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Giller to waive staggered deadlines, accept all entrees before August 14 regardless of publication date

Host Jann Arden (left) with the 2019 Giller shortlisted authors

With many spring publication dates moving to late summer or fall as the bookselling landscape struggles to adapt to restrictions necessary to contain COVID-19, the Scotiabank Giller Prize has relaxed its deadlines. Titles are traditionally submitted to one of four deadlines depending on their publication dates.

Now to accommodate the changing publication calendar, the Giller will accept all entries before its final deadline of Aug. 14. Both print books and PDFs are being accepted with the original goal of a longlist announcement in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in September still scheduled (though that plan, of course, could change). The prize will still honour books published between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020.

The Writers’ Trust of Canada, which awards more than $260,000 in prizes to writers at its annual fall awards ceremony, hasn’t adjusted deadlines for its seven fall literary prizes. However, the committee understands the unique challenges publishers could face this year.

“WT is approaching book prize deadlines with flexibility,” the organization confirmed in an email to Q&Q. “While deadlines remain the same to enter books to our prizes, WT will work with publishers if they come up against any obstacles that prevent them from submitting.”

The third big prize body in Canadian literature, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, has not announced any changes to its submission requirements. The seven prizes have five staggered deadlines spaced throughout the year, with the publication date determining each title’s deadline.