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2016 Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2016 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators, and publishers! The winner of the 2016 Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence was announced on March 23.

Winners were announced on Saturday, April 30, 2016 | Government House

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens
Judges: Chelsea Rooney, John Vigna, Pam Withers

Winner! All True Not a Lie in It
by Alix Hawley
Publisher: Knopf Canada

All True Not a Lie in It

Here is Daniel Boone as you’ve never seen him. Alix Hawley presents Boone’s life, from his childhood in a Quaker colony, through two stints captured by Indians as he attempted to settle Kentucky, the death of one son at the hands of the same Indians, and the rescue of one daughter. Boone was a fabulous hunter and explorer, and a “white Indian,” perhaps happiest when he found a place as the captive, adopted son of a chief who was trying to prevent the white settlement of Kentucky. Hawley takes us intimately into the life-and-death survival of people pushing away from security and into Indian lands, despite sense and treaties, just before and into the War of Independence. Alix Hawley won the 2014 Canada Writes Bloodlines competition and was runner-up for the CBC Literary Award for short stories in 2012 and 2014. More

Amity
by Nasreen Pejvack
Publisher: Inanna Publications

Amity

Payvand, an Iranian refugee and activist, still plagued with nightmares, meets Ragusa, a Yugoslavian refugee who is prepared to end her life, a life that has become intolerable since the loss of those most dear to her. Payvand listens to Ragusa’s story and Ragusa promises to postpone her suicide at least until she hears Payvand’s story in turn. In a novel that strives to raise awareness about the extent to which elites manipulate nations into wars, with total disregard for the lives of millions like Payvand and Ragusa, it is the warmth of personal relationships and friendships forged that are key to healing. Nasreen Pejvack was born in Tehran, Iran where, pre-revolution, she worked as a writer and poet for an activist underground publication. Amity is her debut novel. More

The Hunter and the Wild Girl
by Pauline Holdstock
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions

The Hunter and the Wild Girl

A feral girl roams the dense forests of nineteenth-century France, stealing food and avoiding human contact. Seen on one of her thieving missions, she is chased by suspicious townspeople to the edge of a deep gorge, where she jumps and disappears, vanishing into village legend. On the other side of the gorge, on an abandoned estate, Peyre Rouff lives out his self-imposed exile. But when the wild girl breaches the careful world he has constructed, he is forced to confront not only his choices and their consequences, but society itself. Pauline Holdstock is the author of Into the Heart of the Country, longlisted for the 2012 Giller Prize, and Beyond Measure, shortlisted for both the 2004 Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Canada and Caribbean Region. More

Martin John
by Anakana Schofield
Publisher: Biblioasis

Martin John

Martin John’s mam says that she is glad he is done with it. But is Martin John done with it? He says he wants it to stop, his mother wants it to stop, we all want it to stop. But is it really what Martin John wants? He had it in his mind to do it and he did it. Harm was done when he did it. Harm would continue to be done. Who will stop Martin John? Will you stop him? Should she stop him? Martin John is a darkly comic novel circuiting through the mind, motivations, and preoccupations of a character many women have experienced but few have understood quite so well. Anakana Schofield won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel Malarky. More

Specimen
by Irina Kovalyova
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Specimen

The stories in Specimen are a unique exploration of science and the human heart. In “Mamochka,” which was nominated for the 2012 Journey Prize, an archivist at the Institute for Physics in Minsk, must come to terms with her daughter’s marriage to a Chinese man in Vancouver. In “Side Effects,” a woman’s personality is altered, and not necessarily for the better, by botox injections. In “The Big One,” a woman and her daughter find themselves trapped in the rubble of an underground parking garage after an earthquake. Specimen is stylistically varied with settings that range from North Korea and Minsk to Vancouver and Gdansk. Irina Kovalyova has a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Brown University, a doctoral degree in Microbiology from Queen’s University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. More

