Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Voting has now ended. Thank you to everyone who voted. The winner will be announced on September 18th at the Alberta Book Awards. 

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. 

The public has a few months to read the top five books before going to the polls to cast their votes July 6 - August 31, 2015. The winner of the 2015 Alberta Readers' Choice Award will be announced at the Alberta Book Awards on September 18, 2015.

2015 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Finalists

The following titles represent the finalists for the 2015 Alberta Readers' Choice Award.

              The Social Life of ink
              by Ted Bishop
              Penguin Canada Books

              Find it in EPL's
              catalogue now.

 

 

Winterkill
by Kate A. Boorman
Abrams/Amulet

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

Thief of Glory
by Sigmund Brouwer
WaterBrook Press

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now

Who by Fire
by Fred Stenson
Doubleday Canada

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now

 

Come Back
by Rudy Wiebe
Penguin Random House Canada/Knopf Canada

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now

2015 Alberta Readers' Choice Award Long List

The following titles represent the Long List for the 2015 Alberta Readers Choice Award. The top five finalists will be unveiled one day at a time via Facebook and Twitter starting on Monday, April 27th.  The public will be able to vote for their favorite book starting on July 6th.

 

 

7 Ways to Sunday
by Lee Kvern
Enfield & Wizenty

Find it in EPL's catalogue now. 

 

Boundary Problems
by Greg Bechtel
Freehand Books

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

The Bride Stripped Bare By her Bachelors, Even
by Chris F. Westbury
Counterpoint

Find it in EPL's catalogue now.

Come Back
by Rudy Wiebe
Penguin Random House Canada/Knopf Canada

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

Open Letter
by Sheri-D. Wilson
Frontenac House Poetry

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

 

              Persona Non Grata
              by Tom Flanagan
              Signal

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

small things left behind
by Ella Zeltserman
University of Alberta Press

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

The Social Life of Ink
by Ted Bishop
Penguin Canada Books

Find it in EPL's
catalogue now.

Thief of Glory
by Sigmund Brouwer
WaterBrook Press

Find it in EPL's catalogue now.

Who by Fire
by Fred Stenson
Doubleday Canada

Find it in EPL's catalogue now

Winterkill
by Kate A. Boorman
Abrams/Amulet

Find it in EPL's catalogue now

      

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.

2015 Submission & Procedure Guidelines
2015 Submission Form

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, 2014 and December 31, 2014 for the 2015 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, 2014. Books received or postmarked after the deadline will not be eligible.

Selection Procedures and Jury

a.   Edmonton Public Library's Alberta Readers' Choice Award Team will serve as the jury.     

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

c.   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.

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

e.   The decision of the jury is binding.

f.  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 May 2015.

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 Book Publishers Association of Alberta Awards Gala on September 18, 2015 . 

Voting

a.        Public voting will take place online.

b.       Public voting will take place during a minimum 4 week voting period ending approximately one week before the award is announced.

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.

 


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Promotional Bookmarks
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For general questions, please contact:
Diego Ibarra
Alberta Readers' Choice Award
780.496.7008
dibarra@epl.ca

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Heather McIntyre
Marketing Communications Specialist
780.496.7055
hmcintyre@epl.ca

  

Past Award Winners

2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Almost a Great Escape
by Tyler Trafford
Published by Goose Lane Editions

About Almost a Great Escape

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
Novelist Tyler Trafford reconstructs the story of his mother's life--from her youth as a Montreal debutante to her final days as a casualty of an unhappy marriage--as he uncovers the mystery of her relationship with Jens Müller, one of only three prisoners to make it home after the "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III, the infamous Nazi prisoner-of-war camp. - See more at: http://epl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1128746005908_almost_a_great_escape#sthash.fqeXpgQo.dpuf
Novelist Tyler Trafford reconstructs the story of his mother's life--from her youth as a Montreal debutante to her final days as a casualty of an unhappy marriage--as he uncovers the mystery of her relationship with Jens Müller, one of only three prisoners to make it home after the "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III, the infamous Nazi prisoner-of-war camp. - See more at: http://epl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1128746005908_almost_a_great_escape#sthash.fqeXpgQo.dpuf

Following his mother's death in 2004, Tyler Trafford discovers an album of old letters and creased photographs that reveal a mother he never knew, a man he's never heard of, and a love affair doomed by class and circumstance. The letters are from Jens Müller, a Norwegian pilot who trained in Canada during the early days of World War II, one of only three prisoners who would make it home after The Great Escape.

In Almost a Great Escape, Trafford takes us on a journey of emotional discovery and dramatic disclosure as he reconstructs his mother's life, from her youth as a wealthy Montreal debutante to her final days as a broken but unbent casualty of a loveless marriage. His search for answers takes him across Canada and then across the ocean to Norway, hoping to learn more about the mystery of this secret relationship. Written with a fluidity fueled by heart-wrenching honesty, Trafford's unconventional memoir confirms that while you can survive your past, you can never escape from it.

Almost a Great Escape includes photographs as well as excerpts and reproductions of telegrams and letters Jens sent from England and Stalag Luft III.



About Tyler Trafford
Tyler Trafford worked for many years as a reporter and editor first with the Calgary Herald, then in Australia with the Australian and later with the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. When he returned to Canada, he began writing biographies, histories, and works of fiction, including The Story of Blue Eye, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Grant McEwan Author's Award. He now divides his time between Calgary and his studio on the Oldman River near Pincher Creek, Alberta.


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. 

  

News Releases

May 1, 2015
Finalists announced for 2015 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

June 9, 2014
"Almost a Great Escape" wins 2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

April 29, 2014
Five finalists announced for 2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

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