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Eden Robinson Among 2016 Writers’ Trust Prize winners

writers_trust_compositeI am delighted to inform you that “Eden Robinson was honoured for her contributions to Canadian literature with the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award. Robinson is the author of two novels, including the iconic book Monkey Beach and a short story collection. She will release a new novel, Son of a Trickster, in 2017.”

We worked with Eden a number of years (2011/12) ago when she was the Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne Kriesel Lecture guest lecturer and we subsequently published her lecture titled, The Sasquatch at Home: Traditional Protocols & Modern Storytelling.

Eden has enthusiastically committed to participate in the “Writing Stick: Sharing Indigenous Stories” conference we are planning with our partners, the Book Publishers Association of Alberta, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, the Edmonton Public Library, UAlberta North and most recently, the City of Edmonton.

BPAA Conference and Gala 2016

The annual Book Publishers Association of Alberta Conference and Awards celebration was held in Calgary’s Hotel Arts, which provided an inspiring backdrop for three days of activity.

The conference was filled with interesting and instructive presentations by publishers, writers, librarians, funders, and even a film producer who told the audience that he was looking for “untold and unbelievable” stories to develop. Sharing information is a powerful tool in the constantly changing business of publishing.

The Awards celebration started out with Will Ferguson’s fabulous and funny keynote speech that left the audience wanting more. Fred Stenson kept the program moving. And the food was truly excellent.

The University of Alberta Press came away with two awards. Standard candles by Alice Major won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry and Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities by Shawna Ferris won the Book of the Year in the Scholarly and Academic category.

Here is what the jurors had to say about our books:

Robert Koetsch Award for Poetry

The jury was impressed by the design quality and promotional efforts of all the entries this year, and was encouraged by the high bar that was set. They were unanimous not only on 9781772120912_largethe winner but on the runner up as well. Above and beyond the design and promotion, what set the top two books apart was the quality of the writing. However, this book was the clear winner, given the depth and breadth of its subject matter as well as the exceptional writing. It is an intricate weaving of complex scientific theory with the stuff of everyday human existence in a voice that is thoughtful, wry, and deeply compassionate. The publisher is to be congratulated on the success of the design and on their strong and effective promotional efforts. A solid team effort to publish an exceptional book of poetry.

Scholarly and Academic

This book is a groundbreaking look at the issue of prostitution in Canada’s urban centers. 9781772120059_largeIt is of particular relevance given the national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women. The author is to be commended for incorporating the voices of individuals in the sex trade, and for shining light on the vulnerability of sex workers. The book challenges the traditional mores of Canadian society, and will serve as an important reference work for social workers, law makers and law enforcers, as well as educators. The publisher is to be commended for its work in publishing this seminal study.

Congratulations to Alice and Shawna, and to all who were involved in publishing these great books!

A big thank you goes to the BPAA, especially Kieran Leblanc, Tyler Mudrey, Glenn Rollans, and the Professional Development Committee for organizing such a great event. It couldn’t have happened without a host of funders and sponsors: Alberta Media Fund, Canada Council, Department of Canadian Heritage, Access Copyright Foundation, Calgary Arts Development, the City of Calgary, the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Arts Council, Friesens, Houghton Boston, Marquis, and MNP LPP.

See you all next year!


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Awards, Awards, and More Awards

We are happy to report that we must post a follow up to our previous blogs about awards given to UAP books in 2016. Not long after hitting the “Publish” button, we got the news that Shawna Ferris’s Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities was the winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book in the Manitoba Book Awards.

Jan Selman & Jane Heather, authors of Theatre, Teens, Sex Ed, won the Patrick O’Neill Award from The Canadian Association for Theatre Research.

Our submission to the inaugural Western Canadian Jewish Book Awards was successful, with Ella Zeltserman winning the Betty Averbach Foundation Prize for her poetry collection, small things left behind

Alan Brownoff brought home two more design awards, this time from the New York Book Show: A Canadian Girl in South Africa was chosen in the Professional & Reference category; while Trying Again to Stop Time was selected in the General Trade category.

The Independent Publisher Book Awards rewarded two of our books: Why Grow Here by Kathryn Chase Merrett won Gold in Canada West – Best Regional Non-Fiction category, and A Year of Days by Myrl Coulter won Bronze in the Essay/Creative Non-Fiction category.

Looking ahead, several University of Alberta Press titles are shortlisted in the Alberta Book Publishing Awards. The winners will be announced at the conference in Calgary in September.

Congratulations to all who had a part in creating these award-winning books!

See a complete listings of awards on our website.

Award winners

2015 Tom Fairley Award Winner: Lesley Peterson

Each year, the Editors’ Association of Canada recognizes exceptional editors at their award ceremony, and this year, it was Lesley Peterson who won the 2015 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. She was awarded the $2,000 prize for her work on The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior: A History of Canadian Internment Camp R by Ernest Robert Zimmermann, with Michel S. Beaulieu and David K. Ratz, Editors.

