What Is the Scotiabank Giller Prize?


Quick Answer

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is a literary award that recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction both in long and short formats. It was founded in 1994 and originally offered a cash prize annually of $25,000. Past winners include André Alexis, Sean Michaels and Lynn Coady.

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Jack Rabinovitch found the Scotiabank Giller Prize in honor of his late wife, Doris Giller. As of 2016, the award has endowed more than three-quarters of a million dollars to Canadian writers. The original prize of $25,000 grew in 2005 to $50,000 following an endorsement deal with Scotiabank. It grew again in 2014 to $140,000. The award focuses on English literature or English translations and grew out of increasing recognition of Canadian writers' contributions to modern literature.

The prize uses a long list and short list created by a panel of judges, referred to as a jury, that has included Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro and Francine Prose. In 2015, André Alexis won the prize for his novel "Fifteen Dogs." The winner of 2014's award was Sean Michaels for his book "Us Conductors."

The award's short list initially relied heavily on books published by Bertelsmann AG-affiliated Canadian publishing houses. In more recent years, small, independent presses have become increasingly popular with the award's jury.

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