LITERARY AWARDS & PRIZES

Literary awards are a great place to start when you’re looking for a guaranteed thought-provoking read or to get a sense for the books everyone is talking about. There are the big ones (Nobel Prize, Man Booker) and there are the ones closer to home (Governor General Awards, Scotiabank Giller Prize). Here’s the rundown of this year’s nominees and winners for some of the biggest literary prizes and awards:

International Prizes

Canadian Prizes

American Prizes

British Prizes


INTERNATIONAL

Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 107 times to 111 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2014. Click on the links to get more information.

  • The Nobel Prize for Literature has not been selected for 2015 yet. The date for its release will be announced at a later date.

To view a list of past winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, go here.

The Man Booker Prizes

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.

  • The longlist will be announced on Wednesday 29 July 2015
  • The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 15 September 2015
  • The winner will be announced on Tuesday 13 October 2015

Man Booker Prizes 2015 Longlist:

Man Booker Prizes 2015 Shortlist:

To view a list of past winners, go here.

CANADIAN

Scotiabank Giller Prize

The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who passed away from cancer the year before. The award recognized excellence in Canadian fiction – long format or short stories – and endowed a cash prize annually of $25,000.00, the largest purse for literature in the country.

  • Longlist announced September 9, 2015
  • Shortlist announced October 5, 2015 (11AM ET)
  • The 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, hosted by Rick Mercer, will air on CBC Television on Tuesday, November 10 at 9 p.m. (10 AT/10:30 NT).

Scotiabank Giller Prize 2015 Longlist

  • André Alexis for his novel Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books
  • Samuel Archibald for his story collection Arvida, published by Biblioasis, translated from the French by Donald Winkler
  • Michael Christie for his novel If I Fall, If I Die, published by McClelland & Stewart (Read my review)
  • Rachel Cusk for her novel Outline, published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Patrick deWitt for his novel Undermajordomo Minor, published by House of Anansi Press
  • Marina Endicott for her novel Close to Hugh, published by Doubleday Canada
  • Connie Gault for her novel A Beauty, published by McClelland & Stewart
  • Alix Hawley for her novel All True Not a Lie in It, published by Knopf Canada
  • Clifford Jackman for his novel The Winter Family, published by Random House Canada
  • Heather O’Neill for her story collection Daydreams of Angels, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Anakana Schofield for her novel Martin John, published by A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis
  • Russell Smith for his story collection Confidence, published by A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis

For more Canadian literature of the season, check out Crazy for CanLit.

Governor General’s Literary Awards

As Canada’s national literary awards, the GGs represent the rich diversity of Canadian literature. Some 1,600 books are submitted each year from English and French-language publishers representing authors, translators and illustrators from across Canada, in seven categories.

  • #GGbooks contest September 28, 2015
  • Finalists announced October 7, 2015
  • Winners announcement October 28, 2015

Search submitted titles here.

More information on the awards and countdown to next event can be found here.

List of past winners

CBC Literary Prizes

Michael Ondaatje. Carol Shields. George Bowering. Robert Munsch. Susan Musgrave. Leon Rooke. Gail Anderson-Dargatz. Since 1979, the CBC Literary Prizes have recognized Canada’s brightest literary stars on the rise.

CBC Short Story Prize | CBC Creative Non-Fiction Prize | CBC Poetry Prize

BC Book Prizes

The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. The seven Prizes are presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala in the spring, with the winner of The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence being announced beforehand at the annual BC Book Prizes Soirée.

2015 Winners:

  • Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize Winner: The World Before Us – Aislinn Hunter
  • Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize Winner: In the Slender Margin: The Intimate Strangeness of  Death and Dying – Eve Joseph
  • Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize Winner: From the Poplars – Cecily Nicholson
  • Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize Winner: The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia  – Richard Beamish, Gordon McFarlane (eds)
  • Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Winner: Rabbit Ears – Maggie de Vries
  • Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize Winner: Dolphin SOS – Roy Miki & Slavia Miki, illustrated by Julie Flett
  • Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award Winner: Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver’s Historic Commodore Ballroom – Aaron Chapman
  • Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence Winner: Betty Keller

See a full list of winners and finalists here.

AMERICAN

National Book Awards

The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years.  Many previous Winners of the National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.

The National Book Award Finalists will be announced on October 14th; Winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony in New York on November 18th. For more information on the Awards and a list of this year’s judges, visit www.nationalbook.org.

