Calling All Manitoba Books! Book Awards entries due November 20, 2020

Submissions are now open for the Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba! November 20, 2020 is this year’s deadline for electronic submissions and post-marked shipments. Please visit our beautiful new web site for detailed guidelines and entry forms.

The Manitoba Book Awards / Les Prix du livre du Manitoba celebrates excellence in Manitoba writing, publishing, book design and illustration. The very first prize – the McNally Robinson Book of the Year award – was presented back in 1989 and now there are more than a dozen different categories recognizing Manitoba books and writers.     

Juries of writers and industry professionals from across Canada consider all eligible submissions, with shortlists and recipients announced each spring. Some awards are multilingual (French/English/Indigenous languages) and some awards are biennial (offered every second year). 

Typically, we host a community event in Spring to celebrate all of the nominees and to announce the winners. It’s hard to know what Spring 2021 events will look like due to the pandemic, but we will plan to celebrate these terrific books in some way and with lots of fanfare – even if it is online!

AWARD CHANGES: The criteria for the Indigenous Manitowapow Award

have been revised and updated in response to the growing vitality of that writing community.

All cash prizes are subject to availability of funds, courtesy the pandemic.


AWARDS TO BE PRESENTED IN 2021 – entry deadline: November 20, 2020

  • Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction/Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais (English/Français)
  • Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award/Prix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg (English/Français)
  • Chris Johnson Award for Best Manitoba Playwright/Prix Chris-Johnson pour la meilleure pièce par un dramaturge manitobain (English/Français)
  • Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book (English)
  • Manitowapow Award / Prix Manitowapow (English/Français/Indigenous Languages)
  • The Manuela Dias Design and Illustration awards/Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique et d’illustration en édition (English/Français/Indigenous Languages)  Categories: Book design, Illustration, and graphic novel
  • Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction (English)
  • Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher/Prix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba (English/Français)
  • McNally Robinson Book for Young People Awards: Older category (English)
  • McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award (English)
  • Le Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault (Français)

Biennial awards to be presented next in 2022: entries will be made in Fall 2021

  • John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer/Prix John-Hirsch pour l’écrivain manitobain le plus prometteur (English/Français)
  • Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie (English/Français)
  • Manuela Dias Design and Illustration awards/Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique et d’illustration en édition (English/Français/Indigenous Languages) Category: Children’s Illustration
  • McNally Robinson Book for Young People Awards: Younger Category (English)
  • Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction (English)

The Manitoba Book Awards / Les Prix du livre du Manitoba coalition includes The Winnipeg International Writers Festival, the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, and the Winnipeg Public Library.

We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of our sponsors:

  • Friesens Corporation
  • Manitoba Arts Council
  • Manitoba Foundation for the Arts
  • Manitoba Association of Playwrights
  • McNally Robinson Booksellers
  • Prairie Fire Press/Manitoba Writers’ Guild/Winnipeg International Writers Festival
  • University of Manitoba: Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture
  • Winnipeg Arts Council, with funding from the City of Winnipeg  
  • The Winnipeg Foundation