Thursday, April 24, 2003
The Halifax Herald Limited
Kimber, Morrissey Conlin lead race for Atlantic Book Awards
New first-time author’s prize named for John, Margaret Savage
By Stephen Pedersen / Arts Reporter
A new book award for first-time authors will be offered in the name of former Nova Scotia premier John Savage and his wife Margaret when the winners of the 2003 Atlantic Book Awards are announced May 16 in Dartmouth.
The Margaret and John Savage Book Award brings to eight the number of awards to be handed out at a late afternoon awards ceremony at Alderney Landing Theatre.
Paul Robinson, chair of the Dartmouth Book Awards, which offers two prizes of $1,500, one for fiction and one for non-fiction, said the idea of the new award is to honour the contribution of the Savages to writing and to encourage first-time published writers. He was speaking Tuesday afternoon at a news conference in the Helen Creighton Room of the Alderney Gate branch of the HRM Library held to announce the books on the short lists of all eight 2003 Atlantic Book Awards .
" Margaret was a quiet volunteer in this library," Robinson said. "She delivered books to shut-ins, and she and John helped us to get the Dartmouth Book Awards on the road and supported us, the library and its services."
Stephen Kimber with three nominations, and Donna Morrissey and Christy Ann Conlin with two each led the list of 18 Atlantic Canadian writers now eligible for 2003 Atlantic Book Awards.
Kimber’s book on the World War II riots in Nova Scotia, Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs, was listed for the Bookseller’s Choice Award, the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction.
Morrissey’s novel Downhill Chance was also nominated for a Bookseller’s Award, which is for books of any genre that have already become bestsellers, as well as for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize of $10,000.
Conlin’s novel Heave is shortlisted for both the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction as well as the Thomas Raddall prize.
A new award for Excellence in Book Illustration offered by the municpality will be announced May 16 as well, said Keith McPhail, representing HRM Mayor Peter Kelly.
The complete short list of nominees for the 2003 Atlantic Book Awards follows:
Ann Connor Brimer Children’s Literature Prize ($1,000): Shoulder the Sky by Lesley Choyce; Walker’s Runners by Robert Rayner; Full Moon Rising by Joanne Taylor
Atlantic Poetry Prize ($1,000) The Afterlife of Trees by Brian Bartlett; Opening the Island by Anne Compton; So Rarely in Our Skins by Robert Moore
Bookseller’s Choice Award ($1,000): The Navigator of New York by Wayne Johnston; Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs by Stephen Kimber; Downhill Chance by Donna Morrissey
Dartmouth Book Award – Fiction ($1,500): Heave by Christy Ann Conlin; Down the Coal Town Road by Sheldon Currie; Butterflies Dance in the Dark by Beatrice MacNeil
Dartmouth Book Award — Non-fiction ($1,500): The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy by John Griffith Armstrong; The Maroons in Nova Scotia by John N. Grant; Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs by Stephen Kimber
Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction ($1,000): Universe on a T-Shirt by Dan Falk; Con Game by Michael Harris; Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs by Stephen Kimber
Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize ($10,000): Heave by Christy Ann Conlin; Lures by Sue Goyette; Downhill Chance by Donna Morrissey
The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award ($1,500): Heave, Christy Ann Conlin; Walker’s Runners, Robert Rayner; Full Moon Rising, Joanne Taylor; The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy, John Griffith Armstrong; Universe on a T-Shirt, Dan Falk; Opening the Island, Anne Compton; So Rarely In Our Skins, Robert Moore.