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Canadian literary prize suspended after authors protest Amazon sponsorship

In Canada, a Québécois literary prize has been suspended by organisers after prize finalists and the public protested the sponsorship by Amazon, reports the Guardian.

The five finalists for the 2019 edition of the prize—Lula Carballo, Dominique Fortier, Karoline Georges, Kevin Lambert, Jean-Christophe Réhel—published a joint letter in the French language newspaper Le Devoir on 13 November expressing concern over Amazon’s ‘extreme competition’ and its detrimental effect on small booksellers.

Prize co-founder Claude Bourgie Bovet wrote in a statement that partnerships such as the one with Amazon ‘allow us to increase the influence of the award, to make it grow and to put in place a solid structure to ensure its durability’. The other prize co-founder Bruno Lemieux said the problem wasn’t really Amazon, but the failure of the Quebec government to support the prize and said that many previous corporate sponsorships had dried up.

According to the National Post, the prize’s organisers say they will meet with members of the literary community and consider relaunching the literary prize if they receive enough support.

The CA$5000 (A$5200) Prix littéraire des collégiens, established in 2003, is intended to promote Québécois literature. From submissions of fiction written in French by Canadian authors, five titles are shortlisted, then an overall winner is decided by a jury of hundreds of students.

 

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Category: International news