Toronto: The $150,000 Carol Shields Prize Names Its Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

Four of the five shortlisted titles in the Carol Shields Prize are from Penguin Random House companies, while one is from SPJ Lit.

Image: Carol Shields Prize

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

A Prize for Women and Non-Binary Writers
In the second year in which this lucrative US$150,000 purse is to be awarded, the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction today announces the five-book shortlist of its 2024 edition.

Our readers will recall the 15-title longlist named in March for this program, which 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.

A winner is to be named in Toronto on May 13.

The 2024 Carol Shields Prize Shortlist

Four of the five shortlisted titles here are from Penguin Random House companies, while one is from SPJ Lit, a press created by the independent house Zando and the actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

  • Birnam Wood: A Novel by Eleanor Catton (Penguin Random House / McClelland & Stewart)
  • Daughter: A Novel by Claudia Dey (Penguin Random House / Doubleday Canada)
  • Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote (SJP Lit)
  • Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan (Penguin Random House)
  • A History of Burning: A Novel by Janika Oza (Penguin Random House / McClelland & Stewart)

Jurors this year are:

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

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.