B.C. Book Prizes packed with Vancouver Island nominees

The West Coast Book Prize Society announced its nominees for the 2019 B.C. Book Prizes today, nearly half of whom hail from the Vancouver Island area.

Thirty-five nominees in seven categories are vying for prizes at the 35th annual event, which will be held May 11 at Vancouver’s Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront. Seventeen are residents of Vancouver Island or the surrounding region.

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Victoria’s Erin Frances Fisher (That Tiny Life) and Salt Spring Island’s Kathy Page (Dear Evelyn) are in the running for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, while the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize sees Victoria’s Bill Gaston (Just Let Me Look at You) and Victoria’s Rob Shaw and Richard Zussman (A Matter of Confidence: The Inside Story of the Political Battle for B.C.) in contention. Shaw is a former Times Colonist reporter.

The Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize for region-specific writing features local nominees the Council of the Haida Nation (Athlii Gwaii: Upholding Haida Law at Lyell Island), Victoria’s Sarah Cox (Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand Against Big Hydro), Victoria’s Gaston (Just Let Me Look at You), and Salt Spring Island’s Harley Rustad (Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees).

Victoria’s Eve Joseph (Quarrels) is the lone local writer competing for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, while Salt Spring Island’s Robert Bateman (Robert Bateman: The Boy Who Painted Nature) is joined by Salt Spring Island’s Aidan Cassie (Sterling, Best Dog Ever) as nominees for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize.

Victoria writers Polly Horvath (Very Rich) and Monique Gray Smith (The Journey Forward, A Novella On Reconciliation: When We Play Our Drums, They Sing!) are seeking the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize.

Victoria’s Robert Amos (E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island), Victoria’s Robert Budd (One Eagle Soaring), and Sooke’s Darrel J. McLeod (Mamaskatch) are three locals competing for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. Amos is a former Times Colonist columnist.

B.C. Book Prizes are open to British Columbia writers and publishers whose work has had a print run of at least 350 copies within its first 12 months of publication.

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