Announcing the finalists for the QWF Prize for Children’s & Young Adult Literature

Posted on: 14 October, 2020

Category: QWF Awards

Today, we announce the finalists for the QWF Prize for Children’s & Young Adult Literature, sponsored in memory of Janet Savage Blachford. This year’s competition was open to picture books with text and beginner readers. It comes with a purse of $3,000.

This year’s jury was composed of writers of Alan Cumyn of Ottawa, Shauntay Grant of Halifax, and Deanna Smith of Montreal.

The finalists in this category are:

Matthew Forsythe for Pokko and the Drum

Published by Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Canada

From the jury: “This book is a delight, and an affirmation to anyone who grew up in a loud home.… It captures an awesome response to society’s near constant messages to girls to be quiet.… This story reflects what is probably the secret hope of every artist, that one day, our creations will sweep our families off their feet, and make them fans.”

And Marie-Louise Gay, who is nominated for two books: Fern and Horn and The Three Brothers Both published by Groundwood Books

From the jury (for Fern and Horn): “This book speaks to the benefits of having an extremely patient and clever big sister. The illustrations are full of … playfulness, drama and chaos.… The story pulls us in and makes us wonder if Fern will ever have a creative moment to herself or if Horn will ever just be able to join her without attendant destruction.”

From the jury (for The Three Brothers): “The Three Brothers is a tender tale of childhood, brotherhood, and the brutal effects of climate change. The book is written with deep consideration for young readers, addressing one of our most timely and terrifying conversations with compassion, caring, and hope.”

Congratulations to all the finalists and their publishers!

Be sure to tune in to QWF’s YouTube page, or visit our website, at 11:00 am every day from October 13-19 to discover the finalists in all of the categories, as they too are announced. Visit the page now and set your reminders!

You can buy copies of the shortlisted works by visiting Paragraphe Bookstore’s website. Paragraphe has a special page dedicated to the QWF Awards finalists with all titles available at a discount.


The winners of this year’s prizes will be announced during a special celebratory video broadcast Gala at on Wednesday, November 4th. Watch the video with the rest of the community as it premieres at 7:00 pm on QWF’s YouTube page.

For those of you who want even more interaction, we invite you to take part in the QWF Red Carpet, taking place in the half hour before the Gala airs. Beginning at 6:30 PM, take a picture of your at-home gala garb and post in on either our Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter using #QWFGala2020. All who do will be entered into a draw to win a collection of the award-winning books.

Also, immediately following the Gala broadcast, the QWF will be hosting a Zoom After Party. This will give everyone a chance to rub virtual elbows and connect on what would normally be the social event of Quebec’s English-language writing community. Check back to, or QWF’s Facebook page at a later date for the URL.

Let us know you are attending the Gala by RSVPing on Facebook: