The Alice Kitts Memorial Award

Since 2016, the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Picture Books recognizes the year’s best picture book written by a New Brunswick author. Alice Kitts, a writer and artist born in Riverside, New Brunswick, was the author and illustrator of Emily of the Bend, a historical picture book about a young girl who lived along the Petitcodiac River at the turn of the 20th century.

The annual $500 prize is sponsored by Alice’s six children: Carolyn Wellwood, Burtts Corner, NB; Jim Kitts, Hillsborough, NB; Cynthia Cain, Riverview, NB; Wendy Kitts, San Diego, CA; Colleen Kitts-Goguen, Fredericton, NB; and Kim Kitts-Brawn, Summerside, PE.

Since this is a writing award, only the author must meet the New Brunswick residency requirement. However, we recognize an effective and engaging picture book is the result of the perfect collaboration of words and art. Therefore, the illustrator (if not the author), will share equally in the award regardless of residency.

For more information, please contact Wendy Kitts.

Information about 2019 Books

We're sad to announce that due to the lack of picture book submissions for the 2019 Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing, the award will not be presented this year. However, any books that were received will be judged in conjunction with the 2020 awards. Thank you to the New Brunswick Book Awards, the Writers Federation of New Brunswick, AKMA judge Frieda Wishinsky and especially to those talented NB authors who submitted this year. New Brunswick needs more authors like you!

—The Kitts Family


2022: Alma Fullerton

Alma Fullerton is an award winning author- author/illustrator. She lives in North Lake PEI with her husband, and dog. Born in Ontario Canada, she grew up in a large military family and has lived in in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Germany.  Alma struggled with reading and memorized most things until the age of nine when, with the help of her grade four teacher, she realized she had dyslexia. By grade nine Alma loved reading. Besides writing and illustrating Alma now works in schools as an educational assistant who helps children with learning disabilities figure out the best way for them to learn.

Her books have been nominated and/or have won awards including the Governor General Finalist 2008, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award finalist 2009 & 2011 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award winner 2009, CLA Children's Book of the Year Honor Book 2009, 2011 Golden Oak Award winner 2009, Once Upon a World Children's Book Award Winner - 2009, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award shortlist - 2010, SilverBirch Award shortlist -2010, 2014, Blue Spruce Award 2014 & 2016, Kentucky BlueGrass Award 2015 and the 2016 Marilyn Baillie picture book award.

2021 - Kari-Lynn Winters

2020 - Frieda Wishinsky

2018 - Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

2017 - Sheree Fitch

2016 - Helaine Becker

2018 Award Winner

Kelly Cooper (illustrated by Lucy Elridge)
If a Horse Had Words
Tundra/Penguin Random House

Judge Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang's citation:

"In this charming and engaging story a young boy and his horse discover friendship together. After being separated the book explores how reunions can spell joy."

Also on Shortlist

Braelyn Cyr, Mahtoqehs Journey. Monster House Publishing.
Illustrated by Braelyn Cyr

Joann Hamilton-Barry, There Be Pirates! Nimbus.

2017 Award Winner

Odette Barr, Colleen Landry, and Beth Weatherbee
Take off to Tantramar
Chocolate River Publishing

Judge Sheree Fitch's citation:

"A picture book that combines wordplay, a rambunctious sense of humour, geography, and downright fun with joyful illustrations that underscore and enhance the text. Readers who find Camellia will love her and be waiting to see what's around the next bend."

Also on Shortlist

Paul McAllister, New Song for Herman. Monster House Publishing.
Illustrated by Emily Brown.

Alice Whitney, Henrietta's Nightlight. Chocolate River Publishing
Illustrated by Alice Whitney.

2016 Award Winner

Jennifer McGrath (illustrated by Josée Bisaillon)The Snow Knows
Nimbus Publishing

Judge Helaine Becker's citation:

"Simply stunning. Spare, elegant, evocative text paired with the most gorgeous illustrations offer both a sophisticated seek-and-find puzzle and a sweet resolution. A book to be savoured and reread time and time again."

Also on Shortlist

Diane Carmel Leger, My Two Grandmothers. Nimbus.
Illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudell.

Heidi Jardine Stoddart, Sea Glass Summer. Nimbus.
Illustrated by Heidi Jardine Stoddart.

© 2021 Writers' Federation of New Brunswick

Territorial Acknowledgement

The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick acknowledges that the land on which we live, work and gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Peoples, and we honour the spirit of our ancestors’ Treaties of Peace and Friendship.

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