Submission Procedure and Selection Criteria

Publishers and/or authors are invited to send submissions of titles to be considered for each of the Forest of Reading programs year-round.

Downloads for Publishers:

Deadlines - 2020 Program Year

There are cut-off dates for books to be accepted in order for the Selection Committees to read the books. Please refer to the criteria for each program on publication dates, but please be aware that books for the following programs will be accepted for the 2020 program until these dates:

  • April 1, 2019: Blue Spruce™, Silver Birch® Non-Fiction
  • May 1, 2019: White Pine™, Le Prix Tamarac Express, Le Prix Tamarac
  • June 1, 2019: Silver Birch® (Express and Fiction), Red Maple™, Le Prix Peuplier, Light Reads, Great Stories List (formerly Golden Oak)
  • November 1, 2019: Evergreen™

Submission Requirements

  1. All books submitted for the 2020 program must have been published as follows: 
    • School aged must have been published in 2018 or 2019. 
    • Evergreen must have been published between October 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019.
    • Red Maple Non-Fiction must have been published anytime between 2017 and 2019.
  2. The books considered by a selection committee must be written by a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. They must be commercially available in Canada. In the case of anthologies, the editor should be a Canadian citizen or resident and the inclusions should be primarily by Canadian writers.
  3. Publishers/Authors should not resend books that have submitted for the 2019 program. If they were sent for the 2019 program and were not selected, and are still eligible, they have been pulled for consideration for 2020.
  4. Previously published books outside of the dates above are not accepted unless they have been 80% rewritten (previous winners of any Forest of Reading Award are not permitted) and fall within the above publication dates.
  5. English translations of books originally written in other languages will be accepted. French translations of books originally written in other languages will NOT be accepted.
  6. Series books - Only books that can stand-alone without having read the previous books will be considered. 
  7. All books must have a print run of at least 450 copies.


  • Self-published books
  • Print on demand books
  • Wordless picture books
  • Author-subsidized titles (books for which the author, illustrates, or translator contributed financially towards the publication costs)
  • Anniversary Editions - The Forest of Reading programs selects books of current/contemporary authors/illustrators. The whole essence of the Forest of Reading is for readers to have access to authors and their future works, and hopefully have the ability to meet them in person at one of the ceremonies, celebrations or Festival of Trees.

Book Selection Criteria

The following criteria are presented in order of importance:
  1. Literary quality in the case of fiction including but not limited to:
    • structure, richness of language, craft of the writer, pace, clarity.
  2. Quality of presentation for non-fiction, including but not limited to:
    • appeal and appropriateness of the presentation, clarity, layout, format.
  3. Audience appeal
    • appropriateness to the age group (school-aged, adult literacy etc.), a range of readability, inclusiveness and diversity, the themes and content.
  4. Accuracy and relevance
  5. Balance in the final list with respect to protagonists of different genders, subject appeal for different genders, cultural diversity, geographical settings, e.g., rural, urban, alternate realities etc., variety of genres.
  6. Curriculum connection is outside the purposes of the reading programs for the school-aged programs.

Where to Send The Books

Tinlids Inc., the very generous financial sponsor of the program, receives the books for OLA and works with the Selection Committees to ensure distribution to all reviewers in a timely manner.

We ask publishers and/or authors to send one copy of any title you wish to have considered to:
Tinlids Inc.
130 Martin Ross Avenue
Toronto, ON, M3J 2L4
FEE FOR SUBMISSION/SELECTION: There is no cost in submitting your book for consideration. However, if your book is selected, Tinlids, as part of their obligations as official wholesaler, will request a fee for its inclusion. Tinlids will also request multiple copies for distribution to the committee members.

Publisher Contact Information

If you wish to be kept up to date on Forest information please send an e-mail to Maria Martella at Tinlids Inc. indicating the names and emails of:
  • The person responsible for choosing the books you wish to nominate
  • The person responsible for liaison with your authors
  • The person responsible for marketing and public relations