Submission deadline:
May 31, 2017
Awards Ceremony:
October 15, 2017

Contact Us:

Call for Submissions 2017

The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards will again acknowledge excellence in writing on Jewish themes and subjects by Canadian authors.

The 2017 awards program will accept submissions of books on Jewish subjects or with significant Jewish content published between April 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017. The submission deadline is May 31, 2017.

Last year more than 60 submissions were received. Some of the books recognized by the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards have gone on to receive other major awards and recognition, including a Governor General’s Literary Award and a National Jewish Book Award in the United States.

For more information see the Submission Criteria and the Award Categories below or contact
Edward Trapunski, Co-chair

Submission Criteria

We invite you to submit any books on a Canadian Jewish theme or on a Jewish topic by a Canadian Jewish author. The prizes will continue the tradition of recognizing the best books on Jewish subjects by Canadian authors, who need not themselves be Jewish.


  • Books written on subjects with Jewish themes or with significant Jewish content
  • Books written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • Books written in English or French
  • Books published between April 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017
  • Books with a 13 digit ISBN, including E-books
  • Books with Jewish content written by non-Jewish authors are eligible
  • Graphic books are eligible

Previously submitted titles, new translations and reissues are not eligible.

How to Submit

Five copies of each book. For E-Books: Three free downloads and two hard copies

Completed submission form

$40 entry fee per title submitted. Cheques should be made out to: York University – Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies and mailed to:

The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards
Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies
763 Kaneff Tower
York University,
4700 Keele Street,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3

Submissions must be received by May 31, 2017. Early submission is encouraged and appreciated. Send submissions to:

The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards
Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies
763 Kaneff Tower
York University,
4700 Keele Street,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3


Submission Form

Award Categories

Fiction: novels and short story collections with Jewish content.

Scholarship: books of original research that contribute to Jewish knowledge.

Biography/Memoir: autobiography, personal memoir or family history The subject must have relevance to the Jewish experience.

History: non-fiction works about the Jewish historical experience

Youth Literature: books on a Jewish theme for children or young adults

Poetry: books of verse including significant Jewish content.

Holocaust Literature: books concerning the Holocaust including autobiographies, memoirs, academic studies, history and fiction.

Jewish Thought & Culture: non-fiction works illuminating Jewish thinking, culture, and the Jewish experience.

Yiddish: books in Yiddish or about Yiddish culture; translations from Yiddish (fiction or non-fiction) also considered.

The Jury may choose award categories at its discretion, and may elect to forgo awarding a prize in any category if it determines that there is no prize-worthy publication in that category in a given year.

Our Mission

The recognition of its literature and culture helps keep the Jewish community in Canada strong and vibrant. To nurture that vitality, a group of prominent writers, editors and scholars has founded The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards.

The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards (CJLA) recognize the finest books with Jewish themes and subjects by Canadian authors in a variety of genres. They enrich and promote Canadian Jewish writing and culture, enabling us to better understand our collective past, our shared present, and the world of the future

The CJLA does more than reward winning authors with a cash prize and a moment in the spotlight. They build pride, not only in the individuals being honoured, but in the creative achievements that reflect Jewish themes and ideas. The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards are inspired by Adam Fuerstenberg z”l who founded the Canadian Jewish Book Awards in 1987 and was on the inaugural CJLA jury in 2015.

The 2017 Awards are sponsored and administered through the generosity of York University's Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies. The 2017 gala Canadian Jewish Literary Awards ceremony will be held on October 15, 2017 at 2:00pm at York University, in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall. Members of the public are invited and welcomed. Admission is free.

Jurors 2017

Edward Trapunski: Co-chair, author of three books and winner of an ACTRA Award as best writer.

Michael Posner: Co-chair, award-winning author and playwright and former reporter for the Globe and Mail.

Carl S. Ehrlich: Director of the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies and Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Department of Humanities at York University .

Judith Ghert: Volunteer and member of the board of the Ontario Jewish Archives and member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Canada.

Alain Goldschläger: Director of the Holocaust Literature Research Institute and Professor of French at Western University, and former Chair of The NationaI Task Force for Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.

Andrea Knight: editor and former co-publisher of the New Jewish Press, the publishing program of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto, and former managing editor of the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs.

Adam Sol: Author of four collections of poetry and fiction, scholarly essays, and reviews for a variety of publications. Most recently he started a blog called How a Poem Moves.

Award Winners 2016

Fiction: Sigal Samuel, for The Mystics of Mile End (Freehand Books).

Holocaust Literature: Agata Tuszyńska, for A Family History of Fear (Knopf Canada)

Memoir/Biography: Howard Akler, for Men of Action (Coach House Press).

Children and Youth Fiction: Anne Dublin, for 44 Hours or Strike! (Second Story Press)

History: Michael Marrus, for Lessons of the Holocaust (University of Toronto Press)

Yiddish: Helen Mintz, translator, for Vilna, My Vilna: Stories by Abraham Karpinowitz (Syracuse University Press).

Jewish Thought and Culture: Julia Creet, Sara R. Horowitz and Amira Bojadzija-Dan, editors, for H.G. Adler: Life, Literature, Legacy (Northwestern University Press).

Scholarship: Sarah Phillips Casteel, for Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia University Press).

Award Winners 2015

Novel: Nora Gold, for Fields of Exile (Dundurn Press).

Scholarship: James A. Diamond, for Maimonides and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon (Cambridge University Press).

Biography/Memoir: Alison Pick, for Between Gods: A Memoir (Doubleday Canada).

History: Joseph Hodes, for From India to Israel: Identity, Immigration, and the Struggle for Religious Equality (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Youth Literature: Suri Rosen, for Playing with Matches (ECW Press)

Poetry: Robyn Sarah, for My Shoes Are Killing Me (Biblioasis).

Holocaust Literature: Beverley Chalmers, for Birth, Sex and Abuse: Women's Voices Under Nazi Rule (Grosvenor House)

Short Fiction: Mireille Silcoff, for Chez l’Arabe (House of Anansi).

Yiddish: Ruth Panofsky, for The Collected Poems of Miriam Waddington: A Critical Edition (University of Ottawa Press).

On Jewish writing

Former Canadian Jewish Literary Award juror Sara Horowitz, professor of literature at Israel And Golda Koschitzky Centre For Jewish Studies At York University, delivered this speech at the Canadian Jewish News Prize for Young Writers awards ceremony, Feb. 10, 2016

Download the speech.

In Memoriam – Adam Fuerstenberg

Adam Fuerstenberg, who died January 3, founded the Canadian Jewish Book Awards in 1987. He was a tireless and life-long supporter of Canadian Jewish culture, progressive social values, the Yiddish language and the State of Israel. He served as a juror for the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Awards.

The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards is establishing an award of merit in his memory.

The Lord loves justice and forsakes not His saints; they are preserved forever.

– Psalms 37:28

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Benefactors 2016

Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan Charitable Foundation

Great Gulf Charitable Foundation

The ShaRna Foundation

Judith Ghert, in memory of her parents Frances and Samuel Stein

Michael Ghert and Sarah Rosenfeld

Tikkun 18 Foundation

Supporters 2016

Sol Hermolin

Nora Gold

Lony and Ruth Gropper

Vivian Felsen

Michael Hirsh and Kay Rosenfeld

Penny Rubinoff

First Narayever Congregation

UJA Federation Committee for Yiddish