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  3. Governor General's Literary Awards

Governor General’s Literary Awards

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The Canada Council for the Arts celebrates the best in Canadian literature: its Governor General’s Literary Awards recognize finalists and winners in seven categories, in both official languages, for readers of all ages. 

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What is this prize?

The Governor General's Literary Awards are presented to English-language and French-language books in each of the following seven categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature – Text, Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books and Translation (from French to English and vice versa). 

How to qualify

Books must be submitted to the Canada Council by an eligible publisher.

See the guidelines for eligibility criteria and deadlines.

Who created this prize?

In 1936, His Excellency the Right Honourable John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, was approached by members of the Canadian Authors Association to establish a system of literary prizes. He agreed to lend the name of his office in order to stimulate writers and encourage a deeper interest in their work among the general public. As a result of these talks, the Governor General's Literary Awards were created. In 1959, the Canada Council for the Arts assumed responsibility for them and added prizes for works written in French. In 1987, three categories were added: Translation and the two children’s literature categories (text and illustration), which are now known as Young People’s Literature – Text and Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books. 

For more information


1 800 263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414 ext. 5573

Next deadline

July 2023


Prize amounts

$1,000 -

  • Winning books: 14 awards of $25,000 and a $3,000 grant to each publisher
  • Finalists: $1,000 per book

By nomination

Cumulative list of winners

We are committed to equity in all our activities, including the administration of our prizes and awards.


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The Canada Council also welcomes VRS (Video Relay Service) calls. For more information, please visit the VRS Canada website.