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers' Federation
Judges: Vivien Bowers, Dawne Murray, David Stouck

Winner! Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and A Scattershot World
by Brian Brett
Publisher: Greystone Books

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and A Scattershot World

A raucous biography of a remarkable parrot and an incisive exploration of how we relate to those who are different from us. Both a biography of an irreverent African Grey parrot—given to asking “Whaddya know?” and announcing “Party time!”—and an exploration of the history of birds/dinosaurs, the relationships between humans and birds, our notions of language and intelligence, and our tendency to “other” anything that is different from us, Tuco also describes Brett’s own painful experience of being othered as an androgyne. Provocative, profound, hilarious, and moving, Tuco is most of all the extraordinary story of Brett’s decades-long relationship with this singular bird, what Brett calls “a story we made together.” Brian Brett is the author of Trauma Farm, which won the 2009 Writers’ Trust of Canada Nonfiction Prize. More

Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes
by Emily Urquhart
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes

The story begins on St. Stephen’s Day, 2010, when the author gives birth to a baby girl named Sadie Jane who has a shock of snow-white hair. After three months of medical testing, Sadie is diagnosed with albinism, a rare genetic condition where pigment fails to form in the skin, hair, and eyes. She is visually impaired and faces a lifetime indoors. While navigating new territory as a first-time parent of a child with a disability, Emily embarks on a three-year journey across North America and Africa to discover how we explain human differences, not through scientific facts or statistics but through a system of cultural beliefs. Emily Urquhart‘s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Reader’s Digest, Flare, and The Walrus, and she won a National Magazine Award in 2014. More

Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture
by Maria Tippett
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture

Is there such a thing as British Columbia culture, and if so, is there anything special about it? This is the broad question Dr. Maria Tippett answers in this work with an assured “yes!” To prove her point she looks at the careers of eight ground-breaking cultural producers in the fields of painting, aboriginal art, architecture, writing, theatre, and music. The eight creative figures profiled in Made in British Columbia are not just distinguished artists who made an enduring mark on Canadian culture during the twentieth century. They are unique artists whose work is intimately interwoven with British Columbia’s identity. Dr. Maria Tippett is the author of several award-winning books of cultural history including Emily Carr, which won the Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction in 1979. More

The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan
by Briony Penn
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books

The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan

The Real Thing is the first official biography of Ian McTaggart Cowan (1910–2010), the “father of Canadian ecology.” Authorized by his family and with the research support and participation of the University of Victoria Libraries, Briony Penn provides an unprecedented and accessible window into the story of this remarkable naturalist. From his formative years roaming the mountains around Vancouver looking for venison to his last years finishing the voluminous and authoritative Birds of British Columbia, Cowan’s life provides a unique perspective on a century of environmental change—with a critical message for the future. Briony Penn has a publishing record of hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, books, government publications, and peer-reviewed journals. She is also an artist and has exhibited and published widely on natural history themes. More

That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away
by Lorimer Shenher
Publisher: Greystone Books

That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away

In That Lonely Section of Hell, police detective Lorimer Shenher describes his role in Vancouver’s infamous Missing and Murdered Women Investigation and his years-long struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his work on the case. From his first assignment in 1998 to explore an increase in the number of missing women to the harrowing 2002 interrogation of convicted serial killer Robert Pickton, Shenher tells a story of massive police failure—failure of the police to use the information about Pickton available to them, failure to understand the dark world of drug addiction and sex work, and failure to save more women from their killer. Lorimer Shenher was the first detective assigned to Vancouver’s Missing and Murdered Women Investigation. In 2015, Lorimer began a gender transition to male. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by Anonymous
Judges: Kayla Czaga, Christopher Levenson, Cecily Nicholson

Winner! Transmitter and Receiver
by Raoul Fernandes
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

