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Amazon Canada First Novel Award Shortlist Announced

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Yesterday, Amazon Canada and The Walrus announced the shortlist for the forty-sixth annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award, which rewards the debut novel judged to be the finest of the year based on literary merit. The award is open to first time novelists, including those who have published previously in other genres. 

The winner receives $60,000 and each finalists will receive $6,000, making it one of the largest fiction awards in Canada. 

The 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award nominees:

  • Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin (Atria)
  • Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson (Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada)
  • Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung (Strange Light)
  • All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac (TouchWood Editions/Brindle & Glass)
  • Avenue of Champions by Conor Kerr (Nightwood Editions)
  • We, Jane by Aimee Wall (Book*hug Press)

With six titles, there is an even split on the shortlist between multi-national publishing companies and Canadian independents (with Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster; Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada; and Strange Light, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, representing the former). 

The winner will be announced at the in-person award ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday, June 1. The event will be hosted by Jennifer Hollett, Executive Director of The Walrus and will include an appearance from Cherie Dimaline as the 2022 youth author special guest speaker. 

Five years ago, the prize added a short story writing contest for young people, which is presented alongside the first novel award. 

The 2022 Youth Short Story nominees:

  • Annabel Li for “What About the Wild Things?”
  • Danielle Lopez for “The Leaf and the Ivy Vine”
  • Caitlin Mah for “Mei-Ying, The Heavens Are Crying”
  • Bohmie Song for “Lilacs Grow Green”
  • Cassie Thompson for  “Fear Bright Eyes”
  • Celeste Trealout for “A Rose Once Grew Here”

The short story award winner will receive $5,000 as well as a lunch with the editors of The Walrus, intended to provide mentorship and guidance for the emerging writer. 

The 2022 judges for the awards are Suzette Mayr, Casey Plett, David A. Robertson, and Joshua Whitehead.

This year is the 46th edition of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, and Katherena Vermette. For more information, visit the Amazon Canada First Novel Award website