News and Interviews and The Walrus Announce the Amazon First Novel Award Shortlist

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It's clear that we're firmly in Spring literary prize season, and there's plenty to celebrate. With the announcement of the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlists, the CBC Short Story Contest winner, and the Governor General's Literary Award shortlists, there's plenty to inspire your to-read list.

But today's most recent announcement, the nominees for the Amazon First Novel Award, is always a special one. There's something about a group of spectacular debuts, new voices whose talent we can look forward to enjoying for years to come, that's especially exciting.

2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award shortlist:

  • Butter Honey Pig Bread, Francesca Ekwuyasi (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Five Little Indians, Michelle Good (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd / Harper Perennial)
  • Happy Hour, Marlowe Granados (Flying Books)
  • You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked., Sheung-King (Book*hug Press)
  • Gutter Child, Jael Richardson (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd / Harper Avenue)
  • Vanishing Monuments, John Elizabeth Stintzi (Arsenal Pulp Press) 

It's a very good day for Francesca Ekwuyasi and Michelle Good, who also turned up on the Governor General's Literary Award shortlist for fiction this morning. Also of note is the double nomination for progressive west coast publisher Arsenal Pulp Press, an independent house based in Vancouver. 

In recent years, and The Walrus, the administrators of the Amazon First Novel Award, have also introduced a youth story contest that is run concurrently with the first novel prize. 

Nominees for the Youth Short Story contest: 

  • “Lost Childhood,” Rama Altaleb
  • “The Sound of Light,” Stella Braun
  • “The Thing That Wasn't a Thing,” Aimée Després-Smyth
  • “The Gates of Heavenly Peace,” Yanxi Li
  • “The Escape from Alcatraz,” Diya Singh
  • “Troy,” Malcolm Wernestrom

This is the 45th year for the First Novel Award, and the winner will receive $60,000. Each of the six finalists will receive $6,000. The youth story contest is in its fourth year and invites submissions from authors between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. The winner of short story contest will receive $5,000 and a mentorship lunch with editors of The Walrus.

The winners will be announced May 27, 2021. For more information, visit the Walrus website