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Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards

Call for 2019 NL Book Awards for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award

Please note that this deadline has now passed (as of August 23, 2019).

The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) is pleased to announce the call for submissions to the 2019 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards (NLBAs) for Poetry!
The NLBAs celebrate and honour excellence in writing by authors in Canada’s easternmost province and are made possible by the generous support of sponsors. They are held each year, in biennial pairings: Poetry and Non-Fiction one year, and Fiction and Children’s/Young Adult Literature in the alternate year. The 2019 awards are for works in Poetry and Non-Fiction.

The author of the winning book in each category (Poetry and Non-Fiction) will receive $1,500. Two runners-up per category will be selected. Each runner-up will receive $500.

Residency: The awards are open only to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. For the purposes of these awards, a resident is defined as a person who has lived in Newfoundland and Labrador for the 12 months immediately prior to the date of publication OR must have lived in Newfoundland and Labrador in any combination of 36 of the last 60 months. The residency period for the 2019 awards is the five calendar years of 2014-2019. An award may be presented posthumously to an author who has met the residency requirement.

– Books published between January 1st, 2017, and December 31st, 2018.
– Books must be single-authored.
– Either the author or the publisher may enter a title.
– Books must be in English.
– Books that have been translated are eligible. However, in the case of a translated book, the award is to go exclusively to the author.
– Self-published books are eligible provided they are professionally produced (i.e. printed and bound by a commercial printer).
– Collected or selected works by a single author are eligible provided at least 50% of the text is previously unpublished material.
– Books that contain other media in addition to writing (e.g. photos, CDs, graphics, illustrations) are eligible; however, the award will be given only to the author of the book’s text and only for the writing.
– Books containing material not written by the author (e.g. letters, diaries, memoirs, blogs, oral histories, selected writings) are eligible provided at least 50% of the text is written by the author (e.g. introduction, exposition, commentary, reporting, narrative, footnotes, epilogue).
– The following are not eligible for the NL Book Awards: anthologies with more than one author; audiobooks; unpublished manuscripts; textbooks; a self-help or how-to book; a manual or guidebook on any subject. (e.g. travel, nature, cookbook), dictionaries, encyclopedias.
– Revised editions will be considered when the following conditions are met: a) The book has not been previously submitted to The Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards; and b) In the opinion of the Literary Awards Committee, the book contains new material to the extent that it is not merely a re-issue of a previous publication
– Current members of WANL’s Literary Awards Committee are not eligible for the NL Book Awards.
– Final decisions on the eligibility of submitted entries remain with WANL’s Literary Awards Committee.
– WANL reserves the right not to present the award should there not be enough entries for competitive adjudication

Assessment Process:
– Assessment of all eligible submissions to the NL Book Awards will be adjudicated by independent juries recruited and facilitated by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. – A jury with appropriate literary expertise will be convened for each award
– The independent jury for each award will submit a shortlist of three books and a winning book from that shortlist.
– The paramount consideration is excellence in writing. Jurors should reflect on creativity, wordsmithing, and originality.
– A juror must disclose any conflict of interest. WANL defines conflict of interest in terms of whether a juror stands to gain any financial benefit through association with a submitted title, or if the juror stands to gain from any moral or intellectual rights, or if the juror has a significant personal relationship with the author of a submitted title. If there is a conflict of interest, the juror will be asked to step aside.
– The decisions made by the NL Book Award juries are final.

Submission Procedures:
– Include four (4) non-returnable, professional printed and bound copies of each book
– Include a signed letter stating the category entered and confirming that all submission requirements have been met.
– Include the non-refundable entry fee that applies to you:

  • Free submission for WANL members paying full membership fee
  • $15 submission fee per title for WANL members paying $25 membership fee
  • $40 submission fee per title for non-WANL members

Submit along with your submission(s) to:
Newfoundland & Labrador Book Awards
c/o Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador
223 Duckworth Street, Suite 202
St. John’s, NL A1C 6N1

– Ineligible and/or incomplete submissions will not be returned, and entry fees will not be refunded.
– All books and materials submitted become the property of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and will be used for the jury members, sponsors, and promotional activities.
– Late submissions will not be accepted.

Submission Deadline:
Postmarked no later than 5 p.m. (NST) Friday, August 23, 2019.


The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce the finalists for the prestigious Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards (NLBAs). This year, the Awards honour excellence in the categories of Fiction and Children’s/Young Adult.

Finalists for the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Fiction
Sponsored by Killick Capital:

  • BRIDGET CANNING for The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes (Breakwater Books)
  • JOEL THOMAS HYNES for We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)
  • MARY WALSH for Crying for the Moon: A Novel (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)

Jury Members: Matthew LeDrew, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, Sara Tilley

Finalists for the 2018 Bruneau Family Children’s/Young Adult Award

  • LORI DOODY for The Puffin Problem (Running the Goat, Books and Broadsides)
  • SHEILAH LUKINS for Full Speed Ahead: Errol’s Bell Island Adventure (Breakwater Books)
  • REBECCA NORTH for Elliot and the Impossible Fish (Breakwater Books)

Jury Members: Theresa Uchechi Ezeuko, Catherine Hogan-Safer, Susan MacDonald

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.


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.


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

2015 Newfoundland & 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)


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)