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Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Winner: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000 


Winner Announcement - October 14, 2014

This year's shortlist was announced on September 17 at a press conference in Toronto. Read the press release here.

2014 Prize Finalists

Susan Delacourt
for Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them
(Douglas & McIntyre)

Naomi Klein
for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
(Knopf Canada)

Charles Montgomery
for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
(Doubleday Canada)

Paula Todd
for Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online

Kathleen Winter
for Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage
(House of Anansi Press)

2014 Prize Jury

Finalists were selected and announced by a three-member jury composed of Charles Foran, whose biography Mordecai won the prize in 2011; Priscila Uppal, a writer and creative writing professor; and nonfiction writer Merrily Weisbord. In total, 92 titles were submitted by 42 publishers for the 2014 prize.

Foran_CharlesCharles Foran is the author of ten books, both fiction and nonfiction. He won the 2011 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Mordecai: The Life & Times. His fifth novel, Planet Lolita, was released in May. Foran holds degrees from the University of Toronto and University College, Dublin, and is a senior fellow at Massey College. He lives in Toronto.

Uppal,-PriscilaPriscila Uppal was dubbed “Canada’s coolest poet” by Time Out London, and was Olympic poet-in-residence at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and the 2012 London Summer Games. Born in Ottawa, Uppal is now a literature and creative writing professor at Toronto’s York University. Her poetry collection Ontological Necessities was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2007. Uppal was a finalist for the 2013 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for her memoir, Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother. She lives in Toronto.

Weisbord-MerrilyMerrily Weisbord was a finalist for the 2010 Writers’ Trust NonFiction Prize for The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das, which is about her decade-long friendship with the beloved and controversial Indian writer. Her other books include The Strangest Dream, Our Future Selves, and Dogs with Jobs, for which Weisbord also wrote and created a TV series that aired on the Life Network, CBC, PBS, Oxygen, National Geographic US, and National Geographic International. She lives in Montreal.   

Nonfiction Education

HWWT-Student-Nonfiction-Writing-Contest_PosterThe Writers' Trust is proud to administer a nonfiction writing contest for Canadian high school students. Ashley Ash, the inaugural winner, recently received $2,500 plus $1,000 for her school for her heartfelt memoir, "No One's Girl." Read the top six pieces now at writerstrust.com/students.

Free teaching resources are available at writerstrust.com/education. These resources help high school educators explore contemporary Canadian nonfiction with students by introducing them to books nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

About the Honourable Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt

Hilary WestonHon. 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 also 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 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.


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Final Deadline

November 5, 2014 for books published between
July 9 & Dec 31

Berton House Writer-in-Residence

October 3, 2014

Woodcock Fund





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