Celebrating the very best in Canadian fiction for 30 years.
The Longlist, Shortlist and Winner are selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel. This year's panel includes award-winning Canadian authors Sharon Bala, Brian Thomas Isaac and Ian Williams (jury chair) and international authors Rebecca Makkai and Neel Mukherjee.
Sharon Bala’s bestselling debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2020 Newfoundland & Labrador Book Award and the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. It was a finalist for Canada Reads 2018, the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The Boat People is on sale worldwide with translations in French, German, Arabic, and Turkish. Her short fiction has been published widely and won the 2017 Writers’ Trust/ McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. She’s currently writing a second novel and a play.
Brian Thomas Isaac
Brian Thomas Isaac was born in 1950 on the Okanagan Indian Reserve near Vernon, BC. After completing grade eight, he found work in the oil fields and in construction, and eventually retired as a bricklayer. At the age of fifty, without any formal training, he began to write and seventeen years later, he completed his first novel, All the Quiet Places. His bestselling debut won the 2022 Indigenous Voices Award, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and CBC’s Canada Reads. Brian and his wife live in West Kelowna where he enjoys time with his three grandchildren and is completing his second novel.
Ian Williams is the author of six books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. His most recent book, Disorientation, a Boston Globe best book of the year, considers the impact of racial encounters on ordinary people. His novel, Reproduction, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was published in Canada, the US, the UK, and Italy. His poetry collections, Word Problems and Personals, respectively won the Raymond Souster Award and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. Williams has held residencies in Canada, the US, Italy, and France. He teaches English at the University of Toronto.
Rebecca Makkai’s last novel, THE GREAT BELIEVERS, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Clark Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize; and it was one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels THE BORROWER and THE HUNDRED-YEAR HOUSE, and the collection MUSIC FOR WARTIME—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada University and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Her new novel, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU, is forthcoming in February, 2023.
Neel Mukherjee is the author of A Life Apart (2010), The Lives of Others (2014), A State of Freedom (2018), and Avian (2020), his book for the Cahiers Series. His new novel, Profit, and Loss, is out in early 2024. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and has won the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for best novel. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He divides his time between London and the USA.