Alberta Readers' Choice Award

 

Top 5 Titles to be Announced Next Week!

Sponsored by the Edmonton Public Library, the Edmonton Public Library Alberta Readers' Choice Award is awarded annually for the best fiction or narrative non-fiction written by an Alberta author. The $10,000 award - presented annually by the Edmonton Public Library and  one of Alberta's richest literary prizes - recognized the exceptional writing talent in Alberta and encourages readers to support Alberta authors.

Please see below for a complete list of the Submission Guidelines:

2014 Submission & Procedure Guidelines

In early 2014 all the books submitted will be narrowed down to a top 5 list and the public will go to the polls at (www.epl.ca/alberta-readers-choice) to cast their votes in the spring. The winner of the 2014 ARC Award will be announced in the 2014 Alberta Book Awards Gala in June.

Important Dates

Here are some important dates for the 2014 Alberta Readers Choice Award.

December 31, 2013 - Deadline for book submissions
January 8 - February 9, 2014 - Alberta libraries to vote for Top 10 out of all books submitted
February 13, 2014 - Top 10 titles released to the public
April 20, 2014 - Alberta Readers Choice Award jurors to finalize Top 5 books for the 2014 ARCA
April 24, 2014 - Final 5 titles released to the public
May 1 - 31, 2014 - Public voting open
June 2014 - Winner announced at the 2014 Alberta Book Awards Gala
 

Sponsored by the Edmonton Public Library, the Edmonton Public Library Alberta Readers’ Choice Award is awarded annually for the best fiction or narrative non-fiction book written by an Alberta author. The prize is valued at $10,000 with the prize going to the winning author.

Eligibility Criteria

a.        Only works of fiction, narrative non-fiction, and poetry are eligible. Books must be a first edition full-length novel, short story collection or book of poetry written by an Alberta author who has been a resident of Alberta for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the publication of the submitted work, and who currently resides in Alberta.

b.       Books must be published between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 for the 2014 Award.

c.        The primary language of the work must be English. Previous publication of the book in another language does not disqualify it. In the case of a translation, the original work must be Alberta- authored and it must have been published no more than three years prior to its English translation.

d.       All books must carry an ISBN number, be distributed for sale in Alberta and be available in Alberta bookstores, online bookstores or Alberta libraries.

e.        Unpublished manuscripts are not eligible.

f.         Reprints or new format reprints of any kind are not eligible.

g.        Selections and collections of poetry and short stories that have been previously published in magazines are eligible.

h.       Multi-author anthologies are not eligible.

i.         With the exception of poetry collections, works must be 48 pages or longer.

Submission Procedures

a.        Request for submissions will be posted to the following websites; the Edmonton Public Library Alberta Readers’ Choice page on the Edmonton Public Library website, the Book Publishers Association of Alberta, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association.

b.       Entries may be submitted by authors, publishers or other interested parties.

c.        Each submission must be accompanied by two printed copies of the book, which will not be returned to the author or publisher.

d.       Each entry must be accompanied by the submission form, a current author biography, and a high resolution electronic image (minimum 300 DPI) of the author and book cover sent by email that can be reproduced for publicity purposes.

e.       Entries must be mailed to:

    Edmonton Public Library Alberta Readers’ Choice Award

    Attn: Diego Ibarra

    Stanley A. Milner Library

    7 Sir Winston Churchill Square

    Edmonton, AB

    T5J 2V4

    Email: albertareaderschoice@epl.ca

                     

f.         Entries must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2013. Books received or postmarked after the deadline will not be eligible.

Selection Procedures and Jury

a.        Library staff from across Alberta will vote for their top selections in order to create a longlist of 10 titles which will then be submitted to the jury.

b.       The jury will consist of 3 to 5 members as selected by the Alberta Readers’ Choice Committee.

c.        The jury will shortlist the best books on the basis of literary quality, with no consideration given to publisher, geography, gender, or ethnicity.

d.       The jury will shortlist no more than 5 titles to be voted on by Alberta readers. The jury will select the shortlist in private deliberations.

e.       The jury will only discuss submissions with their fellow jurors.

f.         The decision of the jury is binding.

g.        The decision of the jury as to whether a book is eligible shall be binding.

Finalists

a.        The shortlist of finalists will be announced with a press release in April 2014 (tentative).

b.       Publicity promoting the Edmonton Public Library Readers Choice Award will begin at the time of the shortlist announcement and continue until after the winner is declared.

c.        The winner of the Edmonton Public Library Alberta Readers’ Choice Award will be announced at the annual Alberta Book Awards Gala. So that all shortlisted authors may attend the ceremony, the prize will bear the cost of travel and overnight accommodation for authors who live outside of the host city.

Voting

a.        Public voting will take place online.

b.       Public voting will take place in a 4 week voting period ending approximately one week before the Alberta Literary Awards Gala.

c.        In order to maintain fairness while still providing the best opportunity for the public to vote for their favourite book, voting for the Alberta Readers' Choice Award is limited to one vote per computer. Some computers that share a network may not all be able to cast separate votes.

d.       Votes will be tabulated electronically, and the author with the most votes will be declared the winner.

Conditions of the Prize

a.        The author of the winning book will participate in all reasonable publicity associated with the Edmonton Public Library Alberta Readers’ Choice Award.

 

In 2014, the Alberta Readers Choice Award (ARCA) enters its 5th Year. ARCA has selected five individuals from across Alberta to serve as members of the 2014 ARCA Jury. The ARCA Jury plays an important role in determining the eventual ARCA winner. Jurors are expected to read the 10 titles that have been longlisted by the Alberta Library Community on the basis of literary quality, with no consideration given to publisher, geography, gender, or ethnicity. Jurors then discuss submissions with other jurors in private deliberations and select the top 5 titles that will be presented to the Alberta reading public for the final decision. We looked for individuals who are excited by an opportunity to promote Alberta literature of all types, and who are willing and able to read all of the wonderful submissions that make it to the ARCA longlist.

 

The 2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Jurors

Anne Bailey is the Senior Issues and Communications Manager, University Relations, at the University of Alberta. Anne holds a Ph.D. in Specialization, Canadian Literature from the University of Western Ontario and has a MA in English from Queen's University. In addition to being an expert in literary arts and publishing in Alberta & Canada, she is also a published author and literary critic.

 

Amanda Connolly is a reporter with CBC Calgary and has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. Amanda is also a published author and is passionate about supporting local writers. She loves books, travelling, history, and bone-dry cappuccinos.

 

Deb Isbister has a Degree in Education and has worked as a Youth Services Librarian for the past 17 years at the Red Deer Public Library.  She's an avid reader of both Children's and Young Adult materials and see's this as a fantastic opportunity to share opinions, recommendations and love of the genre.

 

Breanna Mroczek is a freelance writer in Edmonton with a BA Honours in English from the University of Calgary and a MA in English from the University of Alberta. She works in magazine publishing as Assistant Editor of Where Edmonton magazine, and volunteer contributor for Glass Buffalo magazine. Breanna loves reading and promotes local authors and literature at various local literary events.

 

 

Christine Sheppard is the Executive Director of the Library Association of Alberta which is a not-for-profit organization  that offers members continuing education, advocacy, grants and scholarships, and assistance with library-related issues. Christine manages the Association including member services and continuing education. She loves to read and has a wealth of experience with all types of literature.

Past Award Winners

2013 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

The Shore Girl
by Fran Kimmel
Published by NeWest Press

About The Shore Girl

Rebee Shore's life is fragmented. She's forever on the move, ricocheting around Alberta, guided less than capably by her dysfunctional mother Elizabeth. The Shore Girl follows Rebee from her toddler to her teen years as she grapples with her mother's fears and addictions, and her own desire for a normal life. Through a series of narrators-family, friends, teachers, strangers, and Rebee herself-her family's dark past, and the core of her mother's despair, are slowly revealed. The Shore Girl is a mosaic of Rebee: of her origins, of her past and present; from darkness and grief, to understanding and hope for a brighter future. - See more at: http://epl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1013701005_the_shore_girl#sthash.Ef7SF99r.dpuf

Rebee Shore's life is fragmented. She's forever on the move, ricocheting around Alberta, guided less than capably by her dysfunctional mother Elizabeth.

