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Chris Turner wins 2023 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Chris Turner

Chris Turner has won the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

The annual award, administered by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, was presented on May 10 in Ottawa at the Politics and the Pen fundraiser. The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize honours a book of literary merit that has the potential to shape Canadians’ thinking on political life.

Turner, a Calgary-based writer who writes on the energy transition and climate change solutions, won this year’s prize for How to Be a Climate Optimist: Blueprints for a Better World (Random House Canada). In their citation, the jury (made up of political science professor Terri E. Givens, Canadian pollster and data scientist Nik Nanos, and past prize finalist Jacques Poitras) said that Turner “presents a compelling argument: gloom and doom is not an effective strategy. How to Be a Climate Optimist is a self-help guide for the planet and a masterclass in brisk, vivid storytelling.”

Turner’s book was one of five finalists for the prize announced earlier this year. Finalists Norma Dunning, Dale Eisler, Josh O’Kane, and co-authors Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii) were awarded $2,500, with co-authors sharing the prize amount.