Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. The annual awards offer $17,500 in prize money: finalists receive $1,500 and the winning author is awarded $10,000. This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the Toronto Book Awards.
Deadline for submissions to the 2017 Toronto Book Awards is April 30, 2017 (entries must be postmarked no later than this date).
Authors are eligible if their submission evokes the city itself, that is, contains some clear Toronto content (this may be reflected in the themes, settings, subjects, etc.). Authors do not necessarily have to reside in Toronto. To be eligible for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards, books must be published between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017 (publishers may submit galleys in lieu of published books for May 2017 releases).
The 2017 Toronto Book Awards will be handed out October 12 at the Toronto Reference Library's Bram and Bluma Appel Salon.
Winner Cordelia Strube (above) and host Gill Deacon at the 42nd Annual Toronto Book Awards Gala (Photo Credit: Dennis Hanagan)
2016 Finalists with Ward 29 Councillor at the 42nd Annual Toronto Book Awards Gala (from left, Cordelia Strube, Dr. Ellen Scheinberg, Michael McClelland, Tatum Taylor, Howard Akler, John Lorinc, Ann YK Choi, Marnie Woodrow, Councillor Fragedakis) (Photo Credit: Dennis Hanagan)
- Howard Akler for his memoir Men of Action, published by Coach House Books
- Ann Y.K. Choi for her novel Kay's Lucky Coin Variety, published by Simon & Schuster Canada
- John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg and Tatum Taylor (Editors) for The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood, published by Coach House Books
- Cordelia Strube for her novel, On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light, published by ECW Press
- Marnie Woodrow for her novel, Heyday, published by Tightrope Books
In 2014, Toronto City Council voted to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Book Awards by creating a Toronto Book Garden. On Sunday, November 1, a ground breaking ceremony was held in front of Queen's Quay Terminal (207 Queens Quay West) attended by former mayor John Sewell (far left) who proposed the creation of the Toronto Book Awards in 1973, and by past TBA winners Helen Humphreys (1998), Rosemary Sullivan (1996), Guy Vanderhaeghe (1990), Rabindranath Maharaj (2011), Charlotte Gray (2014) and Richard B. Wright (1974). Former City Councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh (far right) conceived of the Book Garden and got the funding ball rolling while representing Ward 20 in 2014.
The garden -- to be completed by fall 2017 -- will feature the names of winning authors and book titles engraved in paving stones; new stones will be added each year.