Dartmouth Book Awards

DARTMOUTH BOOK AWARDS

George Borden
Writing for Change Award (Nonfiction)

The George Borden Writing for Change Award (Nonfiction) is awarded annually for an outstanding nonfiction book by a Nova Scotia author published in the preceding year that inspires others, challenges the status quo, and celebrates and shares the stories of recognized groups: Indigenous peoples, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, and 2SLGBTQ+ persons. Nonfiction titles and fiction titles were considered for the original Dartmouth Book Award given in 1989, and this nonfiction-only prize was first awarded in 1990 as the Dartmouth Book Award (Nonfiction). In 2022, the selection criteria for the prize were refined (from an outstanding nonfiction book on any subject), and it was renamed in honour of Black veteran, community leader, and historian George Borden.

Past Winners

2024

Winner

Jen Powley
Making a Home: Assisted Living in the Community for Young Disabled People
(Roseway Publishing)

Finalist

Ray Cronin
Alan Syliboy: Culture is Our Medicine
(Gaspereau Press)

Finalist

Heather Fegan
Gutsy: Living My Best Life with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
(Nimbus Publishing)

2023

Winner

Elder Sister Dorothy Moore
A Journey of Love and Hope: The Inspirational Words of a Mi'kmaw Elder
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Kate Beaton
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands
(Drawn & Quarterly)

Finalist

Wanda Thomas Bernard
A Child of East Preston
(Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute)

2022

Winner

Glen Canning (with Susan McClelland)
My Daughter Rehtaeh Parsons
(Goose Lane Editions)

Finalist

Stephen Kimber
Alexa!: Changing the Face of Canadian Politics
(Goose Lane Editions)

Finalist

Don Oliver
A Matter of Equality: The Life’s Work of Senator Don Oliver
(Nimbus Publishing)

Prior to 2022, the George Borden Writing for Change Award (Nonfiction) was known as the Dartmouth Book Award (Nonfiction).

2021

Winner

Silver Donald Cameron
Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes
(Viking Canada)

Finalist

Tyler LeBlanc
Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion
(Goose Lane Editions)

Finalist

Jon Tattrie
Peace by Chocolate: The Hadhad Family’s Remarkable Journey from Syria to Canada
(Goose Lane Editions)

2020

Winner

Ami McKay
Before My Time: A Memoir of Love & Fate
(Knopf Canada)

(Initially published under the title Daughter of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate)

Finalist

Clive Doucet
Grandfather’s House: Returning to Cape Breton
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Garry Leech
Ghosts Within: Journeying Through PTSD
(Fernwood Publishing)

2019

Winner

Marilyn Davidson Elliott
The Blind Mechanic: The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Kayla Hounsell
First Degree: From Medical School to Murder
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Simone Poirier-Bures
Threads in the Acadian Fabric: Nine Generations of an Acadian Family
(Pottersfield Press)

2018

Winner

Quentin Casey
The Sea Was in Their Blood: The Disappearance of the Miss Ally's Five-Man Crew
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Joan Baxter
The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest
(Pottersfield Press)

Finalist

Ken Cuthbertson
The Halifax Explosion: Canada's Worst Disaster
(HarperCollins)

2017

Winner

Graham Reynolds (with Wanda Robson)
Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Jill Martin Bouteillier
Sable Island in Black and White
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Paul Chiasson
Written in the Ruins: Cape Breton Island’s Second Pre-Columbian Chinese Settlement
(Dundurn Press)

2016

Winner

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

Finalist

Tony Colaiacovo
The Times of African Nova Scotians, Volume Two: A Celebration of Our History, Heritage and Culture
(Delmore "Buddy" Daye Learning Institute)

Finalist

Dean Jobb
Empire Of Deception: From Chicago To Nova Scotia: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation
(HarperCollins)

2015

Winner

Gordon Pitts
Fire in the Belly: How Purdy Crawford rescued Canada, and changed the way we do business
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Natalie Meisner
Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family
(Fernwood Publishing)

Finalist

Lindsay Ruck
Winds of Change: The Life and Legacy of Calvin W. Ruck
(Pottersfield Press)

2014

Winner

Joel Zemel
Scapegoat: the extraordinary legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion
(New World Publishing)

Finalist

Ruth Holmes Whitehead
Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia's First Free Black Communities
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Captain Robert N. Clements, MC (with Brian Tennyson)
Merry Hell: The Story of the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914 - 1919
(University of Toronto Press)