Transmitter and Receiver

Transmitter and Receiver is a masterful and carefully depicted exploration of one’s relationships with oneself, friends, memories, strangers, and technology. The three parts of this collection are variations building on a theme—at times lonely, sometimes adoring, but always honest. Wider areas of contemplation—the difficulty of communication, the ever-changing symbolism of language, and the nature of human interaction in the age of machines—are explored through colloquial scenes of the everyday. Forthright and effortlessly lyrical, Fernandes builds each poem out of candor and insight, an addictive mix that reads like a favourite story and glitters with concealed meaning. Raoul Fernandes was a finalist for the 2010 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and winner of the 2010 Sakura Award at the Vancouver International Cherry Blossom Festival. More

The Fire Extinguisher
by Miranda Pearson
Publisher: Oolichan Books

The Fire Extinguisher

Miranda Pearson’s exquisite poems in The Fire Extinguisher reveal the human psyche in ways that are both painstakingly beautiful and generous. No detail is too small to find a place in her constantly shifting vision. Threaded through with natural imagery—fire, the sea, animals, and plants—alongside many references to visual art, these poems ask brave and difficult questions: how do we find a balancing place between peril and safety, can we endeavour to live in the contemporary world with compassion and hope, how do we live with uncertainty? Miranda Pearson`s poetry has been published widely in literary journals and anthologies, and she is the author of three previous collections including Harbour, which was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2010. More

Foreign Park
by Jeff Steudel
Publisher: Anvil Press

Foreign Park

Foreign Park situates itself in an epoch where prior assurances of the natural world’s solidity begin to slip. Poisons enter the Fraser River Basin. An oil slick approaches by night engulfing a fishing vessel, leaving its captain in open waters. Page after page, Foreign Park makes strange with its inhabitants. As it unfolds, it plots itself along the Fraser River overlaying myth and historicity with present day. These calm poems detail the effects of destruction on land and simultaneously explore family and community in Vancouver’s coastal cityscape. Foreign Park guides through subtle shifts in temperature and elevation in order to engage with questions on death, ageing, family, and fidelity. Jeff Steudel has received the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and his work was chosen as a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards. More

Twoism
by Ali Blythe
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions

Twoism

Part roving eye, part devotion, you wander hotel corridors, entering rooms not quite yours, trying on clothes, blankets, skins. Arguing with the body’s limits and its trickery, you are always in disguise. Sometimes you’re Leda; sometimes the swan. The rooms are haunted with gendered injuries of the past…but messengers arrive to guide you. In this stunning debut collection by Ali Blythe, every poem is unerringly built with hatches and escapes. Every line shimmers with life and shivers with fleeting materials. Someone or something is always leaving. The early poems, almost claustrophobic in their double vision, gradually give way to poems of aching beauty, erotically charged by the myth of completeness. Ali Blythe received the Candis Graham Writing Scholarship from the Lambda Foundation for excellence in writing and support of the queer community. More

Where the words end and my body begins
by Amber Dawn
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Where the words end and my body begins

Award-winning writer Amber Dawn reveals a gutsy lyrical sensibility in her debut poetry collection: a suite of glosa poems written as an homage to and an interaction with queer poets, such as the legendary Gertrude Stein, Christina Rossetti, and Adrienne Rich, as well as contemporaries like Leah Horlick, Rachel Rose, and Trish Salah. (Glosas, a 15th-century Spanish form, typically open with a quatrain from an existing poem by another writer, followed by four stanzas of ten lines each, and usually end with a line repeated from the opening quatrain.) By doing so, Amber Dawn delves deeper into the themes of trauma, memory, and unblushing sexuality that define her work. Amber Dawn is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Sub Rosa and was the 2012 winner of the Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT writers. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by Marquis, Victoria Bindery, and First Choice Books
Judges: Dan Francis, Margaret Horsfield, Christine Lowther

Winner! The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan
by Briony Penn
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books

