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How Alberta Publishers Won in 2022: Read Alberta in Review

2022 is almost over, but it wouldn’t be properly “wrapped” at Read Alberta without a look back on the awards, events, and accomplishments Alberta publishers are most proud of. From earning coveted spots on the Globe 100 List, to using proceeds from publishing projects to make a difference across the world, and record-breaking sales, we’re thrilled to highlight some of Alberta publishers’ biggest achievements of the year.


In March 2022, Durvile & UpRoute Books released The Little Book: Story Reader for a Free Ukraine, with proceeds going to Ukrainian charities. They followed this up with Olya and Olena Escape the Invaders, which was published in August 2022. Albertans have rallied behind these books, and both titles have frequently appeared on our monthly Alberta Bestseller Lists.

Including proceeds from sales and donations from suppliers, wholesalers, and booksellers, $30,800 has been donated to the following organizations:

  • Chytomo: Support for Ukrainian Literature and Book Publishers
  • Vladimir’s Ukrainian Church Newcomers to Canada Fund
  • Canada-Ukraine Foundation
  • Doctors Without Borders

Durvile & UpRoute have also provided individual gifts and payments to newcomers to Canada through the Home in Our Hearts program. This is a perfect example of how books can make a difference!

The Little Book: Story Reader for a Free Ukraine

Mykola Matwijczuk (CA)

Published: Mar 31, 2022 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781990735042
Olya & Olena Escape the Invaders

Olya Illichov, Maddy Shyba (CA)

Published: Aug 01, 2022 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781990735141

Winner, Winner!
We were excited to see The River Troll: A Story About Love win the COVR Teen YA book award from the Coalition of Visionary Resources in Denver, Colorado, and the Illustration Award at the 2022 Alberta Book Publishing Awards, right here in Calgary, Alberta!

The River Troll: A Story About Love in Color

Rich Théroux (CA)

Published: Feb 15, 2022 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781988824949


Backlist spotlight: The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson was first published in 1971 (whoa, that’s a long time ago), and has sold over 280,000 copies since.

The 10th edition of the guide was released in May 2022 with full-colour images and a companion website. This is the oldest hiking guidebook with original authors in North America, and possibly the world — so make sure you grab a copy for your hiking adventures next spring!

Cover of Canadian Rockies Trail GuideCanadian Rockies Trail Guide

Brian Patton and Bart Robinson (CA)

Published: May 15, 2022 by Summerthought Publishing
ISBN: 9781926983530


In October 2022, Summerthought published A is for Alberta, a beautiful board book highlighting the diverse landscapes and activities of our province. We don’t have many dedicated children’s book publishers in Alberta, so we are always excited when our publishers release titles for this audience! Demand for this title is high: In less than two months, sales have exceeded expectations and positive reviews have been featured in a variety of print and online media. A is for Alberta is the first of six books about Alberta to be published by Summerthought over the next two years — we can’t wait!

Book Cover for "A is for Alberta" by Mindy Johnstone.

A is for Alberta

Mindy Johnstone(CA)

Published: October, 2022 by Summerthought Publishing
ISBN: 9781926983554


A first, but certainly not last: Ezra’s Ghosts is up for NeWest Press’ first Writers’ Trust Award! Five Moves of Doom and The Broken Places have also broken (pun intended) the Globe 100 List.

Ezra’s Ghosts: Stories

Darcy Tamayose (CA)

Published: Apr 15, 2022 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390474
Five Moves of Doom

A.J. Devlin (CA)

Published: Sep 15, 2022 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390559
Broken Places, The

Frances Peck (CA)

Published: Apr 01, 2022 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390450


Going to Beautiful by Anthony Bidulka cracked the Canadian Fiction Bestsellers list, compiled by the Retail Council of Canada. The novel was #7 on the list for the week ending May 8!

