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Diane Carmel Léger and Audrey Larocque named winners of the 2019 Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie

The Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie has named Diane Carmel Léger winner of the Prix Annuel and Audrey Larocque winner of the Prix Volet Jeunesse Richelieu at its 21st annual awards gala held earlier this evening as part of the opening festivities of the Salon du livre de la Péninsule acadienne at the Centre Rhéal-Cormier in Shippagan.

Diane Carmel Léger grew up in Memramcook, New Brunswick, before leaving to pursue a teaching career far from home. Her feelings of homesickness motivated her to write her first novel, La butte à Pétard (1989), which became a classic in Acadian youth literature. Next came the Canadian bestseller Maxine’s Tree (1990), followed by a number of other successful works, including L’Acadie en baratte (2017), winner of the 2019 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Les Acmaq, tome 1 : Le secret de la vieille Madouesse, for which she was awarded the 2019 Prix Annuel, has also been shortlisted for the 2020 Hackmatack Award. In its citation, the awards jury noted “the author’s highly skillful style, which awakens our curiosity and keeps us on the edge of our seats,” and added that it looked very much forward to volume 2 of this series. She was presented a certificate, a bronze medal engraved with her name and a $4,000 cash award.

Audrey Larocque was recipient of the 2019 Prix Volet Jeunesse Richelieu for her original work Les Artistes déchus. Originally from Pokemouche, the young author captivated the jury with her sense of intrigue and bold approach. “In addition to the author’s ability to develop intriguing characters and inject humour and emotion, we commend her ambition to explore from a new angle a profound question that many have sought to answer over the years and continues to haunt society: Does Art always reveal goodness, or can it also contribute to wickedness?” The young recipient was presented a certificate along with a $1,000 cash award.

Although unable to attend this year’s event, Antonine Maillet, as always, sent a personal message to the award finalists and winners, sharing with them the passion for writing that continues to propel her forward as she prepares to publish a brand new work, a tale, and her latest essay, Clin d’œil au Temps qui passe, has been shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award. “I contend to you, my colleagues in writing, that the hours you spend rummaging about in the treasure chest of words are the most rewarding, precious and gratifying. Never be afraid to chase, year upon year, week upon week, day upon day after that one word missing from your personal trove, that word which will make you unique and inimitable.

2020 literary competition

The 2020 competition is now open, and nominations for the Prix Annuel and Prix Volet Jeunesse Richelieu are being accepted. Additional information concerning the competition is available on the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie website at

About the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie

Founded in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of Acadia Life, the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie recognizes Acadians who, through the quality of their work in literature, contribute to the visibility and promotion of Acadia throughout the world. Since 1999, the Prix has awarded $123,000 to 44 Acadian authors in recognition of their work, thereby helping them pursue their passion for literary creation.

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Media interviews:

Mario Griffin, Communications and Public Relations Advisor | 506 724-0078



Anne Godin, Coordinator, Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie | 506-724-1304


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