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. Each finalist will receive $5,000, with the eventual prizewinner receiving a total of $60,000.
This year’s finalists are:
- Thomas King for The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Doubleday Canada)
- J.B. MacKinnon for The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be (Random House Canada)
- Graeme Smith for The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan (Knopf Canada)
- Andrew Steinmetz for This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla (Biblioasis)
- Priscila Uppal for Projection: Encounters with my Runaway Mother (Dundurn Press)
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.
The nominated works will be available today for download from the iBookstore  on iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
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.