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2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize Finalists Announced

Five finalists have been chosen from more than 2000 entries from across the country

Top row: Finnian Burnett and Barbara Joan Scott. Bottom row: Louie Leyson, Christine Lowther and Kelly S. Thompson. (See individual photos below for credit)

The Grand Prize winner, announced Sept. 21, will receive a $6,000 cash prize from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point

September 14, 2023 – CBC Books, CBC’s online home for literary content, together with its partner the Canada Council for the Arts, have announced the finalists for the 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

The finalists are:

The entries were selected from more than 2,000 submissions received from across Canada. The public can read the shortlisted texts on cbcbooks.ca. The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 21.

The 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize jurors are Eternity Martis, David A. Robertson and Merilyn Simonds.

Eternity Martis is a journalist and editor living in Toronto. She is the author of the memoir They Said This Would Be Fun, which won the 2021 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction. She teaches journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her writing has appeared in media outlets across North America, including Vice, Huffington Post, The Walrus, Hazlitt, The Fader, Salon and CBC.

David A. Robertson is a Swampy Cree writer who has published several books across a variety of genres, from picture books to graphic novels, to memoirs and fiction. His most recent books are the novel The Theory of Crows, the Misewa Saga YA series, the picture book On the Trapline, which was illustrated by Julie Flett, and the memoir Black Water. His picture book  When We Were Alone, which is also illustrated by Flett, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for young people’s literature, illustrated books. Robertson also hosted the CBC Manitoba podcast Kiwew and is the editorial director of a new children’s imprint dedicated to publishing Indigenous writers and illustrators at Penguin Random House Canada.

Merilyn Simonds is a writer from Kingston, Ont. who has written 20 books, including the nonfiction books The Convict Lover, Gutenberg’s Fingerprint and the novel Refuge. She is the founder and first artistic director of the Kingston WritersFest. Her latest book, Woman, Watching, was published in 2022.

In addition to a cash prize of $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Grand Prize winner will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point and will be published on the CBC Books website. The four other finalists will each receive $1000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will be published on CBC Books.

Visit cbcbooks.ca for the complete CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist or for more information on the CBC Literary Prizes.

About CBC Books

Home to Canada Reads, Writers & Company, The Next Chapter, Canada Writes and the CBC Literary Prizes, CBC Books connects Canadians with books, encouraging a shared love of reading and writing. For book news, writing challenges, reading lists, book recommendations and more, visit cbcbooks.ca

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

About Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to “foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.”

The Council’s grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments contribute to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and support its presence across Canada and abroad. The Council’s investments foster greater engagement in the arts among Canadians and international audiences.

The Council’s Public Lending Right (PLR) program makes annual payments to creators whose works are held in Canadian public libraries.

For further information, contact:

Frances Bedford, CBC PR, frances.bedford@cbc.ca, 416-205-7673

Diane Hargrave, DHPR Communications Inc., dhprbks@interlog.com, 416-467-9954

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