Shortlist for the 2009 Ann Connor Brimer Award Announced

Atlantic Ink, The Writers Festival has announced the 2009 shortlist for the 19th annual Ann Connor Brimer Award. The award will be presented on May 8, 2009. The nominees are listed below.

Lightning and Blackberries
Written by Joanne Jefferson
Nimbus Publishing

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Evans is the privileged and naïve only child of prominent New Englanders, part of a group of Planters who settled in Nova Scotia following the deportation of the Acadian people. As a teenager, she is leading a carefree life in the Annapolis Valley, tending to her cows on the family farm, daydreaming by the brook, and resisting her mother’s attempts to refine her manners and marry her off. She thinks nothing will ever change, but a stranger’s arrival at Evans Hall and a chance meeting with a mysterious Acadian girl in the woods nearby turn Elizabeth’s carefree life upside down. When she learns the truth about the history of the farm she loves so well, she realizes nothing can ever be the same.

Joanne Jefferson was born and raised in Halifax and now makes her home in West LaHave, Nova Scotia. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction writing appear in a variety of Canadian publications. She leads writing workshops for young people at the Tatamagouche Centre and in schools around Nova Scotia. Joanne’s other passions include boating, music, and baseball. Lightning & Blackberries is her first novel.

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
Written by Jill MacLean
Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Just 365 days — that’s how long Travis has agreed to his dad’s experiment of moving to a tiny coastal community in Newfoundland. But in no time he’s counting those days. Only a few kids show interest in him: Hector, a strange boy who grunts; and Prinny, a girl as scraggly as her ponytail. And then there’s Hud, the school’s meanest bully, who’s just itching for a fight with the new “townie.” But there are worse things than loneliness. When Travis discovers a colony of abandoned cats and attempts to care for them himself, it isn’t long before he’s in over his head. Who will help him keep the starving animals safe from the likes of Hud and his pals? And how many of his lives will Travis use up in the process?

Jill MacLean is the author of a collection of poetry, The Brevity of Red, which was shortlisted for the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award. She has also published a history of Prince Edward Island, Jean Pierre Roma: of the Company of the East of Isle St. Jean. Jill lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Submarine Outlaw
Written by Philip Roy
Ronsdale Press

What happens when a fearless young explorer teams up with a junkyard genius and builds a submarine? Going to sea with an unusual crew, a strangely intelligent seagull with attitude and a dog that nobody wanted, Alfred unwittingly becomes the ‘Submarine Outlaw’, discovering that the sea is a busy place. Escaping from the coastguard when he is mistaken for a Russian spy sub, rescuing a family on a sailboat in a storm, and running from thieves who are after the gold coins he has raised from the floor of the Louisburg harbour — Alfred learns that a modern explorer must keep his wits about him as he sails on the high seas, or beneath them.

Philip Francis Roy grew up in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The ocean was his back yard and now features in many of the stories he writes. His university studies included music and history, but he also knew from an early age that he wanted to write novels. Submarine Outlaw, his first published book, is the result of a lifelong fascination with submarines and a secret desire to build one. “If teens enjoy reading Submarine Outlaw half as much as I enjoyed writing it,” says Philip, “I will feel very rewarded indeed.” Philip has many other stories waiting in dry dock, including an exciting sequel to Submarine Outlaw, on the launch pad soon.

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