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The Writers' Trust Releases 2024 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Shortlist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing 2024 Shortlist

Today the Writers' Trust of Canada announced the 2024 shortlist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, which is awarded to the finest political writing in the country, and named after popular MP Shaughnessy Cohen, who passed away while serving in parliament in 1998. The winning author will receive $25000.

Past winners and nominees of the prize include some of Canada's most acclaimed nonfiction writers including Tanya Talaga, Carol Off, Jane Jacobs, Kamal Al-Soyalee, Naomi Klein, John Ralston Saul, Chantal Hébert, Margaret MacMillan, Tim Cook, and many more. The prize has an overarching aim this year to focus on the work of authors who can move Canada forward and chart a pathway through challenging and political and social times.

Finalists were selected by a jury composed of past winner Joanna Chiu, past finalist Dale Eisler, and former premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne. The jurors read 46 books submitted by 28 publishers.


The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing 2024 shortlist:

Rob Goodman for Not Here: Why American Democracy Is Eroding and How Canada Can Protect Itself (Simon & Schuster Canada)

Benjamin Perrin for Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial published by (Aevo UTP)

Donald J. Savoie for Canada: Beyond Grudges, Grievances, and Disunity (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Astra Taylor The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart (House of Anansi Press)

John Vaillant for Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast (Knopf Canada)


The winner will be announced on May 7th, 2024 at the annual Writers' Trust Politics & the Pen Gala, which traditionally attracts politicians, members of the diplomatic corps, lobbyists, journalists, and others as a beloved feature of the annual Ottawa political social calendar. To date, Politics and the Pen has raised more than $5 million to support Writers’ Trust literary programs.

The shortlisted titles will be available in accessible formats for people with print disabilities through the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).   

Juror and finalist biographies, full jury citations, and additional prize details can be found at