The jury panel lauded Peterson’s advanced skill in managing conflicting expectations on a difficult work that blended memoir and scholarly research. “Peterson impressively demonstrates that while the work of an editor may be hidden, it can require advanced skills in tact, diligence and patience,” said one judge. “With many competing interests in the posthumous work, Peterson had to do far more than the thorough copy edit required. Peterson is patience with a capital P.”

Here is her acceptance speech, given at the annual Editors’ Association of Canada conference, which was held in Vancouver last weekend.

The energy that drove this project, from first to last, was the enduring vitality of the author, the late and much-missed Ernest Zimmermann, whose voice, even from beyond the grave, made him a kind of ghostly Pied Piper whose call it was futile to resist. I am very grateful for the privilege of answering the call on behalf of the University of Alberta Press, and for the insight and expertise of the others who helped me find the road and stay the course. These include, of course, the Zimmermann family’s chosen collaborators, David Ratz and Michel Beaulieu, former students of the author, whose familiarity with Zimmermann’s perspective and personality, not to mention his personal library, I could only envy. They also include Mary Lou Roy and Peter Midgley at the Press, who gave me from start to finish feedback, faith, focus, and—most precious of all—space and time; time in which to read and re-read, to think and re-think; space and time, above all, in which to listen attentively to the compelling music of Zimmermann’s voice as it faded in and out of range.

9781772120318To be recognized by such an expert and elite body as this—by you here—is astonishing. One of my earliest mentors, the Manitoba writer, editor, and scholar Dennis Cooley, commented once that “You can only be a writer in isolation, and you can only be a writer in community.” I believe that statement to be just as true of editing as it is of writing. This award is given to me today by the community of Canadian editors; I would like now to give it back to each of you. Thank you for all that you do to support the profession, and for the great honour of welcoming me into your midst.

Congratulations, Lesley! It is always a pleasure working with you.


University of Alberta Press: Awards!

Authors and staff of the University of Alberta Press have many achievements to celebrate from the first months of 2016.

Alice Major is over the moon about her book of poetry, Standard candles, being shortlisted for two awards: the League of Canadian Poets’ Raymond Souster Award and the Alberta Literary Awards’ Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry.

Jalal Barzanji is also in the running for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for Trying Again to Stop Time.

We were delighted to see our designer, Alan Brownoff, bring home two major awards in the international AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show, for his work on Trying Again to Stop Time and A Canadian Girl in South Africa: A Teacher’s Experiences in the South African War, 1899–1902, by E. Maud Graham and edited by Michael Dawson, Catherine Gidney, and Susanne M. Klausen.

Arni Brownstone, author of War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation, was shortlisted for the prestigious Melva J. Dwyer Award.

Myrl Coulter, author of A Year of Days, won an Independent Publisher Book Award.

Kathryn Merrett, author of Why Grow Here: Essays on Edmonton’s Gardening History, and Myrl Coulter (A Year of Days) both won INDIEFAB Book of the Year awards.  Two other UAlberta Press authors were shortlisted in this competition: Trevor W. Harrison for Prairie Bohemian: Frank Gay’s Life in Music and Roberta Laurie for Weaving a Malawi Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People.

Shawna Ferris, author of Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities: Resisting a Dangerous Order, was shortlisted for the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book in the Manitoba Book Awards.

And last but not least, Peter Midgley, our senior editor, was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize for Unquiet Bones (Wolsak & Wynn).

Linda Cameron, Director of the University of Alberta Press, said, “I am always proud when our books receive awards for content and design. We work with remarkable people who trust us to publish their special stories and outstanding scholarship. We commit fully to these projects and it is always rewarding to see others recognize the creators’ achievements and the UAlberta Press team’s efforts to showcase the books.”

For a complete listing of awards, see our website.

2014 Alcuin Society Award Winner, Alan Brownoff

One more feather in Alan Brownoff’s designer hat!9780888647269_large

He received Third Prize in the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada in the Prose Non-Fiction Illustrated category for Conrad Kain.

The Alcuin Society Awards is the only national competition for book design in the country, founded in 1965 by Geoffrey Spencer, with the goal of promoting a wider appreciation of beautifully produced books.

Congratulations to Alan, and to all involved in creating this award-winning book!!

“Climber’s Paradise” wins the CHA’s Clio Prize (Prairies)

Climber's ParadiseEdmonton, AB – The University of Alberta Press congratulates PearlAnn Reichwein for being awarded the Clio Prize (Prairies) from the Canadian Historical Association (CHA). The award recognizes her insightful book, Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906–1974, as an exceptional contribution to regional history.

The citation reads:

PearlAnn Reichwein’s Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906–1974 is a fantastic blend of leisure, environmental, and cultural history. Focusing on the Alpine Club of Canada, Professor Reichwein explores the ways the history of the club parallels and affected the development of the Rocky Mountain parks over the twentieth century. Covering topics ranging from the marketing of climbing equipment to organising opposition to hydro development in the park, she has written a book of broad appeal to twentieth century historians. In her conclusion she makes very powerful arguments about environmental history, climate change, and our relationship to nature and the mountains. The book is an exciting read and beautifully produced, integrating many images and side bars on a variety of topics, making it appealing to a broader audience than the academic market.

