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Awards to Canada Authors for Newly Published Books that Address Contemporary Political Issues

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing

GrantWatch ID# 174284
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
Writers' Trust of Canada (WT)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
Canada:Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Important Dates
Deadline: 01/31/23 - For Books Published Between December 6, 2022 and March 31, 2023. Save

Grant Description
Awards of $2,500 and an award of $25,000 to Canada authors for recently published nonfiction works. Eligible literary works are those on a political topic relevant to local readers and that have the potential to impact contemporary political thought. The award will be presented in May 2023 at Politics and the Pen, an annual Writers’ Trust fundraising event.

A prize will be awarded to a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and significant literary merit. All finalist works will demonstrate a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and analysis. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles. The jurors will shortlist between three and five titles. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Publishers should note that the prize is for literary excellence; they should only submit books they deem outstanding in this regard. Books that are strictly hagiography or political advocacy or which fail to illuminate political trends or issues are unlikely to be shortlisted.
  • Titles must be published in Canada between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023. Titles that are not yet in final published form by the deadline of January 31, 2023 final deadline may be submitted as ARCs or comb-bound galleys.
  • Books must be English-language, first-edition trade books, written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Previous publication in another country does not disqualify a book.
  • Translations from other languages into English are eligible and will be considered in the year in which the English translation is published. In the event of a translation winning the prize, it will be divided as follows: $18,750 to the author, $6,250 to the translator.
  • To be eligible, publishing houses must have a professional editorial process independent from the authors whose books are submitted for consideration. They must not charge authors for publishing their works.
  • All books must have an ISBN number and be available in Canadian bookstores for some duration between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.
  • Titles may be single-authored or co-authored. 


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
All publishers of original manuscripts may enter two books by Canadian authors; companies publishing more than ten eligible nonfiction titles during the eligibility period (April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023) may add one book for every additional ten eligible books (or fraction thereof) on their nonfiction list, up to a maximum of five. See below for reference.

10 or fewer books published - eligible to submit 2
11 - 20 books published - eligible to submit 3
21 - 30 books published - eligible to submit 4
31 + books published - eligible to submit 5

- Multi-authored collections, anthologies, and conference proceedings are not eligible.
- Self-published books are not eligible.
- Ghostwritten books are not eligible.
- No more than 20% of the manuscript can have previously been published in book form.
- Books whose author was deceased at the time of publication are not eligible.

Pre-Application Information
The schedule for submissions is tied to publication dates as follows:

Deadline 1: October 4, 2022 (for books published between April 1, 2022 and October 3, 2022).
Deadline 2: December 6, 2022 (for books published between October 4, 2022 and December 5, 2022).
Deadline 3: January 31, 2023 (for books published between December 6, 2022 and March 31, 2023).

The list of finalist authors will be announced in spring 2023.

Estimated Size of Grant
- Winner: $25,000
- Finalists: $2,500

In the event of a translation winning the prize, it will be divided as follows: $18,750 to the author, $6,250 to the translator.

Contact Information

Send inquiries to:
Devon Jackson, Program Manager
Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

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