A prize of $60,000 will be awarded to a literary nonfiction book published between September 18, 2015 and September 30, 2016 that, in the opinion of the jury, is the year’s best book of nonfiction. Literary nonfiction includes, among other forms, works of personal or journalistic essays, memoirs, commentary, criticism both social and political, history, and biography. Finalist works will demonstrate a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. The overall effect of such writing should provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the issue at hand. The jurors will shortlist between three and five titles. Prizes of $5,000 will be awarded to each of the finalists.
- Titles must be published in Canada between September 18, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Books that are not yet in final published form by the final deadline of July 27 may be submitted as bound galleys.
- Books must be English-language, first-edition trade books published by a Canadian press, 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, the prize money will be divided as follows: $45,000 to the author, $15,000 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.
- Titles may be single-authored or co-authored. 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.
- Publishers should note that the prize is for literary excellence; they should only submit books deemed outstanding in this regard.
The schedule for submissions is tied to publication dates as follows:
Deadline 1: Wednesday, March 23, 2016
For books published between September 18, 2015 and March 22, 2016
Deadline 2: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
For books published between March 23, 2016 and May 24, 2016
*Deadline 3: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
For books published between May 25, 2016 and September 30, 2016
Publishers are strongly encouraged to submit books prior to the deadlines. Submissions upon release of titles are appreciated. If a publisher, for any reason whatsoever, feels they cannot submit titles in accordance with the above schedule it is requested that they contact the Program Manager to discuss the possibility of an extension.
Number of Submissions
All Canadian-based publishers of original manuscripts may enter two books; companies publishing more than ten eligible nonfiction titles may add one book for every additional ten eligible books (or fraction thereof) on their nonfiction list, up to a maximum of five. See the chart below for reference.
|Books Published:||Eligible to Submit:|
|10 or fewer||2|
|11 – 20||3|
|21 – 30||4|
|31 or more||5|
The following must be submitted by the final deadline on July 27, 2016:
- Five copies of each eligible title in book form; or three bound galleys, with at least two copies of the finished book to be received by the Writers’ Trust upon publication
- A Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction submission form listing all submitted titles and planned submissions sent with the first shipment of books (do not send multiple copies unless you make changes to your submission plans)
- Publishers submitting more than two titles must provide a list of all titles published during the calendar year on which that publisher’s eligibility is based. This list should include authors, titles, and dates of publication.
- Electronic images of the author and book cover suitable for reproduction in print materials – please name each file as follows: “Nonfiction_AuthorLastName_FirstName” and “Nonfiction_AuthorLastName_BookTitle”. Contact the Program Manager for instructions on sending large images.
The finalists of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction are chosen by a three-person jury. Each juror may request an unlimited number of additional titles from a publisher’s list. Such titles are on equal footing with all other submissions, provided that their publishers agree to abide by the conditions laid out in this document. The jury acts independently of the Writers’ Trust and is charged with interpreting the mandate and eligibility criteria of the prize, as well as determining which of the submissions best reflect the prize mandate. In evaluating the writing, literary merit is the sole criteria. The judgment of the jury in selecting the winners, determining eligibility, and interpreting these rules is final.
Announcement of Nominees & Winners
The list of finalist authors will be announced in September 2016 and the award will be presented in November 2016 at an event in Toronto.
If an author is a finalist the publisher will agree to:
- Supply the Writers’ Trust with 18 additional copies of the shortlisted book for publicity.
- Affix stickers provided by the Writers’ Trust to all outgoing copies of the current edition of the finalist and winning books and include prize sticker artwork on any subsequent editions.
- Participate in promotion and publicity efforts undertaken by the Writers’ Trust and stress the importance of this with their authors.
Send submissions to:
Amanda Hopkins, Program Manager
Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
Writers’ Trust of Canada
600 – 460 Richmond Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 1Y1