Amazon First Novel Award

Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Celebrating debut Canadian novelists since 1976

The First Novel Award, which 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.

The shortlist will be revealed in April 2018, and the winner will be announced on May 22, 2018.


Full competition rules and instructions on how to submit a novel will be posted in the New Year, and the deadline for 2017 books will be extended to January 31, 2018.

Competition Details:
The competition is designed to showcase first-time Canadian novelists.
Our judges will review the novels submitted for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award on the basis of their literary quality, and then select the award winner. The shortlist will be announced in April 2018 and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at an award ceremony in Toronto attended by the city’s literary elite.

The deadline for novels published between April 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017 is Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  The deadline for novels published between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2018 is Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
There is no purchase necessary to enter. Authors must be 18 or older, and Canadian citizens (regardless of residency) or permanent residents of Canada. Entries must be submitted by the author’s professional book publisher according to the dates stated in the rules. We recommend that novels be submitted for consideration as early as possible to allow adequate time for judging. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.
Each of the finalists will receive $4,000 and a $450 gift certificate. The winner will receive $40,000 and a $750 gift certificate.

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The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms, publishing The Walrus magazine—which focuses on Canada and its place in the world—ten times a year in print, tablet, and mobile editions; curating and producing the national series of public Walrus Talks; convening annual sector-based leadership dinners; posting original, high-quality content daily at; and designing such digital projects as Walrus Ebooks and Walrus TV. The foundation also trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.

For more information, or to book an interview, please contact Amirah El-Safty, Manager of Partnerships, at or (416) 971-5004, ext. 253.