Literary Prizes

Meet the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize readers

These 10 writers read the entries for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize and selected the 31 longlisted writers from over 2,200 English-language submissions.

Every year, CBC Books enlists the help of established writers and editors from across Canada to read the thousands of entries submitted to the CBC Literary Prizes.

These readers compile the longlist, which is given to the jury. The jury then selects the shortlist and the eventual winner from the readers' longlisted selections.

The jury for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize is comprised of Harold R. JohnsonElizabeth Renzetti and Mark Sakamoto.

The winner of the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize will be announced on Sept. 25, 2019 and will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week 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 work published on CBC Books.

You can see the longlist for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize here.

The shortlist will be revealed on Sept. 18, 2019.

Here are the 10 writers who served as readers for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

Simone Dalton

Simone Dalton is a writer and social change communicator. (Danielle Jessamy)

Simone Dalton is a Trinidadian-born writer and social change communicator. Her work has been published in the anthologies The Unpublished City: Volume I and 2018 Toronto Book Awards finalist, Black Writers Matter. She has written for the stage and is currently working on her first book. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph.

William Dere

William Ging Wee Dere is a writer and community activist in Montreal. (Dong Qing Chen)

William Ging Wee Dere is the author of Being Chinese in Canada. He holds a Master of Engineering degree from Carleton University and his career with the railroad spanned three decades before his retirement. He has also been an activist most of his life for social justice, equality and redress. He has published in numerous magazines and journals, including Ricepaper, and CBC. He co-directed the documentary Être Chinois au Québec and co-directed and wrote Moving the Mountain and Gens du Pays: The Chinese of Québec. He lives in Montreal.

Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is the author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground. (Ayelet Tsabari)

Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ont. She has written for the Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She's had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, and her short fiction was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2018 and Journey Prize Stories 30. She was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the recipient of the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award. Her first book is called A Mind Spread Out On The Ground.

Taylor Lambert

Taylor Lambert is a Calgary-based author who has written four nonfiction books. (Aaron Sostar)

Taylor Lambert is an award-winning journalist and the author of four literary nonfiction books. His 2017 book, Darwin's Moving, which explored class divides through the lives of furniture movers, won the W.O. Mitchell Prize. In Rising, his account of the 2013 Alberta flood, Lambert told the story of the disaster through multiple narratives with differing perspectives of events. His work has appeared in Maisonneuve, Alberta Views, Vice News, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, The Sprawl, Avenue and elsewhere. He lives in Calgary, where he hosts a podcast called The Calgarian.

Lindsay Nixon

Lindsay Nixon is a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, editor and writer. (Jackson Hagner)

Lindsay Nixon is a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, editor, writer, SSHRC doctoral scholarship recipient and McGill University art history Ph.D. student. Nixon won the 2019 Dayne Ogilvie Prize and has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, an Indigenous Voices Award and several National Magazine Awards.

Daniel N. Paul

Daniel N. Paul is an author, journalist and advocate for social justice. (Submitted by Daniel Paul)

Elder Daniel N. Paul is a member of the Millbrook Band, Mi'kmaq First Nation. As an author, journalist, consultant and volunteer, he has been an advocate for First Nations communities across Nova Scotia. He is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, most notably We Were Not the Savages, a history of North American First Nation peoples. His latest book is called Chief Lightning Bolt.

Adam Pottle

Adam Pottle's writing explores issues of deafness and disability. (Deborah Popovici)

Adam Pottle's work explores the fiery beauty of deafness and disability. His latest play, The Black Drum, has been performed in Toronto and France. His most recent book, the memoir Voice, explores how his deafness has influenced him as a writer. His other books include the novella The Bus, the novel Mantis Dreams and the poetry collection Beautiful Mutants. His books have either won or been shortlisted for several awards, including the Saskatoon Book Award, the ReLit Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award. He lives in Saskatoon.

Jen Powley

Jen Powley is the author of Just Jen, a memoir about thriving with multiple sclerosis. (Nicola Davison)

​​​​​Jen Powley was born in Alberta, came to Halifax for university and stayed. An author by circumstance, she thought society needed to hear the real story of having a progressive disability. Her memoir Just Jen, deals with diagnosis at 15, acceptance, sexuality and the will to live. A quadriplegic with impaired vocal ability due to progressive multiple sclerosis, Powley works with the assistance of others.

Rinaldo Walcott 

Rinaldo Walcott is an author and a professor at the University of Toronto. (Abdi Osman)

Rinaldo Walcott is a professor of black diaspora cultural studies at the University of Toronto. His writing has appeared in a wide variety of venues including magazines, newspapers and online outlets. He is the author of Queer Returns and co-author with Idil Abdillahi of BlackLife: Post-BLM and the Struggle for Freedom.

Lindsay Wong

Lindsay Wong's memoir The Woo-Woo was a finalist on Canada Reads 2019. (Shimon)

Lindsay Wong is the author of the award-winning memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, And My Crazy Chinese Family. The memoir was defended by Joe Zee on Canada Reads 2019. She holds a BFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University in New York City. She is now based in Vancouver.