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The name of the award comes from the title of the first novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, Sunburst (1964).
The first award was given out in 2001. The award consists of a cash prize (C$1,000 in 2001-2005) and a medallion. The winner is selected by a jury; a new jury is struck each year.
List of past award winners
|2002||Margaret Sweatman||When Alice Lay Down with Peter|
|2003||Nalo Hopkinson||Skin Folk|
|2004||Cory Doctorow||A Place So Foreign and 8 More|
|2006||Holly Phillips||In the Palace of Repose|
|2007||Mark Frutkin||Fabrizio's Return|
|2008||Nalo Hopkinson||The New Moon's Arms|
|2009||Andrew Davidson||The Gargoyle|
|2010||Adult: A. M. Dellamonica
Young adult: Hiromi Goto
|2011||Adult: Guy Gavriel Kay
Young adult: Paul Glennon
|2012||Adult: Geoff Ryman
Young adult: Catherine Austen
All Good Children
|2013||Adult: Martine Desjardins
Young adult: Rachel Hartman
Sunburst Award administrator and jury use the broadest possible definition of speculative fiction for eligibility purposes: "science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, horror, surrealism, fantastique, myth and legend, fantastical storytelling, and any other writing beyond the strictly realistic". To be eligible for the award, a work must be published between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year. Only Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are eligible, however there are no Canadian residency requirements, and three of the five awards presented to date have gone to expatriates (Stewart, Doctorow, Ryman).