Established in 1987 by the Ontario government to recognize excellence in writing of any genre by authors from Ontario, the Trillium Book Award is the province’s most prestigious literary recognition. Past winners include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley and Anne Michaels. A jury of writers and figures from the literary community judges all submissions and selects the winning titles. Winners will be announced on June 17, 2020.

Set in a neighbourhood known as “Little Jamaica,” Frying Plantain (House of Anansi) follows one young girl from elementary school to high school graduation as she navigates the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominantly white society.

Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer whose work has appeared on CBC Books, in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, and in Apogee Journal. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in 2014 and is an alumnus of the 2017 Banff Writing Studio. She completed a double major in English Literature and Cinema and a minor in Caribbean Studies at University of Toronto’s Victoria College. She also studied Creative Writing at U of T’s School of Continuing Studies. She is currently working on a young-adult fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jamaican folklore and Akan spirituality. Zalika is represented by Amy Tompkins.

Sister Language by Martha Baillie and Christina Baillie (Pedlar Press) is a collaboration, composed mainly of letters and other writings, between two sisters, one of whom, Christina, is schizophrenic. In the careful building of a bridge between sisters, a prose nonpareil is achieved, and a linguistic “bridge” created between readers and the authors, one of whom’s deep isolation is in this way diminished.

Martha Baillie’s 2009 novel, The Incident Report, was nominated for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize. Her second Pedlar Press novel, The Search For Heinrich Schlögel was released in 2014 simultaneously with Tin House in the US. French edition by Leméac Éditeur in Quebec. A digital companion to The Search For Heinrich Schlögel can be explored at the Schlögel Archive. Film rights to The Incident Report have been sold to Naomi jay, writer and director of the Yiddish feature film, The Pin. Her most recent work is If Clara (Coach House Books). Baillie lives in Toronto with her husband, a musician. Martha is represented by Samantha Haywood.

To see the full list of nominees, please visit: