Grand Prix du livre de Montréal
The Grand Prix du livre de Montréal was established in 1965 to promote excellence in literary creation and highlight Montréal’s thriving publishing scene, while raising public awareness of Québec literature by recognizing a newly published work of exceptional quality and originality.
Since its relaunch in 1987, the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal has taken its place among Québec’s most prestigious literary distinctions, which make an active contribution to the dissemination of a work. The coveted prize honours authors and outstanding works published in Québec and is presented annually in mid-November, a few days prior to the opening of the Salon du livre de Montréal. The winner is selected by a five-person jury.
About the prize
The municipal administration awards a cash prize of $15,000 to the author or co-authors of a work published in French or English in recognition of its exceptional quality and originality. The remaining four finalists receive a cash prize of $1,000.
Through a partnership established with the Association internationale des études québécoises (AIEQ) in 2009, the winner of the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal is invited to stage a book tour of one of the 80 countries in which the AIEG has members.
Also, a new partnership developed in 2019 with Vues et Voix to produce the award-winning book in audio format makes the work accessible to all audiences and on all platforms.
All the publications named as finalists are acquired and made available in the 45 municipal libraries across Montréal, with at least one copy of each title held in every library.
The Grand Prix du livre de Montréal produces and provides promotional materials (stickers, posters, bookmarks, etc.) to publishers, bookstores and libraries in order to promote the prize-winning work.
The presentation of the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal may be preceded by other events promoting the books and authors named as finalists. By agreeing to be named to the shortlist, authors and publishers undertake to do everything in their power to attend the ceremony and carry out promotional activities.
Any publication (original work, scholarly work, collection or reference work of a literary, artistic, social or historical nature) may be submitted provided that it meets the following criteria, failing which it will not be considered:
- published for the first time* and available on the market between
- between June 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020;
- published between for the first time and available on the market between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 and could not be submitted in 2020 due to the pandemic;
- published in French or English
- must be by a Montréal-based author or issued by a publisher domiciled within Montréal city limits
- must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
- must meet the submission deadline
*Poetry and essay collections featuring excerpts already published in magazines are admissible.
- co-creations of more than 3 authors
- works whose author was deceased before the date of publication
- works by author(s) who sit on the jury or the secretariat for the award, or by their family members
- reprints or reissues.
Jury composition and process
The jury is representative of various publishing sectors and of Montréal’s contemporary intellectual and literary trends. Jury members may not also sit on the board of directors, executive committee, review board, or editorial committee of any publisher. In addition, jury members may not be Montréal public servants. The jury is chaired by a cultural figure appointed to a three-year term by Montréal’s Service de la culture. The jury chair does not have a vote.
In addition to the chairperson, the city selects the jury members.
One-third of the jury is renewed every year. Members may not sit on the jury for more than three consecutive years or more than five times in any 10-year period. Gender equity and diversity targets are established when the jury is renewed.
The 2020 Grand Prix du livre de Montréal Jury was composed of the following members:
- Marie-Célie Agnant, writer;
- Luke Langille, store manager, Drawn & Quarterly bookstore;
- Karen Isabel Ocaña, literary translator;
- Pierrot Ross-Tremblay, poet and professor Ottawa University;
- Chloé Savoie-Bernard, poet and writer;
- Michael Delisle, poet and writer (chair).
- Jury selection
All books eligible for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal are submitted to the jury and distributed equally among the jury members in randomly chosen reading pairs. Consequently, all books are read by at least two members, who make a pre-selection. All works pre-selected by the jury move on to the second round and must be read by all jury members. These works are then discussed and debated, and the jury agrees on a Jury Selection of the most noteworthy titles. In case of a disagreement, an individual secret ballot may be cast. The jury then debates further and proceeds to a secret ballot to determine the finalists and winner. The book with the highest score is declared the winner, and the books with the four subsequent highest scores are named finalists. The jury’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.
Call for submissions
The following submission deadlines apply:
- before January 29, 2021
○ for books published between June 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020;
○ for books published between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 and could not be submitted in 2020 due to the pandemic;
- before May 31, 2021
○ for books published between December 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
No submissions will be accepted after these dates. All candidates will receive an acknowledgment of receipt by email.
To be deemed admissible, all submissions must be completed in good and due form by the publisher, on behalf of the author, and the registration form must include the title of the work and the name of the candidate. Submissions must include seven copies of the work and the registration form and must be forwarded to the following address by the deadlines cited above.
All publications submitted will remain at the disposal of the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal and will not be returned to the publisher.
Click here for the complete list of books submitted for the 2020 Grand Prix du livre de Montréal.
Presentation of the prize