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Hon. Hilary M. Weston and Writers' Trust Executive Director Mary Osborne
Photo Credit: Tom Sandler

Hon. Hilary M. Weston and the Writers’ Trust Announce Finalists for $60,000 Literary Award

Shortlist explores Native experience, natural history, film, family secrets, war's truths.

September 18, 2013 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced today the five finalists for this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. The announcement took place at the Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens.*

This year’s finalists are:

Thomas KingThomas King | The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America  
Published by Doubleday Canada

JB MacKinnonJ.B. MacKinnon | The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be 
Published by Random House Canada

Greame SmithGraeme Smith | The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan 
Published by Knopf Canada

Andrew SteinmetzAndrew Steinmetz | This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla 
Published by Biblioasis

Priscila UppalPriscila Uppal | Projection: Encounters with my Runaway Mother 
Published by Dundurn Press

Each finalist will receive $5,000, with the eventual prizewinner receiving a total of $60,000.

Finalists were selected and announced by a three-member jury composed of Hal Niedzviecki, a novelist and cultural critic from Toronto; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s Candace Savage, who won last year’s prize; and writer Andreas Schroeder, who lives in Roberts Creek, British Columbia and teaches creative nonfiction writing at the University of British Columbia. In total, 107 titles were submitted by 52 publishers for the 2013 prize.

In a distinctive twist designed to inspire discussion of the shortlisted books, the prize jury will expand at this stage to five jurors who will deliberate to select the eventual prizewinner, to be announced at a gala presentation in Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario on October 21. Joining the existing jury will be two high-profile Canadians – Samantha Nutt, founder and executive director of War Child Canada, physician, and author; and Evan Solomon, author and host of Power and Politics on CBC News Network and The House on CBC Radio One.

“It has been immensely gratifying these past two years to discover some of the brightest lights in Canadian nonfiction and recognize them through this award,” said Mrs. Hilary Weston. “I am honoured to add five new books to this growing tradition and eagerly look forward to reading this year’s nominated titles.”

“It was dazzling to be nominated for the Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Prize and I love thinking about the fun that lies in store for this year's finalists,” said Savage, who received the 2012 award for A Geography of Blood. “The mere fact that the award exists is astonishing, and I can't begin to express my gratitude for the boost it has given to my prospects as a writer.”

Starting today, for a limited time, select Loblaw banner stores across the country will feature the five titles shortlisted for the 2013 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize. To view a list of Loblaw banner stores across Canada, please visit the Loblaw store finder.

The nominated works will be available today for download from the iBookstore on iPhone, iPad, or iPod, or at

Prize finalists will participate in the International Festival of Authors, appearing at events in London, Ontario on October 22 and in Toronto on October 25.

Support for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize is provided by media partner CBC Books.

To facilitate the promotion of Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize nominated books, an online catalogue for retailers has been created through BookNet Canada’s CataList program.

About Mrs. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt

Hilary Weston

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 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.

*Reg’d TM. Lic’d use


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