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The Atlantic Book Awards recognise the work of Canadians who live and work in the nation's four Atlantic Provinces. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island. The population of the Atlantic provinces was 2,332,535 in 2007.

2010 Shortlist and Winners Atlantic Book Awards

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature

Winner! The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
Jill MacLean
Fitzhenry and Whiteside

An alcoholic mother, a distracted father, a best friend who spends all his time with his new "girlfriend," and three relentless bullies: Prinny's past, present, and future certainly are "tense." But when a kindly substitute teacher introduces her to LaVaughn's inner-city world in the free verse novel, Make Lemonade, Prinny discovers life can be full of possibilities-and poetry. A sequel to the award-winning The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.

Shortly after publication of her poetry collection, The Brevity of Red, Jill MacLean's nine-year-old grandson asked her to write him a book. Five years and several rejections later, The Nine Lives of Travis Keating was published, by which time her grandson was too old for the book. The Nine Lives of Travis Keating won the 2009 Ann Connor Brimer Award, and was shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association 2009 Book of the Year for Children and the Hackmatack and Silver Birch Children's Choice Awards, 2010.

Jill's books are set in Newfoundland, where her son and his family now live. Over the years, she's canoed, kayaked, hiked, and snowmobiled there, travelled the coves by boat, and stayed in the outports. Little did Jill realize at the time that these experiences could all be called "research," or that her love of the province would translate into words. Jill lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Five Minutes More
Darlene Ryan
Orca Book Publishers

D'Arcy's dad is dead. She desperately wants it to have been an accident, but she is not sure. And then she meets Seth. When will things get back to normal? Learning to live without her father while her mother struggles with her own pain, D'Arcy finds an inner strength she wasn't aware of. She also finds that almost anything is tolerable for five minutes more.

Darlene Ryan has been writing for as long as she can remember, although she pursued post-secondary degrees in biology and education. Despite being endlessly fascinated by theories on the origin of the universe, she decided she wasn't cut out to be a scientist and returned to writing. The author of six books--including the teen novels Rules for Life, Saving Grace, and Responsible, the memoir, A Mother's Adoption Journey, and the children's picture book, Kisses, kisses, kisses--Darlene was the 2006 poet recipient of the Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Early Childhood Literacy Award. As Sofie Kelly she writes Magical Cats of Mayville Heights mystery series. She lives with her family in Fredericton, New Brunswick. More information is available at www.darleneryan.com.

Tumbleweed Skies
Valerie Sherrard
Fitzhenry and Whiteside

While her father takes a temporary job as a traveling salesman, Ellie has no choice but to stay at her grandmother's farm in Saskatchewan. One thing is for sure-her tough and bitter Grandmother Acklebee is the last person in the world Ellie wants to know. And the feeling is mutual.

Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised in an air force family who moved around the country and overseas, Valerie Sherrard's ambition to become a writer was kindled when she was in grade six in Lahr, West Germany. Her homeroom teacher praised her writing efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. Although nearly three decades would pass before she began to pursue writing seriously, Valerie never forgot her teacher's words. She has written many books for young adult and teen readers as well as picture books. Tumbleweed Skies is her first book for a middle grade audience.

APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award

Winner! Birds of Newfoundland Field Guide
Ian Warkentin & Sandy Newton
Boulder Publications

The first comprehensive field guide dedicated solely to the birds of Newfoundland. Designed to make identifying birds quick and easy, using an original system of icons, this is a one-stop reference to the species most commonly seen in Newfoundland. Includes profiles of more than 170 birds, tips on finding species, song, habitat, breeding, nesting information, and range details.

Ian Warkentin is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Memorial University's Corner Brook campus. His research focuses on the ecology and population dynamics of birds in human-modified environments based on work at study sites in Central America, the southwestern US as well as Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. Ian's fascination with birds dates from the start of his graduate career when he studied falcons; more recently he has worked extensively with forest songbirds. Having written primarily for the scientific community in the past, the Birds of Newfoundland Field Guide is Ian's first work for a broader audience.

Based in Cupids, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sandy Newton is a writer and editor with a special interest in projects that involve natural history, the arts, or her adopted province. She wore many editorial hats in the preparation of this book, including researcher, writer, editor, and "novice birder" test audience.

Boulder Publications Ltd. is an independent book publishing company, based in the scenic Newfoundland community of Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s.

By the Rivers of Brooklyn
Trudy Morgan-Cole
Breakwater Books Ltd.

By the Rivers of Brooklyn traces the story of a Newfoundland family across two countries and three generations, exploring the hopes, passions and heartbreaks of those who went away and those who stayed behind.

Trudy Morgan-Cole is a writer and teacher. Her previous works of historical fiction include The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson, Deborah and Barak, and Esther: A Story of Courage. She lives in St. John's with her husband and two children, and teaches English, writing, and social studies to adult learners at The Murphy Centre.

Breakwater Books Ltd. was founded in 1973. Initially, its sole purpose was to publish materials that preserved the unique culture of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritime provinces. In recent years, Breakwater has successfully begun publishing cutting edge literature in all genres, including children’s books, literary and commercial fiction, educational curricula, non-fiction, and poetry, while at the same time continuing to support its culturally significant backlist titles. Breakwater also takes great pride in fostering the careers of up and coming authors while continuing to support its established writers.

A Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Dictionary / Peskotomuhkati Wolastoqewi Latuwewakon
David A. Francis and Robert M. Leavitt
Goose Lane Editions

This dictionary of Passamaquoddy-Maliseet, an aboriginal language spoken in New Brunswick and Maine, is the result of more than thirty years of collaboration among native speakers, educators, and linguists. The first of its kind in Canada, the volume contains more than 18,000 entries over 1,200 pages, including a comprehensive English index that guides readers to discover shades of meaning and to better understand pronunciation and grammatical structure. An important cultural document, it contains detailed knowledge of the physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, and emotional environments of the Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people. Sample sentences, taken from both oral tradition and contemporary conversation, reveal details of Passamaquoddy-Maliseet thought and culture, personal attitudes, and humour, as well as a linguistic ingenuity.

David A. Francis is fluent in both English and his native Passamaquoddy. After serving in the US Army in World War II, he returned to Sipayik, in eastern Maine, where he served a term as tribal governor and later was community action program director, housing commissioner, and language curator and translator at the tribe's Waponahki Museum and Resource Center. In May 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maine. He lives at Sipayik with his wife, Marian, and their many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Robert M. Leavitt began working with the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language in the 1970s and first met David A. Francis when he was curriculum developer for the Passamaquoddy bilingual education program at Indian Township. He is professor emeritus of education at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where he was director of the Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Institute for fourteen years. He has written extensively about the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language, culture, and history, often in collaboration with David A. Francis.

Goose Lane Editions is a small, lively company based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on the beautiful Saint John River. As Canada's oldest independent publisher, the company successfully combines a regional heart with a national profile to introduce readers to work by the best established and emerging authors.

Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award

Michael Crummey
Doubleday Canada

An intricate family saga and love story spanning two centuries, Galore is a portrait of the improbable medieval world that was rural Newfoundland, a place almost too harrowing and extravagant to be real. Remote and isolated, exposed to savage extremes of climate and fate, the people of Paradise Deep persist in a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is impossible to distinguish.

Michael Crummey has published six books, including Hard Light and Salvage (poetry), Flesh and Blood (short stories) and three novels. His first novel, River Thieves, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize. The Wreckage, published in 2005 was also a national bestseller and short-listed for the Rogers' Writer's Trust Fiction Prize. His work has appeared in The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories and in The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. Galore was short-listed for the Governor-General's Award. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Winner! The Bishop's Man
Linden MacIntyre
Random House Canada

A priest experiences a crisis of faith in a novel that explores the nature of morality and responsibility.

Linden MacIntyre, award-wining author and winner of nine Gemini awards for broadcast journalism, was born in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and raised in Port Hastings, Cape Breton, birthplace of his parents. A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, MacIntyre has worked at journalism since 1964, starting in Halifax at The Chronicle Herald and Mail Star. He has worked for the CBC since 1976 and has been co-host of the fifth estate since 1990. Television projects written by MacIntyre have won many national and international awards, including an Emmy. His first novel, The Long Stretch (1990), was nominated for a CBA Libris Award. His memoir, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence (2006), won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction. The Bishop's Man received the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

God Is.
David Adams Richards
Doubleday Canada

David Adams Richards, one of Canada's most beloved and celebrated authors, has been wrestling with questions of morality, faith, and religion ever since he was a child. They have always informed his fiction. Now, in God Is. he examines their role in his own life and spells out his own belief, in what is his most self-revealing work to date.

Twice winner of the Governor General's Award and co-winner of the Giller Prize, David Adams Richards is one of Canada's most compelling and original writers. Many of his novels have been adapted to film. He has been compared to John Steinbeck, Thomas Hardy, and Dostoyevsky for the way in which he is able to deal with eternal themes of ambition, love, honour and betrayal.

Atlantic Poetry Prize

Asking Questions Indoors and Out
Anne Compton
Fitzhenry and Whiteside

Anne Compton's first two collections marked the arrival of a major voice in Canadian literature. In this, her third book of poetry, she brings her crafted, narrative lines into focus on the mysterious metaphysical nature of everyday life. Spirit-haunted yet critical, and meticulous in her observations, Compton opens the immediate world by asking it questions, searching for answer to the way in which we live.

A native of Prince Edward Island, Anne Compton is Writer-in-Residence at UNB Saint John, where she also teaches English literature and creative writing courses and is the director of the Lorenzo Reading Series and the Backtalk Series. She has contributed to critical discussions on 19th-century and early 20th-century aesthetics; 17th-century metaphysical poetry; Canadian literature and Maritime literature. Her poetry is published nationally and internationally, and her reviews appear in Canadian Literature, Fiddlehead, and other journals. She won the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 2003 for Opening the Island and in 2006 for Processional, which also received the 2005 Governor General's Award for poetry. In 2008 she was honoured by the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in the Literary Arts.

Winner! Lean-To
Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen
Gaspereau Press

In her third book of poetry, Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen writes of places made home, navigating between fixed points of origin and the flotsam that encloses, between the longevity of marriage and parenthood, and the temporary of camping trips, renovations and hospital stays. Across the collection, the poet's lyricism finds a lilt and repetition that firmly pegs while leaving one side open to the unlikely and unexpected.

Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, and now lives on a hill in Halifax with her husband James and their three boys. Her first collection, Clay Birds, won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Poetry in 1996. Her second collection, Ör, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award in 2004. Her series "August: An Anniversary Suite" won a CBC Literary Award for poetry in 2005 and was published as a chapbook by Gaspereau Press. She's read in collaboration with Norman Adams on cello and has exhibited her work in the Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax.

Track & Trace
Zachariah Wells

The poems in Zachariah Wells's second collection range from childhood to dimly foreseen events in the future; they idle on all three of Canada's coasts, travel the open road, take walks in the city and pause on the banks of country streams and ponds. Both elegiac and celebratory, Track & Trace considers how we love, how we shape our lives and how we are eroded and drifted by time and circumstance.

