FriesenPress Author Wins Alberta Readers’ Choice Award

Laurel Deedrick-Mayne’s novel becomes first self-published book to claim $10,000 prize.


September 20, 2016 – (Victoria, BC) Victoria-based FriesenPress today announced that Laurel Deedrick-Mayne’s novel A Wake for the Dreamland has won the 2016 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. The prize, sponsored by the Edmonton Public Library, carries a $10,000 cash award and is presented to the best fiction or narrative non-fiction book by an Alberta author. 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Tammara Kennelly, President of FriesenPress. “For a self-published author to win such an award is a watershed moment. It shows that authors working through non-traditional models are able to produce books that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the country. The quality of books in this year’s final was astounding.”

Deedrick-Mayne agreed. “I was completely taken aback because I was in the company of such fine authors with some very heavyweight publishers behind them. But I also knew I had written a good story which FriesenPress turned into a great book. Hearing my name called was a surreal but gratifying moment.”

When asked how it was to commission her book through FriesenPress, Deedrick-Mayne said, “I chose FriesenPress because of the company’s long history in publishing in Canada. I knew I was in good hands. They cared about the book and appointed one person to guide the project every step of the way…. such a great journey.” 

Laurel (second from right) poses with FriesenPress President Tammara Kennelly (on left) at the award gala in Calgary. (click image to enlarge)

Since publication, the book has spent over 35 weeks on Edmonton’s best seller list and was a popular choice among book clubs and public library patrons. The novel was initially longlisted by jury, who then reduced the number to just five. The final five were then voted on by members of the public, with a total of 3,380 votes cast. 

Among the other books nominated were Road Trip Rwanda by Giller Prize winner Will Ferguson (Viking Canada), The Battle of Alberta, by Mark Spector (McClelland & Stewart), Birdie, by Tracey Lindberg (HarperCollins Publishers), and Rumi and the Red Handbag, by Shawna Lemay (Palimpsest Press).