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Scotiabank Giller Prize Announces 12-Title Longlist for 30th Anniversary Year

Red rectangular image with the 12 books nominated for the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize pictured. Giller Prize logo top left, Open Book logo top right

This morning, the Scotiabank Giller Prize announced their 12-title longlist for the 2023 award, which marks the 30th anniversary of the prestigious honour, widely considered to be the most influential fiction prize in Canada. 

Following an introduction by Anne Chafe, CEO of The Rooms museum in St. John's, Newfoundland, 2022 winner Suzette Mayr took the stage to announce the longlisted writers. Mayer spoke to the positive effect the prize had on her own career, connecting with readers and fellow writers at numerous events and festivals across Canada on the strength of her win.

The 2023 jurors read 145 submissions from across the country. Canadian writers Sharon Bala, Brian Thomas Isaac, and Ian Williams (jury chair) and international authors Rebecca Makkai and Neel Mukherjee chose the longlisted books through a lengthy and collaborative process. 

2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist: 

  • Away From The Dead by David Bergen (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Study For Obedience by Sarah Bernstein (Knopf Canada)
  • Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (McClelland & Stewart)
  • The Double Life of Benson Yu by Kevin Chong (Atria Books)
  • The Clarion by Nina Dunic (Invisible Publishing)
  • We Meant Well by Erum Shazia Hasan (ECW Press)
  • The Islands by Dionne Irving (Catapult Books)
  • Wait Softly Brother by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer (Wolsak & Wynn)
  • The Rooftop Garden by Menaka Raman-Wilms (Nightwood Editions)
  • All The Colour In The World by CS Richardson (Knopf Canada)
  • We Have Never Lived on Earth by Kasia Van Schaik (University of Alberta Press)
  • Girlfriend on Mars by Deborah Willis (Hamish Hamilton)

Mayr concluded the livestream with congratulations to the longlisted authors and a heartfelt wish for "Happy reading, Canada!"

Photos of Suzette Mayr winning the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize, speaking with editor Alana Wilcox

Suzette Mayr won the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel The Sleep Car Porter. In the centre image, she speaks with Coach House Books editor Alana Wilcox (photo credit Coach House Books)

The longlist is a mix of new and established voices, and both small and large publishing houses. Penguin Random House's imprints received four nominations (for books by Bernstein, Catton, Richardson, and Willis) and Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint received one, while Goose Lane Editions, Invisible Publishing, ECW Press, Wolsak & Wynn, and Nightwood Editions represented the independent press element.  

Several of the nominees are already highly decorated: Catton is a previous Booker Prize winner, while Bernstein is nominated for this year's Booker. Bergen won the Giller Prize once already for his acclaimed novel The Time in Between. Both Richardson and Willis have previously been nominated for the prize. Nina Dunic, Menaka Raman-Wilms, and Erum Shazia Hasan all captured nominations for their debut novels, and as did Kasia Van Schaik for her debut short story collection, meaning a full third of the longlist is made up of writers publishing book form for the first time.

The shortlist for the prize will be announced on October 11 and the final winner, who will received $100,000, announced on November 13 during a broadcast on CBC and the CBC Gem streaming service.