Book on climate optimism wins Shaughnessy Cohen political writing prize

OTTAWA — A hope-filled book about mitigating climate change has won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

Journalist Chris Turner received the $25,000 award at Politics and the Pen, an annual fundraising event in Ottawa, for “How to be a Climate Optimist: Blueprints for a Better World.”

The prize from the Writers’ Trust of Canada goes to a book of literary non-fiction that “has the potential to influence thinking on Canadian political life.”

Jurors say Turner’s book strikes a delicate balance, acknowledging that it won’t be easy to craft policy that addresses climate change while arguing that it’s possible — and even helpful — to take an optimistic approach to the problem.

The other nominees, who receive $2,500, include Norma Dunning for “Kinauvit?: What’s Your Name? The Eskimo Disc System and a Daughter’s Search for her Grandmother” and Dale Eisler for “From Left to Right: Saskatchewan’s Political and Economic Transformation.”

Rounding out the shortlist are Josh O’Kane for “Sideways: The City Google Couldn’t Buy” and Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii) for “Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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