Heather Smith has won the 2018 BMO Winterset Award for her middle-grade free-verse novel Ebb & Flow (Kids Can Press). The $12,500 prize celebrates excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing. Smith, who currently lives in Waterloo, Ontario, is originally from Newfoundland and Labrador and the novel is set in the province.
Two finalists for the award received $3,000 each: Melissa Barbeau for The Luminous Sea (Breakwater Books) and Robert Chafe for Between Breaths (Playwrights Canada Press).
The literary prize is a collaboration between the project’s founder, writer Richard Gwyn, ArtsNL, and BMO – and honours the memory of the late St. John’s author Sandra Fraser Gwyn. It’s named after the house where she grew up on Winter Ave. in St John’s.
While Smith’s novel is a children’s book – about a young boy who has a very bad year on the mainland and is sent to his grandmother’s island home for a change of scenery – the Winterset Award is open to books in any genre and category.