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By the book: literary news round-up 

Shandi Mitchell reads from her hto new novel and the Writer's Federation annouces winners of its best unpublished works competition and Jane Buss steps down as WFNS boss

It's been a quiet summer, literary-wise, but book season is upon us, heavier than last weekend's lame hurricane. Next Thursday, September 3, is Shandi Mitchell's book launch at Pier 21 (6:30pm, reading at 7pm) for Under This Unbroken Sky. This is the first novel for the film producer-director (Baba's House), which has attracted Canadian, American and British publishers; a dream for anyone who's imagined their name in a fancy font on a dust jacket.

Perhaps one of these authors will follow in Mitchell's shoes: the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia announced the winners of its annual Atlantic Writing Competition. Scott Fotheringham, who left a career in Manhattan creating genetically engineered organisms, for life in Nova Scotia, made a wise choice leaving the fruit flies behind: he took the HR (Bill) Percy Prize for unpublished novel. Multi-talented animator extraordinaire James MacSwain won the poetry prize for a lovely collection called Ancestors.

All the winners will receive their awards at a WFNS-hosted ceremony and fundraiser on September 26. If you go, you'll notice a few differences. Longtime WFNS director and champion of authors Jane Buss has stepped down, and program officer Susan Mercereau will be stepping in for eight months. Looks like change is already underway: the Atlantic Book Awards announced on Friday that WFNS has joined the board and will be jointly presenting their awards at Alderney Landing on April 14, 2010. –SCF

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