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Amazon Canada and The Walrus unveil nominees for the 46th Annual First Novel Award


The winner of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award will be announced on Wednesday, June 1, at an in-person ceremony hosted by Jennifer Hollett, Executive Director of The Walrus, featuring celebrated Canadian author Cherie Dimaline as special guest speaker.

TORONTO, May 10, 2022 – Today, Amazon Canada and The Walrus announced the nominees for the 46th annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award (amazon.ca/firstnovelaward), which honours the achievements of Canadian authors and their debut novels.

The finalists for the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by each author’s last name, are: 

This year’s finalists will each receive $6,000, with the winner receiving $60,000. 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 Cherie Dimaline as the 2022 youth author special guest speaker. 

This year’s panel of judges is composed of Suzette Mayr, author of Monoceros and Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall; Casey Plett, winner of the 2019 Amazon First Novel Award for Little Fish and contributor to the New York Times, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency; David A. Robertson, author of two Governor General’s Literary Award-winning picture books, On the Trapline and When We Were Alone; and Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed and an associate professor of English and Indigenous Studies at the University of Calgary.

“For more than twenty years, we’ve had the honour of celebrating the undeniable talent of Canada’s most promising authors,” said Brenda Spoonemore, VP at Amazon Books. “With novels that represent different perspectives and experiences, the First Novel Award allows us to celebrate diverse stories within Canadian literature and the impact they continue to have on Canadian culture and development.”

Established in 1976, the First Novel Award program has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most prestigious authors. Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Redhill, Mona Awad, Katherena Vermette, Casey Plett, and last year’s winner, Michelle Good. 

Now entering its fifth year, the Youth Short Story category will also be presented at the award ceremony. Authors between the ages of thirteen and seventeen 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.

For additional information about the finalists and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, visit amazon.ca/firstnovelaward or thewalrus.ca/amazon-first-novel-award

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