Zachariah Wells is also the author of Unsettled, a poetry collection about his experiences in the Canadian Arctic. He is co-author of the children's book Anything But Hank! and editor of Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets. Originally from PEI, Wells has travelled and lived all over Canada, working a variety of jobs in the transportation sector. He presently lives in Halifax, where he works as a freelance writer and editor and serves the travelling public aboard Via Rail's Ocean Ltd.

Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction)

I & I
George Elliott Clarke (illustrated by Lateef Martin)
Goose Lane Editions

Betty and her boxer-lover Malcolm travel from Halifax to Texas, and back again-meeting racism, tragedy, and bloodshed along the way. A love story of Gothic grit, I & I smoulders with love, lust, and violence.

George Elliott Clarke was born in 1960 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains. A graduate of the universities of Waterloo, Dalhousie, and Queen's, he is now the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. An Assistant Professor of English and Canadian Studies at Duke University, North Carolina from 1994 to 1999, Clarke also served as the Seagrams Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at McGill University (1998-1999), as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia (2002), and as a Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison University (2005). He has also worked as a researcher, editor, social worker, parliamentary aide, and newspaper columnist. He lives in Toronto but also owns land in Nova Scotia. His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1998), the Governor-General's Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), and four honorary doctorates.

Winner! The Bishop's Man
Linden MacIntyre
Random House Canada

A priest experiences a crisis of faith in a novel that explores the nature of morality and responsibility.

Migration Songs
Anna Quon
Invisible Publishing

Joan is on the brink. Cough drop addict, school bus driver, mixed race daughter of a Maoist English father and Chinese-Canadian mother, Joan struggles for meaning after a friend's death reveals a secret life. Migration Songs is a lost letter from your past, an
intimate experience full of humour and grace.

Anna Quon lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She writes with compassion and ferocity about the struggle to grow up without a tribe of one's own. Drawing on her own experience as a half-Chinese-Canadian raised on Canada's East Coast, and her own ambivalence about belonging, Migration Songs is Quon's first novel.

Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction)

Winner! SS Atlantic: The White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea
Greg Cochkanoff and Bob Chaulk
Goose Lane Editions

The only comprehensive account of the deadliest shipwreck of the nineteenth century. Richly illustrated with archival pictures, maps, engravings, and photographs.

A graduate of Acadia University, Greg Cochkanoff counted his first dive course amongst his most valuable college experiences. A devoted family man and successful business owner, he spent his weekends searching for and investigating the many shipwrecks in Nova Scotia waters. One wreck especially captured his attention and imagination-the wreck of the S.S.Atlantic. Hundreds of dives to its resting place and more than 25 years of painstaking research, scouring three countries and two continents for information to write the first draft of the book, gave Greg a unique view of this little-known Maritime tragedy. With the writing of this definitive book, he hoped that others would gain a window into a period of time when the only way to a new life involved a harrowing trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Greg died unexpectedly in 2008, age 49. He had just received word that his book was to be published.

Born in Notre Dame Bay, NL, Bob Chaulk traces his Newfoundland ancestry back more than three centuries. A graduate of Memorial and Carleton universities, he is the author of Time in a Bottle: Historic Halifax Harbour from the Bottom Up, and has also published more than fifty articles about his experiences scuba diving in the North Atlantic. Bob's first novel, The Chain Locker, is being released this spring from Creative Book Publishers.

IWK: A Century of Caring for Families
Stephen Kimber
Nimbus Publishing

In IWK, Acclaimed journalist and author Stephen Kimber relates the fascinating history of family health care in Atlantic Canada. Kimber's narrative style means telling the history through the people that have helped make the IWK what it is today-a family-oriented health centre and a fundamental part of Atlantic Canada. Full of candid anecdotes, memories, and case studies that depict the hospital through the eyes of its patients and patrons, and illustrated with 50 photographs, IWK is an engrossing and inspiring portrait of a storied institution.

Stephen Kimber is an award-winning writer, journalist, and broadcaster. He is the author of one novel and seven books of non-fiction, including the best-selling Flight 111: The Tragedy of the Swissair Crash, and Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War. A former director of the School of Journalism at the University of King's College, he now holds the Rogers Communications Chair in Journalism at King's.  

All of Me
Anne Murray with Michael Posner
Knopf Canada

In this revealing autobiography, Canada's first lady of song tells the whole story of her astonishing forty-year career in show business, for the first time ever. All of Me documents Anne Murray's whirlwind life, from her humble origins in the tragedy-plagued coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, to her arrival on the world stage with her first gold record in 1970 and her string of top-selling hit singles and albums.

Born and raised in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Anne Murray has enjoyed an unparalleled career, delighting millions with her signature voice and time-honoured songs. Over four decades, she has sold 54 million records, putting more than 30 pop hits, 50 country tunes and 40 adult contemporary listings on the Billboard charts. In the process, she has claimed four Grammy Awards, 24 Juno Awards, three American Music Awards, and three CMA Awards and has sold out prestigious venues around the world.

D250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

Mi'sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief's Journey
Raoul R. Andersen and John K. Crellin, editors
Flanker Press

Mi'sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief's Journey chronicles both the life of an individual and that of his people. Mi'sel Joe is the traditional and administrative chief of Newfoundland's Conne River Mi'kmaq Reserve. Through a series of taped interviews with Raoul Andersen and John Crellin, Mi'sel Joe tells his life story and speaks of a community fighting for the right to determine its own future.

