and the Walrus Foundation present the 40th Anniversary of the First Novel Award

Finalists selected by Russell Brown, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Toronto and editor of the Oxford Anthology of Canadian Literature; shortlist will be announced in April 2016 on all Walrus platforms — print, digital, and mobile.

The winner will be chosen by head judge Russell Brown and a jury comprised of Walrus magazine fiction editor Nick Mount and celebrated Canadian author Gurjinder Basran; the winner will be announced on May 26, 2016 at the 40th Anniversary of the First Novel award ceremony at the Four Seasons in Toronto.

TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - and the Walrus Foundation are proud to present the 40th anniversary of the First Novel Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievement of a Canadian first-time novelist. Since 1976, the First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada's most beloved novelists, including Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, André Alexis, Michael Redhill, Mary Lawson, Colin McAdam, Joseph Boyden, Joan Thomas, and David Bezmozgis.

Head judge Russell Brown, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Toronto and editor of the Oxford Anthology of Canadian Literature will select the shortlist. A panel composed of Brown, University of Toronto Canadian literature professor and Walrus fiction editor Nick Mount, and Gurjinder Basran, winner of the BC Book Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Award.

Last year's winner was Alix Hawley for her book All True Not a Lie In It. Hawley's novel All True Not a Lie In It (Knopf Canada) which earned her the title of 2015 First Novel Award winner and $7,500.

The finalists for the 2015 First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by author, were:

"I discovered Canadian fiction in 1969," said head judge Russell Brown, "around the time I moved to North Ontario. I was astonished by the early novels of Margaret Laurence, Leonard Cohen, Robert Kroetsch, Margaret Atwood, and Mordecai Richler, and believing that the continued emergence of literary fiction is a sign of the cultural health of our nation, I've been reading Canadian authors ever since. I look forward to being a part of a project, especially on such a momentous anniversary, that celebrates that vitality."

"Happy to be back in the judge's (virtual) chambers," said Mount, short list judge and fiction editor of The Walrus. "There are few reading experiences more rewarding than being there for the arrival of new writers."

The 2016 winner will be announced on May 26, 2016 at the 40th Anniversary of the First Novel Award.  The ceremony — an important moment for the Canadian novel and the future of literature in Canada — will be held in Toronto at the Four Seasons Hotel and attended by the city's literary elite.

To find additional information about the finalists and their novels, and to find out more about the First Novel Award, visit or  

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About the Walrus Foundation
The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms: publishing The Walrus magazine ten times a year, in print, tablet, and smart phone editions; curating the Walrus Talks, leadership dinners, speakers' series, and other events across the country; posting original, high-quality content at; and through such digital projects as Walrus Ebooks. The foundation also partners with Blue Ant Media to produce documentaries and other programming at; and trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.

SOURCE The Walrus Foundation

For further information: Amirah El-Safty, Partnerships and Marketing Manager,, 416.971.5004 ext. 253


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