Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

11 Island-area authors on shortlist for BC and Yukon Book Prizes

Eleven authors from the Vancouver Island area up for BC and Yukon Book Prizes, including Darrel J. McLeod of Sooke and Chelsea Wakelyn of Nanaimo.
Sooke author Darrel J. McLeod is nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for his book A Season in Chezgh’un. ILYA HERB

Writers from Vancouver Island and the surrounding area are well-represented at this year’s BC and Yukon Book Prizes, which announced its 2024 shortlist Thursday.

Eleven authors from the region are in contention this year, including Darrel J. McLeod of Sooke and Chelsea Wakelyn of Nanaimo. McLeod’s A Season in Chezgh’un and Wakelyn’s What Remains of Elsie Jane will compete for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, which is awarded to the author of the year’s best work of literary fiction.

Duncan-raised Jennifer Bonnell — whose book, Stewards of Splendour: A History of Wildlife and People in British Columbia, spans 250 years — leads a group of local authors vying for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize.

Other nominees in the category, which recognizes authors whose work contributes to the enjoyment and understanding of British Columbia and Yukon, include Ian Kennedy of Comox (for his book, The Best Loved Boat: The Princess Maquinna), David Norwell of Victoria (A Complex Coast: A Kayak Journey from Vancouver Island to Alaska), and Katherine Palmer Gordon of Gabriola Island (This Place Is Who We Are: Stories of Indigenous Leadership, Resilience, and Connection to Homelands).

Nominees for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, presented to the best illustrated book written for children, include Victoria illustrator Crystal Smith (for her collaboration with Vancouver author Kirsten Pendreigh, Maybe a Whale) and Victoria author Jordan Scott (for his collaboration with Halifax illustrator Sydney Smith, My Baba’s Garden).

Metchosin’s Polly Horvath and Victoria’s Julie Lawson are up for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, which is awarded to the best non-illustrated book written for children. Horvath’s nomination is for Pine Island Visitors, while Lawson was feted for Out of the Dark.

Chemainus writer/artist Francine McCabe is the lone local competing for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, presented each year to the publisher and author of the best book in terms of public appeal, initiative, design, production, and content. McCabe drew her nomination for Fleece and Fibre: Textile Producers of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The West Coast Book Prize Society will announce its winners in eight categories Sept. 28 during a gala held at the University Golf Club in Vancouver.

[email protected]