Gwen Tuinman



Scotiabank Giller Prize

Book Awards for Canadian Fiction — The Who and the What of It All

Book awards! They’ve been dropping like leaves from trees and I’ve been walking, head down into the wind, kicking acronyms right and left.  I mean this figuratively, of course.

I just returned from a walk in the woods, literally, and decided to curl up in front of the fireplace with some cocoa and a laptop.  My afternoon project, to rake up these book awards and find out the what’s-what and the who’s-who of it all — from winners to judges.


Governor General’s Award

Scotiabank Giller Prize

Man Booker Prize

Rogers Writer’s Trust Fiction



Eleanor CattonEleanor Catton gg Lynn Cody


Eleanor CattonEleanor Catton

Colin McAdam

Colin McAdams

Awarded for:  luminaries imagesCAD1BV3W  hellgoing  luminaries imagesCAD1BV3W  a beautiful truth imagesCANW72FR
Awarded to: The year’s best English-language and the best French-language book in each of the seven categories. The year’s best Canadian fiction novel or short story collection. The year’s best Canadian fiction

*There is also a Man Booker International Prize.

The year’s best Canadian fiction novel or short story collection

* Writer’s Trust also gives out nine other awards annually.

Eligibility: Eligibility Guidelines

“… must have been writ-ten, translated or illustra-ted by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada (they do not need to be residing in Canada). 

Self published books are ineligible 

Eligibility Guidelines  

Must be a first edition full length novel or short story collection written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada Must be written in English 

Self published books are ineligible

Eligibility Guidelines

Must be a first edition full length novel written by a citizen of the Common-wealth or Republic of Ireland, published in the United Kingdom. Must be an original work in English (not a translation) 

Self published books are ineligible

Eligibility Guidelines

Writers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. (Canadian writers living overseas are eligible.)

Self published books are ineligible 


A jury of fellow authors, translators and illustrators, makes the final selection in each category.

A panel of three celebrated Canadian authors

“… judges are chosen from a wide range of disciplines, including critics, writers and academics, but also poets, politicians and actors, all with a passion for quality fiction.”

“An Author’s Committee composed of writers from across the country recommends writers” to fill a three member, independent judging panel

Five Bits of Wisdom from Giller Prize Winners

Intro BlogA journey begins with a single step – one foot in front of the other.  And so must a writer’s journey begin with the stroke of a pen or the click of a keyboard – one word in front of the other.

I felt some trepidation as I prepared for my first foray into social media.  What topic of discussion would be worthy of the distinguished title, “first blog post”?

As fate would have it, after clicking “follow” Globe Books, my new Twitter account served up a video interview featuring four Giller Prize winners giving advice to aspiring writers.  Margaret Atwood, Linden MacIntyre, Austin Clarke, and M.G Vassangi each distilled their experience into a few succinct and impacting comments.

These are the five bits of wisdom that I will carry forward:

1.  Write often, apply the craft, rework your writing, and then edit.   Writing should be as routine as breakfast, lunch and dinner so when you sit down with pen in hand or keyboard on lap, the words begin to flow.

 2If you wait for the perfect time to write, you’ll wait forever.  The need to tell the story should compel you to write in every available moment on any available surface: old envelopes, the margins of the newspaper, a laptop keyboard, or paper towels at the gym.

 3.  The silent moments are necessary for productive writing and should not be allowed to slip by unused.  If they don’t happen naturally, create them.

4.  Your experience of a community can inform your writing.  Think of the communities, both large and small, that you are a part of — a culture, a city, a neighbourhood, or an organization.  .

5.  Keep the aspiring in aspiring author.  Aspiring means to seek ambitiously, especially something of high value, so keep that momentum going.  Write voraciously and direct your efforts toward a specific goal.

We all start somewhere, whether it is our first blog post, first novel, or first short story submission.  Even a Giller Prize winner must have followed his or her own advice and aspired to take that first of many steps,  So here I go.  First step, press “publish”!

What advice has inspired your writing life?  I’d love to hear from you.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: