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Writers' Trust Announces 2018 Shortlist for Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Today the Writers’ Trust of Canada announced the five finalists for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The winner will be announced in Ottawa on May 9, 2018, at the annual Politics and the Pen gala.  


The list includes a biography of a former Prime Minister, a subject which often pops up on the Shaughnessy Cohen list, as well as a biography of Robert Bond, a founding father of Newfoundland. There are two memoirs featured: one from CBC personality Carol Off, which is story of an Afghan family who stood up to a warlord and were forced to flee, and a second memoir from Sandra Perron, Canada's first female infantry officer. The final title on the list is Tanya Talaga's Seven Fallen Feathers, which has already proven a prize list powerhouse, scooping up the RBC Taylor Prize recently, as well as being nominated for the Weston Prize (which Off's memoir was also nominated for).  The finalists were selected by a jury composed of University of Victoria professor of Indigenous governance Taiaiake Alfred, former Shaughnessy Cohen Prize winner and University of Toronto professor Joseph Heath, and political journalist and commentator Kady O’Malley. 

The 2018 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Shortlist:

  • Christopher Dummitt for Unbuttoned: A History of Mackenzie King’s Secret Life, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press
  • Carol Off for All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others, published by Random House Canada
  • Sandra Perron for Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada’s First Female Infantry Officer, published by Cormorant Books
  • Ted Rowe for Robert Bond: The Greatest Newfoundlander, published by Creative Book Publishing/Breakwater Books
  • Tanya Talaga for Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, published by House of Anansi Press

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is sponsored by CN and supported by the Politics and the Pen gala. For more information on this year’s finalists and to download images of the nominated authors and their books, visit the Writers' Trust website