Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 7:30 PM
Panel Discussion, Q & A: Free Events | Year-Round

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 2G8
Cost: FREE

Advance registration for this event has closed. Walk-ups will be admitted as space allows starting 15 minutes prior to the presentation. Those who have pre-registered are encouraged to arrive by 7:15pm to guarantee seating.

The Toronto International Festival of Authors is delighted to present the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize Finalists in Conversation on Thursday, February 27 at 7:30pm at Harbourfront Centre. The esteemed authors, representing Canada’s leading works of literary non-fiction from 2019, will take part in a roundtable discussion, moderated by Deborah Dundas (Books Editor, Toronto Star), followed by an audience Q&A. The event is free to attend, however, pre-registration is encouraged by following the “purchase tickets” button, below.

The RBC Taylor Prize and TIFA are proud to collaborate on this annual event one last time in the lead up to the March 2 winner announcement of the final RBC Taylor Prize, which after 20 years will reach its conclusion in 2020. The event will celebrate the best achievements in literary non-fiction from 2019, through lively discussion with The Prize’s five finalists, who will be announced on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. The prize will be awarded on Monday, March 2, 2020.

The shortlisted titles and authors for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize are:


  • Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson by Mark Bourrie
  • Had it Coming: What’s Fair in the Age of #MeToo by Robyn Doolittle
  • Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid
  • The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions that Shape Our World by Ziya Tong
  • The Mosquito: A Human History of our Deadliest Predator by Timothy C. Winegard

About the RBC Taylor Prize
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, the Prize consists of $5,000 for each finalist, and a further $25,000 for the winner. For more information about the Prize, visit


  • Mark Bourrie

    Mark Bourrie holds a master’s in journalism, a doctorate in Canadian history, and a Juris Doctor degree. He is the author of thirteen previous books, among them the Macleans bestseller The Fog of War and Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of 2015. He has been a staff reporter for the Hamilton Spectator, London Free Press and Toronto Sun, contributed more than a thousand articles to Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, and written for National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and other papers.

  • Robyn Doolittle

    Robyn Doolittle is a Globe and Mail investigative journalist. Her reporting on Mayor Rob Ford for the Toronto Star made headlines around the world, won the Michener Award for public service journalism, and her number-one bestselling book on the topic, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, earned her the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Her Unfounded series, which investigated how police services handle sexual assault cases, was one of the most viewed and read stories in the Globe's modern history. She was named Journalist of the Year in 2017 by the Canadian Centre for Journalism.

  • Deborah Dundas

    Deborah Dundas became the Books Editor at the Toronto Star after reviewing books for the paper for more than 15 years. She has worked in the media for more than 25 years – including stints as a books editor, but also in business, lifestyle, and national and city politics. She's worked at CTV and TVO, both as an editor/producer and reporting, interviewing or producing shows on emerging artists, popular writers and literary powerhouses. She's also lived and worked in Northern Ireland. She feels that the books beat is the perfect marriage of her diverse experience and interests.

  • Jessica McDiarmid

    Jessica McDiarmid is a Canadian journalist who has worked across North America and Africa. She has written for the Associated Press, the Toronto Star, CBC, IPS Africa and The Harvard Review, among other publications, and trains local journalists through her work with Journalists for Human Rights. McDiarmid grew up near the Highway of Tears and currently lives in British Columbia. This is her first book.

  • Ziya Tong

    Author of The Reality Bubble, award-winning broadcaster Ziya Tong, anchored Daily Planet, Discovery Channel's flagship science program until its final season in 2018. Tong also hosted the CBC's Emmy-nominated series ZeD, PBS's national prime-time series Wired Science and worked as a correspondent for NOVA scienceNOW alongside Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS.

  • Timothy C. Winegard

    Dr. Timothy C. Winegard holds a PhD in history from the University of Oxford and is a professor of history and political science at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. Winegard served as an officer with the Canadian and British Forces, has lectured on CSPAN, and has appeared on televised roundtables and documentaries. He is internationally published, including his four previous books, in the fields of both military history and Indigenous studies. A Canadian, he lives in Colorado with his family.