Literary Prizes

16 famous Canadian writers who won CBC Literary Prizes

Winners of CBC Literary Prizes join esteemed company. The 2024 CBC Short Story Prize is open until Nov. 1, 2023!

The 2024 CBC Short Story Prize is open until Nov. 1, 2023!

Composite image of five people's headshots.
From the left: Shauna Singh Baldwin, Lorna Crozier, Carol Shields, Frances Itani and Michael Ondaatje. (David J. Baldwin, Angie Abdou, Norman Takeuchi, Chris Young/The Canadian Press, Richard Lam)

The 2024 CBC Short Story Prize is open until Nov. 1, 2023 at 4:59 p.m. ET.

You can submit original, unpublished fiction that is up to 2,500 words. There is no minimum word requirement.

The winners of the CBC Literary Prizes join esteemed company! Check out these 16 Canadian writers who got their start thanks to the CBC Literary Prizes.

1. Caroline Adderson

Caroline Adderson is the author of the novel Ellen in Pieces. (Rafal Gerszak)

Caroline Adderson placed third in the CBC Short Story Prize in 1988 with The Hanging Garden of Babylon. She placed third a second time in 1991 with The Chmarnyk and in 2004, she came in second with Falling.

Adderson is the author of four novels and two short story collections. Her books include A Russian SisterThe Sky is Falling, Ellen in PiecesNorman, Speak! and the 1993 Governor General's Literary Award finalist Bad ImaginingsShe has twice received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and received the 2006 Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement. 

2. Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Gail Anderson-Dargatz is the author of The Cure for Death by Lightning, A Recipe for Bees and the novel The Spawning Grounds. (Mitch Krupp)

In 1993, Gail Anderson-Dargatz won the CBC Short Story Prize with The Girl with the Bell Necklace.

Tell us what you think!

Help shape the future of CBC article pages by taking a quick survey.

Anderson-Dargatz is a writer from British Columbia. Her books include The Cure for Death by Lightning A Recipe for Bees, The Spawning Grounds,Turtle Valley and The Almost Wife. She was a finalist for the Giller Prize twice: in 1996 for The Cure for Death by Lightning and in 1998 for A Recipe for Bees.

3. David Bergen

David Bergen is the author of The Age of Hope and the novel Stranger. (Aaron Harris/Canadian Press)

David Bergen won the 1999 CBC Short Story Prize for his story How can men share a bottle of vodka.

In 2005, his novel The Time in Between won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He was subsequently shortlisted for the Giller for The Matter with Morris in 2010 and longlisted for The Retreat in 2008 and Stranger in 2016. Bergen was also a finalist in 2002 for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction for the book The Case of Lena S. His book The Age of Hope was defended by Ron MacLean on Canada Reads in 2013. He lives in Winnipeg.

His short story collection Here the Dark includes his 1999 winning story. Here the Dark was shortlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Bergen was the 2018 recipient of the Matt Cohen Award, which is given to a writer who has dedicated their professional career to writing, in celebration of their entire body of work. 

4. George Bowering

George Bowering is the author of the novel Mirror on the Floor. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

In 1984, George Bowering received second place in the CBC Literary Prize for his work Delayed Mercy

Bowering is a prolific poet, novelist, historian and biographer from British Columbia. He has written more than 100 books. He was Canada's first parliamentary poet laureate. He won the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence in 2011.

5. Shauna Singh Baldwin 

Shauna Singh Baldwin is the author of the novel What the Body Remembers. (David J. Baldwin)

In 1997, Shauna Singh Baldwin won the CBC Short Story Prize for Satya

Singh Baldwin is a Canadian American novelist, who was born in Montreal and currently lives in Wisconsin. Her short stories have won literary awards in the United States, Canada and India, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in the Canada/Caribbean region. Her books include What the Body Remembers and The Selector of Souls.

6. Lorna Crozier

A smiling woman getting out of the passenger side of a jeep.
Lorna Crozier is a poet and the author of the collection The Wrong Cat. (Angie Abdou)

Canadian poet Lorna Crozier came in first place in the 1987 CBC Poetry Prize with Angels of Silence

Crozier has written more than 15 books. Her poetry collections include The House the Spirit BuildsGod of Shadows and What the Soul Doesn't Want.Her 1992 collection Inventing the Hawk won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry. Her latest book is the memoir Through the Garden, which is a finalist for the 2020 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

7. Kim Echlin

Kim Echlin is the author of Under the Visible Life. (Michelle Quance)

Kim Echlin's entry, titled I, Witness, earned her the first prize in the 2005 CBC Nonfiction Prize

Echlin is a writer who lives in Toronto. Her other novels include Elephant Winter, Dagmar's DaughterThe DisappearedSpeak, Silence and Under the Visible LifeThe Disappeared was shortlisted for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

8. Camilla Gibb 

Camilla Gibb is the author of This Is Happy. (George Whiteside/Random House of Canada)

In 2001, Camilla Gibb won the CBC Short Story Prize for her entry Between Wars

Camilla Gibb is an English-born Canadian, now based in Toronto. Her novel Sweetness in the Belly won the 2006 Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She is also the author of the novels The Beauty of Humanity Movement and The Relatives and the memoir This is Happy.

