by BK Munn

The Scotia Bank Giller Prize for Canadian fiction announced its 2020 jury on Monday and as part of its press release let slip a new little addition to its eligibility guidelines: for the first time ever, graphic novels will be considered in the running alongside prose novels and short story collections for the country’s biggest literary awards.

The five-person jury is to include Mark Sakamoto, Eden Robinson, David Chariandy, Tom Rachman, and Claire Armitstead, all writers with a literary pedigree. The guidelines for submissions have been amended to read, “To be eligible, a book must be a first-edition novel, graphic novel or short story collection, written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.”

The Giller Prize was started in 1994 by millionaire Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, the writer Doris Giller. Scotia Bank took over the sponsorship of the award in 2005, and eventually raised the amount of the Prize to $100,000, with the four runner-up authors on the shortlist getting $10,000 each just for playing.

The jury panel announced yesterday has until September to announce its longlist, with the shortlist in October (no more than 5 books) and the winner in November at a gala ceremony.

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