Covers of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize nominated books hang above the crowd at the Politics & the Pen Gala

At a black-tie dinner at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier last week, Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells was named the popular winner (with many friends and colleagues among the 500 guests) of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006 –. You can read his acceptance speech on, here.

The award is presented at the Politics & the Pen Gala, which raises in excess of $300,000 annually for the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

This year’s event was hosted (to a standing ovation after their opening skit) by Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, and Ms. Megan Leslie, Member of Parliament for Halifax and member of the Official Opposition. Next to the announcement of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize winner, the co-hosts’ duet of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” with specially written lyrics about being a woman on Parliament Hill, was the highlight of the evening.

Paul Wells’ fellow nominees for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize were: Margaret MacMillan for The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, Charles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design, Donald J. Savoie for Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher: How Government Decides and Why, and Graeme Smith for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, which won the 2013 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Media coverage for the five Shaughnessy Cohen Prize nominees included an interview series in the Globe & Mail (here) and an interview with juror Doug Saunders on CBC Radio One’s Ottawa drive-home show, All in a Day, as the Politics & the Pen gala was getting underway.

CTV Ottawa came to the cocktail reception (video clip here), and Paul Wells was dragged out of bed dark and early the morning after his win to appear on CTV Ottawa’s breakfast show, CTV Morning Live (video clip here).

If you’d like to see some photos from the night, you’re in luck, because there are LOTS.

Here’s a selection: