Quill and Quire


« Back to Omni

Hilary Peach wins 2023 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction

Hilary Peach (Anvil Press)

Hilary Peach has been awarded the 2023 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Peach was named the winner of the $10,000 prize for her memoir Thick Skin: Field Notes from a Sister in the Brotherhood, published by Anvil Press. For more than two decades, Peach worked as a transient welder and one of the only women in the Boilermakers Union.

The annual prize, administered by Wilfrid Laurier University, recognizes Canadian writers for a first or second work of creative nonfiction that includes a Canadian location or significance.

“I love a book that surprises me, and in this case, I was very surprised by how engrossed I became in the life of an itinerant boilermaker,” juror and Wilfrid Laurier professor Bruce Gillespie said in a statement. “That the book is so engaging is a testament to Peach’s skill as an author. She gives us unrestricted access to dangerous, high-stress workplaces that we would otherwise never see for ourselves and shows us the challenges that women face there to be taken seriously and treated as equals.”

The prize will be awarded at a ceremony on March 27.

The annual award was established and endowed by the late writer and journalist Edna Staebler in 1991. Previous winners include Linden MacIntyre, Wayson Choy, and last year’s winner, Jillian Horton.