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

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - 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:

  • Susan Delacourt for Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Knopf Canada)
  • Charles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (Doubleday Canada)
  • Paula Todd for Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies, and Predators Online (Signal)
  • Kathleen Winter for Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage (House of Anansi 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 Charles Foran, whose biography Mordecai won the prize in 2011; Priscila Uppal, a writer and creative writing professor; and nonfiction writer Merrily Weisbord. In total, 92 titles were submitted by 42 publishers for the 2014 prize.

In a unique approach 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 prizewinner, to be announced at a gala presentation at Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario on October 14. Joining the existing jury will be two high-profile Canadians – Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National; and Deepa Mehta, award-winning film director and screenwriter.

"In this era of information overload, well-researched and well-written stories are essential to keep our communities aware of the issues and events that matter," said Mrs. Weston. "This prize nurtures and rewards the Canadian nonfiction writers who so adeptly illuminate the world through the power of their storytelling."

Starting today, for a limited time, select Loblaw banner stores across the country will feature the five titles shortlisted for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize. To view a list of Loblaw banner stores across Canada, visit http://loblawstores.ca/LCLOnline/.

The nominated works will be available today for download from the iBookstore on iPhone, iPad, or iPod, or at www.itunes.com/WestonPrize.

Prize finalists will participate in the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on October 26.

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

Further event information and high-resolution images are available at writerstrust.com

About The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt
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. 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.

*Reg'd TM. Lic'd use

SOURCE: The Writers' Trust of Canada

For further information: and interview opportunities contact: Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502, bt@beckytoyne.com

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