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PAPER CHASE: Great Plains staff over the Moonbeam

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STAFF at Winnipeg's Great Plains Publications are over the moon, or the Moonbeam, after two of the company's young adult novels won awards this fall.

How to Tend a Grave, by Ontarian Jocelyn Shipley, won a gold Moonbeam Award in the mature issues category and The Green-Eyed Queen of Suicide City, by Winnipegger Kevin Marc Fournier, won a gold Moonbeam in the general young adult category. The Moonbeams for children's and young adult books are awarded by a Michigan-based publishing services company.

Another author with a Great Plains connection was shortlisted in September for the Governor-General's Award for poetry. Lisa Pasold is in the GG race with her collection Any Bright Horse, published by Calgary's Frontenac House. Great Plains published her previous book, The Rats of Las Vegas, through its Enfield and Wizenty imprint.

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A pseudonymously written Canadian erotic novel was one of the hottest properties at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, an international marketplace where publishers and agents buy and sell publishing rights.

Publisher Doubleday Canada says the novel, S.E.C.R.E.T., is the first of a series about a young widow recruited into an underground society that helps women "realize their sexual fantasies and liberate their sexual selves."

In the wake of the book fair, which featured a tsunami of books riding the Fifty Shades of Grey wave, S.E.C.R.E.T. has publishing deals in the U.S., U.K., France and Italy, with rights auctions planned or under way in Spain, Holland and Brazil. Canadian publication is scheduled for February 2013.

As one commenter on The Guardian website put it: "This is the way literature ends. Not with a bang but with a ... wait, yes, with a bang."

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Jurors for the Lane Anderson Award for Canadian science writing looked to Canada's East and West Coasts for this year's award winners.

Taking the prize in the adult category for the $10,000 award was The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History (Greystone Books) by Nova Scotian Harry Thurston. In the young reader category, the winning book was Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest (Orca Book Publishers), by Victoria-based Caitlyn Vernon.

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The Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library are hosting their eighth annual book sale Oct. 27 and 28.

The sale, at Grant Park High School gym, will feature more than 50 tables of used books, CDs, DVDs and even vinyl LPs. The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 and noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 28. For more information, call 488-3217.

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After releasing six albums as a singer-songwriter and earning a nomination for the Polaris Prize for Canadian music, pronoun-averse transgender performer Rae Spoon has published a coming-of-age short-story collection about growing up queer in a Pentecostal family.

The Montreal-based Spoon, who eschews sex-specific pronouns, will read from First Spring Grass Fire (Arsenal Pulp Press) and perform at McNally Robinson Booksellers today at 2 p.m.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 20, 2012 J8

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