) or by mailing a cheque (made out to Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia).

For questions about title eligibility or further information, please contact us.

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