Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500     
Sponsored by

2013 Winner


Paul Wells 
The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006 – 
Random House Canada


Jury Citation

Veteran political columnist Paul Wells has crafted a fast-paced, romping great read about a Prime Minister who is frequently described by the Parliamentary Press Gallery as dull, plodding, and inscrutable. Though viscerally funny and often biting, this book is never partisan or unfair. Impeccably researched, gorgeously written, and deeply insightful, The Longer I’m Prime Minister is an essential read for all political junkies.

About the Book

Picking up where he left off in Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper’s New Conservatism, veteran political writer Paul Wells delivers an authoritative, engaging, and critical account of Stephen Harper since his Conservative Party won the federal election in 2006. Relying on a trove of sources, Wells explores how no matter the ups and downs, the triumphs and the self-inflicted wounds, Harper has been moving to build the Canada he wants – the Canada a significant portion of Canadian voters want or they wouldn’t have elected him three times. The Longer I’m Prime Minister explains Harper not only to Harper supporters but also to readers who can’t believe he’s already been in power longer than Lester B. Pearson and John Diefenbaker.

About the Author

Paul Wells is the political editor of Maclean’s magazine. His previous book, Right Side Up, was chosen as one of the Best Canadian Political Books of the Last 25 Years by the Writers’ Trust of Canada and Samara. Wells has worked for the National Post, the Gazette (Montreal), and has written for L’actualite, La Presse, Time, and the Literary Review of Canada. He lives in Ottawa and can be followed on Twitter at @InklessPW.

Prize Finalists

MacMillanMargaret MacMillan for The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
Published by Allen Lane Canada

MontgomeryCharles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Published by Doubleday Canada


SavoieDonald J. Savoie for Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? How Government Decides and Why
Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press

SmithGraeme Smith for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan
Published by Knopf Canada

This year's prize winner was announced on April 2, 2014 at Politics and the Pen in Ottawa. The finalists were selected by a jury consisting of Calgary Herald editorial page editor Licia Corbella, journalist Jane O’Hara, and Globe and Mail international affairs columnist Doug Saunders.

About the Prize

Now in its fourteenth year, the prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit.

About Shaughnessy Cohen

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Final Deadline

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

Woodcock Fund





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