Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015 announces Shortlist for 40th Annual First Novel Award

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Amazon First Novel Award

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Amazon First Novel Award (which was previously sponsored by Books in Canada and SmithBooks/Chapters-Indigo). began sponsoring the award in 1999, and doubled the prize money when they came on as presenting sponsor.

This celebratory year sees another big prize purse increase — to celebrate 40 years of the First Novel Award, the 2016 winner of’s First Novel Award will receive $40,000 (rather than the usual $10,000) and finalists will receive $4,000.

Past winners of the award have gone on to become some of the countries most iconic writers, including Michael Ondaatje, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, André Alexis, Joseph Boyden and many more.

This year's shortlist of six titles features four independent presses (as well as two multi-national presses) and cross-country representation, making for a varied and interesting list that is anybody's game.

Amazon First Novel Award 2016 Shortlist:

  • Karim Alrawi for Book of Sands (Harper Avenue)
  • Mona Awad for 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin Canada)
  • Aaron Cully Drake for Do You Think This Is Strange? (Brindle & Glass)
  • W. Mark Giles for Seep (Anvil Press)
  • Judith McCormack for Backspring (Biblioasis)
  • Elizabeth Philips for The Afterlife of Birds (Freehand Books)
  • This year's winner will be announced on May 26, 2016. Stay tuned to Open Book to for the announcement, and check out all of the shortlisted authors to see the next crop of great CanLit writers.

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