Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500     
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The $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing is awarded annually for an exceptional book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers.

2017 Winner

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Deaths, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, by Tanya Talaga (Toronto), published by House of Anansi

Tanya Talaga
Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
House of Anansi

Tanya Talaga


Dummitt, Christopher- UnbuttonedChristopher Dummitt
Unbuttoned: A History of Mackenzie King’s Secret Life
published by McGill-Queen’s University Press

Off, Carol - All We Leave BehindCarol Off

All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others
published by Random House Canada

Perron, Sandra - Out Standing in the FieldSandra Perron

Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada’s First Female Infantry Officer
published by Cormorant Books

Rowe, Ted - Robert BondTed Rowe

Robert Bond: The Greatest Newfoundlander
published by Creative Book Publishing/Breakwater Books


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 2014 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing 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



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


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