CODE proudly announced the three shortlisted titles for the 2018 CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature

The CODE 2018 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature

A literary award and literacy initiative like no other

Montreal, September 19, 2018 — CODE proudly announced the three shortlisted titles for the 2018 CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature during the 2018 Turtle Island Reads launch event at McGill University, Montreal on September 19, 2018 during the on-campus Indigenous Awareness Week. The three titles, selected from a longlist of nine titles, are:

  • Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones (Annick Press)
  • The Journey Forward: Two Novellas on Reconciliation by Richard Van Camp (When We Play Our Drums, They Sing!) and Monique Gray Smith (Lucy & Lola).  (McKeller and Martin)
  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (Dancing Cat/Cormorant)

The peer committee adjudicating the prize were impressed by the quality of submissions and had this to say: “The submissions this year were wonderful and exciting to read. There are so many quality books coming out for young adults to read that it was hard to choose the top three. We want to acknowledge the tremendous effort it takes to write, edit and publish all of these books, and we want to thank everyone for their contribution to indigenous literature.”  

Every year I am excited to receive a copy of the shortlisted books”, says Scott Walter, Executive Director of CODE, “and this year’s selection of books is a wonderful example of the diversity of literature coming from the Indigenous writing and publishing community and an affirmation of its strength and importance.  We have four writers exploring thought-provoking themes relevant to readers right across the country through a variety of genres – from dystopian science fiction to a novel adapted from an award-winning film to a unique novella flip-book, there is a story here for YA readers of all ages.”

From these shortlisted titles, one will be named the winner, and two awarded the honour book prize, during the CODE Burt Award Ceremony. This year the award event will take place in partnership with the Kitigan Zibi School in the community of Kitigan Zibi, Quebec at the end of November.

The award is a cash prize -- the winner receives $10,000, and each of the honour books receives $2,000.00. Publishers of the winning titles are also awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies of each title. These books are then distributed for free to schools, libraries, community centres, and friendships centres across Canada. This guaranteed purchase, combined with a book distribution program, is what makes this award program unique. It ensures that great books make it into the hands of young readers who need them the most, with new titles coming out every year!

The award is the result of the generous support of the Literary Prizes Foundation and the legacy of Canadian philanthropist William (Bill) Burt. It is also the result of a close collaboration between CODE and the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Canada Council for the Arts, GoodMinds, The National Reading Campaign and Frontier College.

The CODE Burt Literary Award is a global readership initiative and annual literary prize that recognizes excellence in young adult fiction and provides young readers with engaging books that they want to read. It is currently running in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, the Caribbean and Canada.

For further details visit   

For more information, please contact:
Lynn O’Rourke
CODE Program Manager, Literary Awards & Publishing
t: 613 232 3569 x 244


About CODE

If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be, anything. That’s the idea behind CODE.  A Canadian NGO with nearly 60 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE’s international programs encourage development through education through support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages.

Thursday, September 20, 2018
News Type: 
Burt Award News
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