The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan

The Real Thing is the first official biography of Ian McTaggart Cowan (1910–2010), the “father of Canadian ecology.” Authorized by his family and with the research support and participation of the University of Victoria Libraries, Briony Penn provides an unprecedented and accessible window into the story of this remarkable naturalist. From his formative years roaming the mountains around Vancouver looking for venison to his last years finishing the voluminous and authoritative Birds of British Columbia, Cowan’s life provides a unique perspective on a century of environmental change—with a critical message for the future. Briony Penn has a publishing record of hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, books, government publications, and peer-reviewed journals. She is also an artist and has exhibited and published widely on natural history themes. More

Ground-Truthing: Reimagining the Indigenous Rainforests of BC's North Coast
by Derrick Stacey Denholm
Publisher: Caitlin Press

Ground-Truthing: Reimagining the Indigenous Rainforests of BC's North Coast

Derrick Stacey Denholm has spent twenty-five years as a forestry field worker planting trees, marking cutblock boundaries, and timber-cruising. In Ground-Truthing, he combines this experience with his perspective as a poet and artist to guide us through the tangle of social, ecological, and economic slash piles that dominate BC’s North Coast. Scientists, poets, loggers, activists, mushroom hunters—Ground-Truthing explores this diverse terrain of communities and cultures in its search for an answer to one of our most urgent questions: How can we work productively and participate ethically in a life that maintains respect for the wild, not only in the rain-soaked forests of BC’s North Coast, but everywhere? Derrick Stacey Denholm is an award-winning writer, visual artist, and musician. Dead Salmon Dialectics won the Barry McKinnon Chapbook Award for 2010. More

Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies, and Human Communities in British Columbia
by John Thistle
Publisher: UBC Press

Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies, and Human Communities in British Columbia

The ranchers who resettled BC’s interior in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries depended on grassland for their cattle, but in this they faced some unlikely competition—from grasshoppers and wild and feral horses. With the help of the government, settlers resolved to rid the range of both. In so doing, settlers and governments separated environmental issues from their social and ecological contexts, and they not only made their problems worse in many cases, they also created new ones that no one anticipated. This unconventional history examines the implications for humans and nature alike, in the process revealing a fascinating—and troubling—chapter of BC history. John Thistle is a research associate at the Labrador Institute at Memorial University. More

Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners' Strike
by Jon Bartlett, Rika Ruebsaat
Publisher: New Star Books

Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners' Strike

The winter of 1932–33 saw the small interior town of Princeton, BC divided. Charges of outside agitators and charges by mounted provincial police into picket lines of workers, Ku Klux Klan threats and a beating and cross–burning, the kidnapping of legendary labour organizer Slim Evans who was bundled onto the next train out of town (though he returned soon enough)—Princeton’s few thousand citizens saw much of the human drama of the Great Depression play out right in their own lives over the course of just a few months. Jon Bartlett is a director of the Princeton & District Museum & Archives. Rika Ruebsaat is the president of the Princeton & District Museum & Archives. Together, Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat have released seven albums and one book. More

Tod Inlet: A Healing Place
by Gwen Curry
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books

Tod Inlet: A Healing Place

For centuries Tod Inlet was the home of the WSÁNEć (Saanich) people, providing everything for their spiritual and material sustenance. In the early part of the twentieth century a small company town grew on its shores. Developers made plans for marinas, golf courses, and hotels to be built on this quiet inlet, but local citizens, environmentalists, scientists, and First Nations people fought back. Almost all the buildings have now been demolished, but reminders of the past confront the walker everywhere. But despite the ravages of the past century, Tod Inlet retains a spirit of peace and renewal. Artist Gwen Curry has been involved in many exhibitions in Canada and abroad and has had several catalogues devoted to her work. Environmental issues and the juxtaposition of word and image have been hallmarks of her work. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association, Friends of Sheila Egoff, BC Books for Kids, and the University of Victoria Libraries
Judges: Tanya Lloyd Kyi, Diane Tullson, Irene Watts

Winner! The Truth Commission
by Susan Juby
Publisher: Razorbill

The Truth Commission

Open secrets are the heart of gossip—the things that no one is brave or clueless enough to ask. That is, except for Normandy Pale and her friends Dusk and Neil. They are juniors at Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design, and they have no fear. They are the Truth Commission. But Normandy’s passion for uncovering the truth is not entirely heartfelt. The truth can be dangerous, especially when it involves her sister, Keira, her brilliant older sister, the creator of a best-selling graphic novel series, who has left college and come home under mysterious circumstances, and in complete silence. Even for a Truth Commissioner, there are some lines that cannot be crossed… Susan Juby is the author of Alice, I Think, which was made into a successful television series. More

Are You Seeing Me?
by Darren Groth
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Are You Seeing Me?

Twins Justine and Perry have embarked on the road trip of a lifetime. Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence, but before he takes up residence, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory. For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of some of his favorite things: Ogopogo, Jackie Chan movies, and earthquakes. For Justine, it’s an opportunity to learn how to let go and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs. But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble. Darren Groth‘s books have been published on both sides of the Pacific. He is passionate about promoting awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and he is the proud father of a son with ASD. More

The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1)
by Jordan Stratford
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1)

Lady Ada Byron, age eleven, is a genius. Isolated, awkward and a bit rude—but a genius. Mary Godwin, age fourteen, is a romantic. Adventurous, astute, and kind, Mary is to become Ada’s first true friend. And together, the girls conspire to form the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency—a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals. Their first case involves a stolen heirloom, a false confession, and an array of fishy suspects. But it’s no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary. Jordan Stratford is a producer, author, and screenwriter. Stratford launched the idea for the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series on Kickstarter, where the response was overwhelming enthusiasm. More

Seven Dead Pirates
by Linda Bailey
Publisher: Tundra Books

Seven Dead Pirates

Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of a decaying seaside mansion. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied—by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside. As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates, he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion, and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up. Linda Bailey has won awards across North America, including the California Young Readers’ Medal, the Georgia Storybook Award, the Ontario Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Awards, and the Oregon SMART Award. More

We Are All Made of Molecules
by Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Tundra Books

We Are All Made of Molecules

Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. Ashley Anderson is the undisputed “It” girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents’ divorce; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they are all made of molecules. Susin Nielsen has received two Canadian Screenwriter Awards and a Gemini Award. She is the author of award-winning novels Word Nerd, Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen. More

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Vancouver Kidsbooks
Judges: Nancy Hundal, Sophia Hunter, Sharlene Sharma

Winner! Peace is an Offering
by Annette LeBox
Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Publisher: Dial Books

Peace is an Offering

Join a group of neighborhood children as they find love in everyday things—in sunlight shining through the leaves and cookies shared with friends—and learn that peace is all around, if you just look for it. With rhyming verse and soft illustrations, this book will help families and teachers look for the light moments when tragedy strikes and remind readers of the calm and happiness they find in their own community every day. Annette LeBox is a poet and environmental activist who divides her time between Maple Ridge, BC, and a remote cabin in the Cariboo grasslands. Stephanie Graegin received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in Printmaking from the Pratt Institute. More

Orca Chief
by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd
Illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Orca Chief

Thousands of years ago in the village of Kitkatla, four hunters leave home in the spring to harvest seaweed and sockeye. But they do not treat the fishing grounds well, carelessly damaging the sea floor and harming the marine life. When Orca Chief discovers what the hunters have done, he sends his most powerful orca warriors to reprimand the hunters and show them how to sustainably harvest the ocean’s resources. Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker. In 1998 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and in 2006, the Order of Canada. Robert (Lucky) Budd holds an MA in history and has digitized many high-profile oral history collections including that of the Nisga’a First Nation. More

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle
by Jude Isabella
Illustrated by Simone Shin
Publisher: Kids Can Press

