International Women’s Day: The Carol Shields Prize Longlist

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There are 15 titles on the Carol Shields Prize longlist, which honors fiction by women and non-binary writers in Canada and the USA.

Image: Carol Shields Prize

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Winner’s Purse of US$150,000
Some of our readers—those good at holding myriad book and publishing contests in their minds—may recall our story in January 2021 about the establishment of the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction. This is the second year in which the honor is to be awarded.

The program acknowledges the work of women and non-binary writers in Canada and the United States. It’s named for an American-born Canadian writer who may be best remembered for winning the Pulitzer Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for her 1993 novel, The Stone Diaries. (Penguin Random House).

The co-founders of the Shields Prize—Susan Swan, Janice Zawerbny, and Don Oravec—created the award as one that would recognize women’s work generously. With the announcement today (March 8, International Women’s Day) of the prize’s longlist, the purse stands at US$150,000, thanks to a donation from BMO Financial Group.

In the event the award goes to a translated work, US$100,00 is given to the author and US$50,000 to the translator. In addition to the main award, each of the four runners-up from the shortlist receives $12,500.

The longlist includes the work of nine writers from the United States and six from Canada. It comprises novels, short story collections, and fiction in translation.

A shortlist of five contenders is to be announced on April 9. A winner is to be named in Toronto on May 13.

The 2024 Carol Shields Prize Longlist

Our regular readers will note that a couple of names on this list are also on other lists from the myriad book and publishing contests vying with each other for press attention and funding.

Carol Shields

Québec’s Catherine Leroux is here, for example, having just been named on Thursday (March 7) as the winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s fine annual Canada Reads competition. Her book is titled The Future.

V. V. Ganeshananthan’s Brotherless Night is here, too, having just been longlisted Wednesday (March 6) for the United Kingdom’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

  • Cocktail: Stories by Lisa Alward (Biblioasis)
  • Birnam Wood: A Novel by Eleanor Catton (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Dances: A Novel by Nicole Cuffy (One World)
  • Daughter: A Novel by Claudia Dey (Doubleday Canada)
  • Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote (SJP Lit)
  • Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan (Random House)
  • Between Two Moons by Aisha Abdel Gawad (Doubleday)
  • Loot: A Novel by Tania James (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • You Were Watching from the Sand: Short Stories by Juliana Lamy (Red Hen Press)
  • The Future by Catherine Leroux, translated by Susan Ouriou (Biblioasis)
  • I Have Some Questions for You: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai (Viking)
  • A History of Burning: A Novel by Janika Oza (McClelland & Stewart)
  • A Council of Dolls: A Novel by Mona Susan Power (Mariner Books)
  • Chrysalis: Stories by Anuja Varghese (House of Anansi)
  • Land of Milk and Honey: A Novel by C Pam Zhang (Riverhead Books)

Jurors this year are:

  • Jen Sookfong Lee, the jury chair
  • Laila Lalami
  • Claire Messud
  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  • Eden Robinson

BMO Financial Group also sponsored the award in 2023 for the winner, Fatimah Asghar (When We Were Sisters), and four finalists: Daphne Palasi Andreades (Brown Girls), Talia Lakshmi Kolluri (What We Fed to the Manticore), Suzette Mayr (The Sleeping Car Porter), and Alexis Schaitkin (Elsewhere).

More from Publishing Perspectives on awards in books and publishing is here, more on women in publishing is here, more on the Canadian market is here, and more on the United States market is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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