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The 31st annual Hamilton Literary Awards

The Hamilton Literary Awards is an annual program presented by Hamilton Arts Council and gritLIT: Hamilton’s Readers and Writers Festival to recognize and celebrate published authors from the Greater Hamilton Area (GHA) and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Awards are presented for books that demonstrate literary excellence in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Children’s Literature. The Hamilton Literary Awards also include the Kerry Schooley Book Award to be given to the book that is most evocative of the City of Hamilton and/or the surrounding area, in relation to themes, settings, and/or subjects. The Kerry Schooley Book Award has been named in honour of the late Kerry J. Schooley who was a tireless advocate for literary arts in Hamilton. Learn more about Kerry Schooley

Program Priorities


To be eligible in the Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Children’s Literature categories an entry must be:​

  • a published book of literary merit with an ISBN (International Standard Book Number)

  • a minimum of forty-eight (48) bound pages (children’s books may be shorter)

  • published within the previous calendar year between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023

  • written by (an) author(s) who resides or makes their contribution in the Greater Hamilton Area (including: Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Waterdown) or Six Nations of the Grand River for a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months up to the time of the submission deadline

  • anthologies are eligible; however, the editor(s) of the anthology and at least 50% of the contributors must meet residency requirements.

Author(s) must have an Artist/Creative account, accompanied by a visible public profile, on The Arty Crowd website ( The Arty Crowd is free for Artists/Creatives of any practice.


All of the above criteria apply for submissions to be considered for the Kerry Schooley Book Award, with the exception that the author/co-authors may not be current residents of the GHA or Six Nations of the Grand River, but will have lived here for a portion of their life. Submissions to the Kerry Schooley Book Award do not require an Arty Crowd profile.

Ineligible entries include:

  • translations

  • books written by authors who are deceased at the time the title was submitted to the program

  • ghostwritten books

  • manuscripts

  • textbooks, catalogues, cookbooks, reference books, academic publications, technical manuals, self-help books

  • reprints or re-publications of titles originally published at an earlier date

  • books submitted by elected representatives of the Greater Hamilton Area

  • books submitted by Hamilton Arts Council staff and volunteers

If you require accommodations with your submission to the Hamilton Literary Awards, please email


About Kerry Schooley

Kerry Schooley
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