Works are judged anonymously on the basis of the author's use of language, originality of subject and writing style.
Submissions are processed by a two-tiered system of readers and jurors. The initial texts are screened by readers chosen for each category from a group of qualified editors and writers across the country. Each text is read by two readers. The readers come up with a longlist of 20-30 texts that are then forwarded to the jury who decide on the shortlist, including a First Prize winner and 4 runners-up The members of the jury (3 per category) are composed of eminent writers and editors from the Canadian literary community.
In order to ensure that the judging process remains completely blind, the shortlist is only made public once the jury deliberations have already taken place. Readers' and jurors' names remain confidential until the end of the competition.
Every effort is made to achieve a balance of gender and diversity in the readers and judges and to reflect regional differences and trends. The readers and jurors change every year and are based in different areas of the country.
Jurors and readers in each category will be chosen by CBC, Canada Council for the Arts, Banff Centre and Spafax Canada Inc. All decisions by the readers and the jury are final. The names of the readers and jurors remain confidential until the end of the competition. Please note that by the time the shortlist is announced the jury's deliberations will have already taken place so that the selection process remains completely anonymous.