Honouring our Manitoba Book Awards recipients

Without our usual gala, we were unable to suitably honour those who won awards during this year’s Manitoba Book Awards season. The Manitoba Writers’ Guild works as a team member of a coalition of organizations that coordinate the Awards, along with the Association of Book Publishers (AMBP), the Winnipeg International Writers Festival (WIWF) and the Winnipeg Libraries Association. The coalition organizes the submission process, finds jurors for each of the categories and organizes meetings with those jurors to determine our winners. Then, we usually plan a party where we can invite those on the shortlist, their families, friends and publishers to learn who the winners are and celebrate all the wonderful writers, book publishers and designers in Manitoba. Unfortunately, with the dreaded virus isolating all of us during the time when we usually hold the gala, we were unable to indulge in such an event this year.

Instead, the Guild has invited as many of the winners as we could find to be a part of our monthly virtual Book Chats, the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. The one exception will be Colleen Nelson, winner of the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award (Older Category) for her middle grade novel, Harvey Holds His Own. We invited her to our Kids Book Chat on Saturday, September 11 at 2 pm so gather your kids and grandkids to the nearest computer, laptop, tablet or even your cell phone, to listen to Colleen and ask questions of this talented local author.

As for our evening virtual Book Chats, we invite anyone interested in hearing our authors read a portion of their award winning books to join us at any of the chats. Please note that you must email the Guild ahead of each chat for the Zoom information that will allow you to join the meeting.

On July 14, 2021, David A. Robertson read from his award winning book, Black Water, which won both the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. It was a thought-provoking evening with discussions on reconciliation and residential schools.

Here is a list of the other award winners, the awards they won and when their chats will be:

August 11, 2021 – Jonathan Ball‘s The Lightning of Possible Storms won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

September 8, 2021 – Magdalene Redekop‘s Making Believe: Questions About Mennonites and Art won the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher

October 13, 2021 – Duncan Mecredi & Lenard Monkman both won the Manitowapow Award for their work in literacy among the Indigenous  Community

November 10, 2021 – Andrew Unger’s Once Removed won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

December 8, 2021 – Lara Rae’s play Dragonfly won the Chris Johnson Award for Best Play by a Manitoba Playwright

January 9, 2022 – Amber O’Reilly’s poetry book, Gagnant – Boussole Franche, won Le Prix  littéraire Rue-Deschambault

We are also planning an informative evening with the company Relish Design, which won most of the design awards in the Manuela Diaz Book Design and Illustration Awards category. It should be very interesting to see how their designers come up with the graphics for book covers and illustrations. Stay tuned for the date and time, which will be announced here and on our Facebook Events page.

As mentioned above, please email manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com to receive the Zoom instructions or if you have any questions. If you want to read more about these writers, they will be featured in upcoming e-newsletters, but you must be a member to get it. Check out our Member page to learn how to become a member.

2021 Manitoba Book Awards Winners!

We, at the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, are pleased to announce this year’s winners of the Manitoba Book Awards / Les Prix du livre du Manitoba 2021 Winners List   Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction / Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council   Winner – Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. … Read more

2021 Shortlist for the Manitoba Book Awards

Manitoba Book Awards / Les Prix du livres du Manitoba

MEDIA RELEASE / COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

30 APRIL/AVRIL 2021
(Winnipeg, MB) – On behalf of the coalition producing the 2021 Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba, we are excited to share the shortlists for 11 separate awards recognizing excellence in Manitoba writing, book design and illustration, and publishing. Congratulations to all the nominees!

As the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic weigh down upon us, we’re seeing artists reach out online to keep us grounded and to lift our spirits. It’s our turn to repay that favour.

Starting today, we will be spotlighting and celebrating these terrific local books—and the writers, publishers, designers and illustrators who make them happen—on our social media channels (FB: Manitoba Book Awards, Insta: @mbbookawards). Please connect with us there, then amplify those posts and create some of your own.

