Science Writers &

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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. On September 24, the SWCC Book Awards reopens for 2021 submissions. 

The 2021 SWCC competition is now accepting entries in two categories::

  1. Books for a general audience
  2. Books for children and youth

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. Eligible recipients include (but will not be limited to) a first-time author, an author/illustrator from an underrepresented background, and/or work published by a small press or independent publisher.  The Paradigm Prize will be selected from the shortlist of finalists for the two main categories (general and children/youth) and can be held in tandem with one of the other awards.

Finalists from previous competitions have covered a diverse range of topics, including mental health, space exploration, aging, quantum physics, unconscious bias, mathematics, and sustainability. Whether you’re an author or publisher, SWCC wants to see your best science writing from the 2021 calendar year!

Authors must be Canadian citizens or a resident of Canada. Entries can be written in French or English. For more information on what qualifies as science writing, please see the judging criteria below. You do not need to be a member of the SWCC to submit. 

The entry fee is $25 per title. Please contact the Book Awards Committee ( if the entry fee will pose a barrier to submission.

The award for each category of the  2021 SWCC Book Awards is $1,000. The winner of the Paradigm Prize will receive $500 in recognition of their achievement. 

The results of the competition will be announced in the summer of 2022.


  • Entries may deal with aspects of basic or applied science or technology (historical or current) in any area including health, social or environmental issues, regulatory trends, etc.

  • Books will be judged on literary excellence, as well as scientific content and accuracy. Specific judging criteria will include originality, clarity of interpretation, and value in promoting greater understanding of science among readers.
  • Books must be understandable to the layperson or children, with appropriate clarification of medical and scientific terminology.
  • The subject matter should be relevant to a broad audience and presented in such a way that it increases public awareness about a topic.


    • The entry must have been published in Canada during the 2021 calendar year.
    • Ghostwritten books, textbooks, and science fiction novels are not eligible for submission.
    • Five (5) physical copies of the book are required for judging purposes. E-books (.pdf, .mobi, etc.) will not be accepted.

      All entries become the property of the SWCC. Failing to comply with these rules will cause an entry to be rejected. For more information or questions, please email us at


      1. Enter submissions through this form. (One form is required per title).
      2. Once the entry has been reviewed and deemed eligible, instructions for entry fee payment and an address for hardcopy delivery will be provided.
      3. Books must be received November 12, 2021. If you believe your entry will not arrive in time, please contact us for instructions.


      P.O. Box 75 Station A

      Toronto, ON

      M5W 1A2

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