Jewish Book Festival

Western Canada Jewish Book Awards

Description & Call for Submissions  

The Western Canada Jewish Book Awards are a new program, part of the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver. This initiative is designed to celebrate excellence in writing on Jewish themes / subject and showcase the achievements of authors who reside in Western Canada. The Awards aim to recognize the contribution to Jewish culture by these writers.

Authors are invited to submit their books by February 29, 2016.
It is possible to submit to more than one category.

•    Fiction – The Diamond Foundation Prize
•    Non-fiction – The Pinsky Family Prize
•    Poetry – The Betty Averbach Foundation Prize
•    Children and Youth –  The Jonathan and Heather Berkowitz Prize
•    Holocaust - The Marsid Foundation Prize

As of May 2014 there were two other Jewish Book Awards in Canada. One is in Montreal, dedicated to writing in Yiddish, and one in Toronto. Although the Jewish Book Awards in Toronto are national, it is our hope that a Western Canada based awards will encourage more authors to enter their books into the competition. By being geographically based, we will achieve our goal of enhancing the literary scene west of the Ontario Manitoba border. 
Geographical delineation: for the intentions of this award, Western Canada is considered from West of the Manitoba-Ontario border, including the Northern regions, to the BC coast.

The author must have lived in Western Canada for the past 12 months or have lived in Western Canada for at least 3 of the past 5 years.
A book written by a non-Jewish author is eligible if in accordance with the following criteria.
Eligible books:
Containing significant Jewish content or theme.
•    Written by an eligible author (see above).
•    Written in English or available in English.
•    Published in English or in the English translation between January 1 and December 31 of the year of the award and the year previous to it. In this inaugural year of the Awards, we will accept books published in 2014 and 2015.
•    Have a 13 digit ISBN, including eBooks.
•    Books with Jewish content written by non-Jewish authors are eligible.
•    Graphic books are eligible.

Judging Prize information:
The books will be judged by independent industry professionals. The jury will be comprised of 5 judges, including a chair, to be drawn from a larger pool including judges from all Western provinces.  The winners will be announced by mid-April. An Awards soiree and event will take place at a later date in the spring. There will be a monetary award of $2,000 for each winning author.

How to submit a book for the award
    1.    Download the entry form - click here...
    2.    Mail or deliver in person the following items for each book submitted:
        •  A complete entry form
        •  5 copies of the book
        •  $36 entry fee per prize category
Send to:
JCC Jewish Book Festival
Attn: Dana Camil Hewitt
950 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 2N7

Contact Dana Camil Hewitt, JBF director at: 604-257-5156 or

About the JCC Jewish Book Festival

The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival is one of Vancouver's leading cultural and literary events, attracting a large and varied audience of over 5,000 people of all ages. This highly popular community-wide event brings together prominent and emerging Jewish writers and non-Jewish writers with Jewish interest subject matter in literature, the arts, philosophy, theology, history and current events to speak during this week-long literary experience. Each year programs are selected from the following areas:


Admission is charged for most events, many events are free. Season passes and tickets are available at the JCC or online during the months of October and November.

 Click to Download the 2015 Jewish Book Festival program...

Author Submissions

The JCC Jewish Book Festival’s mandate is to showcase Jewish writers (writing on any theme) or non-Jewish writers (with Jewish interest subject matter) from Canada and around the world. If you have written a book or other literary work that fits within these parameters, we would be interested in hearing from you. Read more... 

Sponsorship Opportunities

The JCC Jewish Book Festival can help you maximize your message to a diverse demographic audience. Corporate and individual Sponsorships are available. Please phone 604-257-5156 or email

To add your name to festival online mailing list



Dana Camil Hewitt, Director, 604-257-5156;

   Jewish Book Festival Program 2013 Jewish Book Festival Program 2013 Jewish Book Festival Program 2012 Jewish Book Festival Program 2011 Jewish Book Festival Program 2010 Jewish Book Festival Program 2009