BC Book Prizes

SUBMISSIONS OPEN
July 15 - December 1, 2014

Stay in Touch

Sign up for Rebus Creative's
BC Book Prize email alerts:


For Email Marketing you can trust

Thank You, Sponsors

BC Book Prizes
#901-207 W. Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7
Tel (604) 687-2405
Fax (604) 687-2435
info@bcbookprizes.ca

1993 Winners & Finalists

April 24 | hosted by Howard White

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! The Girl with the Botticelli Face
by W. D. Valgardson
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Girl with the Botticelli Face

The Girl with the Botticelli Face is the story of a man’s search for a young woman, a waitress at his favourite café, who suddenly goes missing. Tormented by the dissolution of his marriage and by his childhood, Bob’s own breakdown and therapy parallel his detective mission as he is driven to find the girl with the Botticelli face – or at least learn of her fate. His search in not an easy one and it takes him into situations and encounters with people who show him a side of life and love from which he had shut himself off. In its bracing look at modern life, The Girl with the Botticelli Face is at once funny and poignant, horrific and gentle. W. D. Valgardson is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning writer. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. More

July Nights and Other Stories
by J. A. Hamilton
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

July Nights and Other Stories

With July Nights , Hamilton established herself as a bold presence in Canadian fiction. Her territory is our most powerful institution, the family. For these characters the experience of family is one more of violence and betrayal than of nurturance. But despite their disappointments they remain intensely connected to one another. Writing with assurance in such a range of voices, Hamilton reminds us that the determination to love can survive the most inhospitable conditions. J. A. Hamilton lives in Vancouer with her wife and their two daughters.

Marine Life
by Linda Svendsen
Publisher: HarperCollins

Marine Life

Marine Life charts the longings, pleasures and terrors of Adele Nordstrom, a child who looks unsparingly at the failures of her family, and as an adult is destined to repeat them. Adele is the baby of the family, the afterthought in a crumbling domestic empire. She is doggedly devoted to her family: her womanizing brother, her self-destructive sister, and her mother, a cocktail pianist who believes that a bad marriage is better than none. Through the watchful and sometimes astonished eyes of Adele, Svendsen paints a tender portrait of a growing girl, capturing the intensity of love, hate and pain in a family. Linda Svendsen is currently an associate professor of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

Top

 

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Muddling Through: The Remarkable Story of the Barr Colonists
by Lynne Bowen
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Muddling Through: The Remarkable Story of the Barr Colonists

About 2,000 middle-class British citizens tried to find their fate in a stretch of land northwest of Saskatoon in 1902. Barren, it was hardly the utopia they had been told awaited them. These pioneers had been lured from their relatively comfortable lives by Reverend Isaac Barr, a misguided but charismatic minister who dreamed of keeping “Canada for the British.” From the beginning the federal government supported the settlement plan, but many of the colonists refused to take advice about agricultural practices or basic survival (especially from “foreigners”). As a result, much of the book details the multitude of troubles and suffering - the cold, the mosquitoes, the lack of shelter and food - endured by the beleaguered settlers. Lynne Bowen is a grandaughter of Barr settlers.

Homer Stevens: A Life in Fishing
by Homer Stevens, Rolf Knight
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Homer Stevens: A Life in Fishing

Homer Stevens grew up in Port Guichon, a small fishing community. He was of a family of working people who argued constantly about contemporary issues. In 1936, when he was thirteen years old, Homer started fishing on his own little boat called the Tar Box. Six years later, his uncle took him to a meeting of the United Fishermen’s Union. By 1946, Homer was a full-time organizer for the Union. Included here is an evocative log of travelling the central BC coast during the 1950s. There are accounts of Homer’s year in jail for contempt of court and his drive to organize Nova Scotia fishermen, and there is a moving account of relearning how to fish in a modern, and very different, salmon industry. Rolf Knight received the Canadian Historical Association’s award for his contributions to regional history. More

The Struggle for Social Justice in British Columbia
by Irene Howard
Publisher: UBC Press

