Friday, May 04, 2012

Prize Watch: To the Edge of the Sea wins!

To the Edge of the Sea by Anne McDonald wins the Saskatchewan Book Award for First Book
 At the big gala on Saturday April 28 I'm thrilled to say that my novel, To the Edge of the Sea, set during the Confederation Conferences of 1864, with John A Macdonald and Mercy Coles, daughter of the PEI delegate and Father of Confederation George Coles, won the First Book Award. (I've blogged on Mercy's take on the conference goings on in this blog in October and Nov.)

Judges Joan Barfoot, Christine Cowley and Katherine Gordon said:
      In the mid-19th century, three young Prince Edward Islanders explore their disparate futures at home and away, in a debut novel that is lyrical and precise in its descriptions of land, sea and people, and powerful in its accounts of both personal and political histories of the province and country. 

As one of the winners I will read at the Saskatchewan Legislative Library this coming Wed May 9 at noon! Keep this in perspective all historians - the Sask Leg Library holds and uses everyday the table from the Quebec Conference in 1864 - can you imagine - there will be John A and I at the Quebec Conference table - geeky or not, I'm / we're thrilled. See more here

Lest you think I've forgotten this is a history blog I'll also point out that the Sask Legislative Building will be celebrating it's 100th birthday this year and it had a lucky start. Not only did it get the Que conference table, it narrowly missed being blown down by the F4 tornado that hit Regina June 30, 1912, known as Canada's deadliest tornado and also 'celebrating' its 100th birthday. (Both the Leg and the Tornado are being celebrated in dance, art, literary events this year and I'll be posting more on these later.)

My book was not the only winning book with a historical perspective:
Darren Prefontaine won Book of the Year for Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words and you can read about it here. The Gabriel Dumont Institute won the Publishing Award for this book also.
Curtis R McManus won the Non-Fiction Award for Happyland: A History of the 'Dirty Thirties' in Saskatchewan, 1914 - 1937. Read more here

and Seeing Red A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers by Mark C Anderson and Carmen L Robertson won 3 awards: City of Regina, Scholarly Writing, and First Peoples' Writing read more here

 Mark Abley in the introduction to his talk on 'Stop Tweeting and Start Reading' spoke of how Saskatchewan has developed since he's been gone - how its support of writers now includes Grain Magazine, the Wallace Stegner House for Writers, Sage Hill Writing Workshops (when I was there last in 2009 I was the only person from Saskatchewan, the rest came from across the country - Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, London, Vancouver), the St Peters Writing Colonies sponsored by the Sask Writers Guild. I've been here 12 years now - and have taken part in all of these programs. Saskatchewan's support for its writers is legendary and spans the country. You can read my interview with the Regina Leader Post here
Follow @CmedMoore