Awards! Awards! Awards!

ippy_goldmedalHow exciting is this time of year? I couldn’t be more pleased to announce that Breakwater has taken Gold in both the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories for Canada East at the IPPY Awards. The IPPYs are otherwise known as the Independent Publisher Awards. Some 2500 indie publishers from all over the US, Canada, and overseas submitted more than 5200 total entries to this year’s competition, the 17th annual installment of the IPPY Awards.

Check out the full list of winners here.

I’ve always loved one of my girls more than the other. I don’t think it makes me awful, just human. Floss was always mine—as sweet, airy, and transparent as her candy namesake. Floss was always eager to please, never once cursed at me or told me I had a face on me like a dog. How could she not be my favourite?

Lolly was never mine. She was hard like her own candy namesake, tough and unyielding with an impenetrable shell. I tried to uncover the sweetness in her but she left me before I could find it. Eventually they all left me—first Ray, then Lolly, and then Floss, in such quick succession I could have blinked and they’d all have gone away.

                                                                                                                                (from Jill Sooley’s Baggage)



Winner, GOLD — Canada East: Baggage, by Mount Pearl girl and Long Island, NY, resident Jill Sooley

In Baggage, Jill Sooley blends multiple narratives in a heart wrenching and uplifting story of three women drawn by the gravitational pull of fathers and lovers to a place where they’ll ultimately find each other.

Following the death of her husband, Marie Sullivan struggles to repair the bonds that unite her with Floss, her daughter, and Lolly, the stepdaughter she never understood.

After a chance encounter in a cancer ward with her estranged biological father, Floss returns home seeking self-renewal. Instead, she finds a relationship with a recently divorced man whose loyalty to his young daughter threatens his ability to find happiness.

And Lolly, the stepdaughter who never fit in, now shares custody of her own son with her childhood sweetheart, Gabe. How long can she hide the stepfamily she’s taken for granted as she rushes headlong into a romance with a man who has secrets of his own?

An honest and revealing portrayal of modern relationships and blended families, Baggage reminds us that love runs thicker than bloodlines.

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Painter Jean Claude Roy first came to Newfoundland in 1966. Travelling to every inhabited corner of the island, he has recorded his personal vision. Painted almost entirely on-site, each image is the story of one day in his life — and one day in the life of a community.


Winner, GOLD – Canada East: Fluctuat Nec Mergitur by Jean Claude Roy

I have drawn and painted the Newfoundland landscape since I first set foot on the island in 1966 at the age of 17, as a novice seaman on a French cable ship. I was too young to be allowed to leave the ship unescorted, but one beautiful spring day I escaped with my sketch pad and climbed Signal Hill, and that was the beginning of my attachment to the province… While chatting with another inpatriate Newfoundlander in 2001, I heard the fateful words: “I’ve been to every community on the island of Newfoundland.” At that moment I decided that I would paint every community on the island, and thus began a journey that has ended with the publication of this book. I set out shortly after with my government-issued tourism map, marking off places as I painted them, and adding a few as I went along.

With very few exceptions, these images were painted on site, sometimes in the cold, frequently in high winds. I have had to hang a rock from my easel to keep it steady, tie it to a fence, or, on occasion, put the canvas flat on the ground and paint lying down. The wind dictates the movement on the canvas, the passing clouds alter the light: Being there, for me, is essential to capturing the feeling of the day. Every painting is a page in my diary, and in the diary of the community.

This is neither an art book nor travel book, nor is it a retrospective of my work as an artist. It is not meant to be an accurate depiction of every community. It is a unique story – a love story, really – of a foreigner who thinks he is a Newfoundlander. I have driven and walked all over the island and I have done what I do best in this life – I painted what I saw: the physical and the human landscape. It’s my story, and I’m sticking with it, and I’d be pleased if you would come with me on a trip around the island.  — JC Roy

Chad Pelley, Super Genius (… and Breakwater author, of course!)

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Layout 1Congratulations CHAD PELLEY! We couldn’t be more proud to have you on our Spring Roster! Check out the press release, below, for all the deets on Pelley’s big short fiction win — and take a look at the video above to hear a short reading from the prize-winning story.


Saint John, N.B., February 21, 2013 –The Telegraph-Journal, New Brunswick’s provincial newspaper,, is ecstatic to announce that Newfoundland-based author Chad Pelley has won the inaugural Salon Fiction Prize for his short story ‘A Second Look at Nothing.’

Launched July 2012, the Salon Fiction Prize awards $1,000 for a previously unpublished work of Canadian short fiction. The winning piece is also published in the Telegraph-Journal’s weekend fine arts and culture section, Salon. ‘A Second Look at Nothing’ is running in the Feb. 23 issue of Salon.

Chad Pelley’s short story was selected from more than 100 entries from across Canada by an esteemed Atlantic Canadian jury empanelled for the new prize: Giller Prize-shortlisted short story writer Alexander MacLeod; Halifax-based Atlantic Poetry Prize-winner Sue Goyette; and Université de Moncton professor Thomas Hodd.