9. Frances Itani 

Frances Itani is the author of Tell, Deafening and That's my Baby. (Norman Takeuchi)

Frances Itani won the CBC Short Story Prize in 1995 and 1996 for her stories Bolero and Poached Egg on Toast respectively. She placed third in 1984 for Songs For The Children.

Frances Itani is a fiction writer, poet and essayist. She is a member of the Order of Canada. Her novel Tell was shortlisted for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She won a Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best book in 2004 for Deafening. The novel was a contender for Canada Reads 2006. She is also the author of the novels Remembering the BonesRequiem, That's My Baby and an illustrated children's book Best Friend Trouble. Her latest is the novel The Company We Keep.

10. Michael Ondaatje 

Michael Ondaatje is the author of the poetry collection Secular Love. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

In 1982, Michael Ondaatje won the CBC Short Story Prize for his entry The Passions of Lalla

Ondaatje's novels and poetry have earned international acclaim, and he was the first Canadian ever to win the Man Booker Prize — in 1992, for the wartime story The English Patient. Ondaatje began his writing career in 1967 as a poet, winning two Governor General's Awards for poetry before turning to fiction. Following the success of The English Patient, he went on to win the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award and France's prestigious Prix Medicis for his novel Anil's Ghost

11. Alison Pick

Alison Pick is the author of Between Gods: A Memoir. (Emma-Lee Photography)

Alison Pick won the 2005 CBC Poetry Prize with her entry The Mind's Eye.

In 2002, Pick received the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her work has appeared in various publications, including the Globe and Mail and the Walrus. Her memoir, Between Gods, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. It was also shortlisted for both the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and for the JQ Wingate Prize in the UK.

She is the author of novels The Sweet Edge, published in 2005, and Strangers With the Same Dream, published in 2017, as well as two poetry collections, Questions & Answers and The Dream World. Her 2010 novel, Far to Gowas longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

12. Leon Rooke 

Leon Rooke is the author of the short story collection Swinging Through Dixie. (Mark Raynes Roberts)

In 2002, Leon Rooke won the CBC Short Story Prize for his entry The Last Shot

Rooke is a writer based in Toronto. He's the author of several acclaimed books, including Fat Woman, Shakespeare's Dog, and Swinging Through Dixie. In 1983, he won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. In 2007, he was named a member of the Order of Canada. In 2002, he defended The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence on Canada Reads.

13. Carol Shields 

Carol Shields is the author of The Stone Diaries and Unless. (Richard Lam)

In 1983, Carol Shields won the CBC Literary Prize for radio drama for Women Waiting. In 1984, she came in second in the CBC Short Story Prize for her story Flitting Behaviour.

Shields was an American-born Canadian short story writer, poet, playwright and novelist. She is the author of several award-winning books. Her novel The Stone Diaries won the Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction in 1992 and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1993. It was also shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. In 1997, Larry's Party was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Shields received her third nomination for the award when Unless was named a finalist in 2002. The novel was a contender for Canada Reads in 2011, when it was defended by Lorna Cardinal. In 2019, her 10th novel, Unless, was named by the BBC as one of the 100 novels that shaped our world. Shields died in 2003 at the age of 68.

14. Michael Winter 

Michael Winter is the author of The Architects Are Here and Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead. (Rogatien Piano)

Michael Winter won the 2004 CBC Short Story Prize for The Point David Made Earlier.

Winter was born in England, and grew up in Newfoundland. He is the author of several books, including the novels This All Happened, The Big Why, The Death of Donna Whalen and Minister Without Portfolio, and the nonfiction book Into the Blizzard. Minister Without Portfolio was defended by Adam Copeland on Canada Reads 2016.

15. Alix Hawley

Alix Hawley is the author of the short story "Witching". (Mike Hawley)

Alix Hawley won the 2017 CBC Short Story Prize for Witching.

Hawley is a writer based on B.C. She won the 2015 First Novel Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for her debut novel, All True Not a Lie in Ita book that fictionalized the life of Pennsylvania Quaker Daniel Boone. Her 2018 novel My Name is a Knife continues the story of Daniel Boone.

16. Brian Brett

Brian Brett is a poet, fiction and memoir writer. (Submitted by Brian Brett)

Brian Brett won the 2010 CBC Poetry Prize for To Your Scattered Bodies Go.

Brett is a poet, fiction and memoir writer, journalist and former chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. His 13 books include The Colour of Bones in a Stream and the bestselling memoir Trauma Farm, which won numerous prizes, including the Writers' Trust of Canada for best Canadian nonfiction book. His most recent book is the award-winning memoir Tuco and the Scattershot World: A Life with Birds.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now