Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards

The Newfoundland & Labrador Book Awards are sponsored by the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and administered by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador under the distinguished patronage of The Honourable Frank Fagan, CM, ONL, MBA, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The awards honour the best works in Fiction and Children’s/Young Adult Literature in even years and Nonfiction and Poetry (E.J. Pratt Poetry Book Award) in odd years. Each category is judged by a jury of three. 

Calls for submissions typically go out in December. Shortlisted authors are announced in early March. Winners of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards receive a cash prize of $1,500 each; runners-up receive $500 each. Only books written by residents of Newfoundland and Labrador (living in the province three of the past five years) are eligible for the award. Please contact the Writer’s Alliance for full details on eligibility. 


2017 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award Winners

E.J. Pratt Poetry Award: Patrick Warner, Octopus (Biblioasis)

What the jury said about this book:

The octopus, an emblem of the mind in the work of several modernist poets, presides over this collection, an image evoking fluidity, the hidden, the strange. Octopus continues to explore territory travelled in Patrick Warner’s other works; contemporary life is reflected at times through a Swiftian lens. The satire is often phantasmagoric, with elements of dream or of a carnival funhouse. An important strain of this new book is its enquiry into the nature of lyric and of mind. Warner’s skill with image and the musical resources of poetry makes Octopus compelling technically as well as emotionally and intellectually. 

Non-Fiction Award: Jenny Higgins, Newfoundland in the First World War (Boulder Publications)

What the jury said about this book:

This historical book takes a timeless subject and leaves no stone unturned in its inclusivity of data in a well researched and well organized form. The book includes additional literary material which makes it interactive and entertaining. It is unique in the sense that it is like being in a museum and touching the artifacts of the soldiers from so long ago. Newfoundland in the First World War is an educational work of art.

Runners-up:

E.J. Pratt Poetry Award:  Michael Crummey and Robin Durnford
Non-Fiction Award: John Nick Jeddore and James McLeod


2016 Newfoundland & Labrador Book Award Winners

Fiction Award: Michael Crummey, Sweetland (Doubleday Canada)

What the jury said about this book: 

An atmospheric tale of a man who is so attached to his small island home that he decides to stay there when the whole community makes a permanent move to the mainland. Memories, isolation and hunger wear him down from reality into a haunted dream-state.  Crummey effectively uses his seductive powers of plot and language, and originality of style and voice to take the reader along on Sweetland’s wanderings. Despite the strangeness, Sweetland is a very readable novel.

Bruneau Family Children’s/Young Adult Literature Award: Janet McNaughton, Flame and Ashes: The Great Fire Diary of Triffie Winsor (Scholastic)

What the jury said about this book: 

Triffie Winsor’s diary shows not only how life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye-but also how resilient and adaptive children are in the wake of a disaster. With meticulous research, McNaughton weaves an engaging tale of the very fabric of day to day life in St. John’s after the great fire of 1892, as the successful Winsor merchant family go from “riches to rags” overnight. Flame and Ashes, in true Dear Canada Series format, and with beautifully crafted narrative, will give all readers – young and old – poignant insight into an amazing “coming of age” story during one of the most important periods in Newfoundland history.

Runners-up:

Fiction Award: Joan Clark and Sara Tilley
Children’s/YA Award: Charis Cotter and Susan MacDonald


2015 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award Winners

E.J. Pratt Poetry Award: Carmelita McGrath, Escape Velocity (Goose Lane Editions)
Non-Fiction Award: Andrew Peacock, Creatures of the Rock (Doubleday Canada)

Runners-up:

E.J. Pratt Poetry Award: Mary Dalton and Michael Crummey
Non-Fiction Award: Janet Merlo and Alan Doyle


2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award Winners

Writers’ Alliance Fiction Award: Lisa Moore, for Caught, (House of Anansi, 2013)

Bruneau Family Children’s/Young Adult Literature Award: Andy Jones, for Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves, illustrated by Darka Erdelji(Running the Goat Books & Broadsides, 2012)