About DonEventsWhat Don's Working on NowRunning on EmptyThe Fifth RuleThe Space BetweenOne on OneThe First StoneStranger at BayOf Things Not SeenShort FictionNovels for Younger ReadersNonfiction for Younger ReadersEducational WritingFor TeachersLinksContact Information

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At home on Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy

Don Aker is the award-winning author of 19 books, among them several bestselling novels for teens including The First StoneThe Fifth Rule, The Space Between, and Running on Empty. The father of two daughters, Don has worked as a high school teacher, a literacy mentor, and a university instructor, and he is quick to point out that his work with teenagers shapes his realistic fiction: "Every novel I've ever written has grown out of my interactions with young people."

Don's experience as an educator not only informs his writing but also makes him ideally suited to give author talks and workshops for both students and teachers. "More than anything," he says, "I enjoy presenting to teens. I'm always floored by their courage and their honesty."

Read an interview with Don by CANSCAIP.


Awards

  • Canadian Library Association’s 2008 Honour Book Award for The Space Between
  • Canadian Authors Association’s 2007 Lilla Stirling Award for One on One
  • Ontario Library Association’s 2004 White Pine Award for The First Stone
  • Atlantic Canada’s 2004 Ann Connor Brimer Award for The First Stone
  • The Toronto Star's 2002 Short Story Contest Runner-Up Prize for "Everything Gets Dead"
  • Atlantic Canada’s 1996 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Of Things Not Seen
  • Canadian Authors Association’s 1996 Lilla Stirling Award for Of Things Not Seen
  • Dandelion Magazine's 1991 Short Fiction Competition Third Prize for "Scars"
  • Canadian Living Magazine's 1990 National Literary Competition First Prize (short fiction category) for "The Test"
  • Atlantic Writing Competition’s 1990 Nonfiction First Prize for "V-Day: Anatomy of a Surgery"
  • Atlantic Writing Competition’s 1989 Short Fiction First Prize for “The Invitation”

Nominations

  • Ontario Library Association's 2014 White Pine Award for Running on Empty 
  • British Columbia’s 2013-14 Stellar Book Award for Running on Empty
  • Ontario Library Association's 2012 White Pine Award for The Fifth Rule 
  • Canadian Library Association's 2008 Young Adult Book of the Year Award for The Space Between
  • Ontario Library Association's 2008 White Pine Award for The Space Between
  • British Columbia's 2008 Stellar Book Award for One on One
  • Atlantic Canada's 2007 Hackmatack Award for One on One
  • Manitoba's 2007 Young Reader's Choice Award for One on One
  • Alberta's 2007 Rocky Mountain Book Award for One on One
  • 1999 CNIB Torgi Award for Stranger at Bay
  • Ontario Library Association's 1998 Red Maple Award for Stranger at Bay
  • Atlantic Canada's 1998 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Stranger at Bay
  • Ontario's 1998 Blue Heron Award for Stranger at Bay
  • Manitoba's 1998 Young Reader's Choice Award for Of Things Not Seen
  • McClelland & Stewart's 1990 Journey Prize Award for "The Invitation"

Other Honours

  • Recipient of a $25,000 creation grant from the Canada Council for the Arts
  • Recipient of three creation grants from the Culture Division of Nova Scotia's Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage
  • Recipient of a $10,000 Cross-Over Writer's Grant from Telefilm Canada to adapt his short story "The Invitation" to a feature-length screenplay 
  • One of four writers chosen for the Atlantic Film Festival's 2010 Inspired Script Workshops
  • The Space Between received a starred selection in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • One on One received a starred selection in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Our Choice Magazine
  • The First Stone was included in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Read Canada's Best recommended booklist
  • The First Stone was one of five young adult novels chosen for discussion on CBC Radio's 2006 Young Canada Reads series
  • One of four writers chosen for the Atlantic Film Festival's 1998 Script Development Program
  • Of Things Not Seen received a starred selection in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Our Choice Magazine
  • Of Things Not Seen was included in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Read Canada's Best recommended booklist
  • The American Library Association chose Stranger at Bay as a "Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers"



Don Aker

Author

Presenter

Educational Consultant

 


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Presenting at Cardinal Carter Catholic High School



 
What teachers have said about Don's presentations:

 "Don is a talented novelist, an engaging speaker, and for teenagers, surely the toughest of audiences, a pure delight." (Maureen Collie, Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School)

"We have had many authors visit Unionville High School over the years, and I have to say the reaction to Don Aker was the most positive I have seen. Students and staff loved every minute of his presentation." (Liz O'Brien, Unionville High School)

"Don's natural teaching expertise carries over when he addresses students, and he engages and captivates them for his entire presentation. He is humorous, topical, and inspiring.... We have hosted a number of authors over the years and, although all were enjoyable, Don was by far the best speaker and the most entertaining and relevant to our students." (Susan Plumpton, Oshawa Central Collegiate Institute)

“Don Aker is a fabulous presenter. Using multimedia in the form of a dynamic slide show, he is animated and engaging. He captivates his audience, both students and teachers alike.” (Heather Crouse, Middleton Regional High School)

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Presenting at Lindsay Collegiate & Vocational Institute
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A writing workshop with students at Madawaska Valley District High School