Going to Beautiful

Anthony Bidulka (CA)

Published: May 01, 2022 by Stonehouse Publishing
ISBN: 9781988754352

We always knew our publishers produced work that is out of this world, but Letters to Singapore is really going to the Moon as a part of the literature included in NASA’s lunar codex.

Letters to Singapore

Kelly Kaur (CA)

Published: May 01, 2022 by Stonehouse Publishing
ISBN: 9781988754390


A highlight for University of Calgary Press has been the release of the graphic novel, Five Stalks of Grain. It has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly and the Toronto Star, and has also received coverage on CBC News, CBC Superior Morning, CBC Saskatchewan Weekend, in the Vancouver Sun, and more! Read Alberta also featured an excerpt as part of our Sunday Shorts series.

Five Stalks of Grain

Adrian Lysenko (CA)

Published: Nov 15, 2022 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781773853758


In 2022, Athabasca University Press celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the publication of kiyâm, Naomi McIlwraith’s first book of poetry. McIlwraith is an educator, poet, and essayist, with a mixed Cree, Ojibwe, Scottish, and English inheritance. In kiyâm, she explores the beauty of the intersection between nêhiyawêwin, the Plains Cree language, and English, âkayâsîmowin.

Although well-received at the time of publication, the importance of this book has grown over the years. McIlwraith has presented her work at post-secondary institutions and elementary schools and collaborated with artists like the dance company that produced The Sash Maker, a production that incorporated Naomi’s poetry. kiyâm still regularly appears on recommended reading lists and readers of the book frequently share excerpts on social media. Read Alberta also recently featured McIlwraith, where she spoke about “fluent listening” and the relevance of kiyâm today.

kiyâm: poems

Naomi McIlwraith (CA)

Published: Apr 01, 2012 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781926836690

That’s it for 2022, folks! We’re proud to continue to support local publishers and highlight literary talent that’s right here in Alberta. Keep an eye on these companies going into 2023 and follow them on social media to get their most-recent updates!

Happy holidays!


University of Alberta Press staff worked diligently to bring Dr. Samel LeBaron’s memoir, Ordinary Deaths: Stories from Memory, out in record time. LeBaron has spent his career working with children and adults dying from cancer, and he is now facing his own terminal diagnosis of lung cancer. Being able to see the public’s response to his book via a virtual book launch with editor Julie Sedivy and in thoughtful reviews and interviews has been a moving experience for the publisher.

Ordinary Deaths: Stories from Memory

Samuel LeBaron (CA)

Published: Jul 26, 2022 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772126563

In November, University of Alberta Press hosted an Open House, which celebrated their return to something resembling the before-times (but they have still continued to work on pandemic-related titles, like the forthcoming, COVID Journals: Health Care Workers Write the Pandemic). Staff also attended the Alberta Book Publishing Awards, where they were delighted to bring home multiple awards!

The COVID Journals: Health Care Workers Write the Pandemic

Published: Jun 05, 2023 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772126815



Freehand Books published their first-ever hardcover book in 2022 — the 75th anniversary edition of W.O. Mitchell’s classic novel Who Has Seen the Wind. The new edition features artwork from William Kurelek, a new foreword by the writer Frances Itani, and a contemporary and elegant design from Natalie Olsen, including beautiful copper foil accents on the jacket. The book has received great coverage from CBC, the Calgary Herald, on the radio, and of course, here at Read Alberta too. Freehand also hosted a celebration for the book alongside the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the Calgary Public Library, at which a new W.O. Mitchell Endowment Fund in support of emerging writers was announced. This new edition of Mitchell’s work honours the legacy of literary writing on the prairies and will be treasured for years to come!

Who Has Seen the Wind: 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

W.O. Mitchell (CA)

Published: Nov 08, 2022 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781990601125


Freehand was also very happy to see Dawn Dumont’s novel, The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour, shortlisted for the 2022 Leacock Medal for Humour. The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour is such a delightful book — a string of madcap adventures that’s funny, irreverent, and warm-hearted and that is indicative of Freehand’s tradition of publishing books by wonderfully funny women. And speaking of … Ali Bryan’s new novel, Coq, will be released in Spring 2023!

