Amy Mathers Teen Book Award


The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, established in 2014, honours excellence in teen/young adult fiction. The prize is awarded annually with a cash prize of $5,000. To be eligible, the book must be an original work in English, aimed at readers aged 13-18 and written by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

From 2017 to 2019, the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award was generously sponsored by Sylvan Learning.

About Amy and her Marathon of Books

Inspired by Terry Fox’s and Rick Hansen’s Canadian journeys, Amy Mathers decided to honour her passion for reading Canadian teen literature, while working around her physical limitations, by completing a Marathon of Books. Amy has been reading one Canadian teen fiction book a day for each day of 2014, in order to raise funds for this new award. She has read books from every province and territory, exploring Canada and promoting Canadian authors and books along the way. Visit for more information about Amy’s campaign, including her book list and book reviews.

Criteria and Submission Information


The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award honours excellence in novels written for the Teen/Young Adult audience. The celebration of diversity is an equally significant element to achieving excellence. A work of excellence in Canadian children’s literature should also be successful in making people feel a sense of belonging in their communities.

  • All genres of fictional teen books are eligible (e.g., historical fiction, contemporary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, etc.).
  • Text and any illustrations (for example, in the case of graphic novels) should be of high quality, with:
    • a well-structured plot;
    • rich language;
    • well-developed characters;
    • an engaging narrative with good pacing.
  • Elements of the story that draw upon or are inspired by real cultures, folklore and history should be done respectfully and authentically.
  • Text must be appropriate for the intended audience (ages 13 to 18).

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Books must be published between January 1 and December 31, 2022.
  • Both author and illustrator (in the case of graphic novels) must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
  • Books may be published in Canada or abroad.
  • Books must be first foreign or first Canadian editions. New editions or re-issues of previously published titles are not eligible for submission.
  • Books must be in English.
  • Translations are eligible, provided the translator is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • The book should be aimed at teenage readers aged 13 to 18 years old. Adult books are not eligible.
  • Graphic novels are eligible.
  • Short story collections by more than one author are not eligible.
  • Hi-lo book are not eligible.
  • Books must be works of fiction. Non-fiction books are not eligible. For non-fiction, please see Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction.
  • Stories must be original; while stories inspired by classic works such as fairy tales are permissible, retellings of original stories are not.
  • Books written as part of a series or published in serial form will be judged as separate entries and must function as a ‘stand-alone’ story.
  • The award is only for books in the printed format, as distinct from digital (i.e., eBooks) and audio-visual formats.
  • Books in manuscript form are not eligible.
  • All books must have an ISBN and be distributed in Canada.
  • Self-published books are eligible for submission provided they have a valid ISBN.

Publisher and creator expectations prior to submission:

  • Publishers agree to pay the $35 non-refundable submission fee per title per award.
  • If a book is shortlisted, the publisher, author and illustrator may be asked to participate in a series of events highlighting and promoting the shortlisted author and illustrator, in addition to the award celebration.
  • The CCBC is unable to assume the costs for travel and accommodation. It is our hope that publishers will assist the award winner(s) with providing the resources for attending the in-person awards ceremony (should we be able to hold an in-person event) or for creating an acceptance speech video of appropriate quality should the creator(s) be unable to attend an in-person event.
  • Publishers agree to prepare and encourage their authors and illustrators to participate in all reasonable publicity associated with the award: interviews, readings, appearances, etc.
  • Publishers agree to spend an appropriate sum on media advertising the winning book (i.e., whatever your advertising budget allows).

Submission Information:


There is a $35 non-refundable fee for each title submitted to each of the CCBC book awards. Therefore, if, for example, you have a title that is eligible for three of the awards and you would like it considered for all three awards, the submission fee for that particular title is $105 ($35 x 3). The fees will be used to offset administration costs, as well as costs associated with the presentation of the awards.

Submission fees are payable by cheque, credit card or online. If paying by cheque or credit card, please complete the submission fee form. To pay online, visit

You are required to complete an online title submission form for each title being submitted. Please follow up by emailing a final PDF of each title* by the January 20, 2023 deadline to

If you are paying the submission fee(s) by cheque or credit card, please mail the completed submission fee form to the address at the bottom of the form. Alternatively, you can email the completed form to Upon receipt of the submission(s), you will be sent instructions for where to send the physical books, as well as the quantity required. Please do not send any books to the CCBC’s office.

The title submission form includes a question about accessible formats. While these formats are not a requirement for submitting to the CCBC book awards, we would very much appreciate it if you could let us know if the title(s) is available in an accessible format and if so, which format(s).

* With the ongoing supply chain issues, we are requesting that PDFs of final titles be emailed to when title submission forms are submitted. The PDFs are not to replace the physical books. They are to be used in the event that publishers are experiencing any disruptions/delays with their supply and distribution channels caused by the pandemic.

General Inquiries:

If you have any questions regarding eligibility or the award in general, please contact Meghan Howe at 416.975.0010 ext. 3 or

Award Recipients

For the full list of finalists and winners, please click here.

Year Recipient
2022 Xiran Jay Zhao. Iron Widow. Toronto: Penguin Teen Canada, 2021.
2021 Janice Lynn Mather. Facing the Sun. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2020.
2020 Natasha Deen. In the Key of Nira Ghani. Philadelphia: Running Press Teens, 2019.
2019 Michelle Barker. The House of One Thousand Eyes. Toronto: Annick Press, 2018.
2018 Cherie Dimaline. The Marrow Thieves. Toronto: DCB, 2017.
2017 E.K. Johnston. Exit, Pursued by a Bear. New York: Dutton Books, 2016.
2016 Susan Juby. The Truth Commission. Toronto: Razorbill Canada, 2015.
2015 Marthe Jocelyn. What We Hide. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2014.