Dartmouth Book Awards

DARTMOUTH BOOK AWARDS

Margaret & John Savage
First Book Award (Fiction)

The Margaret & John Savage First Book Award (Fiction) is awarded annually to an outstanding debut book of fiction by a Nova Scotia author published in the preceding year that has contributed to the understanding of Nova Scotia and its peoples. It was first awarded in 2004 as the Margaret & John Savage First Book Award. In 2018, this original award was split into two awards, one for fiction titles and one for nonfiction titles.

Past Winners

2024

Winner

Michelle Wamboldt
Birth Road
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Amanda Peters
The Berry Pickers
(HarperCollins)

Finalist

Shelley Thompson
Roar
(Nimbus Publishing)

2023

Not awarded

2022

Winner

Colin Sweets Arsenault
Short Mercy
(Pottersfield Press)

Finalist

Alexandra Harrington
The Last Time I Saw Her
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

C. S. Porter
Beneath Her Skin: A Kes Morris File
(Nimbus Publishing)

2021

Winner

Alison Taylor
Aftershock
(HarperCollins)

Finalist

Julie Curwin
The Appendage Formerly Known as Your Left Arm: and other stories
(Boularderie Island Press)

Finalist

Morgan Murray
Dirty Birds
(Breakwater Books)

2020

Winner

Amy Spurway
Crow
(Goose Lane Editions)

Finalist

Terry Doyle
Dig
(Breakwater Books)

Finalist

James Gregor
Going Dutch
(Simon & Schuster)

2019

Winner

Nicola Davison
In the Wake
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Sharon Bala
The Boat People
(McClelland & Stewart)

Finalist

Susan Sinnott
Catching the Light
(Nimbus Publishing)

2018

Winner

Sarah Faber
All is Beauty Now
(McClelland & Stewart)

Finalist

Bridget Canning
The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes
(Breakwater Books)

Finalist

Mary Walsh
Crying for the Moom
(HarperCollins)

Prior to 2018, the Margaret & John Savage First Book Award (Nonfiction) was known simply as the Margaret & John Savage First Book Award, for which both fiction and nonfiction titles were eligible.

2017

Winner

Erin Wunker
Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life
(Book*hug Press)

Finalist

James McLeod
Turmoil, as Usual: Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador and the road to the 2015 Election
(Creative Book Publishing)

Finalist

Charlie Rhindress
I’m Not What I Seem: The many stories of Rita MacNeil's life
(Formac Publishing)

2016

Winner

Sarah Mian
When The Saints
(HarperCollins)

Finalist

Gerard Doran
A Stroke in Time
(Flanker Press)

Finalist

Janet Maybee
Aftershock: The Halifax Explosion and the Persecution of Pilot Francis Mackey
(Nimbus Publishing)

2015

Winner

Megan Gail Coles
Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome
(Creative Book Publishing / Breakwater Books)

Finalist

Vivien Shotwell
Vienna Nocturne
(Doubleday Canada)

Finalist

Alan Doyle
Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea
(Doubleday Canada)

2014

Winner

Charlotte R. Mendel
Turn Us Again
(Fernwood Publishing)

Finalist

Janet E. Cameron
Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World
(Hachette Books Ireland)

Finalist

Stephen Law
Tailings of Warren Peace
(Fernwood Publishing)

2013

Winner

Keir Lowther
Dirty Bird
(Tightrope Books)

Finalist

Nicole Dixon
High-Water Mark
(The Porcupine's Quill)

Finalist

Lesleyanne Ryan
Braco
(Breakwater Books)

2012

Winner

Riel Nason
The Town That Drowned
(Goose Lane Editions)

Finalist

Heather Jessup
The Lightning Field
(Gaspereau Press)

Finalist

Michael Murphy
A Description of the Blazing World
(Freehand Books)

2011

Winner

Alexander MacLeod
Light Lifting
(Biblioasis)

Finalist

Kate Evans
Where Old Ghosts Meet
(Breakwater Books)

Finalist

Jerry Lockett
Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada: The Adventurer & Map Maker's Formative Years
(Formac Publishing)

2010

Winner

Shandi Mitchell
Under This Unbroken Sky
(Penguin Group Canada)

Finalist

Greg Malone
You Better Watch Out: A Memoir
(Knopf Canada)

Finalist

Binnie Brennan
Harbour View
(Quattro Books)

Scroll to Top