The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour

Dawn Dumont (CA)

Published: Sep 27, 2021 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781988298870


Red Barn Books launched the children’s illustrated biography Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue by Ayesha Clough and Hugh Rookwood on International Women’s Day. An audience of 250 schools tuned into a webinar hosted by the Calgary Public Library, and the book was featured on Global TV, CBC Eyeopener, the Globe & Mail Kids’ Gift Guide, and other local media. The picture book features the work of First Nations artist Keegan Starlight, whose great-granddad rode in the original 1912 Stampede Parade! The Albertan interviewed Keegan about the importance of Indigenous representation in children’s books.

Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue

Ayesha Clough (CA)

Published: Mar 08, 2022 by Red Barn Books
ISBN: 9781989915042

Horse Woman by Lee McLean won a Winnie Award at the Equus Film and Arts Festival in Sacramento, California. Lee’s second book, Love & Rules, sold out its 1,500-copy print run within ten days of release and is now on a second printing!

Horse Woman: Notes on Living Well & Riding Better

Lee McLean (CA)

Published: Jul 23, 2019 by Red Barn Books
ISBN: 9781999108755
Love & Rules: Life Lessons Learned with Horses

Lee McLean (CA)

Published: Nov 18, 2022 by Red Barn Books Inc.
ISBN: 9781989915080


When Carole Massing and Mary Lynne Anderson presented at the Cultivating Belonging in Early Years and Child Care Symposium in October, the conference organizers purchased a copy of their book, Introduction to Early Childhood Education and Care, for all attendees! With a big order to fill, Brush Education is thankful to Friesens for ensuring the books were printed and delivered in time for the conference. Introduction to Early Childhood Education and Care also won Learning Book of the Year at the 2022 Alberta Book Publishing Awards.

Introduction to Early Childhood Education and Care: An Intercultural Perspective

Carole Massing (CA), Mary Lynne Matheson (CA)

Published: Jul 06, 2021 by Brush Education
ISBN: 9781550598841

In addition to selling many books, Brush Education attended the Frankfurt Book Fair and sold the German language rights to Elements of Indigenous Style, with publication to occur in 2023. The sale of these rights marks a positive contribution to Indigenous representation in German culture.

The author team for the second edition of the English language version is also being assembled. The new edition will update the content while respecting the legacy and contributions of the original author, Gregory Younging, who passed away in 2019.

Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples

Gregory Younging (CA)

Published: Feb 15, 2018 by Brush Education
ISBN: 9781550597165


Snowdog Audio, an Alberta audiobook production house, produced the Canadian Historical Brides Collection, a 12-audiobook series published by BWL (Books We Love). Produced with funding from the Canada Book Fund, this series is fully accessible and features an all-Canadian roster of narrators. You can find the accessible audiobooks at public libraries in Canada or by downloading a retail copy from Audible.

Book cover for "Brides of Banff Springs"Brides of Banff Springs: Canadian Historical Brides

Victoria Chatham (CA)

Published: Dec 31, 2016 by BWL Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 9781772992717


Snowdog Audio also partnered with the CNIB to produce high-quality, fully accessible audiobooks for Canadians with print disabilities. Working with Snowdog’s roster of Canadian narrators, the CNIB was able to reduce its backlog of accessible audiobook requests and serve Canadians with print disabilities.


Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories has been recommended by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Foreword Reviews, and Locus. This anthology was a finalist at this year’s Alberta Book Publishing Awards, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Associations’ Aurora Awards, and Foreword INDIES Award. Congratulations!

Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories

Vanessa Cardui (CA), Tyler Keevil (CA), Rich Larson (CA)

Published: Aug 08, 2021 by Laksa Media Groups Inc.
ISBN: 9781988140162