Transatlantic is proud to announce that CAPTAIN SKIDMARK DANCES WITH DESTINY by Jennifer A. Irwin has been nominated for the Quebec Writers’ Federation 2023 Book Prize Shortlist in the Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature category!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of QWF and the QWF Literary Awards, a milestone commemorated by QWF’s ongoing campaign called Writing Matters, highlighting writers’ contributions to not only our culture but also our economy.

The Janet Savage Blachford Prize is awarded in even-numbered years to a picture book with text or a book for beginner readers, and in odd-numbered years to a longer chapter book or a book for middle grade or young adult readers.

The winners of these six prestigious prizes will be announced at the QWF Literary Awards Gala on Monday, November 13 2023.

To learn more about the awards, click here:

About the nominated book: 


This laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel follows thirteen-year-old Will— who hates hockey and loves dancing—as he navigates school, bullies, and his father’s expectations.

Will is a Canadian eighth grader who hates hockey—and he stinks at it, too. Will is bullied at school, doesn’t have any friends, and is generally miserable.

When Will’s seventeen-year-old hockey-star cousin, Alex, arrives to stay with Will’s family, Will and Alex quickly realize they can’t stand each other. Then Will stumbles into a local dance school. He fights the urge to cha-cha, but he’s good! When Will’s dad finds out about the dancing, he basically forbids it. And Alex’s dad refuses to listen to what Alex wants to do with his life.

Will takes readers on a journey through noogies, awkward conversations, and epic farts. He worries, dances, and makes messes. Filled with humor, nuance, and emotion, this novel asks what makes a family and what makes a man.

Jennifer A. Irwin holds a master’s degree in English literature, as well as a bachelor’s in education from McGill University. She teaches middle and senior school English at Lower Canada College. She lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her husband and two sons. Captain Skidmark Dances with Destiny is her first novel.

Jennifer is represented by Amy Tompkins.