Saskatchewan Book Awards celebrates, promotes and rewards Saskatchewan authors and publishers worthy of recognition through 14 awards, granted on an annual or semi-annual basis.
Saskatchewan Book Awards is the only provincially-focused book award program and a principal ambassador for Saskatchewan's literary community, which includes more than 300 writers and 75 book publishers. Its solid reputation for celebrating artistic excellence in style is recognized nationally.
Since its inaugural gala in 1993, Saskatchewan Book Awards has established itself as a principal ambassador for Saskatchewan's literary community. Its solid reputation for celebrating artistic excellence in style is recognized nationally.
The award categories are diverse, representative of Saskatchewan's literary production, and responsive to emerging areas of interest. The award categories recognize books in a wide range of genres, from poetry to scholarly works, and also encourage diversity through awards such as the Prix du livre français, which recognizes francophone writing, and the Indigenous Peoples' Writing and Publishing Awards.
Saskatchewan Book Awards directly benefits authors and publishers by providing an incentive to strive for excellence. The cash awards often provide the financial means for the author to write another book, and provide publishers with the means to promote their books. The cash value of awards offered to Saskatchewan authors is $2,000. Publishers are also eligible for cash awards of $2,000 for the publishing awards.
These benefits to authors and publishers, in turn, benefit Saskatchewan's literary community, by increasing the number and calibre of publications produced each year.
Saskatchewan Book Awards promotes Saskatchewan's authors and publishers at an annual awards ceremony, and throughout the year and throughout the province at Shortlist Readings and other events. The public events, and the awards process, generate interest, excitement, and pride for authors and publishers throughout the province, as well as providing authors with opportunities to meet their readers.
Saskatchewan Book Awards events now draw more than 1,000 people each year, and provide valuable media exposure for Saskatchewan authors, publishers, donors and sponsors, while increasing knowledge about Saskatchewan's literary community. Events also create significant opportunities for book sales by local booksellers, including McNally Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon.
Exposure to Saskatchewan literature promotes and encourages an understanding of our own place in the history of the province, the country, and the world. Encouraging people to read and become engaged with the stories, the narratives, the histories, and the poems of a place fosters literacy and lifelong learning.
The awards program instills a sense of community among Saskatchewan's authors, publishers, and the reading public.
In 1993, the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, Saskatchewan Publishers Group and Saskatchewan Library Association joined forces to establish a provincial writing and publishing awards program. In the first year, four awards were presented at a gala dinner, with Peter Gzowski as guest speaker. The organization was incorporated as Saskatchewan Book Awards Inc. the following year, and it has consistently conducted an annual awards process since then.
Administration of the book awards was entrusted to a discrete, arm's-length organization in order to guarantee the process' integrity and freedom from conflict of interest.
Saskatchewan Book Awards has continued its close relationship with its founding organizations, holding regular consultations and including their representatives on the Board of Directors. The board also includes professional members of the general community who have a particular interest in celebrating the province's literary culture
Over its first decade, Saskatchewan Book Awards grew to be a nationally-recognized program hosting numerous promotional events. The number of awards has grown from four to 14, including Indigenous Peoples' Publishing and Writing Awards and the Prix du livre français. There are writing awards for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's and young adult literature, scholarly writing, and publishing awards.
The awards and events are sponsored by private corporations, municipal, provincial and federal governments, and by the academic community. In turn, Saskatchewan Book Awards provides its sponsors and donors with valuable media and public recognition throughout the year.