Newfoundland and Labrador authors celebrated for their work

Mark Burt
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Culture

Newfoundland and Labrador has a long history of successful writers and books that have been essential in the province's culture, and the nominations of four local authors at the annual Atlantic Book Awards proves the success is not just in the past, but also the present.

"Canada, and in particular Newfoundland, has a great tradition of history," said Mike Heffernan, nominee for the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing for his book "Rig: An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster." "If I can contribute to (Newfoundland's) history in some way, than that's a wonderful thing."

A small celebration was held Monday night at Humphry's Restaurant and Bar in honour of the four Newfoundland and Labrador nominees for the Atlantic Book Awards. At left are John K. Crelin and Raoul R. Anderson. - Photo by Mark Burt/Special to the Telegram

Newfoundland and Labrador has a long history of successful writers and books that have been essential in the province's culture, and the nominations of four local authors at the annual Atlantic Book Awards proves the success is not just in the past, but also the present.

"Canada, and in particular Newfoundland, has a great tradition of history," said Mike Heffernan, nominee for the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing for his book "Rig: An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster." "If I can contribute to (Newfoundland's) history in some way, than that's a wonderful thing."

A small celebration was hosted by actor/comedienne Berni Stapleton at Humphry's Restaurant Bar and Grill Monday to celebrate the nominations, and included readings by all the nominees.

From a historical disaster book, to a book about an Aboriginal man's journey to keep his identity, the nominations had a wide variety of topics and themes.

"I was shocked to be nominated," said Raoul R. Anderson, nominated for his book "Mi'sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief's Journey." "This is my first time being nominated for anything like this."

Being taken aback by the nomination was a common theme among the nominees.

"I was surprised by my nomination, but excited," said Trudy Morgan, author of "By The Rivers of Brooklyn" and nominated for Best Atlantic-Published book. "This is an award not just for the writer, but also the publishers."

Publishers progress

Giving recognition to not only the writer but the publisher was a sentiment shared by publisher Garry Cranford.

"Newfoundland and Labrador has more nominations than ever and I think it speaks well to the quality of the work, the importance of the subject and a recognition of a greater degree of maturity among the publishers," Cranford said.

Newfoundland's long history of writing seems to be in good hands.

"It's an exciting time to be a young Newfoundland writer," Heffernan said. "All the writers before us have laid the groundwork."

telegram@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Brooklyn

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