Follow Us! Like Our Page!

Amazon Canada and The Walrus Unveil Shortlist for the 43rd Annual First Novel Award

Press Release

The winner of the First Novel Award will be announced on Wednesday, May 22, in Toronto; the winner of the Youth Short Story category will also be recognized that evening

SEATTLE—April 26, 2019—Amazon Canada and The Walrus today announced the nominees for the 43rd annual First Novel Award (, which honours the achievements of Canadian authors and their debut novels.

This year, the winner and finalists will be awarded larger prizes than in previous years: the winner will receive $60,000 and each of the six finalists will receive $6,000 in prize money. The winner will be announced at the annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award ceremony on Wednesday, May 22, at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto. The event will be hosted by the CBC’s Shelagh Rogers and will feature guest speaker and Man Booker Prize–winning novelist Yann Martel.

Now entering its second year, the Youth Short Story category will also be presented at the award ceremony. Authors between the ages of 13 and 17 were invited to submit a short story under 3,000 words. Chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, the winner in this category will receive $5,000 and a mentorship lunch with editors of The Walrus.

This year’s panel of judges is composed of Diane Schoemperlen, a Governor General Award–winning author of 14 books, including This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications (2016), which was shortlisted for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize; Dimitri Nasrallah, winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s Hugh MacLennan and First Book Prizes and author of three novels, most recently The Bleeds (2018); and Doretta Lau, author of the short-story collection How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? (2014).

The finalists for the 2019 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, alphabetically, are:

The Amateurs, Liz Harmer (Knopf Canada)
Searching for Terry Punchout, Tyler Hellard (Invisible Publishing)
Little Fish, Casey Plett (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Split Tooth, Tanya Tagaq (Viking Canada)
Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Reproduction, Ian Williams (Penguin Random House Canada)

“I am always impressed by the talent the First Novel Award nominees and our Youth Author applicants have to offer, and this year is no exception,” said Mike Strauch, Country Manager for Amazon Canada. “We have such a unique range of novels to celebrate, from authors that represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and life experiences. In addition, watching the accomplished careers of some of our past First Novel Award winners is inspiring and reinforces our commitment to supporting and developing Canadian talent.”

Established in 1976, the First Novel Award program has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists. Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Redhill, Mona Awad, Katherena Vermette, and Michael Kaan.

For additional information about the finalists and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, visit or

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

About The Walrus
The Walrus provokes new thinking and sparks conversation on matters vital to Canadians. As a registered charity, we publish independent, fact-based journalism in The Walrus and at, we produce national, ideas-focused events, including our flagship series The Walrus Talks, and we train emerging professionals in publishing and non-profit management.

The Walrus is invested in the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens.

For more information, or to book an interview, please contact, 416-971-5004, ext. 253, or 905-466-3624.

For further information:, Inc.
Media Hotline


 423 total views,  2 views today

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More