Of the 2018 longlist, the jury writes:
We the jury devoted many, many delightful and arduous months of our lives coming up with this longlist. Our sole criteria going into this process was literary excellence. We were looking for books that were written in elevated, idiosyncratic, original prose that exhibited an exquisite command of the art of language, and unparalleled mastery of structure and storytelling. We argued viciously over books, expounding on their merits. But when the battle was over, what remained left us in awe. This list reflects the landscape of the current Canadian imagination: diverse, bold, edgy, exciting, reflective, aware, angry and joyous. Leave it to our literature to speak out beautifully from the far-flung edges of this huge mysterious land, and sing about the erased, the immigrants, the oppressed, the survivors, the entitled. It also reflects the myriad genres that Canadian writers are working in: auto-fiction, science-fiction, epic family sagas, historical novels, coming of age dramas, short-stories, satire. These are stories about and beyond Canada, a list so exciting, exhibiting such pure excellence, it stands up to any list in the world, and it is great, great fun to read.