Posted by: crpa | April 17, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Atlantic Book Festival 2008

16 April, 2008

Spring Sizzles with Atlantic Book Festival 2008

Twenty-five books.  Four provinces.  One Festival.  May 6 to 15, 2008!

The shortlists have been announced.  The Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize has increased to $15,000.  The Book Festival website is a-shimmer with readings, signings, workshops and the complete details of the nominated authors and books for Atlantic Book Festival 2008.  Take a magical mystery murder tour of Halifax with Steven Laffoley…a workshop with imaginary characters with Sheree Fitch…a Gala Soirée at FRED in Halifax with readings and interviews …celebrations in Saint John, St. John’s, Sydney, Truro, Pugwash, Charlottetown …join us for the not-to-be-missed Atlantic Book Awards Ceremony on Monday 12 May, 4 pm at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth.

Aided and abetted by the creative team at Halifax Public Libraries, readers throughout Atlantic Canada can wager on the winning books. Match your wits with the judges. A Glorious slection of shortlisted titles will be awarded to two individuals who choose the prize-winning authors.  Go to to place your bet!

This year’s nominees are:

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize

Don Hannah, Ragged Islands, Knopf Canada
Bernice Morgan, Cloud of Bone, Knopf Canada
David Adams Richards, The Lost Highway, Doubleday Canada

Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction

Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose,
Thomas Allen Publishers
Stewart Donovan, The Forgotten World of RJ MacSween: A Life, Cape Breton University Press
Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, Mystery and Murder, Pottersfield Press

Atlantic Poetry Prize

Don Domanski, All Our Wonder Unavenged, Brick Books
George Murray, The Rush to Here, Nightwood Editions
Anne Simpson, Quick, McClelland & Stewart

Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction

Beatrice MacNeil, Where White Horses Gallop, Key Porter Books
Carol Bruneau, Glass Voices, Cormorant Books
David Doucette, North of Smokey, Cape Breton University Press

Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction

A. J. B. Johnston, Endgame 1758: The Promise, the Glory and the Despair, Cape Breton University Press
Stewart Donovan, The Forgotten World of R. J. MacSween: A Life, Cape Breton University Press
Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose, Thomas Allen Publishers

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

Bob Mersereau, The Top100 Canadian Albums, Goose Lane Editions
Stephanie Domet, Homing: the whole story (from the inside out), Invisible Publishing
Fred Armstrong, Happiness of Fish, Jesperson Publishing

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Eric Orchard, A Forest For Christmas (Michael Harris, author), Nimbus Publishing
Richard Rudnicki, Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck (Judith Meyrick, author), Nimbus Publishing
Nancy Keating, A Puppy Story (Susan Pynn, author), Tuckamore Books

Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Published Book Award

Beaverbrook – A Shattered Legacy, by Jacques Poitras, Goose Lane Editions
Miller Brittain: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears, by Tom Smart, Goose Lane Editions
Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck, by Judith Meyrick; illustrated by Richard Rudnicki, Nimbus Publishing

Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Choice Award

Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, Mystery and Murder, Pottersfield Press
Jacques Poitras, Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy, Goose Lane Editions
Harry Sawler, Twenty-first Century Irvings, Nimbus Publishing

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

Alice Walsh, A Sky Black with Crows, Red Deer Press
K.V. Johansen, Nightwalker: The Warlocks of Talverdin, Orca
Valerie Sherrard, Speechless, Dundurn Group

Schedule of Events
Atlantic Book Festival 2008 (dates and times are subject to change.  Visit for up-to-the-minute details, changes and additions)
Tuesday May 6
10 am   PRESENTATION – Richard Rudnicki, illustrator, with Gracie, the Public Gardens Duck at Cole Harbour Library

Wednesday May 7
10 am   PRESENTATION – Eric Orchard, illustrator, with A Forest for Christmas at Bedford Library, Bedford
7 pm     READING – Carol Bruneau with Glass Voices at Alderney Library, Dartmouth
7 pm     LAUNCH – Steve Vernon with Wicked Woods at Fredericton Public Library, 12 Carleton Street, Fredericton
7 pm     LAUNCH – Ken Smith with History of Disaster at Bathurst Book Gallery, 145 Main Street, Bathurst

Thursday May 8
Noon    READING & DISCUSSION – Stephanie Domet with Homing and Robbie MacGregor, publisher Invisible Books.  First books – writing them, publishing them at Spring Garden Road Library, Halifax
7 pm     Harvey Sawlor with Twenty-first Century Irvings at Keshen-Goodman Library, Halifax
7 pm     READING – Cape Breton celebrates Atlantic Book Festival at McConnell Memorial Library, 50 Falmouth Street with Marq de Villiers, Beatrice MacNeil & Susan Zettell
7pm      LAUNCH – Shauntay Grant and illustrator Susan Tooke with Up Home at Nelson Whynder School, 979 North Preston Road

Friday May 9
Am       SIGNING – Marq de Villiers at Cole’s, Sydney
7 pm     READING – Don Domanski, George Murray, Anne Simpson, Herménégilde Chiasson, Study Lounge-Ward Chipman Building-UNBSJ, Saint John, NB
7 pm     READING – Marq de Villiers with Witch in the Wind at Thomas More Church Hall, Pugwash

Saturday May 10
11 to 3  Shorts! – a day of exploration and writing workshops with Sheree Fitch, Stephens Gerrard Malone, Shandi Mitchell and Philip Moscovitch at WFNS
11:30 – 12:30    SIGNING – David Adams Richards at Frog Hollow Books, Halifax
2 pm     WORKSHOP – David Adams Richards at Spring Garden Road Library, Halifax, sponsored by the Writers’ Trust of Canada
7 pm     READING – Don Domanski and George Murray, Charlottetown, PE with PEI Writers’ Guild
7 pm     GALA BOOKFEST READING AT FRED, 2606 Agricola, Halifax with David Adams Richards, Stephanie Domet, Steven Laffoley, Stewart Donovan, moderated by Sue Goyette

Sunday, May 11
12 – 2   SIGNING – David Adams Richards at Chapters, Dartmouth
2 pm     Magical Mystery Murder Tour with Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax
3 – 5     SIGNING – David Adams Richards at Chapters, Halifax

Monday, May 12
9 – 2     Halifax Grammar School hosts K.V. Johansen, Alice Walsh and Lesley Choyce
9 am     Cobequid Consolidated Elementary in Old Barns (near Truro) hosts illustrators Nancy Keating, Eric Orchard and Richard Rucnicki
4 – 6     Atlantic Book Awards Ceremony at Alderney Theatre, Dartmouth

Tuesday, May 13
10 am   READING – K.V. Johansen with Nightwalker at Alderney Library, Dartmouth
2 pm     READING – Don Hannah with Ragged Islands at Alderney Library, Dartmouth
7 pm     READING – Bernice Morgan with Cloud of Bone at Keshen-Goodman Library, Halifax

Thursday, May 15
7 pm     READING – Stephanie Domet with Homing at Keshen-Goodman Library, Dartmouth
7 pm     LAUNCH – Lawrence Coady with The Lost Canoe at Downhome Shoppe & Gallery, 303 Water Street, St. John’s, NL
7 pm     READING – Marq de Villiers, Bernice Morgan, George Murray at The Studio, 272 Water Street, St. John’s, NL hosted by Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador


For more information, call 423-8116 or visit


  1. There is a review of Fred Armstrong’s Happiness of Fish on the online forum of the Ottawa Writers Festival.

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