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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.

2023 Winner

Chris Turner

How to Be a Climate Optimist: Blueprints for a Better World

Random House Canada

Jury Citation

“The climate debate is inherently pessimistic, and while Chris Turner doesn’t pretend that crafting policy to slow global warming is easy, he presents a compelling argument: gloom and doom is not an effective strategy. How to Be a Climate Optimist is a self-help guide for the planet and a masterclass in brisk, vivid storytelling. Turner gives us a crisp, upbeat tour d’horizon of gee-whiz innovation coupled with a strongly argued case that we — politicians, voters, and citizens — just need the will to reach for the solutions taking shape before our eyes.”

— 2023 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Terri E. Givens, Nik Nanos, and Jacques Poitras)

2023 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