British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

Call for Submissions:
For books published November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2015, enter by August 31, 2015
(Click here for details)

Download submission form (pdf, 315.6k)

The Award

The British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction was launched in 2005 to honour Canada’s finest writers of non-fiction and to celebrate a genre that stimulates our national conversation and shares knowledge about the complex world in which we live.

The Award is presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation that was established and endowed by the Province of BC in 2003 to celebrate excellence and achievement in the arts, humanities, enterprise, and community service.

The Criteria

The award recognizes and honours fine Canadian writing in the field of non-fiction. The genre includes essays, memoirs, criticism, history, literary journalism, and biography, among other forms. Submissions should be fact-based and book-length demonstrating a distinctive and persuasive command of style and technique in the telling of compelling stories, supported by research that provides the reader with a unique perspective. The finalists and winner will represent an important contribution to our national conversation.

The Prize

The winning author will receive $40,000 while the remaining finalists will each receive $5,000. The award will be presented at a special ceremony in Vancouver in early 2016.

The Jury

Assessments of entries are undertaken by an independent jury panel of experts in the field drawn from across Canada. The jury announces a long list in early November followed by a short list later that month. The jury’s decisions regarding eligibility, interpretation of the guidelines, long list and short list, and the winning author are final.

Call for Submission and Award Guidelines

  1. All entries must be first print editions published in Canada in English between November 1, 2014 and October 31, 2015, and be widely available to Canadian readers in bookstores and libraries. Books not published by August 31, 2015 but to be published by October 31, 2015, may be submitted as bound galley proofs.
  2. All entries must be authored by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
  3. Entries may be authored by one or two individuals. Multi-authored titles are not eligible.
  4. Entries should demonstrate a high standard of craft and quality of thought, whatever their subject or category within the genre.
  5. Self-published books are not eligible. These are understood to include books authored by a senior officer of the book's publishing firm, and/or whose publication was underwritten in part or whole by the author. Such books as textbooks, how-to books, photographic books, etc. are not eligible.
  6. Posthumously published books are not eligible.
  7. The jury may request submissions at its discretion.

Submission Process
  1. Canadian publishers should submit their best examples of Canadian non-fiction in accordance with the criteria of the award as outlined.
  2. All entries must be submitted by an eligible publisher whose primary business is book publishing and one with established national distribution.
  3. All entries must be received by August 31, 2015. Books not published by August 31 but to be published by October 31, 2015 may be submitted as bound galley proofs and followed up by print copies upon publication.
  4. Publishers must submit four copies of each nominated title. Books will not be returned.

Publisher's Undertakings
The publisher must complete a copy of the attached submission form for each nominated title. By signing the submission form for a given title, the publisher acknowledges the following:
  1. Shortlisted authors will be available for publicity and promotion, and each shortlisted author will attend the presentation ceremony in Vancouver in early 2016. The British Columbia Achievement Foundation will be responsible for costs of author travel to and accommodation in Vancouver.
  2. The publisher will ensure that nominated titles are submitted with the author's permission.
  3. Publishers of shortlisted books will provide author biographies and other descriptive title information, along with author and book jacket photos, for promotional purposes. Also, publishers will provide ten copies of the shortlisted books to the BC Achievement Foundation within ten days of the shortlist announcement.
  4. In the event that a title nominated by the publisher wins the award, the publisher agrees to acknowledge the prize in subsequent advertising and through other appropriate promotion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am a self-published author. Is my book eligible for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction?
A. No, self-published books are not eligible for this award.

Q. If a book is not published by August 31, how can the book be entered?
A. Please send by August 31 a bound galley proof of the book and follow-up with hard copies, once the book has been published.

The submission package should be sent to:
British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
c/o 4276 Musqueam Drive
Vancouver, BC
V6N 3R7

For further information, please contact:
British Columbia Achievement Foundation
t. 604-261-9777

British Columbia Achievement Foundation
T. 604.261.9777 | Toll Free 866.882.6088 (in BC)
F. 778.379.0511

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Previous Award Winners