Writers' Trust Announces Finalists for $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Stories of war, revolutionaries, aging, art make up 2016 shortlist

TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - The Writers' Trust of Canada announced this morning the five finalists for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. Publishers of the nominated books learned the news by piecing together a hand-delivered 70-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring the shortlist. The prizewinner will be announced on November 2.

This year's finalists are:

  • Ian Brown (Toronto, ON) for Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-first Year: The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?, Random House Canada
  • Deborah Campbell (Vancouver, BC) for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War, Knopf Canada
  • Matti Friedman (Jerusalem) for Pumpkinflowers: An Israeli Soldier's Story, Signal/McClelland & Stewart
  • Ross King (Oxford, UK) for Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada
  • Sonja Larsen (Vancouver, BC) for Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary, Random House Canada

Each finalist will receive $5,000. The prizewinner will receive a total of $60,000.

Finalists were selected by a three-member jury composed of author and journalist Carolyn Abraham, journalism professor and author Stephen Kimber, and nonfiction writer and folklorist Emily Urquhart. In total, 95 titles were submitted by 50 publishers for consideration for the 2016 prize.

"The best nonfiction writing offers a window on other lives, other times, and other worlds," said prize sponsor The Hon. Hilary M. Weston. "Once again, the jury has put forward a shortlist that demonstrates an astonishing breadth of knowledge, depth of research, and sense of story. I look forward to sharing five more superlative works of Canadian nonfiction with readers."

The prizewinner will be announced at the Writers' Trust Awards ceremony at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio on November 2. Additional information, including jury citations and downloadable images, is available at writerstrust.com.

Readers are invited to assemble a digital jigsaw puzzle revealing the nominated works at writerstrust.com/puzzle.

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 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 ten national 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. More information is available at writerstrust.com.

About the Writers' Trust Awards Ceremony
An annual event awarding $219,000 to Canadian writers, the Writers' Trust Awards ceremony is one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada. CBC Radio broadcaster and new host of q Tom Power will emcee this year's event on November 2. In addition to the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, awards to be presented are:

For a single book:

  • Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize: 20th anniversary

For a single short story:

  • Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize

For a body of work:

  • Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize
  • Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
  • Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People
  • Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award

The Writers' Trust Awards is made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Partners CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Indigo Chapters provide additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Book Fund.

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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