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Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

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

The books recognized by the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction paint compelling portraits of diverse subjects. These standout artistic achievements will inspire and infuriate you, make you catch your breath and laugh out loud.

2017 Winner

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist James Maskalyk Life on the Ground Floor
James Maskalyk
Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine 
Doubleday Canada

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist James Maskalyk


Ivan Coyote Tomboy Survival Guide Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for NonfictionIvan Coyote 
for Tomboy Survival Guide 
Arsenal Pulp Press


Kyo Maclear Birds Art Life Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalistKyo Maclear 
for Birds Art Life 
Doubleday Canada


Carol Off All We Leave Behing Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalistCarol Off
for All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others
Random House Canada


Tanya Talaga Seven Fallen Feathers Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalistTanya Talaga 
for Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
House of Anansi Press


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury

Susan Harada
 is the associate director of the School of Journalism and Communication, head of the journalism program, and an associate professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. Previously, she worked in journalism for two decades in a variety of roles, mainly with the CBC. She has written for The Walrus and J-Source.ca, and contributed chapters to The Canadian Federal Election series and Justices and Journalists: The Global Perspective.
Arno Kopecky is an environmental journalist and author based in Vancouver. His writing has appeared in The Walrus, Foreign PolicyThe Globe and Mail, and Reader’s Digest. His first book, The Devil’s Curve,made Amazon’s top-100 list for 2012. His second book, The Oil Man and the Sea, won the 2014 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction and was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award, the Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize, the Lane Anderson Award for science writing, and the Banff Mountain Book Competition for Adventure Travel.
Siobhan Roberts is a Toronto-based journalist and author whose work focuses on mathematics and science. She contributes to The New Yorker “Elements” science blog, QuantaNautilus, and The Walrus. Her first book, King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry, won the Mathematical Association of America’s 2009 Euler Book Prize. Her latest book is Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway, for which she was longlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize and British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Nonfiction.

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


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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