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Michelle Good Amongst Finalists for the $60,000 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy

Blue banner image with Writers' Trust of Canada logo and text reading Bassillie Prize for Public Policy 2023 finailists

Today the Writers' Trust of Canada revealed the five-book shortlist for the Balsillie Prize for Public Policy, one of their newest awards, which recognizes comprehensive and thoroughly researched nonfiction books that further policy discussions on social, political, economic, and cultural topics. 

The award is funded by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Jim Balsillie as part of a $3 million commitment to supporting Canadian literature through Writers’ Trust. Winners receive $60,000 and each finalist receives $5,000 (co-authors evenly divide prize monies). 

This year’s shortlisted books explore business disruptions stemming from artificial intelligence advancements, truth telling and reconciliation, interprovincial free trade, tribalism and evolution, and the importance of arts education to culture and democracy. The 2023 prizewinner will be announced on Tuesday, November 28 at a private dinner hosted at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.  

A jury composed of author and physician Samantha Nutt, policy expert Taki Sarantakis, and digital strategist Scott Young selected the shortlist. In total, 43 titles were submitted by 25 publishers.  

The 2023 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy finalists are:   

  • Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb (Harvard Business Review Press) 
  • Truth Telling: Seven Conversations about Indigenous Life in Canada by Michelle Good (HarperCollins Publishers) 
  • Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada’s Quest for Interprovincial Free Trade by Ryan Manucha (McGill-Queen's University Press) 
  • Our Tribal Future: How to Channel Our Foundational Human Instincts into a Force for Goodby David R. Samson (St. Martin’s Press) 
  • The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy by Max Wyman (Cormorant Books) 

“The 2023 shortlist is an accurate reflection of discussions we’re having amongst ourselves and those we see unfold in government daily,” said Charlie Foran, executive director of Writers’ Trust. “The range of policy issues raised in these books are timely, put forth by experts in their respective fields who succeed in deft argumentation and have a penchant for persuasion.”

For more information on this year’s finalists visit The Writers' Trust online. The shortlisted titles will be available in accessible formats for different types of print disability through the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) at