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The Writers’ Trust Sets Key Dates for 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

May 2, 2012Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced the key dates for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada.

Five prize finalists will be announced on September 25, 2012, at a press conference in Toronto. The prize winner will be announced at a gala presentation in Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music on November 20, 2012.

The announcement was made at a luncheon hosted by the Honourable Hilary M. Weston and attended by executive figures from the publishing and book retailing industries. Also announced were results from a survey conducted in collaboration with CBC Books on reader habits.

The survey indicated that of the 694 respondents:

  • 83% read more or the same amount of nonfiction than in years past;
  • 78% took Canadian authorship/content into consideration in choosing what books to read;
  • 80% were persuaded to read a book because it won a Canadian literary prize;
  • 31% indicated that biography/memoir was their preferred type of nonfiction (Charles Foran’s biography of writer Mordecai Richler, Mordecai: The Life & Times, won last year’s award).

“Whether it is history, biography, travel, or current affairs, nonfiction truly matters to Canadians,” said Mrs. Hilary Weston. “This prize is a unique opportunity to recognize and reward our country’s tremendous pool of nonfiction talent and to highlight the quality of their work to readers both at home and abroad.”

“The Writers’ Trust is extremely grateful to Mrs. Weston for her personal support, leadership, and partnership in creating this program that supports the extraordinary Canadian literary nonfiction community,” said Mr. Peter Kahnert, Writers’ Trust Chair and senior vice-president, Raymond James Ltd. “We eagerly look forward to the announcement of this year’s prize finalists on September 25.”

About Mrs. Hilary Weston, CM, OOnt

Mrs. Hilary 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 is a trustee of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and serves on the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Mrs. Weston is also a corporate director of Wittington Investments and Selfridges Group Ltd. She has also 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, was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2003, and is the recipient of six 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.

About the Writers’ Trust

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.



For further information:
Don Oravec (416-725-0958/416.504.8222 x244,

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