Raoul Andersen and John Crellin are honorary research professors at Memorial University. Their backgrounds in anthropology, history, and medicine lie behind many collaborative activities. Andersen and Crellin have been involved with Mi'sel Joe since 1993 in a variety of conferences and other educational activities. Andersen's research and writing career includes work with Canadian aboriginal people in Alberta (Stoney) and Newfoundland (Mi'kmaq), Newfoundland banks fisheries, Bermuda shore fishing, Japanese and north Norwegian small-type whaling, and alternative health care in Canada. John Crellin is Honorary Research Professor Memorial University. He holds British qualifications in medicine, pharmacy and the history of science, and has taught extensively in Britain, the United States and Canada. Among his books, four have a Newfoundland focus.

Winner! SS Atlantic: The White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea
Greg Cochkanoff and Bob Chaulk
Goose Lane Editions

The only comprehensive account of the deadliest shipwreck of the nineteenth century. Richly illustrated with archival pictures, maps, engravings, and photographs.

Biographies of the two authors can be found under Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction).

Rig: An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster
Mike Heffernan
Creative Publishers: An Imprint of Creative Book Publishing

Rig: An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster, a collection of first-person accounts and previously unpublished photographs, describes events as they unfolded from those most greatly affected-victims' families, former rig workers, emergency responders and government officials. It is an intimate journey through grief and sadness and the search for meaning in the most devastating of tragedies.

Mike Heffernan was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland. In addition to Rig--which is being adapted for the stage by Rising Tide Theatre--he is also editor of Hard Ol' Spot: An Anthology of Atlantic Canadian Fiction. His most recent work has appeared in Riddle Fence and was performed on CBC Radio. He is currently working on The Other Side of Midnight: Taxi Cab Stories.

Evelyn Richardson Memorial Literary Prize for Non-fiction

Our Days Are Numbered
Jason I. Brown
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

At once entertaining and informative, Our Days Are Numbered shows us the world through a mathematician's eyes and reveals the huge role that mathematics plays in our lives. It lies hidden within the electronics we use, the banking we do, and even the leisure activities we enjoy.

Jason I. Brown is a professor of mathematics at Dalhousie University, and a former vice-president of the Canadian Mathematical Society. An avid musician, Brown used mathematical research to decode the famous opening chord of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night." The work was featured in media worldwide, including the National Post, CBC, NPR and BBC radio, and on the websites of Wired magazine and the Wall Street Journal. He has appeared on several call-in radio shows and Discovery Channel's Daily Planet show to promote the daily enjoyment of mathematics for everyone. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Page Fright
Harry Bruce
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

At public events readers always ask writers how they write. Now they have a very witty book that ranges around the world and throughout history to answer their questions. All the great writers are here--Dickens, dashing off his work; Henry James dictating it; Flaubert shouting each word aloud in the garden. Not to mention the writers who can only keep the words flowing by writing naked, or while walking or listening to music--and generally obeying the most bizarre superstitions.

Harry Bruce has won four Atlantic Journalism Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and the National Magazine Foundation's Outstanding Achievement Award. The Concise Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature calls him "an essayist of great charm and perception." Collections of his journalism, Each Moment As It Flies and Movin' East, earned highly favourable reviews in the national press. The most notable of his 14 books are Lifeline--The Story of the Atlantic Ferries and Coastal Boats; R.A.--The Story of R. A. Jodrey, Entrepreneur; The Man and the Empire--Frank Sobey; Down Home--Notes of a Native Son; and Illustrated History of Nova Scotia. Published in 2009, when Bruce turned 75, Page Fright had been brewing in his head for half a century.  

Winner! Coal Black Heart
John DeMont
Doubleday Canada

Coal Black Heart is a global history that centres unapologetically on one province and the generations of people whose lives there have been shaped by this dominating industry. There are the miners. There are the moonshiners and brooding social reformers and charismatic preachers who gave the mining towns their particular feel and flair. And there are the profiteers whose greed led to disaster.

John DeMont has 25 years' experience as a national journalist and consultant and as an award-winning author of books and screenplays. Most of his career was spent as a senior writer, parliamentary correspondent and Atlantic bureau chief for Maclean's magazine where he wrote cover stories on everything from war, national and international politics, law, sports, and crime, to health, the environment and the world of science. His magazine work has also appeared in such publications as Canadian Business, Canadian Geographic, The Financial Times of London, Men's Journal, Reader's Digest, Toro and The Walrus. DeMont has written or co-authored five books, including The Last Best Place: Lost in the Heart of Nova Scotia, and Citizens Irving: The Irvings and New Brunswick (1992) which reached #1 on the Globe and Mail's best-seller list and was optioned for screen adaptation. John lives in Halifax with his wife and two children. In his free time he coaches youth basketball, runs, studies karate, plays tennis and, occasionally, the saxophone.

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Illustration

Johnny and the Gipsy Moth
Kathy (HildaRose) Kaulbach, illustrator (written by Deannie Sullivan-Fraser)
Tuckamore Books: An Imprint of Creative Book Publishing

Johnny and his family have just moved from the big city to Grand Falls, Newfoundland. When Johnny finally goes outside to ask the new boys to play, his worst fears are realized. They make fun of him and his "fancy" clothes. Thankfully, the postman interrupts, giving Johnny a parcel to bring in to his father. His father shows him a picture of a bi-plane, Newfoundland's very own Gipsy Moth. He then hands Johnny a white, silk scarf. The rest, his father promises, will be a big surprise. And oh, what a surprise it is!

Kathy (HildaRose) Kaulbach lives and works in Prospect Bay, Nova Scotia. Trained as a graphic designer, she worked in museums for many years but now works in her home studio on various graphic design and illustration projects, as well as studying toward a Master's degree in Education. A note posted on her computer states "if the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it."

Winner! What Colour is the Ocean?
Scott A. Keating, illustrator (written by Gary Collins with Maggie Rose Parsons)
Flanker Press

Maggie Rose loves to sing! And her favourite song is "What Colour's the Ocean Today," a song she made up with her Grandy about how the ocean changes colour from season to season. With beautiful illustrations and sheet music in the back, parents and children will enjoy reading (and singing) this book over and over again.

Scott Keating is an award-winning commercial illustrator, designer, and comic-book artist from St. John's, Newfoundland. Since completing a Fine Arts degree, he has worked as a professional illustrator/designer for some of the largest publishing and entertainment companies in the world, including Random House, Harper Collins, Dark Horse Publishing, Image Comics, BOOM Studios, and SideFX Software. His work has been published worldwide, in magazines, books, comics, and commercial products such as CDs and film and theatrical posters.

Cape Breton Wonders: Featuring Art by Marie Moore
Marie Moore, artist (co-authors Shirley Everett and Chris Augusta Scott)
Cape Breton University Press

Did you ever wonder why your mother re-washed the wash? Did you ever wonder why the lighthouse lights, or why the miners risked their lives? Marie Moore's paintings, including two new ones, are the perfect way to illustrate, and to answer, the question: Did you ever wonder why?

Born and raised in Cape Breton, Marie Moore has had a passion for painting since childhood. She attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and later Cape Breton University. Teaching painting to all ages as a private instructor in Sydney for more than thirty years has given her tremendous satisfaction. Marie's original oil paintings and watercolours cover a wide range of subjects and hang in thousands of private homes across Canada and abroad. Her work has also been featured in book illustrations and covers, calendars and numerous exhibits.

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

Harbour View
Binnie Brennan
Quattro Books

Harbour View weaves together the stories of the residents and staff in a nursing home overlooking Halifax Harbour. Memories drawn from the rich and diverse pasts of six main characters and their families infuse a bittersweet present. Threaded with music and united by themes of dislocation, family legend, and longing, Harbour View offers moving glimpses into the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.

Binnie Brennan's short stories have appeared in a number of Canadian and American journals, including Existere, All Rights Reserved, and The Adirondack Review. In 2007 her children's story A Spider's Tale was adapted for the stage featuring Symphony Nova Scotia. Binnie is an alumna of the Humber School for Writers, where MG Vassanji and Alistair MacLeod worked with her as her mentors. She lives in Halifax with her husband and two children, and is a violist with Symphony Nova Scotia, a position she has held since 1989. Harbour View is her first novella and a co-winner of Quattro Books' 2009 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest.

You Better Watch Out
Greg Malone
Knopf Canada

A memoir from one of Canada's comic geniuses that is as moving as it is funny, about a young boy who survives, among other things, a school run by the Christian Brothers, encounters with the bullies of New Gower Street, and the perfect family.

Greg Malone is a cynic philosopher in the tradition of Diogenes, Jesus and Lenny Bruce. As one of the original founders of CODCO, he is perhaps best known for the CODCO TV series and his wicked impersonations of political icons like George Bush, the Queen and, of course, Barbara Frum. He has received many awards for writing, performing and directing, including a dozen Gemini Awards and has made guest appearances on the current CBC TV hit The Republic of Doyle. Greg is a dedicated amateur theologian; his latest stage show The Big Bang is a hilarious attempt to reconcile the new cosmology with a medieval Catholic education. You Better Watch Out is his first book; he is currently writing another on the conspiracy to put Newfoundland into confederation with Canada in 1949. In his spare time, Greg enjoys in-line skating, cooking, and of course, is an avid eater.

Winner! Under This Unbroken Sky
Shandi Mitchell
Penguin Group (Canada)

In the spring of 1938, Teodor Mykolayenko returns to his family after a year spent in prison for the crime of trying to feed them. Channelling the great inner power that enabled him to survive drought, starvation, warfare, and Stalin's crimes in Ukraine, he takes to the land with unbending resolve. A novel about family, pride, the resiliency and fragility of the human spirit and the fine line between those who break and those who don't.

Shandi Mitchell is a writer and filmmaker. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in English and Theatre and then moved into film. Her award-winning short films have been featured at festivals across North America. In 2008, she was awarded the Canada Council's Victor Martin-Lynch Staunton Endowment for outstanding mid-career achievement in Media Arts. Her debut novel Under This Unbroken Sky was simultaneously published by Penguin Canada, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) and Harper Collins (US) in August 2009 and has been sold in nine countries, including translation rights for Chinese, Hebrew and Dutch. It recently made the regional shortlist (Carribean and Canada) for the Commonwealth Best First Book Prize. Raised on the prairies, Shandi now makes her home on the east coast of Canada, very close to the water, where she lives with her husband, Alan, and their dog, Annie.

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

Michael Crummey
Doubleday Canada

An intricate family saga and love story spanning two centuries, Galore is a portrait of the improbable medieval world that was rural Newfoundland, a place almost too harrowing and extravagant to be real. Remote and isolated, exposed to savage extremes of climate and fate, the people of Paradise Deep persist in a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is impossible to distinguish.

See Michael's bio under Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award.

The Bishop's Man
Linden MacIntyre
Random House Canada

A priest experiences a crisis of faith in a novel that explores the nature of morality and responsibility.

See Linden's bio under the Atlantic Independent Bookseller's Choice Award.

Winner! Under This Unbroken Sky
Shandi Mitchell
Penguin Group (Canada)

In the spring of 1938, Teodor Mykolayenko returns to his family after a year spent in prison for the crime of trying to feed them. Channelling the great inner power that enabled him to survive drought, starvation, warfare, and Stalin's crimes in Ukraine, he takes to the land with unbending resolve. A novel about family, pride, the resiliency and fragility of the human spirit and the fine line between those who break and those who don't.


Winners of the 2009 Atlantic Book Awards are:

Ian Colford, Evidence (The Porcupine’s Quill, Inc.), winner of the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.

Shauntay Grant's lovely Up Home (Nimbus Publishing), winner of the Best Atlantic Published Book Award, a $5,000 prize sponsored by Friesens Corporation, that is shared with Halifax-based publisher, Nimbus. Illustrator Susan Tooke also took the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration.

William D. Naftel, Halifax At War: Searchlights, Squadrons and Submarines 1939-1945 (Formac Publishing), winner of the inaugural Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction.

Eric Orchard, illustrator of The Terrible, Horrible, Smelly Pirate (Nimbus Publishing), winner of the Mayor's Award for Excellence in Book Illustration.

Anne Simpson, Falling (McClelland & Steward Ltd.), winner of the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction.

Dan Soucoup, general manager of Nimbus Publishing, recipient of the Mayor's Award for Literary Achievement.

Budge Wilson, Before Green Gables (Penguin), winner of the Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award.

2008 Winners

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature K.V. Johansen, Nightwalker: The Warlocks of Talverdin (Orca Books)

Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Choice Award -- Jacques Poitras, Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy (Goose Lane Editions)

Atlantic Poetry Prize - - about award - Don Domanski, All Our Wonder Unavenged (Brick Books)

Best Atlantic Published Book Award - Jacques Poitras, Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy (Goose Lane Editions)

Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction - Beatrice MacNeil, Where White Horses Gallop (Key Porter Books)

Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction - - Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose (Thomas Allen Publishers)

Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction - - Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose (Thomas Allen Publishers)

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Illustration - Richard Rudnicki, Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck (Nimbus)

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award - Stephanie Domet, Homing: the whole story (from the inside out) (Invisible Publishing)

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize -- Don Hannah, Ragged Islands (Knopf Canada)

Mayor's Award for Excellence in Book Illustration - Len Wagg, Wild Nova Scotia (Nimbus Publishing) - about award

Mayor's Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature - about award- Robbie MacGregor, Invisible Publishing

2008 Shortlisted

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize - about award

Don Hannah, Ragged Islands, Knopf Canada
Bernice Morgan, Cloud of Bone, Knopf Canada
David Adams Richards, The Lost Highway, Doubleday Canada

Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction - about award

Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose,
Thomas Allen Publishers
Stewart Donovan, The Forgotten World of RJ MacSween: A Life, Cape Breton University Press
Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, Mystery and Murder, Pottersfield Press

Atlantic Poetry Prize- about award

Don Domanski, All Our Wonder Unavenged, Brick Books
George Murray, The Rush to Here, Nightwood Editions
Anne Simpson, Quick, McClelland & Stewart

Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction - about award

Beatrice MacNeil, Where White Horses Gallop, Key Porter Books
Carol Bruneau, Glass Voices, Cormorant Books
David Doucette, North of Smokey, Cape Breton University Press

Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction - about award

A. J. B. Johnston, Endgame 1758: The Promise, the Glory and the Despair, Cape Breton University Press
Stewart Donovan, The Forgotten World of R. J. MacSween: A Life, Cape Breton University Press
Marq de Villiers, Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose, Thomas Allen Publishers

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award -about award

Bob Mersereau, The Top 100 Canadian Albums, Goose Lane Editions
Stephanie Domet, Homing: the whole story (from the inside out), Invisible Publishing
Fred Armstrong, Happiness of Fish, Jesperson Publishing

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration -about award

Eric Orchard, A Forest For Christmas (Michael Harris, author), Nimbus Publishing
Richard Rudnicki, Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck (Judith Meyrick, author), Nimbus Publishing
Nancy Keating, A Puppy Story (Susan Pynn, author), Tuckamore Books

Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Published Book Award- about award

Beaverbrook - A Shattered Legacy, by Jacques Poitras, Goose Lane Editions
Miller Brittain: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears, by Tom Smart, Goose Lane Editions
Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck, by Judith Meyrick; illustrated by Richard Rudnicki, Nimbus Publishing

Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Choice Award - about award

Steven Laffoley, Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, Mystery and Murder, Pottersfield Press
Jacques Poitras, Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy, Goose Lane Editions
Harry Sawler, Twenty-first Century Irvings, Nimbus Publishing

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature- about award

Alice Walsh, A Sky Black with Crows, Red Deer Press
K.V. Johansen, Nightwalker: The Warlocks of Talverdin, Orca
Valerie Sherrard, Speechless, Dundurn Group


New Brunswick
Benjamin's Books, Rothesay
New Brunswick Museum Gift Shop, Saint John
UNB Bookstore, Saint John
Tidewater Books, Sackville
UNB Bookstore, Fredericton
Westminster Books, Fredericton
Newfoundland & Labrador
Downhome Shoppe & Eatery, St. John’s
Nova Scotia
At the Sign of the Whale, Yarmouth
Biscuit Eater Books & Café, Mahone Bay
Box of Delights, Wolfville
Carrefour Books, halifax
The Village Florist and Hannah’s Books, Tatamagouche
The Whirligig Book Shop, Shelburne
Bookmark II, Halifax
Frog Hollow Books, Halifax
Outside the Lines, Halifax
Woozles, Halifax
Word by Word Books, Antigonish
Prince Edward Island
Bookmark I, Charlottetown

Atlantic Poetry Prize

In 1993, WFNS endowed funds ($5000) for a prize to honour the work of Atlantic poets. Led by Deirdre Dwyer, Atlantic Canadian poets gave readings, held bake sales, organized raffles and wrote letters. The overwhelming support of both local and national writers, writing organizations, universities and publishers (special thanks to Harlequin Enterprises) was heartening. WFNS has subsequently worked to increase the endowment to ensure an annual $2,000 prize.