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle

Leo treasures his bicycle so much he gives it a name—Big Red. But eventually Leo outgrows Big Red, and he decides to donate it to an organization that ships bicycles to Africa. Big Red is sent to Burkina Faso, in West Africa, where it finds a home with Alisetta, who uses it to gain quicker access to her family’s sorghum field and to the market. Then, over time, it finds its way to a young woman named Haridata, who has a new purpose for the bicycle—renamed Le Grand Rouge—delivering medications and bringing sick people to the hospital. Jude Isabella started writing kids’ books when she was managing editor of YES Mag: Canada’s Science Magazine for Kids. Simone Shin is an award-winning illustrator and a graduate of Boston University and the Art Center College of Design. More

Song for a Summer Night: A Lullaby
by Robert Heidbreder
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Publisher: Groundwood Books

Song for a Summer Night: A Lullaby

As night falls on a soft summer evening, neighborhood children are drawn out of their houses by the sights and sounds of the world after dark. First the fireflies come sparkling past, followed by a host of domestic and wild animals, from cats and dogs to owls and skunks. Robert Heidbreder creates a world of enchantment, while Qin Leng’s illustrations conjure the harmonious interplay between our everyday domestic world and one that is just a little bit wilder. Robert Heidbreder is an award-winning children’s poet and author. In 2002 he won the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Qin Leng has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, written by Chieri Uegaki, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and received the APALA ward for best picture book. More

This is Sadie
by Sara O'Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher: Tundra Books

This is Sadie

Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things—boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. Sara O’Leary is the author of the award-winning series of Henry books: When You Were Small, Where You Came From, and When I Was Small. Julie Morstad‘s book How To was a 2013 Governor General’s Award finalist. More

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

Supported by the BC Booksellers’ Association, Sandhill Book Marketing, Ampersand Inc., Canadian Manda Group Inc., and the Western Book Reps Association
Judged by members of the BC Booksellers' Association

Winner! A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World
by Susan Musgrave
Publisher: Whitecap Books

A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World

Since 2010 Susan Musgrave has been the proprietor of Copper Beech House, a beautiful bed and breakfast that has for decades played host to authors and prime ministers, artists and adventurers who visit the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii. In her first cookbook, the famous poet uses her humour and incisive wit to bring cooking and living on the former Queen Charlotte Islands to life with stories gathered over decades. With its evocative tales and wild cuisine, this book offers a unique take on food that could only be developed living off the coast of British Columbia. Susan Musgrave‘s first book of poetry, Of Songs of the Sea Witch, was published when she was 19. In 2014 the Writers Trust of Canada honoured Susan with the Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life. More

Cold Case Vancouver: The City's Most Baffling Unsolved Murders
by Eve Lazarus
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Cold Case Vancouver: The City's Most Baffling Unsolved Murders

While Vancouver is much loved by tourists and locals alike for its spectacular natural scenery and diverse culture, behind that facade lurks a violent past. Cold Case Vancouver takes a look at the city’s disreputable side by revisiting some of its infamous cold murder cases from 1944 to 1996. There are literally hundreds of murders that remain unsolved in Vancouver, some dating back decades; their victims are now essentially invisible, forgotten by everyone except family and friends. Sometimes their cases are looked at again with a fresh set of eyes and the benefit of new technologies; sometimes they are even solved. Most often, however, the crimes remain a mystery, consigned to the city’s dark history. Eve Lazarus is an award-winning writer with a passion for history. More

Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper
by Caroline Woodward
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper

Caroline Woodward was itching for a change. Despite her established career in the book industry, she yearned to re-ignite her passion for writing. Light Years is Caroline`s story of what happened when she chose adventure over security to become a lighthouse keeper. Told with eloquent introspection and an eye for detail, she recount the joys and challenges of living on the lights and portrays the practical aspects of pursuing a happy, healthy, useful, and creative life in isolation. Caroline Woodward is the author of Disturbing the Peace, which was nominated for the 1991 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; Alaska Highway Two-Step; Penny Loves Wade, Wade Loves Penny; and two children’s books that have also been nominated for many prizes. More

