The QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Picture Books with Text and Beginner Readers

Sponsored in memory of Janet Savage Blachford

On November 3, 2020, QWF will award a prize of $3000 to honour excellence in children’s and young adult literature by a Quebec English-language writer. To accommodate the breadth of this category, the QWF has divided the prize into two sub-categories, to be split at about the grade three reading level, depending on length and theme. Longer chapter books, middle-grade and young adult literature will be awarded one year. Picture books with text and beginner reading will be honoured the year following.

This year, the prize will be awarded to the author of the eligible book of fiction, non-fiction or poetry in the sub-category of picture books and books for beginning readers that the jury deems to have made the most significant contribution of the year to the body of Quebec English-language children’s literature. Longer chapter books, middle-grade and young adult literature published this year and next may be submitted next year for the 2021 QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Books deemed borderline by the publisher may be submitted in either year; QWF will determine the suitable category and, if required, will hold the submission for the following year and notify the publisher.

Publishers with eligible titles (see eligibility criteria below) must send 5 copies of the book. For electronic books, we require 4 printed copies and one electronic copy in PDF or EPUB format, submitted to Lori Schubert by the appropriate deadline date.

It is the responsibility of the publisher (or author) who is submitting the books, whether electronic or hard copies, to ensure that the submission has been received.

Each submission must be accompanied by a completed entry form, and a $25 non-refundable registration fee.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Books must have an ISBN, be commercially available to the public, and must have been written in English for children or young adult readers.
  2. Electronic and print-on-demand books are eligible provided that they became commercially available in their final form during the eligibility period, and that they meet all of the other criteria listed here.
  3. The author of the text must be alive and have a residence in Quebec at the time of submission. A person who has been living outside of Quebec continuously for the past five years will be considered ineligible. In the case of joint authorship (by two writers), one of the writers must satisfy all of the above requirements. Place of publication and residence of illustrator are not considered.
  4. The prize will be awarded to the author of the text. However, if the winning book is co-created by a writer and an illustrator who is named on the title page or otherwise given equal credit to the author of the text, or by two writers, the prize money will be divided equally between the co-creators, or, if one of the creators has died, between the living author and the deceased author’s (or illustrator’s) estate. Books with more than two co-creators are not eligible.
  5. The book must be published within the eligibility period specified on the call for submissions, and must be submitted by the specified deadline.
  6. The book must contain narrative text, dialogue, or poetry—picture books or graphic novels without written content are not eligible.  
  7. The book must be an original work, written in English (translations are not eligible; retellings of traditional stories will be considered only if the text and interpretation are the original work of the present author).
  8. Collections of short stories, essays, or poems are eligible as long as at least 51% of the material has not been previously published in book form. The pieces may have been published in print or electronic magazines or journals. 
  9. The book must be self-contained and not dependent on other media.
  10. A book may be submitted to the QWF Awards only once.
  11. Rewritten, expanded or otherwise altered books (traditional publication or print-on-demand) may be considered eligible only if the new version is deemed a new book by QWF.
  12. Non-literary books such as textbooks, colouring books, game books, manuals, etc. are not eligible.

QWF reserves the right to make the final decision regarding the eligibility of any book.


  • Picture books with text and beginner readers published between August 1, 2018 and September 30, 2020 may be submitted, provided that they were not submitted for the 2018 Awards.
  • Books published between August 1, 2018 and May 15, 2020 must be submitted for the June 1, 2020 deadline, along with a completed submission form and a $25 non-refundable submission fee.
  • Publishers or authors with picture books with text and beginner readers coming out between May 16, 2020 and September 30, 2020 must send in the completed submission form and submission fee by the June 1, 2020 deadline.  Completed books, ARCs or bound galleys must be received in the QWF office by August 1, 2020. The final published book must be received by September 30, 2020, or the submission will be disqualified.
  • In the spring of 2021, there will be a call for submissions for longer chapter books, middle-grade and young adult literature published between August 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021, provided that they were not submitted for the 2019 Awards.  
  • QWF reserves the right to determine the suitable category of all submissions. Books assessed as unsuitable in one category will be held for the following year, and the publisher notified.
  • Books published between August 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 may instead be submitted for the 2022 awards.

Submission Form

Books may be submitted by publishers or authors.

The books, accompanied by the entry form(s) and a non-refundable $25 registration fee for each submission, should be sent to:

1200 Atwater Avenue, Room 3
Westmount, QC
H3Z 1X4

Please make cheque payable to QWF.

Or click below to make a payment via PayPal:

For further information please contact us at (514) 933-0878 or by email.