The inaugural prize was awarded in 1998 to Carmelita McGrath for To the New World. Last year’s winner was Steve McOrmond for Primer on the Hereafter. Previous winners include John Steffler, Ken Babstock, Anne Simpson, M. Travis Lane, Brian Bartlett, Anne Compton and David Helwig.

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature

In 1990, the Nova Scotia Library Association established the Ann Connor Brimer Award to recognize writers residing in Atlantic Canada who have made an outstanding contribution to children’s literature.

A fierce champion of a Canadian identity made strong through the vitality of its regions and a staunch friend of Canadian children’s literature, Ann Connor Brimer began her teaching career at a time when books written in Canada by Canadians for Canadians were scarce, especially among books for young readers. Ann worked to make it happen, serving as Executive Director of the Canadian Learning Materials Centre and the Atlantic Institute of Education, as Atlantic officer of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and, in 1979, co-founding Woozles, the first bookstore in the Atlantic region devoted entirely to children’s books. 

The first award of $500 was presented in 1991 to Joyce Barkhouse for Pit Pony. Last year, Budge Wilson (who previously won for Oliver’s Wars) received the award for Friendships. Previous winners include Kevin Major, Alice Walsh, Don Aker, Lesley Choyce and Sheree Fitch.

The Brimer Steering Committee thanks Ann’s family and friends for their continued support, the Nova Scotia and PEI  Departments of Culture,  as well as the library, writing, publishing, bookselling and education communities.  Thanks to all this, Ann’s original bequest of $1,000 has grown more than twenty times. Starting this year, the winner will receive $2,000 and monies raised in Ann’s name now contribute to the promotion of the shortlisted titles throughout the region and to this awards ceremony.

past winners

Best Atlantic Published Book Award

The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s award for Best Atlantic Published Book recognizes publishing companies and their hardworking professionals who bring out new books each season. Each year, a publisher whose book possesses the best balance of content, presentation, quality of design and production, as well as contributing the most to an understanding of Atlantic Canada, receives the award.  Last year it was Goose Lane Editions and Bruno Bobak: A Life, edited by Bernard Riordan.

The prizes for Best Atlantic Published Book have been generously donated for the fifth year by Friesen’s Corporation (first prize) and Hignell Book Printing. The first prize ($4000) goes to the winning publishing firm and a $1,000 goes to the author. The other two finalists shortlisted for the award receive $1,000 in printing credit and $250 for the authors.

Booksellers' Choice Award

The awards wouldn’t be complete without the voice of booksellers and readers who, each year since 1989, celebrate the book that flew off shelves and connected to this region. Last year Ami McKay’s The Birth House took the prize. Past winners have included: Alistair MacLeod for No Great Mischief and To Everything There is a Season, Harry Bruce for Down Home, Sheree Fitch for Sleeping Dragons All Around, Donna Morrissey for Sylvanus Now, Harry Thurston for Tidal Life, Silver Donald Cameron for Wind, Whales and Whiskey, John DeMont for Citizen Irving, Michael Harris for Rare Ambition, David Adams Richards for To Those Who Hunt the Wounded Dow

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The Dartmouth Book Awards

The Dartmouth Book and Writing Awards were created in 1989 by the city’s then-mayor, Dr. John P. Savage. The prize honours the best Canadian literature featuring Nova Scotia and its people, recognizing the valuable contributions writers make to our cultural heritage. Since 1990, awards have gone to both fiction and non-fiction ($1,500 each). The Dartmouth Book Award for fiction is sponsored by Jarislowsky-Fraser Ltd. and the non-fiction award is sponsored by Seamark Asset Management Ltd.

Last year, Linda Little won for her novel Scotch River and Keith McLaren one the non-fiction prize for A Race for Real Sailors. Previous recipients include: Paul Erickson, Jonathan Campbell, Harry Bruce, Claude Bissell, Budge Wilson, Harry Thurston, George Elliott Clarke, Donna Smyth, Kim Atwood, Silver Donald Cameron, Robert MacNeil, Sally Ross and Alphonse Deaveau. Two-timeaward winners include Lesley Choyce, Leo McKay Jr. and Beatrice MacNeil.

Mayor's Award for Excellence in Book Illustration

Established in 2003, this annual $1,500 prize recognizes the best in book illustration by an illustrator, artist or photographer who is a resident of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Illustrated books that have been published originally in the past calendar year and are at least 24 pages long are eligible for consideration. Winners to date include: Paul Nicholson, Susan Tooke, Jeffrey C. Domm and Frances Wolfe.

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

The book business needs stalwart characters and Lillian Shephered, a long-time buyer for The Book Room and life-long lover of books, who died suddenly in 1997, was one. In 2002, Lillian’s legion of friends and colleagues from Halifax, Lunenburg and Bermuda created the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award to applaud the book that combines Lillian’s love for illustrated children’s books and her affinity for locally produced work.

The $500 prize is funded by The Book Room in Halifax and the Atlantic area publishers’ representatives.  In 2003, the inaugural award was given to Susan Tooke for Full Moon Rising.  Subsequent winners have been Geoff Butler for Ode to Newfoundland, Peter Rankin for Making Room, and Jeffrey C. Domm for Atlantic Puffin: Little Brother of the North.
Last year, Brenda Jones won for Skunks for Breakfast.

Customers and authors visiting The Book Room were always put at ease by Lillian Shepherd’s ready smile and laughter, but her love of life shone through most clearly when she spoke of her husband Frank and their two daughters, Lynn and Cynthia. This prize reminds us all of those moments in Lillian’s presence.

