Shortlist selected for $30,000 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Kobo has revealed the shortlist of books in contention for its Emerging Writer Prize which offers cash awards totalling CAD$30,000 to the winners.

The 18 debut books have been selected in three categories — Non-fiction, Literary Fiction, and Mystery, which is the genre selection for this year.

The award was created to bring literary recognition to Canadian talent and boost the careers of debut authors. A $10,000 CAD cash prize will be awarded to a book in each of three categories and each winning author will also get promotional, marketing and communications support throughout 2021.

The 2021 shortlist comprises six books from each category, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers. Three best-selling Canadian author judges will now choose the winners:. The judges are: Kamal Al-Solaylee for Non-fiction, Jennifer Robson for Literary Fiction, and Amy Stuart for Mystery. The winners will be announced on June 22, 2021.

The books on the shortlist are:


  • The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
  • Missing From The Village by Justin Ling
  • Field Notes From A Pandemic by Ethan Lou
  • They Said This Would Be Fun by Eternity Martis
  • Dead Mom Walking by Rachel Matlow
  • Finding Murph by Rick Westhead

Literary Fiction

  • Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
  • When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald
  • Good Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria Reva
  • Hunger Moon by Traci Skuce
  • Aftershock by Alison Taylor
  • We Two Alone by Jack Wang


  • The Woman in the Attic by Emily Hepditch
  • Black Iris by Linda Keith
  • Tell Me My Name by Erin Ruddy
  • Dark August by Katie Tallo
  • Night Call by Brenden Carlson
  • True Patriots by Russell Fralich

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