Amazon Canada First Novel Award Submissions to the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award are now closed Established in 1976, the First Novel Award program has launched the careers of …

Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Submissions to the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award are now closed

Established in 1976, the First Novel Award program has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists. Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Redhill, Mona Awad, Katherena Vermette, and Michael Kaan.

The winner of the Adult Novel Category will receive $60,000, and each of the six finalists will receive $6,000 in prize money. The Youth Short Story Category invites authors between the ages of thirteen and seventeen to submit a short story under 3,000 words. The winner in this category will receive $5,000 and a mentorship lunch with editors of The Walrus. Submission are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

Given the current circumstances, we encourage all publishers who are able to submit their books digitally to help facilitate the judging process, but we will accept all submissions (print or digital) that meet eligibility requirements. Amazon Canada maintains its support of Canadian writers in these difficult times and looks forward to seeing this year’s submissions.


About the Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Adult Novel Category

The winner of the Adult Novel Category will receive $60,000, and each of the six finalists will receive $6,000 in prize money.

Submissions for novels in the Adult Novel Category published between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

Rules and Regulations

Youth Short Story Category

The Youth Short Story Category invites authors between the ages of thirteen and seventeen to submit a short story under 3,000 words. The winner in this category will receive $5,000 and a mentorship lunch with editors of The Walrus. Submissions for the Youth Short Story Category are now closed.

Rules and Regulations

Judges

Danny Ramadan

Danny Ramadan

Kagiso Lesego Molope

Kagiso Lesego Molope

Laurie Petrou

Laurie Petrou

Michael Kaan

Youth Author Special Guest Speaker

Photo of Lawrence Hill
The Youth Author Special Guest Speaker is chosen each year based on the preferences of the Youth Short Story category applicants when, during the submission phase, they are asked to name their favourite Canadian novel. This year, the youth applicants have chosen the renowned author Lawrence Hill to address them and to present the award at the ceremony.

Lawrence Hill is the author of ten books, including The Book of Negroes, The Illegal, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. His 2013 Massey Lectures were based on his book of

essays Blood: The Stuff of Life. His books have won many awards, including the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and Canada Reads, and have been published around the world. Hill co-wrote the television miniseries based on his novel The Book of Negroes, which attracted millions of viewers in the United States and Canada, as well as won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding writing and eleven Canadian Screen Awards. His essay about his mother, “Act of Love: The Life and Death of Donna Mae Hill,” appeared in the Globe and Mail in 2018 and enriched a national conversation about medically assisted dying. His new novel for children, Beatrice and Croc Harry, will be published in 2021. Hill is currently working on a novel about the African American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway during the Second World War, and he teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Past Shortlists and Winners

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016


Get in Touch

For more information please contact us at amazoncanadafirstnovelaward@thewalrus.ca.

Contact us

The Walrus Staff

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