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Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Winner: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000

Shortlist: September 19, 2018

The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction is given annually for an excellent work of literary nonfiction that demonstrates a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique.

2018 Jury

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction 2018 jury Donna Bailey Nurse, Michael Harris, Joel Yanofsky

Michael Harris
is the author of Solitude and The End of Absence, which won the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. He writes for numerous publications including The Washington Post, Wired, Time, Salon, Discover, The Huffington Post, and The Globe and Mail. His books have been nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction, the Chautauqua Prize, and the CBC Bookie Award. Harris lives in Vancouver.

Donna Bailey Nurse is a literary journalist and a columnist for CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter. Her work has appeared in Maclean’s, Literary Review of Canada, and The Walrus. She is the editor of Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing and author of two volumes of What’s a Black Critic To Do? and a collection of essays Black Girls: Women of African Descent Write Their World, which will be released this winter. Nurse lives in Pickering, Ontario.

Joel Yanofsky
is the author of five books, including Mordecai & Me and Bad Animals, both of which won the Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction. He has written for The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Montreal Gazette, National Post, and The New York Times. Yanofsky has won two National Magazine Awards as well as The Malahat Review’s Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize. He lives in Montreal.

About The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, CVO, OOnt

Hilary 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, 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 serves on the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Aga Khan Museum. She is also Chair of Prince’s Charities Canada.

Mrs. Weston is a director of Wittington Investments, the family holding company, and Selfridges Group; and is a member of the International Advisory Board of Sotheby’s. She has 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 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003. She received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Mrs. Weston was invested by the Queen as a Commander in the Royal Victorian Order in October 2015 and is the recipient of several 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.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


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