The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction

 Full details 

Submission Deadlines

Books published between January 1, 2024 - July 31, 2024,
must be received on or before Monday July 15, 2024, at 11:59pm PST.

Books published between August 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024,
must be received on or before Wednesday October 16, 2024, at 11:59pm PST.


Submissions after the final deadline are deemed ineligible.

The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction is designed to acknowledge, celebrate, and promote the best works of fiction written by women and non-binary writers annually in Canada and the United States.

Please read through the rules & regulations before submitting your entry using the form at the bottom of the page.

1) The Prize:

a) The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction (the Prize) is administered by the Carol Shields Prize Foundation (the Foundation).

b) The winner of the Prize will be awarded $150,000 USD.

c) Four finalists will each receive $12,500 USD.

2) General Guidelines:

a) The Prize is open to novels, short story collections and graphic novels written by women and non-binary writers for an adult audience. Books must be first edition English-language books written by a Canadian or American citizen or permanent resident of either country.

b) Publishers may submit only two titles per imprint, per publishing house. See rule 3.d for more details.

c) All books and entry forms must be submitted and filled out by the book’s publisher.

d) Books submitted by authors directly are not eligible.

e) Self-published books are not eligible. See rule 3.m for more details.

f) The originating publisher and imprint must be U.S. or Canadian based. Books not initially published in the U.S. or Canada, even if distributed into the markets, are not eligible. (See 3.l for books in translation.)

g) All submitted books/e-books must carry an ISBN number and be available for sale in retail/bookstores across Canada and/or the United States. See rule 3.n-3.o for more details.

h) Incomplete entry forms or books that fail to meet the final submission deadline will be deemed ineligible. See Prize Submissions Deadlines, 6.a-6.c, for details.

i) All entries for the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction are strictly confidential and may not be used to publicize an author in the future, unless they have been named to the longlist or shortlist or chosen as the winner.

3) Submission Guidelines:

a) Works of fiction in the form of novels, short story collections, and graphic novels written for an adult audience are eligible for submission. The books must be scheduled to be published between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. For more details on submission dates see Prize Submission Deadlines, 6.a-6.c.

b) Only works written by women or non-binary authors are eligible for submission. The Prize welcomes and encourages submissions by transgender woman authors. The Prize recognizes trans women as women without qualification.

c) The Prize does not require any validation regarding an author’s gender beyond their self-identification. By submitting to the Prize, the publisher is confirming that the author self-identifies as a woman or nonbinary writer.

d) Publishers are encouraged to submit up to two eligible books from each imprint of their publishing company. Each imprint must have a different name and be editorially distinct from other imprints in order to be considered separate from the parent publisher.

e) The Prize is for literary excellence and publishers are encouraged to only submit titles that meet this broad requirement.

f) Along with the completed online submission form publishers must submit a digital copy of the eligible title. Please upload as a PDF file (and an ePub where available), either a galley or final version. Incomplete submission forms or digital copies that are not received by the final deadline will render the book ineligible. See Prize Submissions Deadlines, 6.a-6.c, for all relevant dates.

g) Please do not use a watermark across text, or include text overlaid on images on a digital book, as it may adversely affect the reading experience. Upon entry, files remain in a restricted folder accessible only to the Jury and Foundation staff. Files will not be shared with any outside parties.

h) Publishers may need to submit five published hardcopies of the books they have submitted for the prize. Foundation staff will contact publishers to request those books, should they be required. Hardcopies are not to be submitted unless specifically requested by Foundation staff. Please see Prize Submission Deadlines, 6.d, for more information.

i) Final deadlines for submissions are listed below under Prize Submissions Deadlines, 6.a-6.c. Books not received by the final deadline will be deemed ineligible.

j) Books must be first edition English-language books written by a Canadian or American citizen or permanent resident of either country.

k) Authors must be living at the time of publication in order to be eligible for submission. The Prize does not accept posthumous submissions.

l) Books that have been translated from another language are eligible and will be considered in the year that the English translation is published in Canada and/or the U.S.. The book in translation must be authored by an American or Canadian citizen or permanent resident of either country. In the event that a translation wins the Prize, the prize winnings will be split with the translator in the following way: $100,000 to the writer; $50,000 to the translator. Both the original author and the translator must self-identify as a woman or non-binary person. 

m) Books must be published by publishing houses with a professional editorial process, independent of the authors. Authors must not pay for the publishing house’s editorial, marketing, or publicity services. Self-published books are ineligible.

n) All books must have an ISBN and be available for sale in bookstores in Canada and/or the United States.

o) Books only available as e-book or audio editions are not eligible.

p) All books must be authored by a single writer. Books with multiple authors are not eligible. Anthologies are not eligible.

q) Graphic novels must be authored and illustrated by a single creator in order to be eligible. For example, if a graphic novel has been written by an author and illustrated by an artist who is not the author, it is ineligible.

r) If more than 20% of a submitted book has been previously published in book form in any country, the book is ineligible.

s) The Carol Shields Prize Foundation welcomes all entries submitted in good faith and reserves the right to refuse entries submitted with malice or with the intent to mislead or deceive others, or which otherwise may harm the Foundation’s reputation.

t) Books with AI-generated text in part or in whole will not be accepted. 

u) Kindly note that in the event of a dispute as to eligibility, the Foundation will decide whether a book is eligible, and its decision will be binding.

4) Conditions of Prize Entry for Publishers:

Publishers who submit books for prize consideration are bound by the following conditions:

a) If a publisher’s book is one of the five shortlisted books, they must contribute $2,000 to the Foundation for the advertising and marketing of the shortlist. (We are committed to ensuring access to publishers of all sizes. Please contact us at info@carolshieldsprizeforfiction.com if this contribution is likely to prohibit the publisher from entering the Prize.)

b) If a publisher’s book is one of the longlisted books, they must provide the Prize with ten physical copies of the longlisted books for promotional purposes.

c) If a publisher’s book is one of the shortlisted books, they must provide the Prize with an additional twenty physical copies of the shortlisted books for promotional purposes.

d) Entry into the Prize confirms the author’s willingness to make themselves available to promote the Prize and the shortlisted book/s, when possible, and confirms the publisher’s agreement to support these efforts. The publisher will secure a signed commitment from the author, at the time a book is longlisted, to ensure the finalist agrees that:

i)  Shortlisted authors will attend the prize event in May 2025, which will require a commitment of approximately one week. The Prize will cover pre-approved travel costs for the prize event: economy flight, ground transport (home/airport/hotel and back), accommodation, and per diem.

ii) Shortlisted authors will attend and participate in a variety of events during that week including but not limited to media interviews, readings, and appearances, both in-person and remotely.

iii) Shortlisted authors will sign books and/or bookplates (to be provided by the Prize.)

iv) Shortlisted authors may be asked to assist with reasonable promotional efforts such as interviews, readings and appearances, in the months following the prize announcement. The Prize will ensure that authors will not be out-of-pocket for expenses incurred in service of promoting the Prize.

v) We are committed to accessibility. Please contact us at info@carolshieldsprizeforfiction.com if any of the conditions of 4.d are likely to prohibit the publisher from submitting an author’s work to the Prize.

e) The publisher agrees to market and promote the shortlisted book.

f) The publisher agrees to sticker the book, including reprints, with the Prize insignia. The artwork for the sticker will be provided electronically by the Prize.

g) The publisher shall agree to provide permissions for excerpts of the longlisted and shortlisted books to be used in Prize materials for the Prize announcement event, promotional events, and for media excerpts.

5) Jury Guidelines:

a) Each year a jury of five judges made up of Canadian and American writers will be responsible for creating a longlist of not more than fifteen finalists, before narrowing the list down to a shortlist of not more than five finalists. The jurors will choose one winner from the shortlisted finalists.

b) Jurors will make their selections based on literary merit without personal prejudice or preference of, including but not limited to, publisher, editor, nationality, ethnicity, or political or religious views.

c) Jurors may call in additional books that publishers have chosen not to submit. Any book that is called in must meet the eligibility and submission guidelines.

d) Jury members agree not to discuss or divulge the submitted books or the jury process and proceedings publicly or with anyone outside of the panel of jurors.

6) Prize Submission Deadlines:

a) There are two submission periods based on publication date. Publishers are encouraged to submit their titles for consideration as soon as possible, even if the publication date falls in the second submission period. All publishers must submit one completed entry form for each submitted title and at least one digital copy of each submitted title by the following dates. Submissions after the final deadline are deemed ineligible.

b) Submission Periods 1: 

Entries for books published between January 1, 2024-July 31, 2024, must be received on or before July 15, 2024.

c) Submission Period 2: 

Entries for books published between August 1, 2024-December 31, 2024, must be received on or before October 16, 2024.

c) Please note that physical copies of the submitted books may be required. Foundation staff will contact publishers to request those copies individually. Do not submit physical copies unless requested by the Foundation staff. Publishers will have thirty days from request to submit the published books to the Prize.

7) Announcement Schedule:

Longlist: March 2025 

Shortlist: April 2025

Prize: May 2025

8) Submit now: 

Submit using this online form: https://form.jotform.com/241475832514255
Please contact info@carolshieldsprizeforfiction.com with any questions.

NOTE: The Carol Shields Prize Foundation reserves the right to review and change the submission rules, guidelines, and dates as necessary.

 

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