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June 1, 2006
For immediate release

First Prince Edward Island Book Award Presented to Island Author

Community and Cultural Affairs

Catherine Edward of Belfast is the winner of the first P.E.I. Book Award for her book, The Brow of Dawn. The award was presented by Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Elmer MacFadyen on Thursday night during a ceremony at the Confederation Centre Public library.

Described by the award jury as “a deceptively quiet yet powerful story of love and hope in the face of adversity,” the book tells of Edward’s life with a chronic debilitating disease. The Brow of Dawn was published by Acorn Press of Charlottetown, and publisher Laurie Brinklow shared the book award honour.

Edward’s book was selected from a short list of six which were chosen from a total field of thirty-one submissions. The books submitted included fiction, children’s books, local history, reference works and books of photography.

Minister MacFadyen said those involved with the creation of the award learned that writing and publishing was even more active on P.E.I. than had been believed. “We were pleasantly surprised with how well the call for submissions was received,” he said.

He told the nominees and guests that the jury was asked to pare the list down to five finalists but they couldn’t do it. “They asked us to allow them to identify six for final consideration, and I was very pleased to note that all the books on the short list were produced by P.E.I. publishers.”

In awarding the first P.E.I. Book Award to Catherine Edward’s book, The Brow of Dawn, the jury commended the author and publisher for the design, production and the cover art. The jury also recognized the author for the personal nature of the story which, as noted in the citation, “reads like a diary of how to innovate, change, accept, fight, love and weep when the unexpected comes to your doorstep.”

In addition to a cash award to the author and publisher, both were presented with a hand-crafted writer’s box made by Island woodworker Jacques Gaudreau.

During the award ceremony, Mr. MacFadyen recognized the contribution of the late Joe Sherman, who was one of the promoters of the idea of a book award.

“Joe was tireless in his promotion of writing and publishing in the province. He advocated for the creation of a book award,” the Minister said. “I think Joe Sherman would have been very pleased to have seen the results of this first competition.”

The P.E.I Book Award is a biennial honour to celebrate excellence in the production of books. The book must be by a resident of the province and published in Atlantic Canada. Books in this year’s competition were published in 2004 or 2005.

The Brow of Dawn and other books on the Book Award short list are available in public libraries and bookstores across the province.

Media Contact: Harry Holman
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