Canada-Japan Literary Awards



30 April, 2016
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Prize Amount


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The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from diverse Aboriginal, cultural and regional communities, and from people with disabilities.

Please refer to the complete Award Guidelines [PDF, 260.7 KB].

Program Description

The Canada-Japan Literary Awards recognize literary excellence by Canadian writers who are writing on Japan, Japanese themes, or themes that promote mutual understanding between Japan and Canada. It also recognizes literary excellence by Canadian translators of such books from Japanese into English or French.

The funds for the Canada-Japan Literary Awards come from the investment returns on that portion of the Japan-Canada Fund set aside as an endowment, in perpetuity, for a literary award. Up to two awards of $10,000 each may be given, one for an English-language book and one for a French-language book.


30 April, 2016

These awards are available every two years.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, it moves to the next business day. Your completed nomination form and all required support material must be postmarked on or before the deadline date. The Canada Council for the Arts will not accept nominations postmarked after the deadline date, incomplete nominations, or those submitted by fax or email.

Prize Amount

Two awards valued up to $10,000 each.


By nomination only

Awards will be given for literary excellence to Canadian authors of published, first-edition trade books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama. The authors’ books may be in English or French and must be on Japan, Japanese themes, or themes that promote mutual understanding between Japan and Canada. Canadian translators of works in the same genres, translated from Japanese into English or French, are also eligible.

Eligibility of publishers

Nominated books must be submitted by a professional book publisher. To meet the Canada Council’s definition, professional book publishers must:
  • publish books based on an editorial selection process
  • pay royalties or financially compensate the author, illustrator or translator for any submitted book
  • use appropriate and effective means to market, distribute and create public awareness of their titles, and
  • meet basic professional standards of publishing.

Eligibility of books

Authors and translators must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada.

Nominated books must have been published professionally, between 1 May 2014 and 30 April 2016, to be eligible for the 2016 awards competition. The books may have been published in Canada or abroad, but they must have an ISBN, be distributed in Canada and be available in Canadian bookstores. They must be at least 48 pages long.


An eligible book may be nominated to either the English-language component or the French-language component, but not to both.

The following books are not eligible:
  • selections and collections of poetry, short stories, essays and plays containing material that has previously been awarded a Canada-Japan Literary Award.
  • anthologies of the works of more than one author, illustrator or translator, or works that are not expressed in a single voice
  • commissioned works or works for which the writer does not receive compensation for the use of his or her intellectual property
  • self-published books
  • textbooks or instruction guides, academic and scholarly publications, academic theses, conference proceedings, illustrated (coffee-table) books, how-to and self-help books, guidebooks, cookbooks, exhibition catalogues, film scripts, testimonials, journals, transcripts of interviews, collected letters, directories, reference books or bibliographies, and books of minimal critical content
  • books whose author or translator is deceased at the time of publication.

Nomination Process

Authors and translators may not submit their own published books for this award: they must be nominated by a professional book publisher.

Publishers must use the attached Publisher’s Nomination Form for the Canada-Japan Literary Awards to nominate a book on behalf of the author or translator. A separate form must be completed for each eligible book. The completed form, with the required copies of the book, must be sent to Prizes Section, Canada Council for the Arts.

Further Information

Luiza Pereira
Program Officer
Prizes Section

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 4086

TTY: 1-866-585-5559

For a complete list of past recipients, please contact Luiza Pereira.

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