Chad Pelley is a multi-award-winning writer, songwriter and photographer from St. John’s, Newfoundland. His debut novel, Away from Everywhere (Breakwater Books) was released in 2009, and his follow-up, Every Little Thing (Breakwater Books) hits bookshelves in late March of this year. Recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Art Council’s CBC Emerging Artist of the Year award, Pelley is president of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and runs the CanLit blog

We appreciate any help you can provide in getting the news of Chad Pelley’s big win out there via social media, blog posts and traditional media.

Pelley is available for interviews. You can reach him at:

The second annual Salon Fiction Prize will open June 29, 2013.

For more information, please contact:
Mike Landry, arts & culture editor
O : 506-645-3225 C :506-977-3625
Published every Saturday in the Telegraph-Journal, Salon is home to some of the best arts and culture writing in Canada – honoured with both national and regional newspaper awards. As space and resources devoted to books continues to dwindle, and the CanLit landscape disappears from Canadian newspapers, Salon remains dedicated to supporting our nation’s writers and their words.

Edge of Time by Susan M. MacDonald wins Gold at Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

Edge of Time, a Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction novel written by St. John’s author Susan M. MacDonald and published by Breakwater Books, was honored this week by the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, which recognize the best in North American children’s and YA writing and illustration.

Over 100 individual books from publishers across North America were recognized in 39 distinct award categories. An expert panel of educators, librarians, booksellers, and reviewers selected Edge of Time by Susan M. MacDonald as the Gold medal winner in the category of fantasy/sci-fi YA fiction – making it one of only 5 Canadian books to receive a Moonbeam Award this year.

“We’re just thrilled for Susan,” Breakwater President Rebecca Rose said yesterday. “Edge of Time was also a finalist for the 2012 Bruneau Family Children’s/Young Adult Literature Award here in Atlantic Canada. We’re so happy to see it continuing to get the recognition it deserves, here in Newfoundland, and also in the wider children’s literature market in North America.”

Coming up next? MacDonald is the Celebrity Judge in the St. John’s Public Library “Share A Scare” writing contest, open to kids ages 7 and up.

The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Award winners will receive their medals at the Traverse City Children’s Book Festival in Michigan on Nov. 10. A full list of recipients is available here.



NL Book Awards Shortlist Three Breakwater Titles

Three titles from Breakwater Books have been shortlisted for Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards!

Sick Joke by Glenn Deir is a finalist for the Rogers Communication award for Non-Fiction.

“I heard the news while eating a tuna sandwich. That turned into the best-tasting tuna sandwich ever. I’m thrilled to the irradiated marrow.” – Glenn Deir

Island Maid by Rhonda Pelley and Sheilagh O’Leary is also a finalist for the Rogers Communication Award for Non-Fiction.

“I am so happy for all nominated and for the opportunity to further profile the incredible lives of our outport women.” – Sheilagh O’Leary

“It is really wonderful to have your work recognized especially by your peers. I hope that the nomination focuses even more attention on the book and on the remarkable stories of the women we met during that truly transformative journey we made twenty years ago.” – Rhonda Pelley

And Where Genesis Begins by Tom Dawe and Gerald Squires has been shortlisted for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award.

“I am simply grateful to be a finalist in such distinguished company.” – Tom Dawe

These awards honour excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing, awarding cash prizes of $1,500 to the winners and a prize of $500 to each runner-up.

A free public reading featuring the shortlisted authors will take place at The Ship Pub in St. John’s at 7:30 PM on May 17, 2011. Winners will be announced on May 18, 2011.

Congratulations Trudy! By the Rivers of Brooklyn is nominated for BEST ATLANTIC PUBLISHED BOOK AWARD

Breakwater Books is pleased to announce that the By the Rivers of Brooklyn has been shortlisted for the Best Atlantic Published Book Award which is awarded as part of the Atlantic Book Awards in Dartmouth, NS on April 14.

The Best Atlantic Published Book Award comes with a $5000 prize that goes to a publisher and author whose book possesses the best balance of content, presentation, quality of design and production, as well as contributing the most to an understanding of Atlantic Canada.

By the Rivers of Brooklyn, a historical novel from author Trudy Morgan-Cole, is a critically acclaimed novel that transforms into fiction the experience of the 75,000 first- and second-generation Newfoundlanders who once lived in Brooklyn, New York – and the experience of Newfoundlanders throughout history who have gone away to find work and prosperity but never stopped dreaming of home.

Critics have described the novel as “meaty and delicate” (The Telegram), “an impressive work of fiction” (The Western Star), and Morgan-Cole’s writing style as one “that takes you quickly into the story” (Chronicle Herald).

If you are interested in interviewing Trudy Morgan-Cole or receiving a book for review purposes, or using the above images in an article, please use the contact information below

contact name: Jackie Pope
phone: 709-722-6680 / 800-563-3333