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:
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Responses will be accessed only by select OLA Staff, including the Director of the Forest of Reading, and by TinLids, the official Wholesaler for the Forest of Reading®.
Aggregated results will be published and tracked year over year to promote equity and diversity in the Forest of Reading program and in Canadian Children’s publishing.
Deadlines for the 2022 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 2022 program until these dates:
- November 1, 2021: Evergreen
- April 1, 2021: Blue Spruce, Silver Birch Express Non-Fiction, Yellow Cedar
- May 1, 2021: White Pine, Le prix Mélèze (formerly Le prix Tamarac Express), Le prix Tamarac
- June 1, 2021: Silver Birch Express Fiction, Silver Birch Fiction, Red Maple, Le prix Peuplier, Light Reads, Great Stories List (formerly Golden Oak)
- All books submitted for the 2022 program must have been published as follows:
- School-aged must have been published in 2020 or 2021.
- Evergreen must have been published between October 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020 for the 2021 program and October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021 from the 2022 program.
- 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.
- Publishers/Authors should not resend books that have been submitted for the 2021 program. If they were sent for the 2021 program and were not selected, and are still eligible, they can be been pulled for consideration for 2022.
- 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.
- 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.
- Series books – Only books that can stand-alone without having read the previous books will be considered.
- All books must have a print run of at least 450 copies.
- At the time of nomination, all nominated titles must be available in .epub (non-picture books) and/or unlocked .pdf (picture books only), so that readers who have a print disability are able to participate in the program. Epub3 is strongly preferred, but PDF’s are also needed for Braille and Large Print etc. conversion. Epub3 and will soon also be mandatory. These are supplied to the Alternate Education Resources Ontario (AERO) as they are the web-based digital repository operated by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development. The mandate of AERO is to provide alternate format text to students with perceptual disabilities who attend publicly funded educational institutions in Ontario. *Please see below the specific requirements for the Alternate formats.
- Digital Access: Titles that are commercially available in digital formats in Canada must be available for public and school library purchase without restrictions at the time of the nomination. Specifically, titles cannot be included on the nominated list if there are:
- Restrictions on quantity for purchase;
- Any embargoed time frames;
- Or they are commercially available, but not to libraries.
- 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 Festivals.
- Titles that are available in Canada in a digital commercial format at the time of nomination and are not available in digital format to Canadian libraries.
- Titles that at the time of nomination are not available in .epub or unlocked .pdf for use by AERO for student with perceptual disabilities.
Book Selection Criteria
The following criteria are presented in order of importance:
- Literary quality in the case of fiction including but not limited to:
- structure, richness of language, acceptance of authentic voices that are not limited by British or Canadian grammar (such as Patois), craft of the writer, pace, clarity.
- Quality of presentation for non-fiction, including but not limited to:
- appeal and appropriateness of the presentation, clarity, layout, format, diversity of people in illustrations/photographs (including, but not limited to: age, gender, body types, mental or physical abilities, skin colours, etc.)
- Audience appeal
- appropriateness to the age group (school-aged, adult literacy etc.), a range of readability, inclusiveness and diversity, the themes and content.
- Accuracy, relevance and authenticity of voice:
- The author writes a story and/or creates characters from their own culture (#OwnVoices), has experience with the culture (i.e.,LGBTQIA2S, deaf/hard of hearing community, religion or faith, culture or ethnicity etc.) being portrayed and/or has consulted with or sought the approval of people of that culture (i.e.,. Elders, community group, co-authored etc.)
- Balance in the final list:
- Characters (including protagonists) represent diverse backgrounds, including gender and gender expression, racial and ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQIA2S characters etc.
- Variety of subjects and genres appealing to different audiences.
- Authors and illustrators represent diverse backgrounds, including gender and gender expression, racial and ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQIA2S etc.
- Geographical settings, e.g., rural, urban, alternate realities etc.,
- 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:
ATTN: FOREST OF READING SUBMISSIONS
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
In Ontario, selected Forest of Reading titles are available in alternative formats through schools and public libraries.
Public libraries can borrow selected titles on DAISY audio or in braille through the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) and loan them to eligible patrons. Or, libraries can register eligible patrons for direct access to CELA’s download and home delivery services. Libraries may also offer some of these titles in ePub through OverDrive.
Schools in Ontario can access materials through Alternative Education Resources for Ontario (AERO) or CELA’s Educator Access Program, which is available across Canada.
If you have alternate format texts, please provide a digital file of the book in an unlocked PDF and an ePub files (non-picture books).
An unlocked PDF file is required for AERO to produce alternate formats. Please ensure page numbers are included in the PDF. Page numbering benefits readers in mixed print/digital environments, such as a classroom, as the page numbers allow a common point of reference between the two editions.
An ePub3 file is required to generate synthetic voice DAISY and automatic braille. ePub 3 allows CELA to add books into their catalogue quicker, with more format options available to a broader audience. We recognize that all publishers don’t yet have the capability to do ePub3 so please send in the version that is available.
Files will be stored in a secure repository and used for the exclusive purpose of producing books in alternative formats that are specially designed to meet the needs of persons with perceptual disabilities, as defined in the Copyright Act. Please send the PDF via a file sharing platform (e.g., WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox) to Megan Davies at AERO (Alternative Education Resources of Ontario) at Megan.Davies@alternativeresources.ca. Also, please cc email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.