Literary Prizes

Eternity Martis, David A. Robertson and Merilyn Simonds to judge 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner will receive $6,000, a two-week writing residency and have their work published on CBC Books. Submissions are open until Feb. 28, 2023!

The winner will receive $6,000, a writing residency and have their work published on CBC Books

Collage of side by side photos from left to right of Eternity Martis, David A. Robertson and Merilyn Simonds
Eternity Martis left, David A. Robertson centre, and Merilyn Simonds will be judging the 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize. (Eternity Martis, Amber Green, Gerry Kingsley)

Eternity Martis, David A. Robertson and Merilyn Simonds will judge the 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

The CBC Nonfiction Prize recognizes original, unpublished works of nonfiction up to 2,000 words. Memoir, biography, humour writing, essay, personal essay, travel writing or a feature article are all accepted.

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point and have their work published on CBC Books.

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

The 2023 prize is open for submissions until Feb. 28, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Martis is a journalist and editor living in Toronto. She is the author of the memoir They Said This Would Be Fun, which won the 2021 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction. She teaches journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her writing has appeared in media outlets across North America, including Vice, Huffington Post, The Walrus, Hazlitt, The Fader, Salon and CBC.

Robertson is a Swampy Cree writer who has published several books across a variety of genres, from pictures books to graphic novels to memoir and fiction. His most recent books are the novel The Theory of Crows, the Misewa Saga YA series, the picture book On the Trapline, which was illustrated by Julie Flett, and the memoir Black Water. His picture book  When We Were Alone, which as also illustrated by Flett, won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature, illustrated books

Robertson also hosted the CBC Manitoba podcast Kiwew and is the editorial director of a new children's imprint dedicated to publishing Indigenous writers and illustrators at Penguin Random House Canada.

LISTEN | How authors David A. Robertson and Vivek Shraya are helping writers of colour:

David A. Robertson and Vivek Shraya have both made indelible marks on contemporary Canadian literature as bestselling authors. They also both run their own imprints — Shraya's VS. Books at Arsenal Pulp Press has been dedicated to emerging BIPOC writers since 2017, while Robertson has recently launched a children's imprint at Penguin Random House Canada to publish Indigenous writers and illustrators. Robertson and Shraya joined guest host Elamin Abdelmahmoud to talk about helping new writers get their foot in the door of the Canadian publishing industry.

Merilyn Simonds is a writer from Kingston, Ont. who has written 20 books, including the nonfiction books The Convict LoverGutenberg's Fingerprint and the novel Refuge. She is the founder and first artistic director of the Kingston WritersFest. Her latest book, Woman, Watching, was published in 2022. 

The jury will select the shortlist and winner. A panel of established writers and editors from across Canada review the submissions and will determine the longlist from all the submissions. The longlist, shortlist and winner will be announced in fall 2023.

Last year's winner was Susan Cormier, a Métis writer from B.C., for her essay Advice to a New Beekeeper

The CBC Literary Prizes have been recognizing Canadian writers since 1979. Past winners include David Bergen, Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields and Michael Winter.

Need a little motivation to get you going? Subscribe to the CBC Nonfiction Prize newsletter.

If you're looking to submit to the French nonfiction prize, you can enter here

The 2023 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April and the CBC Short Story Prize will open in September.

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