Governor General’s Literary Awards

The Canada Council for the Arts is responsible for administering and promoting the Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks), which recognize Canada’s best English-language and French-language books in seven categories:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Young People’s Literature – Text
  • Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books
  • Translation

The awards promote Canadian literature and encourage Canadians to read. They provide finalists and winners with valuable recognition from peers and readers across the country.

Join the club—see the list of finalist and winning books from previous years and read our best books!

At a glance

1936 

The Governor General’s Literary Awards are established on the initiative of Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir and the Canadian Authors Association.

1959

The Awards join the Canada Council for the Arts’ family of prizes. Since then, the Council has assumed responsibility for funding, administering and promoting them.

Today

Today, the Awards continue to play an important role in the ongoing recognition of Canada’s diverse and unique literary landscape.

$25,000

Amount awarded to each winner.

$3,000

Grant to the publisher of each winning book.

$1,000

Amount awarded to each finalist.

Acknowledgements

The Canada Council for the Arts thanks all its partners, which promote the works of winners and finalists, as well as the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General for its ongoing support. The Council also thanks all the peers who assess the titles submitted every year and, of course, all the readers who support Canadian literature.

 

Peer assessment: Our decision-making process

Peer assessment is the foundation of the Canada Council’s decision-making process. Peer assessment committees review all eligible titles in each of seven categories. Each committee chooses one winning book, and up to four more books as finalists. A list of peer assessors (PDF 468 KB) is available.

How to enter

Books must be submitted by an eligible publisher. Since the awards recognize artistic and literary excellence, publishers should select only works they consider outstanding. The eligibility requirements are set out in the guidelines.

Submit a book

Media partners

The Canada Council for the Arts thanks its media partners for contributing to the promotion of literature.

CBC Radio-CanadaL'actualité

Submitting a book

Publishers can submit works they consider to be outstanding. The guidelines and eligibility requirements are accessible through the button below.

Find out how to submit a nomination for this prize