The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Adds Two New Prizes to Its Established Awards Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (February 18, 2022)The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is excited to introduce two new English-language prizes that will be awarded in fall of 2022. The Arlene Barlin Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy will honour excellence in science fiction and fantasy books, written for ages 8 to 18. The David Booth Children’s and Youth Poetry Award is a biennial award which will honour excellence in poetry written for young readers up to 18 years old. In total, $178,500 in prize monies will be awarded in 2022 through the CCBC’s nine literary awards.

“The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s awards program has been making a difference in the lives of Canadian creators since our first award was established in 1988,” says Rose Vespa, Executive Director of the CCBC. “By broadening our awards program with these two new awards, we hope to make a lasting impact in the lives of the honoured creators and elevate the poetry, science fiction and fantasy genres, which are often overlooked. We are especially thankful to our new sponsors, Elly Barlin-Daniels and Shelley Stagg Peterson, for their generosity and commitment to Canadian literature for young people.”

Arlene Barlin and David Booth

Inspired by her sister’s love of the fantasy and science fiction genres of books and film, Canadian children’s book advocate, Elly Barlin-Daniels, is pleased to sponsor the Arlene Barlin Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy in memory of Arlene, who passed from breast cancer in 2018. Arlene was a Renaissance woman who lived a life of creativity and adventure, determined to share it with those she loved. She was known for her love and interest in the fantasy and science fiction genre of books, film and popular culture. “My sister had a fascination with worlds where anything was possible,” says Elly Barlin-Daniels. “She was highly creative, open-minded, generous and brave, and made an impact on all who knew her. Arlene’s legacy will continue with the naming of this award in her honour.”

The David Booth Children’s and Youth Poetry Award is named for David Booth, former Professor Emeritus in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). David passed away in December 2018. To celebrate poetry for children, the David Booth Children’s and Youth Poetry Award is sponsored by educator and author Shelley Stagg Peterson, who was also a friend and colleague of David. “The award honours David Booth, who was a dear friend, mentor and teacher to many around the world,” says Shelley Stagg Peterson. “Although he is best known to many as an educator, he was a gifted writer as well. My first introduction to David’s work was his poetry anthology, ‘Til All the Stars Have Fallen, which brought beautiful words, images and ideas into countless classrooms and homes. David’s own poetry has delighted and informed children of all ages with wisdom captured in pithy rhymes and lyrical narrative poems. This award was created to celebrate David’s life and legacy and to make a difference in the life of Canadian poets for young people.” 

To contribute to the fund for this award in David’s honour, donations can be made here

Submissions for all of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s awards open today. Publishers and creators can learn more here. The submission deadline is March 4, 2022.

Download the PDF of this press release here.

For more information, please contact: 

Emma Hunter
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416 975-0010 ext. 2

About the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers. For more information, please visit our website.