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Ontario, Canada’s Top Literary Award

2020 Trillium Book Award Finalists


TORONTO | May 12, 2020
| Fourteen diverse books have been shortlisted for Ontario’s prestigious literary prize, the 2020 Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium, presented by Ontario Creates, an agency of the government of Ontario.

There are two English and two French prizes: the Trillium Book Award in English and the Prix Trillium in French, as well as the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in both English and French. Written by established and emerging authors, the shortlisted titles span a wide variety of genres, showcasing the diversity of voices that make up Ontario’s vast literary landscape.

The Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium winners will be announced during an online event on June 17, 2020. In the ramp-up to the big awards night, Ontario Creates will be sharing, celebrating and showcasing these 14 talented finalists on our website and social channels. For detailed information on all the 2020 Trillium Book Award finalists click here. 

English-language Finalists for the Trillium Book Award:

  • Christina Baillie and Martha Baillie, Sister Language, Pedlar Press
  • Téa Mutonji, Shut Up You're Pretty, VS. Books/Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Sara Peters, I Become a Delight to My Enemies, Strange Light
  • Zalika Reid-Benta, Frying Plantain, House of Anansi Press
  • Seth, Clyde Fans: A Picture NovelDrawn & Quarterly

French-language Finalists for the Trillium Book Award:

  • Jean Boisjoli, Moi, Sam. Elle, Janis, Éditions David
  • Claude GuilmainAmericanDream.ca, Les Éditions L'Interligne
  • Aristote Kavungu, Mon père, Boudarel et moi, Les Éditions L'Interligne
  • Paul Ruban, Crevaison en corbillard, Flammarion Québec

Finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English language:

  • Roxanna Bennett, UnmeaningableGordon Hill Press
  • Doyali Islam, heftMcClelland & Stewart
  • Matthew Walsh, These are not the potatoes of my youth, Goose Lane Editions

Finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in French language:

  • Daniel Groleau Landry, Fragments de ciels, Les Éditions L'Interligne
  • Véronique Sylvain, Premier quart, Prise de parole


“Ontario Creates nurtures the very best literary talent in our Province through Ontario’s formidable publishers who contribute $523M to Ontario’s economy and employ over 6,000 people. We encourage all Ontarians to read these terrific books, and to join us online for the awards announcement on June 17.”

~ Aaron Campbell, Chair, Ontario Creates

“Each year, the Trillium Book Awards gives Ontario Creates the opportunity to shine a light on brilliant literary achievements by Ontario authors, whose stories and poems in English and French enrich our lives. That has never been more important than it is today.  Check out the best of Ontario’s literary landscape with this year’s shortlisted titles, and discover more about these books and talented writers over the weeks ahead on Ontario Creates social channels.”

~ Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Creates


  • The Trillium Book Award / Prix Trillium encourages excellence in literature by investing in Ontario-based writers.  Award recipients receive $20,000 and their respective publishers receive $2,500 to promote the winning titles.
  • Three titles are short-listed for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English language, which recognizes literary achievement for a first, second or third published work of poetry. Two titles have been short-listed for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in French language, which is awarded in alternating years with the Trillium Book Awards for Children’s Literature in French language. The winner for each of these awards receives $10,000 and their publisher $2,000 for promotion of the titles.
  • Previous winners have included world-renowned writers Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, Michael Ondaatje, Marguerite Andersen, Andrée Lacelle and François Paré.
  • Book publishing in Canada is a $1.64 billion industry, with two-thirds of revenues generated in Ontario


Ontario Creates  produces the Trillium Book Awards each year. The Ontario government established the Trillium Book Award in 1987 to recognize excellence, support marketing and foster increased public awareness of the quality and diversity of Ontario writers and their works. 

Ontario Creates is an agency of the Government of Ontario that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors. ontariocreates.ca

Bob Reid

Suzan Ayscough,
Head of Communications
Ontario Creates

Disponible en français

Photos | Headshots and Bookcovers available upon request