Yesterday at the University of Regina a press conference was held to announce the nominees for the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Awards. According to SBA administrative director Courtney Bates-Hardy, 90 titles were entered for consideration in 11 writing and three publishing categories. Because some titles were entered in more than one category, the total number of entries in the 14 categories was 196.

You can find a complete list of the nominees on the SBA website. By my count, the book that received the most nominations was Rose’s Run by Dawn Dumont. Published by Thistledown Press, it’s up for four awards: Book of the Year, Fiction, Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award and Saskatoon Book.

You can find a synopsis of Rose’s Run on the Thistledown Press website. But in a sentence it involves a single mother of two with some sketchy lifestyle habits who decides to turn things around by running in her rez’s annual marathon — which inadvertently spawns a whole bunch of humorous situations, along with a demon known as witikow.

Among the remaining nominees, there’s shout-outs for three catalogues produced by the Mackenzie Art Gallery for the exhibitions The Vaults: Art From the MacKenzie Art Gallery and University of Regina Collections; 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.; and Wilf Perreault: In the Alley (published by Coteau Books). Trevor Herriot’s The Road is How: A Prairie Pilgrimmage Through Nature, Desire and Soul was another multiple nominee for Best Book, Non-Fiction, and Regina Book.

The 22nd annual Saskatchewan Book Awards will be held Saturday, April 25 at Conexus Arts Centre. The evening begins with a prairie buffet at 5:30 p.m., followed by the awards at 7 p.m. Current Regina Public library writer-in-residence Arthur Slade is the emcee, and tickets are $50.

The awards will be preceded by the RPL’s Readers’ Summit which will be held at Central Library from April 23-26.  You can find more information on that event here. It involves readings and keynote addresses by different SBA nominees, along with Slade and Saskatoon mystery writer Anthony Bidulka.

We’ll have more on the summit and the SBAs in mid-April.