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Amazon Canada and The Walrus Unveil Shortlist for the 45th Annual First Novel Award

by ahnationtalk on May 4, 2021332 Views

The winner of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award will be announced on Thursday, May 27, during a virtual ceremony hosted by Jennifer Hollett, the executive director of The Walrus and will include celebrated Canadian author Lawrence Hill as the special guest speaker

The winner of the Youth Author short-fiction category will also be recognized that evening

SEATTLE—May 4, 2021—Today, Amazon Canada and The Walrus announced the nominees for the 45th annual First Novel Award (, which honours the achievements of Canadian authors and their debut novels.

This year’s finalists will each receive $6,000 in cash, and the winner will receive $60,000 in cash. The winner will be announced at the annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award ceremony, which will be held on Thursday, May 27 via a virtual ceremony. The event will be hosted by Jennifer Hollett, the executive director of The Walrus and will include Lawrence Hill as the special guest speaker.

Now entering its fourth 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 ofThe Walrus. Due to the overwhelming quality of excellent submissions, Amazon will be extending invitations to six youth author honourees who will also be in attendance during the ceremony.

This year’s panel of judges is composed of Michael Kaan, author of the acclaimed novel, The Water Beetles, which won the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award; Kagiso Lesego Molope, winner of the 2014 Percy FitzPatrick Prize and author of several books, including Dancing in the Dust and Such a Lonely, Lovely Road; Laurie Petrou winner of the 2016 Half the World Global Literati Award, author of two books chosen as The Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of the Year (2007 and 2018) and, most recently wrote Love, Heather; and Danny Ramadan, whose debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, was the winner of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award for LGBT+ Fiction and the Canadian Authors Association’s 2018 Fred Kerner Book Award.

The finalists for the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by each author’s last name, are:

  • Butter Honey Pig Bread, Francesca Ekwuyasi (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Five Little Indians, Michelle Good (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd / Harper Perennial)
  • Happy Hour, Marlowe Granados (Flying Books)
  • You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked., Sheung-King (Book*hug Press)
  • Gutter Child, Jael Richardson (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd / Harper Avenue)
  • Vanishing Monuments, John Elizabeth Stintzi (Arsenal Pulp Press)

“As a twenty year sponsor of the Amazon First Novel Award, we are honoured to have this opportunity to shine a light on these talented writers,” said Mike Strauch, Country Manager for Amazon Canada. “From the youth short story writers to the adult first-time novelists, all are outstanding representatives of the thriving Canadian literary landscape. We celebrate their works, thank the authors for sharing them with us and look forward to continuing our support of their careers in partnership with the Walrus Foundation.”

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, Michael Kaan, Casey Plett and Stéphane Larue.

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, 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

SOURCE: Amazon Canada

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