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Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

The Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize was established by WFNS and the Writers’ Development Trust (now the Writers’ Trust of Canada) in 1990. The Federation was profoundly honoured that Thomas Head Raddall honoured this first Atlantic Fiction Prize with his name. The initial prize was $1,000 but anonymous contributions from the author increased the value to $2,000 in 1992 and began the establishment of an endowment for the prize.  After Tom’s death in 1994, the continued vision and the enormous generosity of the Raddall family has seen this endowment grow to the point where it now provides $15,000 to the winning author. The award recognizes the best work of fiction written by a native or resident Atlantic Canadian published in the previous calendar year. Last year, Linda Little won for her novel Scotch River. The first award was made in 1991 to Wayne Johnston for The Divine Ryans. Subsequent awards have gone to Herb Curtis, John Steffler, David Adams Richards, Bernice Morgan, M. T. Dohaney, Alfred Silver, Donna Morrissey and Shree Ghatage, among others.

Born in Hythe, England in 1903, Thomas Head Raddall moved to Halifax with his family in 1913. When his father was killed at Amiens in 1918, he began to support himself – Mrs. Raddall’s small army pension did not provide for children over fifteen. He went to the Canadian School of Telegraphy, spent two years at sea and then was posted to Sable Island, where he absorbed the background for The Nymph and the Lamp. The scarcity of jobs eventually obliged him to accept a backwoods post at a pulp and paper company in Milton. In his spare time, he explored his surroundings, becoming a woodsman and making friends with local Mi’kmaq guides.

Thomas Raddall was a remarkable person, self-taught and sturdily independent.  The kind of man who would carefully save enough money to provide for his family so that he could, in the middle of the Depression, quit his dependable accounting job at the mill to write.  His first book was a collection of stories, The Pied Piper of Dipper Creek (1939). Over the next forty years, he published twenty-five books, dozens of articles on a wide variety of subjects, more than seventy short stories, and an autobiography – selling a remarkable 2.5 million copies in a dozen languages; made radio and television appearances; became increasingly called upon as a guest speaker by various historical and literary societies; and in 1968 was asked to become Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, an offer he declined. He received honourary degrees from King’s College, Dalhousie, St. Mary’s and St. Francis Xavier Universities, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In his long journey from pioneer to patriarch of Canadian literature, Tom Raddall spent much of his married life in a sound-proof room labouring to perfect his craft.  “I had to shut myself off,” he explained, “literally shut myself off.  I built a study…and I would shut myself in there and live the lives of the people in my books.  Often I didn’t know whether it was Christmas or Easter as far as the actual world was concerned.  The result was I was in many ways a stranger to my children, although I tried to give them time.”  It is this extraordinary gift of time that Tom Raddall, and his son Tom, have given, in perpetuity, to a new generation of writers.

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Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction

The Evelyn Richardson Prize was established by WFNS in 1977, shortly after Richardson’s death, to honour the best published non-fiction written by a native or resident Nova Scotian. Last year, Linden MacIntyre received this prize for Causeway: Passage from Innocence, while previous winners include Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle, Harry Bruce, Alden Nowlan, Joan and Lewis Payzant, Kay Hill, Bruce Armstrong, J. Murray Beck, Brian C. Cuthbertson, Lilias M. Toward, P. B. Waite, Tony Foster, Linda Johns, Harold Horwood, Dean Jobb, Judith Fingard, Robert Pope, Sally Ross and many more.

Born in Shelburne County in 1902, Evelyn Richardson is probably best known for her Governor General’s Award-winning book We Keep a Light (McGraw Hill Ryerson, 1945). It is an autobiographical account of the years she and her husband spent on Bon Portage Island, where he was the lightkeeper. There they raised their son and two daughters while developing an ever increasing self-sufficiency on their privately owned portion of the island. We Keep a Light is a kind of Nova Scotian Swiss Family Robinson — the wild nature of the elements providing the warmth, and the determination and ingenuity of Evelyn and Morrill Richardson providing the continuity. Added responsibilities, deprivations and excitement during the Battle of the Atlantic make the account of the Richardsons’ life on Bon Portage even more remarkable.  Evelyn Richardson proved that publishers’ rejections, with that hateful phrase “of local interest only,” could be overcome. One of her great accomplishments was to familiarize her national and international readers with her much loved corner of Nova Scotia.

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, presented for the first time in 2003 with a value of $1,500, recognizes the best first book of fiction or non-fiction published in the previous year by an Atlantic writer. Margaret and John Savage were instrumental in establishing the Dartmouth Book and Writing Awards in 1989. As the Mayor of Dartmouth, John Savage arranged the funding of the initial fiction and non-fiction awards. Margaret not only assisted in the arrangements of the awards, but also served the patrons of the Alderney Gate Public Library community as a volunteer. Dartmouth and the larger municipal and provincial communities have benefitted enormously from the support for writers, books, reading and cultural pursuits in general that have been synonymous with the lives of Margaret and John. Naming the “First Book Award” in their honour is a small but significant tribute to their contributions. The award has been presented to Jonathan Campbell for Tarcadia, Dan Falk for Universe on a T-Shirt, to Beth Ryan for What is Invisible, John G. Langley for Steam Lion: A Biography of Samuel Cunard and to Tom Gallant for Hard Chance: Sailing into the Heart of Love.

In 2004, the John and Margaret Savage Humanities Endowment was created to fund projects supported by Margaret and John. The endowment funds the Music and Medicine Program at the Dalhousie Medical School, the John Savage Medical Clinic in Niger and the First Book Award.

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