Governor General's Literary Awards

About the Governor General’s Literary Awards

The Canada Council for the Arts is responsible for administering and promoting the Governor General’s Literary Awards, which recognize Canada’s best English and French books in 7 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). The awards promote Canadian literature, and encourage Canadians to read. They provide valuable recognition to finalists and winners from peers and readers across the country. Join the club! Read Great Books!

History of the Awards

The Governor General’s Literary Awards were established in 1936 following discussions between the then Governor General, Lord Tweedsmuir, and the Canadian Authors Association. The Canada Council assumed responsibility for the awards in 1959. Winners receive a $25,000 prize, finalists $1,000 and publishers $3,000.

The Canada Council is proud to have the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General and the Library of Parliament as partners in the promotion of GGBooks.

Peer assessment: at the heart of recognizing greatness

Peer assessment is the foundation of the Canada Council’s decision-making process. Peer assessment committees review all eligible titles in each of 7 categories. Each committee chooses a winner, and up to 4 more books as finalists. A list of peer assessors (PDF 229 Ko) is available.

The Governor General’s Literary Awards have been recognizing great books since 1936. See the list of all winners and finalists.

How to Enter

Books must be submitted by an eligible publisher. Since the awards recognize artistic and literary excellence, publishers must select only works they consider outstanding. Read the guidelines to learn more about the eligibility requirements.

Submit a book
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