Winner of Alberta Readers’ Choice Award Takes $10,000 Prize

CALGARY, AB, June 11, 2011 – Letters from the LostA Memoir of Discovery was the big winner of the second annual Alberta Readers’ Choice Award presented this evening at the Alberta Book Awards Gala in Calgary.  The book, written by Helen Waldstein Wilkes and published by AU Press, was among five finalists vying for the honour of best book published in Alberta as chosen by the reading public.

For the entire month of May, readers voted for their favourite book in an online poll.  At the same time, five book champions defended their chosen book in the media and at public events.

“Again this year we had great public participation,” said Edmonton Public Library Board Vice- Chair, Dr. Carol Suddards, “and the quality of books submitted for this year’s award was outstanding.”  The annual award comes with a $10,000 prize, making it one of the richest literary prizes in Alberta.

This year’s top five books and their champions are:

  • The Grizzly Manifesto by Jeff Gailus (RMB); championed by Ken Chapman, lawyer, social commentator, blogger and one of Alberta Venture Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People of 2010
  • Too Bad: Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait by Robert Kroetsch (U of A Press); championed by Kirk Heuser, Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, CBC News Calgary
  • Cinco de Mayo: a novel by Michael J. Martineck (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing); championed by Janet Lane, Executive Director of Literacy Alberta
  • Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness byClem & Olivier Martini (Freehand Books); championed by John Estacio, award-winning Canadian composer and JUNO nominee
  • Letters from the Lost - A Memoir of Discovery by Helen Waldstein Wilkes (AU Press); championed by Sharon Budnarchuk, co-owner of Audrey’s Books in Edmonton

About the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award
The Alberta Readers’ Choice (ARC) Award is presented by the Edmonton Public Library (EPL), in partnership with the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA). Currently in its second year, the ARC Award promotes literacy and reading to Albertans by highlighting the unique literary and book publishing industry that exists in our province. The $10,000 prize, sponsored by EPL, goes to the author of the winning title as voted on by the reading public.  The ARC Award is one of the largest literary prizes offered in Alberta and is comparable to many national literary awards. For more information about the ARC Award, visit Visit www.epl.caand to learn more about EPL and BPAA.

About Book Publishers Association of Alberta
The Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) represents more than 30 Alberta publishers with a shared mission. BPAA publish books by local, national and international authors and provide significant cultural and economic benefits to this province. BPAA work with writers, printers, artists and other creative people to produce high quality books that are sold in Alberta and throughout the world. BPAA are leaders in Canada's best-developed knowledge-based industry and are one of the strongest communities of regional publishers in North America. Visit for more information.

About the Edmonton Public Library
The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton's largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. Every year, we host over 14 million in-branch and online visits across our 17 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere - in the library, at home, or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value - that is today's EPL. Spread the words.

Media Contact
Susan Wong Armstrong, Edmonton Public Library
Tel: 780-496-7055