Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Gala
October 14, 2014
Weston Family Learning Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Shortlist Announcement - September 17, 2014
J.B. MacKinnon, Priscila Uppal, Andrew Steinmetz, Hon. Hilary Weston, Graeme Smith, Mary Osborne, and Thomas King. Photo by Tom Sandler
The 2013 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction was awarded in Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario at a salon-style gathering of more than 200 members of the literary, philanthropic, and visual arts communities. Graeme Smith, author of The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, won the $60,000 prize for his thought-provoking account of his time as a journalist covering the violent conflict. The prize is the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada.
Renowned Canadian performers enlivened the evening with dramatic readings of the five prize-nominated titles. These special guest actors were Ella Ballentine, Sid Bobb, Kevin Bundy, David Ferry, and Karen Robinson. The event was hosted by Shelagh Rogers, broadcast journalist and host of CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter. Along with the $60,000 prize, Smith received a sculpture created by crystal artist Mark Raynes Roberts.
2013 Prize Winner
Graeme Smith | The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan
Published by Knopf Canada
2013 Prize Finalists
Thomas King | The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America
Published by Doubleday Canada
J.B. MacKinnon | The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be
Published by Random House Canada
Andrew Steinmetz | This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla
Published by Biblioasis
Priscila Uppal | Projection: Encounters with my Runaway Mother
Published by Dundurn Press
Prize finalists were selected by a jury composed of novelist and cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki; writer and last year’s prize winner Candace Savage; and writer and creative nonfiction writing instructor Andreas Schroeder. In selecting the winner they were joined by founder and executive director of War Child Canada Samantha Nutt and CBC broadcast journalist Evan Solomon.
About the Prize
The prize is awarded for literary excellence in the category of nonfiction, which includes, among other forms, personal or journalistic essays, history, biography, memoirs, commentary, and criticism, both social and political. Finalist works will, in the opinion of the jury, demonstrate a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. This award succeeds the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, which was established in 1997.
To commemorate receiving the prize, the eventual winner will receive a unique sculpture created by award-winning goldsmith, crystal artist, and designer Mark Raynes Roberts. Roberts’ design for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction captures the journey of the writer’s quest for knowledge and aspiration for truth. The sculpture is made up of three crystal books, two lying flat on a slight angle, creating the steps of truth and knowledge. The third and standing book represents the inspirational success of endeavour. Read more about Roberts' work at markraynesroberts.com.