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Writers’ Trust Announces  2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury

Writers’ Trust Announces 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury

August 23, 2016Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has revealed the three-member jury for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. The jurors are: nonfiction author and journalist Carolyn Abraham; journalism professor and author Stephen Kimber; and nonfiction writer and folklorist Emily Urquhart.

“As our jurors, all of whom are immensely talented writers, prepare to make their decision, we eagerly await the news of which five authors will join the list of those already recognized by this prize,” said prize sponsor The Hon. Hilary M. Weston. “I look forward to discovering the shortlist in September, and to sharing five more superlative works of Canadian nonfiction with readers at home and abroad.”

The prizewinner will receive $60,000; prize nominees will receive $5,000 each. Past winners include Charles Foran for Mordecai: The Life and Times, Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, and Rosemary Sullivan for Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva.

Finalists will be announced on September 28, 2016. The prizewinner will be announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on November 2, 2016.

“A roll call of the greatest talents in contemporary Canadian nonfiction writing, the list of past winners and nominees for this prize displays a fascinating range of topics and an enviable level of skill and expertise,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “Thanks to the support and vision of Mrs. Weston, it has been the Writers’ Trust’s great honour to celebrate our country’s finest nonfiction writers. We can’t wait to find out who the jury will select as this year’s nominees.”

About the jury

nonfiction author and journalist Carolyn Abraham, 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction JurorCarolyn Abraham is the author of two books, Possessing Genius and The Juggler’s Children, both of which were finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. She is a journalist who was the science writer for The Globe and Mail for 14 years, and before that wrote for the Ottawa Citizen. Born in England, Abraham moved to Canada as a child and currently lives in Toronto.


journalism professor and author Stephen Kimber, 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction JurorStephen Kimber
is a professor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax and an award-winning writer, editor, and broadcaster. He is the author of a novel and nine books of nonfiction, including What Lies Across the Water, which won the 2014 Evelyn Richardson Memorial Award.

and nonfiction writer and folklorist Emily Urquhart, 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction JurorEmily Urquhart
’s writing has appeared in Reader’s Digest, The Walrus, and elsewhere. Her first book, Beyond the Pale, based on her National Magazine Award-winning story, was a Maclean’s bestseller, a finalist for the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction, and a 2015 Globe and Mail Best Book. After ten years dividing her time between St. John’s and Victoria, Urquhart recently moved to Kitchener, Ontario.


About The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, 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 is a trustee of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and 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 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction 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 of Canada

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, a fellowship, 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.


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