The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced a new literary award. The Balsillie Prize for Public Policy is a $60,000 award that recognizes the best Canadian book about public policy.
The prize will be funded by businessman and philanthropist Jim Balsillie. Balsillie is the former co-CEO of Research in Motion.
“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,” Balsillie said in a press statement. “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.”
The first edition of the prize will be given out in 2021. The finalists will be announced on Oct. 13, 2021, and the winner will be revealed on Nov. 24, 2021.
“The Balsillie Prize is a tremendous opportunity to bring greater attention to the important conversations Canadians – and Canadian writers – are having about creating a stronger and more inclusive country,” Catherine Clark, chair of the Writers’ Trust, said in a press statement.
Balsillie is also funding the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, which was recently renamed the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, after Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson. That prize’s purse is also now $60,000.
Balsillie donated $3 million to the Writers’ Trust to fund these prizes.
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is an organization that supports Canadian writers through literary awards, fellowships, financial grants, mentorships and more.
It gives out seven prizes in recognition of the year’s best in fiction, nonfiction and short story, as well as mid-career and lifetime achievement awards.
The organization gave out more than $970,000 to support Canadian writers in 2020.