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The Writers’ Trust of Canada Announces the Jury for the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

May 14, 2012Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is proud to announce the three-member jury for the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. They are: former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario James Bartleman; 2011 prize-finalist Charlotte Gill; and one of Canada’s most respected nonfiction writers, Marni Jackson.

“We are overjoyed to have such an exceptional group of writers on this year’s prize jury,” said the Honourable Hilary M. Weston. “I eagerly look forward to discovering the titles they have shortlisted and sharing those books with readers in Canada and around the world.”

Finalists for the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada 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.

“This award shines a light on our great Canadian writers,” said Peter Kahnert, Writers’ Trust Chair and senior vice-president, Raymond James Ltd. “It is a tremendous vehicle for promoting the remarkable quality and range of talent on display in this country.”

James Bartleman had a distinguished career of more than 35 years in the Canadian Foreign Service serving as a diplomat in Cuba, Israel, South Africa, and elsewhere. In 2002, he became the first aboriginal Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and during his tenure he worked hard to improve literacy amongst First Nations children. Bartleman is the author of four works of nonfiction and a novel, As Long as the Rivers Flow. He lives in Perth, Ontario.

Charlotte Gill is the author of Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe, which was a finalist for this prize in 2011. It also won the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction. Gill is also the author of Ladykiller, a collectionof short fiction that was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. She lives in Powell River, British Columbia.


Marni Jackson has won numerous National Magazine Awards for her journalism. From 2006–2009 she was Rogers Chair of the Literary Journalism program at The Banff Centre, a month-long residency for professional nonfiction writers. She is also on the faculty of the Mountain Writing program at Banff. Jackson is the author of three books of nonfiction, most recently, Home Free: The Myth of the Empty Nest, which was published in 2010. She lives in Toronto.


About Mrs. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt

Mrs. 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 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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