Past Competition Results

2020

  • Budge Wilson Short Fiction Prize: Brad Donaldson, “Sinking” | Shortlist: Nataliya Bukhanova, Robert de la Chevotiere, Francene Gillis, Jenny MacDougall, Sydney Robichaud, James Whidden
    • Citation from judge Elaine McCluskey: “The author has written, within the confines of a short story, a poignant account of love, tragedy, and human frailty. The details ring true and the writing is both controlled and touching. While the setting, a Nova Scotia fishing community is specific, the story speaks to universal themes such as loss and the power of place upon people.”
  • H.R. (Bill) Percy Short Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Beth Ann Knowles, “The Hwagae Bath House” | Shortlist: Mary Dodd, Nanci Lee, Leonard Brent MacDonald, Dvora Trachtenberg
    • Citation from judge Evelyn White: “A warm, well-paced, and beautifully crafted reflection on cultural risk and reward. The piece takes readers on a memorable journey with a perfect ending.”
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Emily Dodge, “Daughters of Morrigan” | Shortlist: JC Farquahar, Jaime Horbul
    • Citation from judge Jenni Blackmore: “‘Daughters of Morrigan’ is well paced, with truly believable characters who instantly draw the reader into their world, which is fraught with sibling rivalry. Subtle yet intriguing hints speak of darker happenings about to transpire and I suspect that this will be a read that’s hard to put down. Masterfully written, with what promises to be a tantalizing plat. Love it!”
  • Rita Joe Poetry Prize: Cathy Jacob, “Evening Prayer” | Shortlist: donalee Moulton, Margarate Schwartz, Pat Thomas
    • Citation from judge Genevieve Lehr: “[These] poems are sincere, well-crafted, and reflect a depth of engagement with language. I was particularly moved by the poem ‘How wonderful,’ with its intimate and moving portrait of the loss of a loved one. The images are stunning, and I felt the poem speaking to me on a personal level, drawing me in with its quiet, dignified poignancy. Nothing gimmicky here. The image of the person ‘leaning skeletal on a stiff walker/in stained pants and the drooping white flag/of an untucked shirt’ is simply gorgeous.”

2019

  • Budge Wilson Short Fiction Prize: Susan Drain, “In the Dugout” | Shortlist: KR Byggdin, Brad Donaldson, Brendan Dunbar, Breton Hannam, Nigel Herritt, Sarah Pittoello
    • Citation from judge Sirje Ruus: “This masterfully crafted story depicts the resilience of a small group of Canadian soldiers on a First World War battleground where all that is left to combat the horror are humble acts of human kindness and large doses of irony. Very little actually happens in the dugout, yet so much is revealed.”
  • H.R. (Bill) Percy Short Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Ariel Watson, “Beasts of Myth” | Honourable mention: Julie Strong’s “I had to steal them” | Shortlist: Barbara Cullen, Mary Dodd, Joanne Light, Cynthia Manley, Joe Muething
    • Citation from judge Marjorie Simmins: “The author has written a resonant and complex story, with themes of multi-generational family ties and interactions, looming death, the reshapings of personal histories, the romantic pulls of times gone by, and the essence and changing composition of memory, as connected to a time, and its people.”
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Karen Kelloway, Keeper of the Pact | Shortlist: Jill Martin, Anne Odell
    • Citation from judge Janet Barkhouse: “A trio of human children discover danger—and more—on a fishing boat moored in Brigus Harbour. Suspenseful, believable, original, this excerpt grips and delights.”
  • Rita Joe Poetry Prize: Rosalie Osmond, Variations in Time | Shortlist: Rachel Edmonds, Mary Verna Feehan, Cheri Wilson
    • Citation from judge Dr. Afua Cooper: “[Rosalie Osmond] uses her spiritual, emotional, and physical sense to convey a poetry that is textured, focused, and startling. Her banner is honesty and courage, and so the poems are a ‘take no prisoner’ dialogue between the heart and self. The result is that the heart is flung wide open. Her poems are rich in sensory words, with a tight inner rhythm that can only be produced by one in charge of her craft.”

