Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children's Literature

One prize ($5,000) is awarded each year for a book of fiction or non-fiction that is readily available in print; that was written by a living, full-time resident of Atlantic Canada; and that was published or distributed for the first time in Canada in the two years prior to the submission deadline. Additional finalists each receive $250.

Each cycle of the award covers two publication years to allow for the award’s annual alternation between children’s literature (with submissions accepted in odd-numbered years and prize awarded in the next spring) and YA literature (with submissions accepted in even-numbered years and prize awarded in the next spring).

The Ann Connor Brimer Award was established in 1991 by the Nova Scotia Library Association and supported by the family of Ann Elisabeth Connor Brimer — a teacher, researcher, and program coordinator who served as executive director of the Canadian Learning Materials Centre, founding member of the Nova Scotia Coalition on Arts and Culture, co-founder of Woozles Children’s Bookstore, and Atlantic Officer for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. The award honours outstanding contributions to writing for Atlantic Canadian young people.

Beginning in 2016, the focus of this award began alternating annually between children’s literature (for readers up to 11 years old) and YA literature (for readers aged 12 to 17). The first prize for YA literature was awarded in 2017, and the first prize for children’s literature was awarded in 2018. In 2019, the Ann Connor Brimer Society passed stewardship and administration of the award to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Beginning in 2022, thanks to the generosity of Gavin Brimer, the prize amount was raised from $2,000 to $5,000.


2024 Shortlist

Alma Fullteron
The Journal of Anxious Izzy Parker
(Second Story Press)

Vicki Grant
A Green Velvet Secret
(Tundra Books)

George Paul
Kepmite’taqney Ktapekiaqn / Le chant d’honneur / The Honour Song
(Éditions Bouton d’or Acadie)

Jack Wong
The Words We Share
(Annick Press)


Past Recipients

2023 Winner

Nicola Davison, Decoding Dot Grey (Nimbus Publishing)

2023 Finalists

Vicki Grant, Tell Me When You Feel Something (Penguin Random House Canada)

Jo Treggiari, Heartbreak Homes (Nimbus Publishing)

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

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 communications@writers.ns.ca