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Creative Writing

Literary Awards and Contests

Literary Awards

  • Scotiabank Giller Prize - The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. The award recognized excellence in Canadian fiction – long format or short stories.
  • Governor General's Literary Award - The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustration) and Translation (from French to English).
  • Trillium Book Award - The Ontario government established the Trillium Book Award in 1987 to recognize excellence of Ontario writers and writing.
  • BC Book Prizes - Established in 1985, they celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. The seven Prizes, plus The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, are presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prize Gala in April.
  • Writers Trust of Canada - The Writers' Trust presents ten annual prizes to authors at various stages of their careers.
  • Lorne Pierce Medal - The Lorne Pierce Medal is awarded every two years by the Royal Society of Canada to recognize achievement of special significance and conspicuous merit in imaginative or critical literature written in either English or French. The medal was first awarded in 1926.
  • Booker Prize for Fiction - Years Covered: 1969 to present. In addition to listing prize winners (past and present), this site has press releases, author biographies and photos of the latest year's winners.
  • Man Booker International Prize - Established in 2005, biannually rewarding an author for a body of work originally written in any language as long as it was widely available in English. From 2016, the prize will become a translation prize, awarded annually for a single work of fiction, translated into English and published in the UK. Underlining the importance of translation, the £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator.
  • National Book Awards - Years Covered: 1950 to present. Award Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People's Literature. Contains acceptance speeches, selected author study guides (connect to from the "Publications" page), which include essays about and interviews with past National Book winners and finalists.
  • National Book Critics Circle - Years Covered: 1981 to present. Award Categories: Fiction, General Nonfiction, Biography and Autobiography, Poetry and Criticism. Lists past winners and contains synopses of the works of all the winners for the current year.
  • Nobel Prize in Literature - Years Covered: 1901 to present. This site not only lists winners but it also contains biographies, selected bibliographies, photos, Nobel lectures, interviews and articles written by and about Nobel Prize Laureates.
  • Orange Prize for Fiction - Years Covered: 1996 to present. This relatively recent literary award honors female writers of fiction. The site includes biographies, reviews and interviews with the winners for the past two years.
  • Pulitzer Prize - Years Covered: 1917 to present. Award Categories: Biography or Autobiography, Drama, Fiction, History, Nonfiction, and Poetry. This sophisticated site offers a searchable database of past winners and nominated finalists. Biographies and photographs of winners are included on the website.
  • Costa Book Awards. Years Covered: 1971 to present. Award Categories: Book of the Year, Children's Book of the Year, Novel, First Novel, Biography and Poetry. Formerly called the Whitbread Book Awards. The website for this UK award features an archive of past winners.
  • PEN/Faulkner Foundation - A series of awards in a number of different categories, ranging from poetry to biography to sports and science writing.
  • International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award - An annual award for fiction. This site includes an archive of award winners and shortlisted titles.

 Prizes awarded specifically for poetry:

  • Griffin Poetry Prize - Years Covered: 2001 to present.A Canadian prize, though awarded also to international poets: the award is given annually to one Canadian poet and one international author of a work in English. Translators of poetry are also eligible.
  • Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize - Years Covered: 1986 to present.. Awarded by the Poetry Foundation annually to U.S. poets.
  • Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition - Years Covered: 1919 to present.The famous Yale competition honors the first poetry collection of an American poet: writers submit their manuscripts, and the winning collection is published. Past winners have included John Ashbery, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, W.S. Merwin, and Robert Hass. The website includes guidelines for submitting manuscripts.
  • Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. Years Covered: 1993 to present. A pair of annual awards: the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award goes to a poet at mid-career, while the Kate Tufts Discovery Award is awarded for a poet's first book.
  • T.S. Eliot Prize - Years Covered: 1997 to present. Based out of Truman State University, the T.S. Eliot Prize is awarded annually to new manuscripts of poetry. The website includes guidelines for submitting manuscripts.
  • The Poetry Society Competitions - The Poetry Society awards £16,000 in prizes each year. Poets at all stages of their careers are celebrated.