Scotiabank Giller Prize Dispatches
(Winter 2017)

(Winter 2017)

Looking back on 2016

 Introducing the six stunning finalists vying for Scotiabank Giller Prize 2016

Looking wonderful, albeit slightly nervous, as the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize gala got under way, were the finalists (left to right) Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Knopf Canada), Mona Awad (13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Penguin Canada), Catherine Leroux (The Party Wall, translated by Lazer Lederhendler, Biblioasis), Emma Donoghue (The Wonder, HarperCollins Canada), Zoe Whittall (The Best Kind of People, House of Anansi Press) and Gary Barwin (Yiddish For Pirates, Random House Canada).

Now, do these folks look like they were ready to party?

Well, yes and no. 2016 Scotiabank jurors (left to right) Alan Warner, Kathleen Winter, Jeet Heer, Samantha Harvey and Lawrence Hill (jury chair) were delighted to be finished reading 161 titles, from which they selected a longlist, then a shortlist, then a winner. Then again, they were rather exhausted after reading 161 titles …

And then a winner, yes …

From an evening of countless special moments, this was one of our favourites: 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Madeleine Thien (for her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Knopf Canada) shares a quiet chuckle with prize founder Jack Rabinovitch.

We regularly revisit Madeleine’s beautiful acceptance speech. You can enjoy it again here.

In the second year of a unique partnership between the Banff Centre and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Madeleine was invited for a two-week residency in the Centre’s exclusive Leighton Artists’ Colony in Banff, Alberta. During her visit, she offered some readings and talks.

After the excitement of the 2016 prize season, the six finalists didn’t pause long to rest. They’ve kept busy and their books have remained in the news and on the bestseller lists. Here are some highlights.

Remembering Giller Prize winner and CanLit craftsman Richard B. Wright

We mourn the loss of author and dear friend Richard B. Wright, who passed away at age 79 on February 7, 2017. We extend deepest sympathies to Wright’s family and the Niagara community of which he was part for much of his life. The world of CanLit has lost an acclaimed and much admired literary craftsman.

An unprecedent Canadian arts achievement, Wright’s beloved novel Clara Callan won three major literary awards in 2001: the Giller Prize, the Governor-General’s Award and the Trillium Book Award. Wright’s connection to the Giller Prize also included the shortlist (The Age of Longing in 1995), the longlist (October in 2007) and as a juror in 2005. Saddened by the news, Scotiabank Giller Prize Executive Director Elana Rabinovitch observed, “This is an enormous loss. Richard was probably one of the most empathetic, thoughtful writers working in Canada today. He was a fine person with great character and an extraordinarily talented writer. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Take a look at some of the beautiful tributes that have poured in …

Looking ahead to the 24th anniversary year of the Scotiabank Giller Prize

 Scotiabank Giller Prize 2017

We sent our new jurors a CanLit Valentine extraordinaire – the first batch of books submitted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

ICYMI, our 2017 jurors are: Canadian writers Anita Rau Badami (jury chair), Andre Alexis and Lynn Coady, British author Richard Beard and American writer and playwright Nathan Englander. Learn more about all of them here.

The 2017 submission package includes important updates to rules and eligibility requirements, so make sure you’re up-to-date by checking here. If you have any questions, be sure to contact us at

If your eligible books are destined for a future shipment to the 2017 jurors, make sure you meet the following deadlines.

  • Books published between October 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017 must be received on or before February 15, 2017 (just passed).
  • Books published between March 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017 must be received on or before April 15, 2017.
  • Books published between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 must be received on or before June 15, 2017.
  • Books published between July 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017 must be received on or before August 15, 2017.

Events and important dates

Have you made note of all of the key upcoming Scotiabank Giller Prize dates and milestones? Bookmark this page to keep track of them.

We’re delighted to announce that this year’s longlist announcement will be a live event once again, this time from St. John’s, Newfoundland on Monday, September 18th. The shortlist will be announced in Toronto on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, the winner will be announced at a gala ceremony during a live broadcast on CBC on Tuesday, November 21st.

We’re also very pleased to announce that the popular Between the Pages events, showcasing the Scotiabank Giller Prize authors and books are returning in 2017 … and we’re adding a fourth city to the tour! We’re returning to Vancouver (Vancouver Writers Festival at the Vancouver Playhouse), Halifax (Halifax Public Library) and Toronto (Koerner Hall) … and we’ll also be heading to Ottawa (venue to be announced). We hope to see you in person at one of these splendid CanLit occasions, or have you join us online for the livestream of one or more of the events.