Orca Chief
by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Orca Chief

Thousands of years ago in the village of Kitkatla, four hunters leave home in the spring to harvest seaweed and sockeye. But they do not treat the fishing grounds well, carelessly damaging the sea floor and harming the marine life. When Orca Chief discovers what the hunters have done, he sends his most powerful orca warriors to reprimand the hunters and show them how to sustainably harvest the ocean’s resources. Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker. In 1998 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and in 2006, the Order of Canada. Robert (Lucky) Budd holds an MA in history and has digitized many high-profile oral history collections including that of the Nisga’a First Nation. More

Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival
by Caroline Adderson, John Atkin, Kerry Gold, Evelyn Lau, Eve Lazarus, John Mackie, Elise & Stephen Partridge, and Bren Simmers with an introduction by Michael Kluckner and photographs by Tracey Ayton and Caroline Adderson
Publisher: Anvil Press

Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival

Since 2005, nearly 9,000 demo permits for residential buildings have been issued in Vancouver. An average of three houses a day are torn down, many of them original homes built for the middle and working class in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Very few are deemed significant enough to earn the protection of a heritage designation, but they are part of our heritage nonetheless and their demolition is not only an architectural loss. When these old homes come down, a whole history goes with them—the materials that were used to build them, the gardens, the successive owners and their secrets. These old houses and apartments are repositories of narrative. The story of our city is diminished every time one disappears. Vancouver Vanishes is a collection of essays and photographs that together form a lament for, and celebration of, the vanishing character homes and apartments in the city. More

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Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

2016 Jury: Betty Keller, teacher, mentor, editor, and writer, and 2015 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence; Peter Darbyshire, author and editor for The Province newspaper; and, Barbara Pope, co-owner of The Mulberry Bush Book Stores in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

Winner! Alan Twigg

Alan Twigg

Alan Twigg is first and foremost a writer. He has written most of every issue of B.C. BookWorld since 1987. The Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing has identified his newspaper as “the most essential cog in the infrastructure” that supports BC writing and publishing. Since 2001, he has written the vast majority of entries for 11,250 BC authors on the ABCBookWorld reference site – the Wikipedia of BC literature – that is hosted by SFU Library. It receives more than 4,000 visitors per day. He now generates nearly all of the content for the new BCBookLook omnibus site, and he created all 200 entries for the new Literary Map of BC. This map site contains enough original material for nine books.

Along the way, he has been a documentary filmmaker, theatre critic, musician, editorial-page columnist for The Province, library trustee, television host, charity fundraiser, and an organizer for countless events. His 18th book, Two Lives: An Investigation of Goodness, will be an appreciation of a Canadian doctor who has overseen a remote epilepsy clinic in central Tanzania for more than fifty years (Dr. Louise Jilek-Aall) and the longest-serving democratically elected leader in history (George Price, founder of Belize). Alan Twigg has received numerous awards, including the Order of Canada in 2014.

“As the founder, publisher, editor and principal writer of B.C. BookWorld, Alan Twigg has been the tireless champion of the BC writing and publishing community for almost forty years, but most people are not aware that he also volunteered his services to act as co-founder of the BC Book Prizes in 1985 and as the primary organizer and implementer of nearly every major literary award presented in this province. Most recently he created a public database of over 11,000 BC authors and is completing a literary map of BC that pinpoints 200 significant locations pertaining to 150 BC authors. At the same time he has carved out a distinguished career as a film maker, freelance journalist and columnist for major Canadian newspapers and authored seventeen books on a variety of topics including history, biography, memoir and poetry. In selecting Alan Twigg for this award, we are delighted to recognize both his literary contributions and the constant nourishment he has provided for so many years to this province’s literary community.”
– Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence jury

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