2013

Winner

Anne Marie Lane Jonah and Chantal Véchambre
French Taste in Atlantic Canada 1604 - 1758: A Gastronomic History / Le goût français au Canada atlantique 1604 - 1758 : une histoire gastronomique
(Cape Breton University Press)

Finalist

Denise Cormier
The Village of My Heart’s Mistake: An Acadian Life
(Encompass Editions)

Finalist

Joan Dawson
Nova Scotia’s Historic Rivers: The Waterways that Shaped the Province
(Nimbus Publishing)

2012

Winner

Harry Thurston
The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History
(Greystone Books / David Suzuki Foundation)

Finalist

Carol Campbell and James F. Smith
Necessaries and Sufficiencies: Planter Society in Londonderry, Onslow and Truro, 1761 - 1780
(Cape Breton University Press)

Finalist

Dianne Marshall
Heroes of the Acadian Resistance: The Story of Joseph Beausoleil Broussard and Pierre II Surette 1702-1765
(Formac Publishing)

2011

Winner

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

Finalist

John Boileau
Halifax & the Royal Canadian Navy
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Daniel Doucet
Élizabeth LeFort: Canada’s Artist in Wool / L'artiste canadienne de la laine
(Cape Breton University Press)

2010

Winner

Greg Cochkanoff and Bob Chaulk
SS Atlantic: The White Star Line’s First Disaster at Sea
(Goose Lane Editions)

Finalist

Stephen Kimber
IWK: A Century of Caring for Families
(Nimbus Publishing)

Finalist

Anne Murray (with Michael Posner)
All of Me
(Knopf Canada)

2009

Winner

William D. Naftel
Halifax at War: Searchlights, Squadrons and Submarines 1939 - 1945
(Formac Publishing)

2008

Winner

Marq de Villiers
Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose
(Thomas Allen Publishers)

2007

Winner

Keith McLaren
A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fisherman's Cup, 1920 -1938
(David R. Godine, Publisher)

2006

Winner

Dean Jobb
The Acadians: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph
(Wiley)

2005

Winner

Paul A. Erickson
Historic North End Halifax
(Nimbus Publishing)

2004

Winner

Elizabeth Pacey
Miracle on Brunswick Street: The Story of St. George's Round Church and the Little Dutch Church
(Nimbus Publishing)

2003

Winner

Stephen Kimber
Sailors, Slacks, and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War
(Doubleday Canada)

2002

Winner

Kate Langan
The Art of Worship: The Vision and Craft of Contemporary Nova Scotian Artists
(Nimbus Publishing)

2001

Winner

Harry Chapman
In the Wake of the Alderney: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1750 - 2000
(Nimbus Publishing)

2000

Winner

David Frank
J.B. McLachlan: A Biography: The Story of a Legendary Labour Leader and the Cape Breton Coal Miners
(Lorimer)

1999

Winner

James & Rowena Mahar
Too Many to Mourn: One Family's Tragedy in the Halifax Explosion
(Nimbus Publishing)

1998

Winner

Merritt Gibson
The Old Place: A Natural History of a Country Garden
(Nimbus Publishing)

1997

Winner

Lance Woolaver & Bob Brooks
The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis
(Nimbus Publishing)

1996

Winner

J. R. C. Perkin
Ordinary Magic: A Biographical Sketch of Alex Colville
(Lancelot Press)

1995

Winner

Dean Jobb
Calculated Risk: Greed, Politics, and the Westray Tragedy
(Nimbus Publishing)

1994

Co-Winners

Daniel N. Paul
We Were Not The Savages: Collision between European and Native American Civilizations
(Fernwood Publishing)

Leslie Smith Dow
Adèle Hugo: La Misérable
(Goose Lane Editions)

1993

Winner

Sally Ross & Alphonse Deveau
The Acadians of Nova Scotia: Past and Present
(Nimbus Publishing)

1992

Winner

Silver Donald Cameron
Wind, Whales and Whisky: A Cape Breton Voyage
(Macmillan Canada)

1991

Winner

Harry Thurston
Tidal Life: A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy
(Nimbus Publishing)

1990

Winner

Claude Bissell,
Ernest Buckler Remembered
(University of Toronto Press)

1989

Winner
of the Dartmouth Book Award

Harry Bruce
Down Home
(Key Porter Books)

Both fiction and nonfiction titles were eligible for the original Dartmouth Book Award.

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