The Writers’ Trust of Canada Announces 2015 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury
August 6, 2015 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has revealed the three-member jury for the 2015 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. The jurors are: author and journalist Stevie Cameron; novelist and nonfiction writer Will Ferguson; and writer and broadcaster JJ Lee, a finalist for this prize in 2012.
“For these three acclaimed writers, summer reading means immersion in a year’s worth of new Canadian nonfiction,” said prize sponsor Hon. Hilary M. Weston. “As always, I look forward to the unveiling of the shortlist in September, and to sharing the nominated works with readers in Canada and around the world.”
The prize winner receives $60,000; prize nominees receive $5,000 each. Past winners include Charles Foran for Mordecai: The Life and Times, Candace Savage for A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape, and Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
Finalists will be announced on September 16, 2015. The prize winner will be announced at a gala presentation in the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 6, 2015.
“Through this prize, the Writers’ Trust has been honoured to celebrate the exceptional talent of Canadian nonfiction storytellers writing about a huge variety of topics and at all stages of their careers,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “We are grateful to Mrs. Weston for her personal support and for her vision in making this celebration possible, and look forward to discovering this year’s nominees.”
About the Jury
Stevie Cameron is an investigative journalist and the author of six works of literary nonfiction, including On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver’s Missing Women, which was nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and won an Arthur Ellis Award in 2011. She serves on the board of Second Harvest in Toronto and for two decades has worked on projects to assist homeless and under-housed people. In recognition of her humanitarian work and social activism, Cameron was awarded the Order of Canada in 2012. She lives in Toronto.
Will Ferguson is the author of more than a dozen books ranging from travel guides to works of literary fiction. He won the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel 419 and is a three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. His travels have taken him from Indonesia to Argentina. He has walked across Northern Ireland in the rain and has hitchhiked the length of Japan. In 2010, he was named the head writer on the Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremonies, penning material for the likes of Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, and Martin Short. He lives in Calgary.
JJ Lee was a finalist for the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit. The book was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and the BC Book Prizes Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. In 2014, he hosted the CBC radio show Head to Toe. His fashion and personal essays are published in ELLE Canada. Earlier this year, he served as a juror for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Student Nonfiction Writing Contest, which is affiliated with this prize. Lee lives in New Westminster, British Columbia.
Visit our prize page for more information on this year’s award.
Download high-resolution images of the jurors.
About the Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt
The Hon. Hilary M. Weston served as the 26th lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. As the Queen’s representative in Ontario, Mrs. Weston was responsible for the Crown’s constitutional and representational roles in the province. Since leaving public office, Mrs. Weston has continued to pursue her diverse interests. She led Renaissance ROM, the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian cultural history, transforming the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She is a trustee of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and serves on the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Mrs. Weston is also a corporate director of Wittington Investments and Selfridges Group Ltd. She has served as deputy chair of the board of Holt Renfrew, promoting Canadian designers in the retailing business.
Mrs. Weston founded the Ireland Fund of Canada and remains a patron of this non-denominational organization promoting peace in Ireland. Her interests in homes and gardens resulted in the publication of In a Canadian Garden (1989) and At Home in Canada (1995). She served as first chancellor of the Order of Ontario, was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2003, and is the recipient of six honorary degrees.
About the Prize
The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction 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.
About the Writers’ Trust
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs that includes literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502