CBC Literary Prizes

Meet the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize readers

These 10 writers read the entries for the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize and selected the 30 longlisted writers from over 2,000 English-language submissions.

Readers are an integral part of CBC Literary Prizes. Every year, CBC Books enlists the help of established writers and editors from across Canada to read the thousands of entries submitted to our prizes. These readers compile the longlists, which is handed over to the jury. The jury then selects the shortlist and the eventual winner from the readers' longlisted selections.

Below are the 10 writers who served as readers for the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

You can see the longlist for the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize here. The shortlist will be revealed on Sept. 12, 2018.

The jury for the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize is comprised of Scaachi Koul, Graeme Wood and Kyo Maclear.

The winner of the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their story published on CBC Books and attend a writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books.

Omar El Akkad

Omar El Akkad's first novel, American War, was a Canada Reads 2018 finalist. (Michael Lionstar)

Omar El Akkad is an Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist based in Portland, Ore. He is the recipient of a National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize for young journalists. His debut novel, American War, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, listed as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and has been translated into a dozen languages. It was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by Tahmoh Penikett.

Jessie MacKenzie

Jessie MacKenzie is the author of Where They Belong. (Pat Kane)

Jessie MacKenzie had the privilege of growing up between Windsor, Ont., Yellowknife, N.W.T., and the West Coast. Writing stories has been a personal vocation for her since she was seven years old. Her muses include social issues, technocratic societies and the metaphysical world. Her work includes Where They Belong, Tulzi Takes A Walk and Stoned Angel. MacKenzie continues to write for those who want to explore the manic side of the human condition.

Maurice Mierau

Maurice Mierau is the author of Detachment: An Adoption Memoir. (Leif Norman)

Maurice Mierau is the author of Detachment: An Adoption Memoir, which won the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award and the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for nonfiction. He has published three books of poems: Autobiographical Fictions in 2015, Fear Not, which won a ReLit Award in 2009, and Ending with Music in 2002. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across Canada, including The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Calgary Herald and the Malahat Review. Mierau was born in Indiana and grew up in Nigeria, Manitoba, Jamaica, Kansas and Saskatchewan. He now lives in Winnipeg.

Robyn Maynard

Robyn Maynard is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present. (Stacy Lee Photography)

Robyn Maynard is a Toronto-based writer and the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present. The book was designated as one of the best 100 books of 2017 by the Hill Times, shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award and won the 2018 Errol Morris Book Prize. Maynard has published writing in the Washington Post, World Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette and Canadian Women's Studies journal, as well as an essay for Maisonneuve Magazine. Her critical works on race, gender and criminalization are taught in university and college curriculums across the country.

Philip Lee

Philip Lee is the author of Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man. (Brendan Mettelholtz)

Philip Lee teaches journalism, literature and communications at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B. His most recent book, Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man, was longlisted for British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Lee's book, Home Pool: The Fight to Save the Atlantic Salmon, told the story of the decline of a species from New Brunswick, Quebec, Iceland and Scotland. Lee's biography of former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, Frank: The Life and Politics of Frank McKenna, was a national bestseller. Lee is a passionate defender of rivers and the people who love them. He is currently writing a book about the Restigouche River.

Carol Shaben

Carol Shaben is an award-winning nonfiction author of The Marriott Cell, co-written with Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. (NT)

Carol Shaben is an award-winning nonfiction author. Her first book, Into the Abyss, is a national bestseller and won the Edna Staebler National Award for Creative Non-fiction. Shaben's most recent book, The Marriott Cell, co-written with Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, won the Ontario Historical Society Huguenot Award, was longlisted for the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize and was named one of the Globe and Mail's 100 Best Books of 2016. Shaben is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards, including a Gold for investigative reporting. She is currently faculty editor at the Banff School of Fine Arts literary journalism program.

Michael Dupuis

Michael Dupuis is the author of Bearing Witness: Journalists, Record Keepers and the 1917 Halifax Explosion. (Christine Moore)

Michael Dupuis is a retired Canadian history teacher, consultant, writer and author. He was a consultant to CBC television for Bloody Saturday in 2006 and again in 2011 for Titanic: The Canadian Story. He was also the consultant to Danny Schur's documentary Mike's Bloody Saturday. In 2012, he contributed to Paul Heyer's Titanic Century: Media, Myth and the Making of a Cultural Icon. In 2014, Dupuis published Winnipeg's General Strike: Reports From The Front Lines and in 2017, Bearing Witness: Journalists, Record Keepers and the 1917 Halifax Explosion. He holds a BA in English and MA in history from the University of Ottawa and a B.Ed from University of Toronto. Dupuis resides in Victoria, B.C., with his wife and golden retriever.

Rachel Lebowitz

Rachel Lebowitz is the author of nonfiction book The Year of No Summer. (Nancy McCarthy)

Rachel Lebowitz is the author of The Year of No Summer, Cottonopolis and Hannus, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She is also the co-author of the children's picture book, Anything But Hank!, with Zachariah Wells and illustrated by Eric Orchard. She lives in Halifax, where she coordinates adult tutoring programs at her neighbourhood library.

Stephen Dale

Stephen Dale is the author of Noble Illusions: Young Canada Goes to War. (Laura Macdonald)

The latest of Stephen Dale's four books of nonfiction is Noble Illusions: Young Canada Goes to War, which examines how an early 20th century boys' magazine romanticized militarism and encouraged the rush to the trenches in the First World War. He's contributed to a wide range of magazines and newspapers, was a correspondent for an international news agency and a columnist for a parenting magazine and has created radio documentaries and podcasts. He's currently working on a book on social dislocation, transformation and anticipation in Hamilton, Ont.

Lisa Bird-Wilson

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer. (Julie Cortens)
  Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer whose work appears in literary magazines and anthologies across Canada. Her book  Just Pretending won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including 2014 Book of the Year.  Just Pretending has just been announced as the Saskatchewan Library Association's One Book One Province selection for 2019. Bird-Wilson's debut poetry collection,  The Red Files, is inspired by family and archival sources and reflects on the legacy of the residential school system and the fragmentation of families and histories. Bird-Wilson is currently working on a new book of fiction.

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