Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People Eligibility, Guidelines & Fees
The Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People honours excellence in the writing of an outstanding work of historical fiction for young readers. 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.
In identifying the best historical novel of the year, each jury member shall consider the following:
Historical setting and accuracy
Strong character and plot development
Well-told, original story
Elements of the story that draw upon or are inspired by real cultures, folklore and history should be done respectfully and authentically
Suitability of book for its intended age group
Books must be published between January 1 and December 31, 2023.
Both the 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.
Books should be written for young people up to age 18. Adult books are not eligible.
Books submitted for consideration must be original works.
Books submitted must be a work of historical fiction.
For the purpose of this award, we define historical fiction as being set 20 years or more before present time.
Graphic novels are eligible.
Autobiographies, picture books, and short story collections by more than one author are not eligible.
Novels involving alternative universes (i.e., steampunk) or plots involving time travel are not eligible.
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
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).
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.