News Release
September 24, 2020

Just in time for fall reading, the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library have named the 12 books longlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the awards honour books of literary merit that are inspired by Toronto.

The titles selected for the 2020 long list are:

  • Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta (House of Anansi Press)
  • The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • The Missing Millionaire by Katie Daubs (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya (ECW Press)
  • We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • In the Beggarly Style of Imitation by Jean Marc Ah-Sen (Nightwoood Editions)
  • Artistic Glass by Cloe Aigner (ECW Press)
  • Dancing After Ten by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber (FantaGraphics)
  • Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Last Impressions by Joseph Kertes (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Take Back the Tray by Joshna Maharaj (ECW Press)
  • Mobile by Tanis MacDonald (Book*hug Press)

Race and equity are the subject of three titles: Shame on Me, The Skin We’re In, We Have Always Been Here. Seven out of 12 titles longlisted were published by small presses.

The short list for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards will be announced on November 2 and the winner will be named in an online ceremony, live-streamed on November 30.

This is the 46th year of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each shortlisted finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 going to the winner. This year’s Toronto Book Awards Committee is comprised of volunteer members Kate Cayley, Michael Fraser, Liz Howard, Ben McNally and Naben Ruthnum.

More information about the awards is available at and on Twitter at @Culture_TO and #tobookawards.

As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, residents are reminded to adhere to Toronto Public Health’s advice to stay home when they are ill, wash their hands often, stay within their social bubble of no more than 10 people, practise physical distancing with those outside of their social bubble, and wear a mask or face covering where mandatory or when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Wearing a mask or face covering is required in all indoor public spaces in Toronto.

Residents can learn about what to expect and what is required as Toronto moves into the new normal and they begin to visit more establishments and take part in more activities at

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to commonly asked questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“My sincerest congratulations to the authors and editors included in the 2020 Toronto Book Awards long list. I encourage people to read as many of these titles as they can to discover the remarkable stories inspired by Toronto.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The Library congratulates all the nominated authors and is so proud to support this award as we’ve done for many years. I hope that everyone adds these extraordinary titles to their reading lists and enjoys the diverse stories that evoke the best of Toronto.”
– City Librarian Vickery Bowles

Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest urban public library system, with more than 46 million annual visits to our branches and online. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and knowledge economy through easy access to technology, lifelong learning, and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, where, when and how our customers need us. To learn more, visit, email Answerline at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to email updates.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations