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About the Prize

Established in honour of the outspoken and popular MP from Windsor, Ontario, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing is awarded annually for an exceptional book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers. Sponsored by CN, the prize is awarded annually at the Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa.

2019 Winner

Beverley McLachlin

Truth Be Told: My Journey Through Life and the Law

Simon & Schuster Canada

Jury Citation

"Beverley McLachlin is an exceptional woman, and her memoirs are an exceptional book. Marked by a storyteller’s sure touch, they trace McLachlin’s path from small-town girl in Pincher Creek, Alberta to pioneer woman lawyer to first woman chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. These memoirs – the first by a Canadian Supreme Court justice – offer a unique and tantalizing glimpse of the Court’s personal dynamics and its operations as it tackled the legal issues that have defined modern Canada, including same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the intersection of law and politics in Canada." —2019 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Greg Donaghy, Althia Raj, and Paula Simons)

2019 Finalists

“My affiliation with Writers’ Trust has connected me to a national network of writers and thinkers, and to politicians and policy makers. The generous prize will be used to support the research and writing of my next book.”

— Rachel Giese


2018 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing winner