The pandemic means we will have to again forego the gala celebration but we will announce the winners via media release and social media on Thursday, May 20 at 11 a.m.

The Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba coalition—the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Winnipeg International Writers Festival, and Winnipeg Public Library—is grateful to the award sponsors for their ongoing support.


PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS ON ALL ELEVEN AWARDS…

(Winnipeg, MB) — De la part de la coalition qui produit  Les Prix du livre du Manitoba/Manitoba Book Awards  2021, nous sommes ravis de partager la liste de candidats sélectionnés pour les 11 prix distincts qui reconnaissent l’excellence de l’écriture, la mise en page, l’illustration et l’édition au Manitoba. Félicitations à tous les finalistes !

Alors que les défis de la pandémie de COVID-19 pèsent sur nous, nous sommes émus par le déploiement d’initiatives en ligne menées par des artistes pour nous aider à maintenir le calme et le moral. C’est maintenant à nous de leur rendre la pareille.

À partir d’aujourd’hui, nous mettrons en vedette et nous célébrerons ces livres locaux magnifiques et les auteures, auteurs, éditrices, éditeurs, conceptrices et concepteurs qui les produisent dans nos réseaux sociaux (FB: Manitoba Book Awards, Insta: @mbbookawards). Connectez-vous avec nous et amplifiez ces messages en créant les vôtres !

La pandémie nous pousse à renoncer encore la célébration gala, mais nous annoncerons les lauréates et lauréats de chacun des onze prix via un communiqué de presse et nos réseaux sociaux le jeudi 20 mai à 11 heures.

La coalition Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba—Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, Manitoba Writers Guild, Festival international des écrivains de Winnipeg et La Bibliothèque publique de Winnipeg—sont reconnaissants envers les commanditaires pour leur soutien continu.


VEUILLEZ FAIRE DÉFILER LA PAGE POUR OBTENIR DES DÉTAILS SUR LES ONZE PRIX…

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction /
Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais

Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council

Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson, published by HarperCollins

For The W: A Look Back at the 2019 Grey Cup Championship Season by Ed Tait, edited by Rhéanne Marcoux, published by The Winnipeg Football Club

Peculiar Lessons: How Nature and the Material World Shaped a Prairie Childhood by Lois Braun, published by Great Plains Publications

Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act by Virginia Torrie, published by University of Toronto Press


Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award /
Prix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg

Sponsor: Winnipeg Arts Council, with funding from the city of Winnipeg

Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson, published by HarperCollins

Dispelling the Clouds: A Desperate Social Experiment by Wilma Derksen, published by Amity Publishers

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City, Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan, published by HighWater Press

Harley’s Bootstraps by Lois C. Henderson, published by FriesenPress

TreeTalk by Ariel Gordon, with illustrations by Natalie Baird, published by At Bay Press

Vignettes from My Life by Tannis M. Richardson, published by Heartland Associates


Chris Johnson Award for Best Play by a Manitoba Playwright /
Prix Chris-Johnson pour la meilleure pièce par un dramaturge manitobain

Sponsor: The Manitoba Association of Playwrights (MAP)

Dragonfly by Lara Rae, published by J. Gordon Shillingford

How it Ends by Debbie Patterson, produced by Sick + Twisted Theatre

Inédit par Eric Plamondon, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

The Paper Bag Princess by Alissa Watson, produced by Prairie Theatre Exchange

Torn Through Time by Carrie Costello, Frances Koncan, and Cherissa Richards, produced by Manitoba Theatre for Young People


Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book
Sponsor: The Winnipeg Foundation

A Strange Kind of Comfort by Gaylene Dutchyshen, published by Dundurn Press

Heart Broken: Our Family’s Story of Surviving Medical Tragedy by Donald Lepp, published by Word Alive Press

Once Removed by Andrew Unger, published by Turnstone Press

Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin, published by Signature Editions

The Case of Windy Lake A Mighty Muskrats Mystery by Michael Hutchinson, published by Second Story Press