2018

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Mary Verna Feehan, “Two Crow Joy” | Shortlist: Cate Carlyle, Susan LeBlanc
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Susan Walsh, Where the Lampreys Meet | Shortlist: Dorothy Redfurn, Nancy Waldman
  • Long Form Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Muriel Zimmer, I Need You to be Strong | Shortlist: Laura Churchill Duke, Mark Haynes, Greg Murphy
  • Poetry Prize: J Lorraine Campbell, All Consuming | Shortlist: John Saklofske, Courtney Siebring
  • Short Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Margaret MacQuarrie, “How Was the Party?” | Shortlist: Barbara Cullen, Jennifer Faulkner, Julie Strong

2017

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Amanda Peters, “Crows” | Honourable mention: Adam Fiske’s “City of Goodbyes” | Shortlist: Francene Gillis, Cheri Wilson
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy, Never Speak of this Again | Shortlist: Carol Moreira, Angela Ripley
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Laureen Van Lierop, Beach Meadow Friends | Shortlist: John Graham-Poole, John Ure 
  • Poetry Prize: Jana Traff, In the White of Grief | Shortlist: Joyce Caines, Ryan Eavis, Bethany Lake, Cheri Wilson
  • Short Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Melissa Friedman, “Gastown to Grey” | Shortlist: Thomas Harris, Jen Schwetje

The predecessor to the Nova Writes Competition was the Atlantic Writing Competition (AWC), established in 1975 under by the Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Authors’ Association and administered by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia from 1976 to 2016.

In 2016, the 39th and final year of the AWC, over 70 submissions were received (from emerging writers throughout Atlantic Canada) in six categories: creative non-fiction, novel, poetry, short story, writing for children, and young adult novel. Two other categories accepted over the last dozen years of the AWC were magazine article/essay (awarded up to 2007) and unproduced play (awarded from 2011 – 2013).

2016

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Sue Murtagh, “Resort Life” | Shortlist: Ethel Belliveau, Amanda Peters, Claire Shiplett, Susie Taylor
  • Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Linda McLean, Dreaming Margaret Atwood | Shortlist: Benjamin Dugdale, Dvora Trachtenberg
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Anne Bishop, Blessed are the Poor | Shortlist: Andrea Doukas, Liz Graham
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Mary Pike, The Secret Spirits of Edgar Snow | Shortlist: Deb MacNeil, Shawna Morrissey
  • Poetry Prize: Abena Amoako-Tuffour, The Art of Living | Shortlist: Emily Crompton, Carol Moreira, Shane Mountain, Lucas Wentzell
  • Young Adult Novel Prize: Jenni Blackmore, Island of Dead Souls

2015

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Dominic Wilcott, “Child of Somalia” | Honourable mention: Jan Moffett’s “Anxiety and Austin” | Shortlist: Ethel Belliveau, Luke MacNeill, Colin van Vulpen
  • Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Jeremy Smith, In The Kitchen | Honourable mention: Jo Shawyer’s Points of View | Shortlist: Zoe D’Amato, Esther Kennedy
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Maureen St. Clair, Judith and Sola | Honourable mention: Bridget Canning’s Impulse | Shortlist: Lorraine Buck, Warren Redman, Tim Reeves-Horton
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Sara Jewell, Moon Tide | Shortlist: Heather Jenkins, Judy MacLean
  • Poetry Prize: Wade Ells, Tricks in the Tide | Shortlist: Sheila Graham-Smith, Emily Leeson, Tela Purcell, Cheri Wilson
  • Young Adult Novel Prize: Nicole Fraser, Through the Door | Shortlist: Mary Dodd, Charlotte Mendel

2014

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Brittany Kraus, “Murmurs” | Honourable mention: Jan Moffett’s “Anxiety and Austin” | Shortlist: Ethel Belliveau, Luke MacNeill, Colin van Vulpen
  • Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Glenna Jenkins, Digging for Bones | Honourable mention: Jo Shawyer’s Points of View | Shortlist: Zoe D’Amato, Esther Kennedy
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Mary Pike, Foreign Soul | Shortlist: Ryan Blades, Dorothy Redfurn
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Jim Sutherland, The House the Captain Built | Shortlist: Heather Jenkins, Judy MacLean
  • Poetry Prize: Mary Ellen Sullivan, Visits | Shortlist: Isabel Blackmore, Whitney Moran, Shelley Thompson, Shannon Webb-Campbell
  • Young Adult Novel Prize: Nayani Jensen, Minstrel’s Song | Shortlist: Mary Dodd, Charlotte Mendel

2013

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Steven Naylor, “Joey Moulton” | Naylor also received “an editor’s eye and insights” provided by The Fiddlehead
  • Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Gillian Osmond, Mine Said Wednesday | Osmond also received “an editor’s eye and insights” provided by The Fiddlehead
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Marina Harris, Enough
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Georgia S. Atkin, Secrets: A Strange Tale | Atkin also received a Blue Pencil Mentorship provided by CANSCAIP
  • Poetry Prize: Ryan Marshall, I Wait in the Next Room | Marshall also received “an editor’s eye and insights” provided by The Fiddlehead
  • Unproduced Play Prize: Griffin McInnes, Science Inaction: a love story
  • Young Adult Novel Prize: Lori McKay, The General Store | McKay also received a Blue Pencil Mentorship provided by the CANSCAIP

