1. Glossary
  2. literary non-fiction

literary non-fiction

For the literary non-fiction category, the work must present a text of personal reflection where the point of view and opinion of the author are evident. Eligible titles have a literary style and use narrative techniques. They must make a significant contribution to literature, the appreciation of works by Canadian authors or artists or knowledge of the arts.

For clarity, the following works are not considered “literary non-fiction”:

  • reference, academic, scholarly or educational publications
  • professional manuals and reference books intended for a specialized audience
  • catalogues of visual art exhibitions (in other words, a publication of one or more visual artists’ work related to a specific exhibition, which includes one or more of the following elements: detailed information regarding the exhibition, a list of works exhibited, an artist’s statement and provenance of the works)
  • illustrated non-fiction publications that do not include a narrative text with a minimum length of 10,000 words, unless they make a significant contribution to visual arts or literature in Canada
  • books with text that is a compilation of short captions, quotations, jokes or sayings
  • calendars, agendas, almanacs and cookbooks
  • guidebooks, including travel, nature and gastronomy guides
  • how-to books and books about skills or games
  • colouring books and activity books
  • trivia and quiz books
  • autobiographies and other books that emphasize personal growth (in other words, those that focus on self-actualization, self-improvement, healing or devotional or spiritual practice)
  • psychology and self-help books
  • collections of letters, journal or diary entries, or previously published articles, transcripts of interviews, broadcasts and conference papers, unless they make a significant literary contribution.