News Release
August 10, 2021

The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library (TPL) have named the six titles shortlisted for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards. This year, the Toronto Book Awards received a record-breaking 93 submissions, a 50 per cent increase over previous years.

The books selected for the 2021 short list are:

  • Missing from the Village by Justin Ling (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric by Catherine Graham (Wolsak & Wynn)
  • Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible Publishing)
  • On Property by Rinaldo Walcott (Biblioasis)
  • Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin (Penguin Random House Canada)

TPL has created a reading list of the shortlisted titles. 

The winner of the 2021 Toronto Book Awards will be announced in a ceremony this fall. This is the 47th year of the Awards. Each shortlisted finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 awarded to the winner, for a total of $16,000 in prize money.

The 2021 Toronto Book Awards Jury is comprised of five volunteer members: Geoffrey E. Taylor, Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Andy Stanleigh, Angela Wright and Sanchari Sur.

The jury noted the high quality of the submissions and is delighted to have been able to include non-fiction, fiction, short stories, poetic prose and essays on the shortlist, as well as authors published by many different publishers. The submissions and shortlisted books demonstrate the extraordinary richness of literary talent in Toronto, and the need for a range of publishers to bring those voices to the public.

Find more information about the Awards online and on Twitter at @Culture_TO and #tobookawards.


 “The Toronto Book Awards short list is a testament to this city’s diversity, creativity and talent. I congratulate all of the shortlisted nominees and encourage Torontonians to add these titles to their summer reading lists.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Congratulations to all the incredible shortlisted authors nominated for the Toronto Book Award. I encourage everyone to read and explore each one of these tremendous literary works which are inspired by and reflect our city’s diverse voices and stories.”

– Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library

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, please visit, email Answerline at or follow us on Twitter at, Facebook at and Instagram at and subscribe to email updates at

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
Toronto Public Library