Amazon First Novel Award

Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Celebrating debut Canadian novelists since 1976

FAQ | Rules | 2018 | 2017 | 2016



*Authors must be older than eighteen years at time of entry

*Authors must be older than thirteen and younger than eighteen years at time of entry


The Amazon Canada First Novel Award recognizes the outstanding achievement of a Canadian first-time novelist. Since 1976, the First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, André Alexis, Michael Redhill, Mary Lawson, Colin McAdam, Joan Thomas, and David Bezmozgis.

This year’s finalists will each receive more than $4,000 in cash and prizes, and the winner will receive additional prizes totalling more than $40,000. Authors between the ages of thirteen and seventeen are invited to submit a short story under 3,000 words in the Youth Short Story category. Finalists will receive $500, and the prize for the winning short story is $5,000 and a mentorship lunch with editors of The Walrus.

The shortlists will be announced in April 2019, and the winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at an award ceremony in Toronto.


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The Walrus provokes new thinking and sparks conversation on matters vital to Canadians. As a registered non-profit, we publish independent, fact-based journalism in The Walrus and at, we produce national, ideas-focused events, including our flagship series The Walrus Talks; and we invest in the future by training emerging professionals in publishing and non-profit management. The Walrus is invested in the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens.

Angela Misri is the digital director at The Walrus, and has worked at The Banff Centre and the CBC. She has written about technology and women in technology for The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and many other publications.