Coady's first book, Strange Heaven (1998), was nominated for a Governor General's Award. Her second book, Play the Monster Blind (2000), was a national bestseller and a "Best Book" of 2000 for the Globe and Mail. Saints of Big Harbour (2002) was a Globe and Mail "Best Book" in 2002, and Mean Boy was recognized as a "Best Book" in 2006. Her 2011 novel The Antagonist was shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize; she won the Giller Prize in 2013 for her short story collection Hellgoing.
Coady has been awarded the Canadian Authors Association/Air Canada Award for the best writer under thirty, as well as the Dartmouth Book and Writing Award for fiction. Her articles and reviews have been featured in many publications, including Saturday Night, This Magazine, and Chatelaine. She has written several plays, and contributes regularly to The Globe and Mail. She won the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her short story collection Hellgoing.