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 exceptional writing in books written for the Teen/Young Adult audience.

  • 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) must be of high quality, with:
    • a well-structured plot;
    • rich language;
    • well-developed characters;
    • an engaging narrative with good pacing.
  • Text must be appropriate for the intended audience (ages 13 to 18).

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Books must be published between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
  • 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 $25 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:

The submission deadline was March 1, 2021. We are no longer accepting submissions.

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
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.