Reichwein says, “I am honoured to win this significant award. Being able to accept it in Ottawa, among my CHA colleagues and friends, was particularly moving as well as a reminder of the importance of heritage and cultural institutions. Writing this book relied on collections and specialists at Library Archives Canada and regional archives as well as national parks. I am also thankful to generous funders and University of Alberta Press.”

In Climber’s Paradise, Reichwein looks at the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) as a viewfinder on Canada’s changing outlook on recreation, land use and conservation, particularly in iconic western mountain parks and farther north. Canadian mountaineers stand out as intergenerational advocates of conservation and public space with deep roots amid changing times. Her extensive scholarship contributes to U of A’s Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative.PearlAnn

Reichwein also brings her own voice to Canadian mountaineering literature, combining creative non-fiction with lyrical nature writing. The book shares her personal stories of mountaineering, with an idyllic ascent up the Kiwa Glacier and Mount Wilfrid Laurier. She presents a compelling case for understanding wild places and human history as parts of a whole. Years of archival research enhanced by rare images make Climber’s Paradise a book of invaluable scholarship as well as a great read.

Other recognition for the book includes the international Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival competition Finalist, Mountain and Wilderness Literature Non Fiction, and INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist, Ecology & Environment, along with an international award for the design of the book.


About the University of Alberta Press

The University of Alberta Press publishes in the areas of biography, history, language, literature, natural history, regional interest, travel narratives and reference books. With hundreds of scholarly and trade books, UAP contributes to the intellectual and cultural life of Alberta and Canada. www.uap.ualberta.ca


About the Canadian Historical Society

Founded in 1922, the Canadian Historical Association / La Société historique du Canada is a bilingual not-for-profit and charitable association devoted to fostering the scholarly study and communication of history in Canada. It is the largest of its kind in the country. www.cha-shc.ca

PearlAnn Reichwein, Associate Professor, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, pearlann.reichwein@ualberta.ca, 780-492-0579

Cathie Crooks, Sales/Marketing Manager, University of Alberta Press
ccrooks@ualberta.ca, 780-492-5820

Michel Duquet, Executive Director, Canadian Historical Association
mduquet@cha-shc.ca, 613-233-7885



“‘The social and cultural history of mountaineering can go far beyond the simple understanding of history as a fixed chronology of great ascents in a progressive evolution of ‘important events,’ writes Reichwein in her preface. The history of leisure and sport, she argues, can be brought together with environmental history and conservation philosophy. In this book, illustrated with rarely seen historical images, she explores how Alpine Club of Canada members helped shape the policies and sensibilities of western Canada’s mountain parks, as the Club imagined and advocated on behalf of those parks to create a climber’s paradise in the Rockies and neighbouring ranges.” Lynn Martel, Alpine Club of Canada Gazette (Vol 23. No 3), November 1, 2014

“There has been a definite need for a finely crafted book on the relationship between the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) and Canada’s Mountain Parks. Climber’s Paradise tells the tale in an exquisite manner and, in doing so, reveals much about the complex paradise of Canada’s mountaineering history and ethos…. Reichwein has certainly emerged…as one of the primary keepers of the distinctive Canadian mountaineering tradition, and Climber’s Paradise confirms yet again why this is the indubitable case.” [Full review at bit.ly/1nYxnCK] Ron Dart, Highline Magazine, October 1, 2014

Advance Praise

“At a time when civil society and environmental organizations are being vilified in the media as ‘special interest groups,’ it is important to understand the crucial roles played by the Alpine Club of Canada not only in the creation of our magnificent mountain parks but in shaping the Canadian identity.” John Bennett, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada

“Wilderness. Symbol of nationhood. Playground. Sanctuary. Revenue source. Over the last century Canada’s mountain parks have been imagined and reimagined through a spectrum of meanings and contending desires. PearlAnn Reichwein’s history of the Alpine Club of Canada explores these incarnations and tells the fascinating stories of the people who cared fiercely for the mountains and struggled over their use and value. Just as importantly, Reichwein traces out the less visible tracks of class, race, and gender that weave through the grand narratives of adventure and conquest. This is vital reading for anyone who cares about our vanishing wild heritage.” Thomas Wharton, award-winning author of Icefields

“This is a remarkable story. It’s about how a small group of urban, middle-class, Anglo Canadians, working through the Alpine Club of Canada, sought to assert their narratives of alpinism, the environment, nation, and interpersonal relations on Canada’s western Canadian mountain parks, and the conditions they faced, the institutions they created, the political victories they achieved, and the struggles and setbacks they encountered.

Professor Reichwein tells it brilliantly, bringing both a climbers’ love of the mountains and a social historian’s critical distance and research to her subject. Her analysis is illuminated with mini-biographies of the key players, grounded in their speeches and personal correspondence resourcefully dug out of archival collections, and an extensive collection of photographs.

It’s an important contribution to the history of Canadian sport and recreation and a telling case study of volunteering, but anyone who has ever holidayed or even contemplated a hike in a mountain national park would enjoy and benefit from this book.” Bruce Kidd, University of Toronto historian and Olympian