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Love Our Local Authors (LOLA)

About NL Reads

Logo that reads "Love Our Local Authors #LOLANL"NL Reads is part of LOLA celebrations. It is about which recently published local book should be named NLPL's Must-Read Book of the Year.

From 2018 to 2023, NL Reads focused on a four-month competition between four new local books.  Each title had a reader advocate, with the winning title determined by popular voting online and in-person at the NL Reads finale.  

In 2024, NL Reads shifted focus in order to celebrate more new local books.  The Must-Read Book of the Year will be determined based on patron demand and NLPL staff feedback from around the province. 

Thanks to a generous community sponsor, since 2019 NL Reads includes presentation of the Margaret Duley Prize as part of Love Our Local Authors programming. 

Margaret Duley Prize

Margaret DuleyMargaret Duley (1894-1968) was born in St. John’s at a time when Newfoundland had a sparse formal literary tradition and few public libraries. Duley surmounted these obstacles to become one of the first Newfoundlanders to achieve international significance as a novelist.

Duley published four novels: Eyes of the Gull (1936); Cold Pastoral (1939); Highway to Valour (1941; 1943), and Novelty on Earth (1942), the latter reissued as Green Afternoon (1944) and Sa Stred Sara, or Sara Struggles (1946). Her final book-length work, The Caribou Hut (1949), is an evocative non-fiction depiction of St. John's during World War Two. Duley wrote a number of short stories, sometimes under pseudonyms, and delivered radio talks for BBC and CBC.

During Duley’s lifetime she lamented the lack of an infrastructure to support and encourage Newfoundland authors. She saw public libraries as critical to the advancement of education, a reading public, civic culture, and individual enrichment. She owned a well-worn library card to the then Gosling Library in St. John’s.

A prize bearing Margaret Duley’s name, awarded annually as part of Newfoundland and Labrador Public Library’s LOLA programming, is an appropriate way to remember a distinguished literary pioneer while honoring the talented writers of contemporary Newfoundland and Labrador.