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About the Prize

The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction is given annually for excellence in the category of literary nonfiction, which includes essays, history, biography, memoir, commentary, and criticism. The winning book demonstrates a distinctive voice as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. This award has been sponsored by The Hon. Hilary M. Weston since 2011 and is currently funded by the Hilary and Galen Weston Foundation. Beginning in 2023, the prize purse has increased from $60,000 to $75,000.

2023 Winner

Christina Sharpe

Ordinary Notes

Knopf Canada

Jury Citation

With tenderness, bravery, and razor-sharp poetic language, Christina Sharpe invites the reader to witness the ordinary joys and sorrows of Black lives and how they are transformed within the everyday reality of systems of racial supremacy. In doing so, she creates a new narrative space at once intimate, deeply informed, and uncompromising. Guided by a deep backbone of scholarship, Ordinary Notes calls upon the reader to witness and wrestle with the notes and stories that Sharpe, a scholar and poet, so generously shares with us. To read this book is to turn toward a voice and listen as if our lives depend on it — and risk being changed in the process.

2023 Finalists


A jury composed of Canadian nonfiction writers Eve Joseph, Michelle Porter, and Dan Werb  selected this year’s shortlist. In total, 99 titles were submitted by 55 publishing imprints.

“Winning the Weston Prize was like having a huge burst of fireworks go off in the middle of my life — an explosion of adrenaline and joy.”

– Candace Savage

2012 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction winner

About The Hon. Hilary M. Weston

The Hon. Hilary M. Weston served as the 26th lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. As the Queen’s representative in Ontario, she 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 recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, served on the board of the Aga Khan Museum for eight years, is a Trustee Emeritus of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and is Founding Patron and Chair Emeritus of Prince’s Trust Canada.   


Mrs. Weston is a director of Wittington Investments, the Weston family holding company. She is also a member of the Sotheby’s International Council and has served as deputy chair of the board of Holt Renfrew, promoting Canadian designers in the retail 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 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003. Mrs. Weston received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. She was invested by the Queen as a Commander in the Royal Victorian Order in October 2015 and is the recipient of several honorary degrees.