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2021 Book Awards



For over 20 years, the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) has recognized outstanding contributions to science writing with the annual SWCC Book Awards. Beginning this year, SWCC will also offer the Paradigm Prize for Underrepresented Perspectives in Science Writing.  As an organization, SWCC recognizes the need to expand the landscape of science communication and better represent the diversity of contributors across our community. It is our hope that this type of paradigm shift will help to foster a more inclusive environment for science writers in Canada and abroad. 

The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 SWCC Book Awards.

For the general category: 


Beyond Banting: From Insulin to Islet transplants, Decoding Canada’s Diabetes Research Superstars

Written by Krista Lamb (Publisher: Rock Mill Press)

For the children’s category:


Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer

Written by Donna Sandstrom, Illustrated by Sig Burwash (Publisher: Kids Can Press)

For the first time in the history of this competition, the judges are also awarding the Paradigm Prize for Underrepresented Perspectives in Science Writing.

We acknowledge that science has a diversity issue. The contributions of women, racial/ethnic minorities, neurodiverse people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community have historically been overlooked in this field, which includes science communication. As an organization, SWCC supports equity, diversity and inclusion in its activities, public events, and online media. By recognizing the contributions of a first-time author, an author/illustrator from an underrepresented background, and/or work published by a small press or independent publisher, SWCC hopes the Paradigm Prize will help to support greater diversity in science writing.

Paradigm Prize:


The Wolf Mother

Written by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), Illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Publisher: Portage & Main Press)

Announcing the winner, Rhonda Moore, President of the SWCC, said, "On behalf of the SWCC Board, our heartiest congratulations goes to Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) and Natasha Donovan, our inaugural Paradigm Prize recipients. This new prize is a sign that times are changing. As SWCC turns 50 years old, the organization turns its attention to the professionalization of science communication, and what it's like to practice science communication in Canada, while maintaining a commitment to accurate science communication, with integrity. The Paradigm Prize is part of SWCC's work to promote diversity and inclusion in science communication."

SWCC would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Krista Lamb, Donna Sandstrom, Sarah Burwash, Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) and Natasha Donovan. The award for each of the two main categories is $1,000 and the Paradigm Prize winners will also receive $500 in recognition of their achievement.

SWCC looks forward to reviewing more outstanding examples of science writing when the competition reopens for submissions in fall 2022!


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