The Shore Girl follows Rebee from her todder to ther teen years as she grapples with ther mother's fears and addictions, and her own desire for a normal life. Through a series of narrators-family, friends, teachers, strangers, and Rebee herself-her family's dark past, adn the core of her mother's despair, are slowly revealed. The Shore Girl is a mosaic of Rebee: of her origins, of her past and present; from darkness and grief, to understanding and hope for a brighter future.

About Fran Kimmel
Fran Kimmel was born and raised in Calgary. After graduating from the University of Calgary with a degree in Sociology, she worked an eclectic mix of jobs including youth worker, career counsellor, proposal writer, and a ten-year stint as a VP for a career consulting firm. Fran's stories have appeared in literary journals across Canada and have twice been nominated for the Jurney Prize. Fran currently lives in Lacombe with her husband and overly enthusiastic silver lab. This is her first novel.


2012 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Fall From Grace
by Wayne Arthurson
Published by Forge Books

 Watch our interview with Wayne Arthurson

 Listen to Wayne Arthurson on CBC's Daybreak Alberta

About Fall From Grace
Leo Desroches goes straight—off the streets, into the newsroom, and up to his neck in murder.

Marking the debut of Leo Desroches, one of the most unusual amateur detectives ever to appear in Canada or points south, this fast-paced, enthralling mystery is the story of a man who had everything, lost it all, and is trying to get it back. Leo Desroches doesn’t look like a native, but his mother was Cree, and he understands the problems of indigenous Canadians of the First Nations... which is probably why the Edmonton newspaper he writes for decides he should be their Aboriginal Issues reporter.

He has his own issues to deal with: his compulsive gambling that he couldn’t stop even after it cost him his wife and children; his alcoholism; the risk-taking that threatens to derail him every time he starts to get his life back together.

When he’s assigned to cover the murder of a young native prostitute, it’s just one more story...until the cop in charge lets him view the corpse, something the Edmonton police never do. When Leo writes his article, it starts a chain of events that leads him to discover a much, much bigger story, one that could bring down the entire police department...if it doesn’t get him killed.

About Wayne Arthurson
Wayne Arthurson is an aboriginal writer / musician who lives in Edmonton. He is the author of four history books, two novels, and countless magazine articles.


2011 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Letters from the Lost
By Helen Waldstein Wilkes
Published by AU Press
 

Listen to Helen Waldstein Wilkes' interview with CBC Daybreak Alberta

About Letters from the Lost
On March 15, 1939, Helen Waldstein’s father snatched his stamped exit visa from a distracted clerk to escape from Prague with his wife and child. As the Nazis closed in on a war-torn Czechoslovakia, only letters from their extended family could reach Canada through the barriers of conflict. The Waldstein family received these letters as they made their lives on a southern Ontario farm, where they learned to be Canadian and forget their Jewish roots.

Helen Waldstein read these letters as an adult―this changed everything. As her past refused to keep silent, Helen followed the trail of the letters back to Europe, where she discovered living witnesses who could attest to the letters’ contents. She has here interwoven their stories and her own into a compelling narrative of suffering, survivor guilt, and overcoming intergenerational obstacles when exploring a traumatic past.

About Helen Waldstein Wilkes
Since receiving her Ph.D in French Literature, Helen Waldstein Wilkes spent 30 years teaching at every level in Canada and in the U.S. Her research interests include cross-cultural understanding, language acquisition, and neurolinguistics. Now retired and living in Vancouver, she is actively examining her own cultural inheritance and its impact.


2010 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Fishing for Bacon
By Michael Davie
Published by NeWest Press

About Fishing for Bacon
My name’s Bacon Sobelowski, and I’m trying to find my someone. Kenny Rogers sings a song that says there’s someone for everyone, and in Bellevue where I live, Kenny Rogers’ word is gold. It’s just too bad my mother thinks girls turn boys into pigs, but that’s probably just because my father had enough of her Eggos and walked out.

But maybe she’s right. I’m not sure if Sarah is my someone because she got mad and smashed chili peppers into a cut on my head, and maybe my someone wouldn’t do that. Karla could be it because she lets me stay at her condo, but she might be too old to be my someone. Then there’s Mr. Kwon’s daughter, but she’s sort of my cousin and I’m not sure if sort-of cousins can be someones at the same time.

I think it might all come down to timing, and if that’s true then I’m in trouble. I’m Bacon Sobelowski—who knows if I’ll ever find my someone.

"Fishing for Bacon is raw, pungent, funny, and strangely poignant. Michael Davie is one of the most engaging authors to emerge in some time. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a sudden craving for beef dip.” —Will Ferguson, author of Spanish Fly

"I wish success on any book that has the word 'bacon' in the title." —Dennis Cass, author of Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain

About Michael Davie
While Michael Davie has lived in South Korea, it was his years spent in the Rocky Mountain towns of Waterton, Banff, Canmore, and Jasper, living immersed in an often eccentric resort subculture, that most influenced his creative output, first in publishing a cartoon series, The Last Resort, then in literature with his first novel, Fishing for Bacon.
Davie, who is originally from Lethbridge, graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management and studied Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and the Victoria School of Writing. He and his family now live in Victoria, BC. 

  

2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Top 10

The following titles represent the top ten titles for the 2014 Alberta Readers Choice Award. The jurors will determine the final five titles. The public will be able to vote for their favorite book starting on May 1, 2014.

A Bitter Mood of Clouds
by Vivian Hansen
Frontenac House

 

Almost a Great Escape
by Tyler Trafford
Goose Lane Editions

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

Come Barbarians
by Todd Babiak
Harper Collins

Find it in EPL's catalogue now.

Hell Going
by Lynn Coady
House of Anansi Press

Find it in EPL's catalogue now.

Love at Last Sight
by Thea Bowering
Newest Press

Find it in EPL's catalogue now.

Pilgrimage
            by Diana Davidson
       Brindle & Glass

      Find it in EPL's
        catalogue now.

Roost
by Ali Bryan
Freehand Books

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

The Dilettantes
by Michael Hingston
Freehand Books

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

The Last Temptation on Bond
by Kimmy Beach
University of Alberta Press

Find it in EPL's catalogue now.

The Unfinished Child
by Theresa Shea
Brindle & Glass

Find it in EPL's catalogue now

News Releases

June 9, 2012
Wayne Arthurson wins Alberta Readers' Choice Award for 'Fall From Grace'

April 11, 2012
Five Alberta authors vie for $10,000 award

June 11, 2011
Winner of Alberta Readers' Choice Award Takes $10,000 Prize

April 20, 2011
 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Announces Top Five Books Vying for $10,000 Prize

January 18, 2011
 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award Reveals 2011 Book Champions Panel

March 1, 2010
 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award Names Top 5 Books

January 26, 2010
 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Announces Juror Panel

December 4, 2009
 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Announces Semi-Finalists

October 23, 2009
 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Call for Votes Begins

May 12, 2009
EPL and the BPAA Sponsor $10,000 Publishing Award

In the Media




For all media enquiries, please contact:

Monica Walker
Senior Marketing Communications Consultant
p. 780.496.7055
e. mwalker@epl.ca

      

For general questions, please contact:

Diego Ibarra
Alberta Readers' Choice Award
780.496.7008
dibarra@epl.ca

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Bryce Crittenden
Senior Marketing Consultant
780.442.6314
bcrittenden@epl.ca