The 2020 Longlist for the Toronto Book Awards have been announced, and three Transatlantic authors have made the cut! Established in 1974 by the Toronto City Council, the Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. The shortlist will be announced November 2nd, and the winner will be announced November 15th.

Zalika Reid-Benta was nominated for her award-winning and critically acclaimed collection of interconnected short stories Frying Plantain, about a girl growing up in the Toronto neighborhood known as Little Jamaica, which was published by Astoria/House of Anansi Press. 

Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer whose debut short story collection, Frying Plantain, won both the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in the literary fiction category, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Frying Plantain is also nominated for the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award presented by the Ontario Library Association; appeared on must-read lists from BustleRefinery29, and Chatelaine to the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and more; and was listed as one of Indigo’s Best Books of the Year. Zalika is the winner of the ByBlacks People’s Choice Award for Best Author, was the June 2019 Writer in Residence for Open Book, and was named a CBC Writer to Watch. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University, was a John Gardner Fiction Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and is an alumnus of the Banff Centre Writing Studio. Zalika is currently working on a young-adult fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jamaican folklore. Zalika is represented by Amy Tompkins.

Samra Habib was nominated for her nationally bestselling and award-winning memoir (Canada Reads 2020 Winner, 2020 Lambda Literary Award Winner), We Have Always Been Here, about growing up queer and Muslim, which was published by Viking Canada. 

Samra Habib is a writer, photographer, and activist. As a journalist she’s covered topics ranging from fashion trends and Muslim dating apps to the rise of Islamophobia in the US. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Advocate, and her photo project, “Just Me and Allah,” has been featured in Nylon, i-D, Vanity Fair Italia, Vice, and The Washington Post. She works with LGBTQ organizations internationally, raising awareness of issues that impact queer Muslims around the world. We Have Always Been Here is her first book.Samra is represented by Samantha Haywood.

Georgia Webber was nominated for her moving and innovative work on the illustrated memoir Dancing After TEN, about artist Vivian Chong’s life with a degenerative disease that eventually took her sight, which was published by Fantagraphics Books. 

Georgia Webber is a comics artist, writer, and editor living in southern Ontario. She is represented by Samantha Haywood.

To see the full list of nominees, please visit: