Cultural Partnerships

2017 Awards Committee

Steven Andrews is the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Comics Anthology, an annual collection that celebrates first-time comic creators from the GTA. Working with new graduates from Seneca, York, Humber, and many gifted self-taught folks, the Toronto Comics Anthology acts as a platform to boost upcoming writers and artists into the spotlight.


Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author and editor whose award-winning fiction has been published and anthologized internationally. Her first book, Red Rooms, was published in 2007 and her novel The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy was released in 2013. In 2014, she was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and became the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library. Her book A Gentle Habit was published in August 2016.

  Dwayne Morgan is an award-winning spoken-word artist and founder of Up From The Roots entertainment. He was a finalist for the 2016 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and is a member of the Writers Union of Canada. Morgan was a 2012 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word National Poetry Slam Champion, and he has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award forExcellence in the Arts. Morgan is the winner of three Canadian Urban Music Awards. 

Martha Sharpe is the owner of Flying Books, a tiny chain of tiny bookshops nestled inside four different businesses in downtown Toronto. She also recently founded the Flying Books School of Reading & Writing. As publisher of House of Anansi Press and editorial director of Simon & Schuster Canada, she acquired and edited the work of many acclaimed and best-selling Canadian and international authors.


Dianah Smith is a writer, teacher and arts educator based in Toronto. Her writing has been published in anthologies, high school textbooks, online and print magazines with the Centre for Policy Alternatives, McGraw Hill-Ryerson, No More Potlucks,, The Best of Rabble and Shameless Magazine. She’s currently completing her first novel.

The Toronto Book Awards committee is responsible for:

  • reading and evaluating submitted books (usually from 60 to 90 books per year);
  • attending committee meetings as scheduled by the chair of the committee;
  • selecting the annual shortlist of authors through consensus with other committee members;
  • selecting the annual winner through consensus with other committee members;
  • advising and making recommendations on improving the Toronto Book Awards;
  • attending a reception in September (shortlist announcement) and October (winning announcement);
  • acting as hosts for one day at the City of Toronto tent at
  • The Word On The Street book and magazine festival, held annually in late-September; and
  • participating in related events.


Committee members must be qualified voters in the City of Toronto. There are no defined criteria for selection of members. In general, members should have a demonstrated interest and/or experience in literature, books and book publishing. Committee members receive no remuneration.

The Toronto Book Awards committee has four members. Each year, a new committee is invited to select the shortlist and winner.