Writers’ Trust unveils new $60,000 award for books that encourage debate and influence public policy

It’s a promising day in the world of Canadian literature. This morning, the Writers’ Trust of Canada announced the Balsillie Prize for Public Policy, or an annual $60,000 award that “recognizes dynamic books that advance and influence policy debates on social, political, economic, and cultural topics relevant to Canadians.” 

Sponsored by Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, the award comprises a portion of Balsillie’s new $3 million commitment to the Writers’ Trust, and is the largest award for public policy titles in Canada.

“This prize will spotlight authors and ideas that aim to address the core concerns of our society and ideally lead to a more engaged, informed, and enlightened Canada,” said Jim Balsillie. “My hope is that we can spur the commissioning of books that engage the general public and have potential to influence the work of the country’s top policymakers.”

“We foresee prize finalists illuminating an expansive range of topics important to Canadians – from the environment and immigration to racism and ageism – and inspiring directions for policymakers to explore,” said Charlie Foran, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “The Balsillie Prize will operate as a big tent for all the hot button issues that dominate the news, that Canadians argue about in coffee shops, that trigger debate in law schools, and concern our government leaders.”

From affordable housing to defunding the police, there’s no shortage of urgent subjects that would fit the bill. We know many authors who we’d love to see win this award. 

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