Great Reviews for Saving

We’re so happy to share some of the love from critics for Shane Neilson’s memoir Saving.

Chris Smith at the Winnipeg Free Press says, “It’s a hell of a story.”

The Midwest Book Review shares that Saving is, “Candidly engaging, emotional poignant, impressively informative, and ultimately inspiring, “Saving: A Doctor’s Struggle to Help His Children” is an extraordinary memoir and one that will be of extraordinary interest to anyone facing the often daunting task of securing appropriate and adequate health care for their own families.”

Dr. Neilson was also interviewed in the latest issue of Prairie Books Now and on the podcast GET LIT with Jamie Tennant.

Have you already picked up Saving: A Doctor’s Struggle to Help His Children? Be sure to leave an online review on Amazon or GoodReads.

Have you heard?

Our authors have gotten some great radio play this week!

Curious about why Angie Abdou asks “why isn’t Thomas Trofimuk a household name?” Listen to her audio review of This Is All A Lie on CBC Alberta! Following Angie’s rave review, Daybreak Alberta hosted Thomas for an interview, which you can listen to here.

Anne Mahon has committed her life making a difference. Let’s Give A Damn interviewed her about her volunteer work, and how that led to her commitment to share the stories of people in marginalized communities in her books The Lucky Ones and Redemption. Get ready to be inspired and check it out.

Starred Reviews & Bestsellers

Happy 2018!

We are thrilled to start the new year with a starred review in Quill & Quire for Thomas Trofimuk’s This Is All A Lie. Grab your copy of this exceptional magazine for Canadian literature, which calls Thomas’ novel “a powerful, dazzling accomplishment.”

This Is All A Lie has also been selected for The Complete NP99: The best books of 2017 by The National Post!

Looking back at 2017, we are thrilled to see three Great Plains non-fiction titles on the McNally Robinson Manitoba Bestsellers list. If you haven’t grabbed a copy of Stories Best Left Untold, Abandoned Manitoba or Stuck In The Middle 2 yet, be sure to catch up on these bestsellers in 2018!

National Reviews

All of our fall 2hello sweetheart cover014 books have launched and it’s great to see our authors receiving positive reviews across the country.  Elaine McCluskey’s Hello, Sweetheart was reviewed by Steven W. Beattie in the National Post this week and he says,

“The stories in Hello, Sweetheart are barbed and frequently sardonic – one of the best of them, “Two Truths and a Lie,” contains a twist in the tail that owes more to Roald Dahl than the kind of story Barthelme was referencing.But McCluskey also threads a vein of compassion through the collection; these are not satires, and no matter how desperate the characters are, they are always presented with a tone of empathetic understanding. “People can be wretched, you know,” McCluskey writes in “XOXO,” and though the stories in Hello, Sweetheart go some way to bearing out this thesis, they also remind their reader of the humanity that lies just beneath the wretchedness.”

guardian_coverMeanwhile our latest teen fiction release, Guardian, has a glowing review in the December 2014 edition of Quill & Quire.  Charis Cotter says that this first installment of Deen’s latest series is “a great hybrid of horror and mystery (think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Veronica Mars), with oodles of potential for humour and terror – and Deen gets the most out of both.”   Ms. Cotter goes on to note “underneath all the fun, Deen has something important to say about bullying, and how understanding and compassion can lead to forgiveness.”

Congratulations to all of our authors on their success. We hope you consider all of the titles on our list this holiday season!

Black Bottle Man On Stage

9781894283991Craig Russell’s celebrated novel, Black Bottle Man, has been adapted for the stage.

You can catch the production at 2 or 8 PM on August 30th at the Bernie Theatre in Winnipeg (123 Doncaster Street). Tickets are $15 and available now at McNally Robinson Booksellers on Grant Avenue.

Black Bottle Man was released in 2010 and went on to both win and be shortlisted for numerous awards. Catch this review of the novel from the CBC!  An MTS Documentary is also in the works. Congratulations Craig on the continuing success of this beloved novel for teens!

Strong reviews and nominations for Great Plains Authors

Spring has finally sprung in Manitoba, and our latest releases have been garnering strong reviews.

Pickle Me This says Lee Kvern’s 7 Ways To Sunday is “wild instead of farmed, 20-some years of stories gathered together for the first time instead of a carefully curated collection … I loved this book, hooked by the first story.”  7 Ways to Sunday was the #1 fiction bestseller in Calgary last week, and Lee is on the road promoting the book. Check out one of her events near you!

lockdown_cover largeFirst-time author Maggie Bolitho has launched Lockdown, and a glowing review of the book is already in!  “I would give this story a two-thumbs-up and highly recommend it for teens as well as adults … There’s just the right mix of suspense and action that keeps the reader barreling along at break-neck speed” says Susan Rocan on her blog, MyWithershins.

The Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Awards have been announced, and Morven and the Horse Clan by Luanne Armstrong has made the shortlist.  We are entering the second printing of this novel released in the fall of 2013.  Get your copy today!

Finally, our spring releases continue! John Toone’s Fishin’ For Dumbasses: Tips for folks who want to catch their own food (and have fun doing it!) launches  Wednesday, May 14th at McNally Robinson in the restaurant at 8 pm. We’re told fish will be on the menu, so get down to Prairie Ink Cafe early to enjoy a delicious pre-launch meal!

Friend.Follow.Text garnering media buzz


Enfield & Wizenty’s Friend.Follow.Text. #storiesFromLivingOnline is a short fiction anthology that explores the intersection between social media and literature.  Edited by Shawn Syms, the collection features writers from across Canada and the United States. Released just last month, Friend. Follow. Text. has already grabbed the attention of literary critics and readers. The book is available at fine book stores everywhere, and (of course!) as an ebook.

The Chicago Tribune printed a review in their weekend edition, which you can check out here!

“The use of social media allows for interesting structural choices with pieces using message board posts, IM conversations or Instagram photos to push the stories forward.” —  Courtney Crowder, Chicago Tribune

“An impressive collection, with a number of stunning stories.” — Robert J. Wiersma,Quill & Quire

“A comprehensive exploration of all things online… For anyone striving to make sense of the experiences of ‘living online,’ Friend Follow Text is worth picking up.”
— Andrea Routley, Plenitude Magazine

“Stories inspired by… social media — tweets, emails, blogs, Facebook updates and the like…There is fun and novelty to be had.”
— Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star

“The inventive forms share experiences a majority of people relate to today… For those of us who use social media all the time, and those who would rather stay away, there is at least one piece to strike anyone’s chord.”
— Kristen Nathan, Chicago Literati

Teen Fiction Authors in the news

Our Great Plains Teen Fiction authors are keeping busy!

Colleen NelsonColleen Nelson was interviewed by Shaw TV here in Winnipeg about her new novel, The Fall. The clip will be airing on the station shortly, but you can get a sneak-peek here!

The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley continues to garner great reviews.  The latest praise comes from Canadian Children’s Book News: “With his well-placed sarcasm and keen observations, Kyle is an authentic teen character that we immediately identify with.”  

Gail Sidonie Sobat’s Chance to Dance for You was part of Heather Milne’s review essay Isolation, Exploration, Affirmation: Dominant Patterns in Four Books for Gay Teens in the latest edition of Jeunesse.  She statesChance to Dance for You is a timely book in its focus on social media and technology as sites of bullying for gay teens, a topic that has been in the news of late due to a proliferation of highly publicized teen suicides and the popularity of the “It Gets Better” campaign, which attempts to offer a sense of hope to depressed and isolated teenagers.”

Visit a bookstore near you to pick up copies of these titles today!

Another strong review for THE FALL!

thefall (2)Colleen Nelson’s The Fall continues to garner praise from critics across the country.  The latest review comes from Resource Links:

“[Nelson] brings her careful sense of observation to bear on the development of her story and characters … a central theme that is highly topical is the misinformation Cory spreads about Ben on Facebook after the accident.  More than just his own sense of guilt and sorrow, Ben has to deal with escalating persecution from Cory and the entire school population.”

We are delighted to hear that Colleen Nelson will join Jan Andrews (author of The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley) as a part of Thin Air this September. This International Writer’s Festival will feature many fantastic literary events – more details to come!

Great Plains in the media

The Fall by Colleen Nelson was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press’ Books section on June 15th.

“[Colleen Nelson] has a sharp ear for authentic dialogue … The dragons Ben faces are gangs, drugs and alcohol, but they are just as real and much more menacing than medieval monsters.  Teens will relate to many things in this novel.”

Read the full review here – and be sure to pick up your copy!

You may have seen Bill Wright and Dave Craig in the news this past week.  Their non-fiction release, 300 Years of Beer, has generated much media attention across the province.  Connect with Bill and Dave on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about this exciting local release!

A launch and a great review!

More exciting news here at Great Plains Publications!

Our spring YA titles continue to shine, with a fantastic review of The Fall just in from CM Magazine:

“The theme of how grief is handled by men and boys permeates this novel and makes it a must-read for teachers and older teens, both boys and girls. The physical and emotional absence of men in the novel’s demographic will raise many passionate discussions, but it is the boys’ pain and grief that will engage students who will have strong opinions on the issues raised in this timely Canadian novel.”
— Highly recommended, CM Magazine


May 7, Anne Mahon’s The Lucky Ones: African Refugees’ Stories of Extraordinary Courage launches at McNally Robinson at 7 pm.  Storytellers from the novel will be present and some will read.  We are excited to hear that Lloyd Axworthy will also take part, reading a story submitted by “Anonymous.”  Excerpts of the novel have been featured in the Winnipeg Free Press and on CBC.  We hope to see you there!