Archives for posts with tag: politics and the pen

From left: Tony Clement, Megan Leslie, Stephen Maher, Tom Power, Richard Madan and Lisa Raitt perform Sweet Caroline at the Politics & the Pen gala


On Wednesday night, at the Politics and the Pen Gala in Ottawa, Joseph Heath was named the winner of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the Writers’ Trust of Canada, was held at Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier and attended by 500 guests from Canada’s political, literary and arts communities.

Highlights included a “Battle of the Bands,” which was kicked off by co-hosts Hon. Tony Clement and Tom Power and joined by MPs Lisa Raitt and Megan Leslie, journalist Stephen Maher, and broadcaster Richard Madan (pictured).

The event raised more than than $330,000 for the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

The five Shaughnessy Cohen Prize nominees were:

  • Joseph Heath for Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, our Economy, and Our Lives (winner)
  • Chantal Hébert with Jean Lapierre for The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was
  • Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs the Climate
  • John Ralston Saul for The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence
  • Graham Steele for What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise – and Collapse – of Nova Scotia’s NDP Government

View photos from the event and read party recaps at Globe & MailHELLO!, Hill TimesMaclean’s, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Magazine.

Listen to Joseph Heath talk to CBC As it Happens about his book and winning the prize here and read his interview with the Globe & Mail here.


image: shaughnessy cohen prize shortlist


The shortlist for the 2013 Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was announced this morning.

The nominees are:

  • 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
  • Graeme Smith for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan
  • Paul Wells for The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006 —

Media coverage for the shortlist included:

Canadian Press

Globe and Mail

National Post

Quill & Quire

Toronto Star

The winner will be announced at the Politics & the Pen Gala in Ottawa on April 2.

Ballroom at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Photo: Steve Gerecke

On April 25, the Politics and the Pen gala, held at Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier and attended by 500 guests from the political and literary arenas, raised $300,000 to support Writers’ Trust of Canada programmes.

The $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was presented to Richard Gwyn for Nation Maker, the second volume in his biography of John A. Macdonald.

The Cable Public Affairs Channel was there to capture some of the atmosphere at the cocktail reception before the main dinner: “A who’s who of Canada’s political and literary communities.” Watch the video.

It’s the one night of the year where we get to really celebrate writing, and political writing in particular…It’s always a great night and celebration.” — Bob Rae, Interim Leader, Liberal Party of Canada

What I like about this prize is it’s the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize. Shaughnessy Cohen was a really lovely person…and she was a person of quality…and Shaughnessy Cohen’s quality affects this whole outfit.” — Richard Gwyn, winner, Shaughnessy Cohen Prize

Well it’s fun, number one … It gives people in the political world a chance to talk to people who have the time and the intelligence, the intellect and the ability to use the English or French language to communicate important ideas. And frankly I think all politicians would do a lot better if they read more and talked less.” — Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada

On the award:

The Globe and Mail talked to Richard Gwyn and Max and Monique Nemni in advance of the announcement about what makes a great PM.

The Huffington Post ran excerpts from the five nominated books.

Open Book: Toronto did a Q&A with each of the nominees.

Samara Canada ran Q&As alongside a contest and online poll for their readers’ favourite (which Gwyn also won).

On Politics and the Pen:

The Ottawa Citizen, Hill Times, Ottawa MagazineMaclean’s and iPolitics were all there, cameras in hand.

Oh, and the co-hosts, Ambassadors both, had a boxing match and engaged a little good-natured ribbing of Canada/USA stereotypes at the top of the event. The Ottawa Citizen captured the “fight” on video.

Co-hosts David Jacobson, Ambassador of the USA to Canada, and Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada to the USA, arm wrestle at the Politics and the Pen gala. Photo: Jake Wright