Manitowapow Award / Prix Manitowapow
Sponsor: Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba

Wilfred Buck
Duncan Mercredi
Lenard Monkman
David A. Robertson
Jen Storm


Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards /
Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique et d’illustration en édition

I. Book Design / Conception de livre
Becoming Our Future: Global Indigenous Curatorial Practice edited by Dr. Julie Nagam, Carly Lane, Megan Tamati-Quennell, original front cover design by Johnson Witehira, design and layout by Relish New Brand Experience, published by ARP Books

My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph, book design and layout by LOKI, published by ARP Books

The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent by Darren Bernhardt, cover artwork by Christine Fellows, design and typography by Relish New Brand Experience, published by Great Plains Publications

The Muse Sings by Dennis Cooley, illustrations by Cori Jaye Elston, cover and interior design by M. C. Joudrey and Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press

TreeTalk by Ariel Gordon, with illustrations by Natalie Baird, cover and interior design by M. C. Joudrey and Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press

Words of the Inuit: A Semantic Stroll through a Northern Culture by Louis-Jacques Dorais, cover design by Marvin Harder, interior design by Jess Koroscil, published by University of Manitoba Press

II. Illustration
For The W: A Look Back at the 2019 Grey Cup Championship Season by Ed Tait, edited by Rhéanne Marcoux, cover and interior design by Rhéanne Marcoux and Carrie Berndsen, various photographers, published by The Winnipeg Football Club

I Will See You Again by Lisa Boivin, illustrations by Lisa Boivin, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

The Automatic Age, written, illustrated, and cover design by G.M.B. Chomichuk, design assistance by Relish New Brand Experience, published by Yellow Dog, an imprint of Great Plains Publications

III. Graphic Novel / Roman graphique
Breakdown: The Reckoner Rises, Vol 1 by David A. Robertson, illustrations by Scott B. Henderson and Donovan Yaciuk, cover and interior design by Jennifer Lum, published by HighWater Press

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm et al., illustrations by Tara Audibert et al., cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press


Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council

Here the Dark by David Bergen, published by Biblioasis

Kate Wake by Mariianne Mays Wiebe, published by DC Books

My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph, published by ARP Books

Still Me: A Golf Tragedy in 18 Parts by Jeffrey John Eyamie, published by Turnstone Press

The Lightning of Possible Storms by Jonathan Ball, published by Book*hug Press


Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher /
Prix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba

Sponsor: Friesens Corporation

Becoming Our Future: Global Indigenous Curatorial Practice edited by Dr. Julie Nagam, Carly Lane, Megan Tamati-Quennell, original front cover design by Johnson Witehira, design and layout by Relish New Brand Experience, published by ARP Books

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

I Will See You Again written and illustrated by Lisa Boivin, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

Making Believe: Questions About Mennonites and Art by Magdelene Redekop, cover design by David Drummond, interior design by Jess Koroscil, published by University of Manitoba Press

TreeTalk by Ariel Gordon, with illustrations by Natalie Baird, cover and interior design by M. C. Joudrey and Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press


McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers

Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson, published by HarperCollins

Dragonfly by Lara Rae, published by J. Gordon Shillingford

Here the Dark by David Bergen, published by Biblioasis

My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph, published by ARP Books

Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin, published by Signature Editions

The World is Mostly Sky by Sarah Ens, published by Turnstone Press


McNally Robinson Books for Young People (Older Category)
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan,  published by HighWater Press

Ghosts by David A. Robertson, published by HighWater Press

Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson, illustrations by Tara Anderson, published by Pajama Press

The Case of the Missing Auntie – A Mighty Muskrats Mystery: Book 2 by Michael Hutchinson, published by Second Story Press

You Don’t Have to Die in the End by Anita Daher, published by Yellow Dog, an imprint of Great Plains Publications


Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault
Commanditaire : Conseil des arts du Manitoba

Boussole Franche par Amber O’Reilly, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

Buffet Froid par Louise Dandeneau, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

Ganiishomong: ou L’Extase du temps par J. R. Léveillé, publié par Les Éditions du Blé


Congratulations to all the nominees!
Félicitations à tous les finalistes !