The Struggle for Social Justice in British Columbia

Helena Gutteridge was a socialist and feminist whose vision helped to shape social reform legislation in British Columbia in the first decades of the twentieth century. Born in England, she immigrated to Vancouver in 1911 and found the suffrage movement there too polite. She organized the BC Woman’s Suffrage League to help fight for the vote. In the 1930s, as a member of the new political movement the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, she joined in the struggles of the unemployed. Then, in 1937, as the first woman ever elected to Vancouver City Council, she led the fight for low-income housing. This lively biography, shot through with humour and pathos, pays homage to Helena Gutteridge. Irene Howard is the author of the local bestseller, Bowen Island, 1872-1972. More

Top

 

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! inkorrect thots
by bill bissett
Publisher: Talonbooks

inkorrect thots

When bill bissett thinks ‘inkorrect thots’ anything can happen.
WARNING each wun uv thees
pomes may contain inkorrect
thots thees pomes have not
bin kleerd by th ministree
uv korrect thots

Without a single nostalgic bone in his body, bill bissett has remained at the cutting edge of poetics and performance works for almost forty years. He now writes and paints out of studios in Vancouver and Toronto. More

How Do You Feel?
by Kirsten Emmott
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

How Do You Feel?

This collection by the Canadian physician-poet Kirsten Emmott includes poems on a wide range of medical topics, focusing on the physician’s personal and professional growth, and the patient’s experience as seen through the physician’s eyes. Many of the poems deal with pregnancy, childbirth and women’s health issues. Emmott shows us in compelling lines the agonies and despairs of the young and old, and the highs and lows in life with her strong and consistent voice. Kristen Emmott is a writer, doctor and skeptic.

Polite to Bees: A Bestiary
by Diana Hartog
Publisher: Coach House

Polite to Bees: A Bestiary

“Of all Creation, only spiders and humans realize they will die. Spiders know when.” With grace, compassion, humour and with a deft and exquisite language, Diana Hartog has made a lovely contribution to one of the most delightful literary genres that exists. This bestiary is the work of a master sorceress, and the animals she’s conjured have the capacity to teach us all a lesson or two about the ways of humanity. Diana Hartog lives in New Denver, BC and winters in California. More

Top

 

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Nature Power: In the Spirit of an Okanagan Storyteller
by Harry Robinson, Wendy Wickwire
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Nature Power: In the Spirit of an Okanagan Storyteller

Harry Robinson grew up in a small village in the Similkameen Valley as a member of the Lower Similkameen Band of the Interior Salish people. A rancher for most of his life, Robinson also looked upon himself as one of the last storytellers of his people. Wendy Wickwire met Robinson while working on her doctoral thesis and recognized what, as Thomas King would later suggest, “may well be the most powerful storytelling voice in North America.” She began recording the stories in 1977, with Robinson’s approval, and brought them together in the award-winning collection Write It on Your Heart. Robinson passed away in 1990. This is the second collection of Robinson’s stories.

Vancouver: A Visual History
by Bruce MacDonald
Publisher: Talonbooks

Vancouver: A Visual History

Absolutely unique in its presentational style, Vancouver: A Visual History is a delightful and important book. This stunning, full-colour historical atlas brings to life Vancouver’s first fourteen decades, beginning with a map of the 1850s depicting the land use, economy and settlement patterns of its first peoples, and ending with a map of the 1980s. Following each double-page map, the reader is introduced to the prominent personalities of the decade, in the areas of sports, politics, business, labour, culture and community service, as well as given an overview of each period’s economic focus, settlement patterns, political directions and key historical events. Bruce MacDonald spent eight years perfecting this book. More

Where the People Gather: Carving A Totem Pole
by Vickie Jensen
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Where the People Gather: Carving A Totem Pole

Totem poles are so familiar a sight in modern BC that, at first glance, a book on how one of them came into being seems about as necessary as wasps at a picnic. But Where the People Gather: Carving a Totem Pole , by Vickie Jensen, is worthwhile on two levels: it explains why, despite several recent attempts, this particular art form can never be appropriated convincingly by non-Natives, and it tells the heartening story of how five individuals developed into a creative team in pursuit of something larger than themselves. Jensen now lives in Vancouver. In 1999 this book was reissued under the title Totem Pole Carving. More

Top

 

Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! My Name is Seepeetza
by Shirley Sterling
Publisher: Groundwood Books

My Name is Seepeetza

At six years old, Seepeetza is taken from her happy family life on Joyaska Ranch to live as a boarder at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Life at the school is not easy, but Seepeetza still manages to find some bright spots. Always, thoughts of home make her school life bearable. An honest, inside look at life in an Indian residential school in the 1950s, and how one indomitable young spirit survived it. Born in Merritt, BC, Shirley Sterling is a member of the Interior Salish Nation of British Columbia. More

A Dog Came Too
by Ainslie Manson
Illustrated by Ann Blades
Publisher: Groundwood Books

A Dog Came Too

Most Canadians may not know that Alexander MacKenzie was accompanied by a big brown dog on his long journey to the Pacific Coast of Canada. Our Dog, as he was known to his companions, protected the explorer and the Native guides that helped him all along his way. Manson’s focus on the role of the Natives, as well as that of the heroic Our Dog, brings new insight to this exploration story. Ainslie Mason was born in Quebec but grew older in BC; therefore, she loves the sea, spring flowers in February and is not bothered by grey, rainy days. Ann Blades is one of Canada’s leading illustrators. More

Sure as Strawberries
by Sue Ann Alderson
Publisher: Red Deer Press

Sure as Strawberries

A young girl, Mattie, staying with her uncle on his farm for the summer longs to have his talent for divining water. When her uncle breaks his arm and there is a drought, she must see if she too has this fantastic skill. Sun Ann Alderson is a professor in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing Program and has had sixteen books published for children.

Top

 

BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! Sabine’s Notebook
by Nick Bantock
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Sabine’s Notebook

Sabine was supposed to be imaginary, a friend and lover that Griffin had created to soothe his loneliness. But she threatens to become embodied, to appear on his doorstep, in fact. So he runs. Griffin & Sabine left readers on the edge of a precipice. With Sabine’s Notebook, they begin the fall. Once again, the story is told through beautiful postcards and rich letters. But this volume is also a sketchbook and diary kept by Sabine, who is living in Griffin’s house in London while he wanders through Europe, North Africa and Asia. Nick Bantock is the author of numerous illustrated novels. Born in England, he now lives in Vancouver, BC. More

Nemiah: The Unconquered Country
by Terry Glavin and the Nemiah Valley Peoples
Publisher: New Star Books

Nemiah: The Unconquered Country

The beautiful and remote Nemiah Valley was only opened up when a road was built into it in the late 1960s. Now outsiders are eyeing the valley, especially logging companies that see the valley’s uncut pine stands as a temporary solution to their log supply crisis. The Nemiah Valley Indian Band’s undying determination to control their destiny is movingly conveyed in this richly illustrated volume. Photographs, traditional stories and text enhance what has been hailed as one of the best books of its kind this century. Terry Glavin is a BC author and journalist as well as adjunct professor in the Fine Arts Department of the University of British Columbia. More

Vancouver: A Visual History
by Bruce MacDonald
Publisher: Talonbooks

Vancouver: A Visual History

Absolutely unique in its presentational style, Vancouver: A Visual History is a delightful and important book. This stunning, full-colour historical atlas brings to life Vancouver’s first fourteen decades, beginning with a map of the 1850s depicting the land use, economy and settlement patterns of its first peoples, and ending with a map of the 1980s. Following each double-page map, the reader is introduced to the prominent personalities of the decade, in the areas of sports, politics, business, labour, culture and community service, as well as given an overview of each period’s economic focus, settlement patterns, political directions and key historical events. Bruce MacDonald spent eight years perfecting this book. More

Top