Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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Nathan R. Elliott wins 2016 Lawrence Jackson Writers' Award


April 5, 2017 (St. John's, NL) – Nathan Elliott has won the 2016 Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award. It was announced last night at a meeting of the A.C. Hunter Library Book Club in St. John’s.

The Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award, which comes with a $500 cash award, encourages and promotes original and creative thought in all genres of writing. It honours the memory of writer Lawrence Jackson. It is sponsored by his wife Laura, and children Willow, Holly and Ben, with generous contributions from family and friends to the Lawrence Jackson Trust Fund.

Nathan Elliott’s writing has appeared in creative nonfiction anthologies such as the Tahoma Literary Review in 2016, which featured an excerpt from his forthcoming book. He has also authored poetry that has appeared in Teaching as a Human Experience: HETL Anthology Series (2015) and book reviews for publications like the Journal of British Studies. He has been working a visiting Assistant Professor at Memorial University Grenfell Campus since 2015, and prior to that he’s instructed literature and English courses at Valdosta State University, Georgia Perimeter College, and the University of Notre Dame to name a few.

Presently Elliott is completing his ArtsNL funded manuscript for How Red Became my Favo[u]rite Colo[u]r – a story about immigration, elopement, and the emergency birth of his son. The book will tell Elliott’s story through a series of narratives – some experimental, some traditional, freeing the interconnected stories about the gorgeous violence of change from tidy linear narratives, according to Elliott’s project brief.

“As a relative newcomer to the island, I was a bit shocked to win the Lawrence Jackson Award, to be blunt; then humbled and honored to be selected from such a deep pool of talent,” Elliot said. “My life as a creative artist is still in its infancy, even as my calendar years drag me screaming and kicking into middle-age. It is especially gratifying to get the financial support and the artistic encouragement that both the ArtsNL grant and the Lawrence Jackson Award provide.”

The Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award is managed by ArtsNL. All applicants to ArtsNL’s Professional Project Grants Program (PPGP) in the writing category are considered for the award and the winner is selected by a peer assessment committee. One award of $500 is given annually.

“It is a pleasure to congratulate Nathan on receiving the 2016 Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award,” said executive director Reg Winsor. “The perspective that Nathan brings through his writing as an American who has immigrated to Newfoundland and Labrador is unique. His manuscript shares his experiences as he married a Newfoundlander, how they secured a heritage house in the provenience, and how it became their family home. He also mourns America in a chapter about attending a baseball game following his father’s cancer diagnosis. The writing is strong, but it is how candidly Elliott writes that is particularly special.”

Before concluding his remarks as Elliott accepted the award, he added: “In this increasingly fraught period of world history, when so many governments are betraying public funding for the arts, I am very happy (and more than just a bit relieved) to find myself on this lovely island where art still matters and receives public support and recognition.”

Previous winners of the Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award are Tracey Waddleton, Claire Wilkshire, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, Catherine Safer Hogan, Scott Bartlett, Sara Tilley, Andreae Callanan, Michael Collins, Joel Thomas Hynes, Mark Callanan, Michael Johansen, Matthew Cook, Maura Hanrahan, Peter Hynes, Camille Fouillard, and Them Days.

Media Contact:
Joshua Jamieson
Communications Officer, ArtsNL
Phone: (709) 726-2212 ext. 203
Mobile: (709) 746-6531
Toll free: 1 (866) 726-2212 (NL only)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (now known as ArtsNL) is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; one community representative (with an interest in the arts); one business representative (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Industry, and Innovation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual grant of $1.9 million from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.