Toronto, ON—May 4, 2023—Today, Amazon Canada and The Walrus announced the nominees for the 47th annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award (, which honours the achievements of Canadian authors and their debut novels.

The finalists for the 2023 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by each author’s last name, are:

This year’s five finalists will each receive $6,000, with the winner receiving $60,000 in prize money. The winner will be announced at the in-person award ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday, May 31. The event will be hosted by Jennifer Hollett, executive director of The Walrus, and will include Michelle Good as the 2023 youth author special guest speaker.

Now entering its sixth 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 the five finalists will each receive $500 in prize money.

The panel of judges for this year is composed of Sharon Bala, author of The Boat People; Kim Fu, author of the story collection “Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century”; Heather O’Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals; and Zalika Reid-Benta, author of the short story collection “Frying Plantain.”

“Amazon Canada First Novel Award is a celebration of the power of storytelling and the limitless potential of Canadian new voices,” said Brenda Spoonemore, VP at Amazon Books. “This prestigious award shines a spotlight on emerging Canadian authors, recognizing their talent and the significant contributions they make to the literary landscape. We are proud to honour them and their stories, which inspire us all to embrace the diversity and complexity of the Canadian culture.”

Established in 1976, the First Novel Award program has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most prestigious authors. Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Redhill, Mona Awad, Katherena Vermette, Casey Plett, Michelle Good, and last year’s winner, Pik-Shuen Fung.

For additional information about the finalists and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, visit or

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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 at We produce national, ideas-focused events, including our flagship series The Walrus Talks, and we train emerging professionals in publishing and non-profit management.

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