Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500     
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The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, March 27. The $25,000 winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 9 at Politics and the Pen in Ottawa.

2017 Jury

2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize jury 

Taiaiake Alfred is a professor of Indigenous governance in the department of political science at the University of Victoria. He has been awarded a Canada Research Chair, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the field of education, and the Native American Journalists Association Award for best column writing. He lives in Victoria.

Joseph Heath won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing in 2015 for Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives. He is the author of three other books of nonfiction and numerous academic works. Heath is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, where he also teaches at the School of Public Policy and Governance. He lives in Toronto.

Kady O’Malley is a journalist who writes about federal politics for iPolitics, Vice News, and other media outlets. A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, she has been covering the Hill for more than a decade and has written for The Hill Times, Maclean’s, CBC’s Inside Politics, and the Ottawa Citizen. O’Malley lives in Ottawa.

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

About the Prize

Now in its 18th year, the prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction published the previous year that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles.

Shaughnessy COhen

About Shaughnessy Cohen

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in 2000 in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, who died on December 9, 1998 after collapsing in the House of Commons. Affectionately known as “Radio Shaughnessy,” Shaughnessy Cohen was beloved for her sense of humour and devoted friendship. She was a lawyer by training and used her legal background as chair of the Commons Justice Committee. The same year the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established, journalist Susan Delacourt published a biography, The Passionate Politics of Shaughnessy Cohen.




Woodcock Fund



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


May 16 for books published between Mar 14 and May 15, 2018


Recommended Reading List

We asked some of Canada's finest writers about their favourite reads in 2017.

Read their Recommendations.


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