Readersforum's Blog

August 19, 2011

Readers Get a Vote for Canada’s Biggest Fiction Prize

By Leigh Anne Williams

The Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s richest prize for fiction, has a new democratic element. Readers now have an opportunity to vote for their favorite title. The C$50,000 prize has always been awarded by a jury from a shortlist drawn from books submitted by their publishers, and a few years ago, the prize began releasing a longlist. Now  readers will be able to nominate their own choice from a list of all of the eligible titles published during the year. The book that gets the most votes will be given a place on the longlist.

Elana Rabinovitch, director of the prize, says the primary intent of the prize has always been to bring Canadian literature into the spotlight. Over the prize’s 18 year history, organizers have seen that “people have an opinion, sometimes a very strong opinion about the books,” she said. They have also wanted an opportunity to see a list of all of the eligible books published in that year, and it was gratifying to be able to provide that, she said of the prize’s new “Crazy for CanLit” feature.

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