2012

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Ruth Morris Schneider, “Concha’s Smile” | 2nd: Heidi Harding | 3rd: Sara Malton
  • Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Crystal Vaughan, Pieces | 2nd: Deirdre Dwyer | 3rd: Margaret Ommanney
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Sasha Dence, Falling Ice | 2nd: Sheila Graham-Smith | 3rd: Sarah Gignac 
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Patsy Clothier, Callista, the Amazing Honey Bee, Tells All | 2nd: Jo-Anne Hemming | 3rd: Jo Shawyer
  • Poetry Prize: Roger Field, Orientations, Syria | 2nd: Maryann Martin | 3rd: Sheila Graham-Smith
  • Unproduced Play Prize: Rhys Bevan-John’s Pump Trolly | 2nd: Janet Godsell | 3rd: Nick Jupp | This prize was co-presented by Theatre Nova Scotia (TheatreNS) and Playwrights Atlantic Resource Center (PARC) at the Robert Merritt Awards, and the winner also received a free membership to TheatreNS and professional dramaturgy services from PARC
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize: Richard Levangie, Secrets of the Hotel Maisoneuve | 2nd: Katrina Nicholson | 3rd: Judy Dudar

2011

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Gillian M. Osmond’s “I Heard a Small Boy Singing: A Memoir”
  • Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Brian Braganza’s The Cross Road
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Charlotte Mendel’s Turn Us Again
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Lisa-Marie Brunnen’s Hiding in the Fireplace
  • Poetry Prize: Janet Kennedy’s November Poems
  • Unproduced Play Prize: David Christoffel’s Hard Rock | This prize was co-presented by Theatre Nova Scotia (TheatreNS) and Playwrights Atlantic Resource Center (PARC) at the Robert Merritt Awards, and the winner also received a free membership to TheatreNS and professional dramaturgy services from PARC
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize: Kat Kruger’s The Night Has Teeth

2010

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Julie Strong’s “Alice’s Bonfire”
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Wanda Campbell’s Hat Girl
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Stephanie Reidy’s Callum’s Bed
  • Poetry Prize: Rita Wilson’s Lost and Found
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize: Susan White’s The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

2009

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Paul Healey’s “Vanishing”
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Scott Fotheringham’s The Rest is Silence
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Joanna Butler’s Calvin’s Moose Hunt
  • Poetry Prize: James MacSwain’s Ancestors
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize: Dorothy Redfurn’s In Interesting Times

2008

  • Budge Wilson Short Story Prize: Victoria Lynn Hirtle’s “The Leather Other”
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Chris Benjamin’s Living in the Dirt
  • Poetry Prize: Veryan Haysom’s Subterranean Paths
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize & Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Brenda Tate’s Nightingales Don’t Cry

2007

  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Scott Bartlett’s Royal Flush
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Carolee Nichols’s Bud, The Homeless Cat
  • Magazine Article/Essay Prize: Veronica Butler’s “My Lemon Tree”
  • Poetry Prize: Nanci Lee’s Lessons
  • Short Story Prize: Kathy Chisholm’s “Seen But Not Heard”
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize: Philip Roy’s Alfred, The Submarine Outlaw

2006

  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Syr Ruus’s Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Cyncy D’Entremont’s Granny’s Houseplant
  • Magazine Article/Essay Prize: Daniel Schulman’s “An Ode to the Flying Squirrel”
  • Poetry Prize: Jenny MacDougall’s Lesser Light
  • Short Story Prize: Roanne Rondina’s “Luzviminda”
  • Young Adult/Juvenile Novel Prize: Jo Ann Yhard’s Chasing the Raven

2005

  • Frog Hollow Books Poetry Prize: Laura Crawford’s Alphabetology: Bold Character Put Up Strange Fonts
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Dave Cameron’s The Bottle Collector
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Jamie Leck’s Guinness the Gobber and the Pickle Farm Fiasco
  • Magazine Article/Essay Prize: Penny Carver’s “Move Hands Like Clouds”
  • Short Story Prize: Vivien Shotwell’s “Methods of Rest”

2004

  • Frog Hollow Books Poetry Prize: Walter Lee’s Is Hard When Fired
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Terry Pratt’s Academic Questions
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Sue Coueslan’s Under Emmett’s Bed
  • Magazine Article/Essay Prize: Munju Ravindra’s “Going Solo”
  • Short Story Prize: Erna Buffie’s “Pearl”

2003

  • Frog Hollow Books Poetry Prize: Jennifer Clouter’s After Viewing
  • HR (Bill) Percy Novel Prize: Steve Zipp’s Yellowknife
  • Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Prize: Joyce Grant Smith’s The Latch
  • Magazine Article/Essay Prize: Susan Cameron’s “Joyce and Me”
  • Short Story Prize: Sheilagh Guy Murphy’s “Lost”

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