City announces 2020 Ottawa Book Awards finalists


The finalists for the 2020 Ottawa Book Awards feature literary works of intense drama, humour and biography to riveting history, political commentary and elegant poetry.

The awards recognize the top English and French books published in the past year by 15 local authors – exemplifying Ottawa’s rich literary talent.

2020 Ottawa Book Awards finalists:

English Fiction

  • Henry Beissel - Footprints of Dark Energy Guernica Editions Inc.
  • Missy Marston - Bad Ideas ECW Press
  • Cara Martin - Shantallow Cormorant Books Inc.
  • Karen McBride - Crow Winter HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
  • Sonia Saikaley - The Allspice. BathInanna Publications & Education Inc.

English Non-Fiction

  • Mark Bourrie - Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit RadissonBiblioasis
  • Charlotte Gray - Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island ParadiseHarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Amanda Jetté Knox - Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender FamilyPenguin Random House of Canada
  • Beverley McLachlin - Truth Be Told: My Journey Through Life and the LawSimon & Schuster Canada
  • Graeme Truelove - Un-Canadian: Islamophobia in the True North Harbour Publishing

French Fiction

  • Jean Boisjoli - Moi, Sam. Elle, Janis.Les Éditions David
  • Jean Mohsen Fahmy - La sultane dévoiléeLes Éditions David
  • Maurice Henrie - La maison aux lilasLes Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa
  • Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt - TadmorGroupe Nota Bene (Le lézard amoureux)
  • Véronique Sylvain - Premier quart Éditions Prise de parole

Descriptions of short-listed books and author biographies are available on the Ottawa Book Awards webpage.

The winners of each category will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, October 21 at 6 pm. Each winner will receive $7,500, while finalists will each receive $1,000. To receive a link to the invitation for the event, please write to

The Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry and Le Prix littéraire Émergence AAOF – 2020 will also be presented at the ceremony.

Past winners of the Ottawa Book Awards include Kagiso Lesego Molope, Tim Cook, John Metcalf, Charlotte Gray and David O’Meara, Andrée Christensen, Yvon Malette, Pierre-Luc Landry, Alain Bernard Marchand and Margaret Michèle Cook.