For more information:

Email: info@manitobabookawards.ca

Website: manitobabookawards.ca

Social media: Manitoba Book Awards / @mbbookawards

Note our new website address!

Pour plus de renseignements :

Courriel : info@manitobabookawards.ca

Site web: manitobabookawards.ca

Média sociaux : Manitoba Book Awards / @mbbookawards

Notez la nouvelle adresse du site web !

David Elias – My Manitoba Book Awards experience

David Elias was shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction so we asked him about his experience:

  1. How did you hear about the Manitoba Book Awards?

Answer: I received an email from my publisher, ECW Press, informing me that my book, Elizabeth of Bohemia:  A Novel about Elizabeth Stuart, The Winter Queen, had been nominated for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

  1. How was the process for submitting your book? If you submitted to previous Book Awards, how did the process differ, for better or worse?

Answer: ECW Press took care of everything.  They submitted the book for a number of other awards, as well.  As it turned out, the novel was also selected as a finalist for the Foreword Reviews Indie Awards, which is American.

  1. Have you attended Book Awards Galas, in the past? If so, what were your impressions of the evenings. With the COVID-19 situation putting a damper on our ceremony this year, is there something you think we should have done instead of simply announcing the winners in an online forum?

Answer: I’ve attended a number of Book Awards in various cities.  In 2005 I attended the Amazon First Novel Award ceremonies in Toronto when my novel, Sunday Afternoon, was one of the finalists.  It was an elaborate affair, with special guests and plenty of food and refreshments.  That year I also attended the Manitoba Book Awards because the same novel was nominated for both the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year.  It was held at the Hotel Fort Garry in one of the ballrooms, with all the accoutrements of a gala event.  I’ve attended the Manitoba Book Awards on other occasions, as well, including the year Brenda Sciberras, to whom I am married, won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book for her collection of poetry, Magpie Days.

This year’s nomination for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction was great, but to say that Covid-19 put a damper on things is putting it mildly!  Nothing compares to a live in-person event.  Other than a couple of congratulatory emails, it was basically “crickets”.  There was some mention of interviews with the nominees that would be posted online, and I thought the local media might step in and do a bit more to promote the awards, but none of that materialized.

  1. How did you feel when you received the email announcing that you’d made the shortlist?

Answer: I was certainly happy to receive the nomination, but I didn’t anticipate it.  I’ve written other books that I thought might be nominated that got passed over, so I’ve learned not to get my hopes up.

  1. What more can we do to help you receive the accolades you deserve?

Answer: I think what you are doing now – interviewing me you about my experience, featuring me in your newsletter, and your plans to have me as the Featured Author at an upcoming virtual Book Chat are all terrific.  I really couldn’t ask for more.

  1. What else would you like to say about the experience?

Answer: When you’re nominated for an award, it’s certainly an affirmation, which can really be a boost.  But what about all those accomplished writers who never get to have that experience?  When I was writing Elizabeth of Bohemia, I reached a point where found myself in something of an existential crisis, and had to stop and think about what I was up to.  It was taking years of research and effort to write the book – with no contract, and no prospects that it would ever be published.  What if nothing came of it?!  After not writing for a while, I realized how much I missed Elizabeth.  And she missed me!  But what I missed most was the work, the process.  I decided let go of my expectation, my striving for “success”, and soon I was back at work.  It changed me as a writer.  I felt calmer after that, quieter.

Thanks, David, for the insight into your experience. I hope what we are doing will help you as a writer.

Also, congratulations on your upcoming virtual launch on October 20 through McNally Robinson Booksellers (https://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/event-18012/David-Elias-Online-Book-Launch#.X4dzu9BKjIU). Hope your new book, The Truth About The Barn does well.