2015 Longlist

Fiction:

  • Jesse Ball, A Cure for Suicide (Pantheon Books)
  • Karen E. Bender, Refund: Stories (Counterpoint Press)
  • Bill Clegg, Did You Ever Have a Family (Scout Press/Simon & Schuster)
  • Angela Flournoy, The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House)
  • Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles: Stories (Random House)
  • T. Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
  • Edith Pearlman, Honeydew (Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group)
  • Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Doubleday/Penguin Random House)
  • Nell Zink, Mislaid (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Non-Fiction:

  • Cynthia Barnett, Rain (Crown Publishing Group/Penguin Random House)
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House)
  • Martha Hodes, Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press)
  • Sally Mann, Hold Still (Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group)
  • Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus (Atria/Simon & Schuster)
  • Susanna Moore, Paradise of the Pacific (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Michael Paterniti, Love and Other Ways of Dying: Essays (The Dial Press/Penguin Random House)
  • Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran (Henry Holt and Company)
  • Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Michael White, Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir (Persea Books)

Poetry:

  • Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Amy Gerstler, Scattered at Sea (Penguin/Penguin Random House)
  • Marilyn Hacker, A Stranger’s Mirror (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn (Penguin/Penguin Random House)
  • Jane Hirshfield, The Beauty (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions)
  • Patrick Phillips, Elegy for a Broken Machine (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heaven (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Lawrence Raab, Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts (Tupelo Press)

Young Adult:

  • Becky Albertalli, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • M.T. Anderson, Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (Candlewick Press)
  • Ali Benjamin, The Thing About Jellyfish (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Rae Carson, Walk on Earth a Stranger (Greenwillow/HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Gary Paulsen, This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
  • Laura Ruby, Bone Gap (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Ilyasah Shabazz, with Kekla Magoon, X: A Novel (Candlewick Press)
  • Steve Sheinkin, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
  • Neal Shusterman, Challenger Deep (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Noelle Stevenson, Nimona (HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s Books)

BRITISH

BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction

One of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, the BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction – previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction – celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.

Longlist:

  • Rachel Cusk: Outline
  • Lissa Evans: Crooked Heart
  • Patricia Ferguson: Aren’t We Sisters?
  • Xiaolu Guo: I Am China
  • Samantha Harvey: Dear Thief
  • Emma Healey: Elizabeth is Missing
  • Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven
  • Grace McCleen: The Offering
  • Sandra Newman: The Country of Ice Cream Star
  • Heather O’Neil: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night
  • Laline Paull: The Bees
  • Marie Phillips: The Table of Less Valued Knights
  • Rachel Seiffert: The Walk Home
  • Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone
  • Ali Smith: How to be Both
  • Sara Taylor: The Shore
  • Anne Tyler: A Spool of Blue Thread
  • Sarah Waters: The Paying Guests
  • Jemma Wayne: After Before
  • PP Wong: The Life of a Banana

Shortlist:

  • Rachel Cusk – Outline
  • Laline Paull – The Bees
  • Kamila Shamsie – A God in Every Stone
  • Ali Smith – How to be Both
  • Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread
  • Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests

Winner:

Ali Smith – How to be Both

The Desmond Elliot Prize

The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott.

Longlist:

  • The Wake – Paul Kingsnorth
  • The Bees – Laline Paull
  • Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller
  • Chop Chop – Simon Wroe
  • A Song for Issy Bradley – Carys Bray
  • The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton
  • Randall – Jonathan Gibbs
  • The A to Z of You and Me – James Hannah
  • Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey
  • Glass – Alex Christofi

Shortlist:

  • A Song for Issy Bradley – Carys Bray
  • Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey
  • Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller

Winner:

Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller

National Book Awards

The National Book Awards showcases the best of British writing & publishing, whilst celebrating books with wide popular appeal, critical acclaim and commercial success. There are 11 categories. The awards are run by Cactus TV Ltd with developmental help from a cross-industry steering group.

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

The Award is given annually. The prize of €100,000 is awarded to the author of the winning book. However, if the winning book is in English translation, €75,000 is awarded to the author and €25,000 to the translator.

The Folio Prize

The Folio Prize is open to all works of fiction written in English and published in the UK. All genres and all forms of fiction are eligible. The format of first publication may be print or digital.

The Prize will be awarded in March for books published in the previous calendar year.

David Cohen Prize for Literature

Awarded biennially, this £40,000 prize recognises a lifetime’s achievement in literature, honouring a writer in the English language who is a citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland. The winner of the prize is nominated and selected by a panel of judges comprising authors, literary critics and academics. No shortlist is announced. The John S. Cohen Foundation finances the prize and the Arts Council England provides a further £12,500 for the Clarissa Luard Award, which the winner of the David Cohen Prize awards to a literature organisation that supports young writers or an individual writer under the age of 35. Founded 1991. (source)

Costa Book Award

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland.

Since their launch in 1971, the awards have rewarded a wide range of excellent books and authors across all genres.

Uniquely, the prize has five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year. It is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way.

Books are entered by publishers, and entry for the Awards closes at the end of June each year. Entry forms are available to download here from the end of May.

The Dylan Thomas Prize

Launched in 2006, the annual International Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence.