WCGS Book Pprize logoThe Waterloo Centre for German Studies promotes research into any and all aspects of the German-speaking world. As part of this mandate, the WCGS encourages the communication of research findings to both academics and the broader public. The Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize has been established to recognize first-time authors whose scholarly work provides a substantial contribution to our understanding of any aspect of German-speaking society.

WCGS Book Prize for 2019


  • Non-fiction scholarly monographs by an author who has not previously published an authored book will be considered. Co-authored books are eligible for this award (at least 50% of the authors must be first-time authors). Edited anthologies are not eligible.
  • Nominated books must have been published in 2019. 
  • Language of publication: The book must be either (1) primarily in English (published anywhere) or (2) primarily in French (published in Canada). Translations are permitted; the original work may have been published prior to the competition year, but it must still be the debut monograph of the scholar in question.


The Book Prize consists of two components:

  • Award: CAD $2,000. If the winning book is co- or multi-authored, the award will be split evenly among the authors.
  • Keynote Address: in cooperation with Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG), the awardee will present a keynote address about the winning book at the Association’s annual conference, normally held at the end of May in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The winner’s transportation, accommodation, meals, and conference registration fees will be covered by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, and it is expected that the winner will attend most if not all of the three-day conference. Acceptance of the prize is conditional upon agreeing to attend the conference and deliver a keynote address. (If the winning book is co- or multi-authored, one of those authors will be invited to make the presentation.)


  • March 31, 2020: deadline for nominations
  • Early Fall 2020: announcement of the shortlist
  • Late Fall 2020: announcement of the winner
  • Spring 2021: the 2020 WCGS Book Prize winner presents a keynote address at the annual CAUTG conference 

Judging Criteria

  • Books will be judged on the significance of their contribution to our understanding of any aspect of the German-speaking world. Significance will be measured in three areas:
    • Originality: the book’s originality in terms of presentation, scope, topic, etc.
    • Scholarly relevance: the book’s potential for influencing scholarly inquiry (in its own discipline or other disciplines).
    • Public scholarship: the book’s potential for contributing to broader public discourses.
    • Quality: the book is written in an incisive and clear manner, and edited to the highest standards.
  • The nominations will be adjudicated by a panel of German studies scholars chaired by the Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies and including one faculty member from the University of Waterloo, one member of the Canadian Association of Teachers of German from outside the University of Waterloo, and at least two other academics.

Application Procedures

  • Application deadline: March 31, 2020.
  • Books may be nominated by anyone, including the authors themselves, their publishers, or others. Authors who do not self-nominate will be contacted to ensure that they wish their book to be entered into the competition. 
  • Applications:
    • Books can be submitted in one of two ways:

      1) arrange to have copies of the book sent to:
      Waterloo Centre for German Studies
      University of Waterloo
      Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 CANADA
      519.888.4567, x39267

      2) have the publisher contact the Centre at wcgs@uwaterloo.ca. The Centre will then provide the publisher with the addresses of the book prize jurors, and the publisher can send the books directly to them.

      Method (2) is preferred.

      *** Please note: due to publishers' requests, WCGS is willing to accept PDFs if that is more convenient (though hard copies are preferred, if possible). Please let WCGS know at the time of nomination how the PDFs can be accessed or distributed. ***
  • Please send an e-mail message to wcgs@uwaterloo.ca alerting us to the nomination. Provide the following information:
    • Full name, postal address, e-mail address, and phone number of the author
    • Full book title
    • Publication details (publisher, year)
    • Publisher contact information (e.g. book or acquisition editor)