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BC Book Prizes announce 30th annual shortlist

Seven categories and one lifetime achievement award celebrate BC writers and publishers annually.

Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation chief Bev Sellars is nominated for her book, They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School. Photo from Talon Books.

The annual shortlist for the BC Book Prizes was announced this week, which also celebrates their 30th anniversary. The prizes, awarded by the non-profit West Coast Book Prize Society, are given annually in seven categories to celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. The 2014 shortlist includes several new authors as well as literary veterans.

BC Book Prizes 2014 shortlist

Kathryn Para’s novel Lucky was the winner of the Great BC Novel Search, and poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar is nominated for her debut collection children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections, reflecting on the Air India Flight 182 bombing in 1985. David Stouck’s work Arthur Erickson: An Architect's Life is nominated in two different categories, and Ashley Little is nominated in two categories for two different books. David Stouck was also nominated along with J.B. MacKinnon for this year's RBC Taylor Prize.

Tackling the weighty subject of Indian Residential Schools, Bev Sellars, chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, tells the story of three generations of women in They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School. Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton also tell a young girl’s story in When I Was Eight, an illustrated story adapted from their bestselling Fatty Legs, and based on the experiences of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton.

The winners of the BC Book Prizes will be announced May 3, 2014 at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prize Gala, an award celebration taking place at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel this year. In early April, the BC Book Prize Soiree will celebrate the shortlisted authors, where the winner of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence will be announced. Then, the BC Book Prizes On Tour will kick off, touring select authors (to be announced) around the province to visit schools, bookstores, and libraries in various communities.

See the full 2014 shortlist below. For more detailed book descriptions and author bios, visit the BC Book Prizes website.

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

  • Anatomy of a Girl Gang by Ashley Little (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility by Théodora Armstrong (House of Anansi Press)
  • Lucky by Kathryn Para (Mother Tongue Publishing)
  • Red Girl Rat Boy by Cynthia Flood (Biblioasis)
  • Three Souls by Janie Chang (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

  • Arthur Erickson: An Architect's Life by David Stouck  (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Everything Rustles by Jane Silcott (Anvil Press)
  • The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway by Arno Kopecky (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be by J.B. MacKinnon (Random House of Canada)
  • They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars  (Talonbooks)

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

  • Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain by Russell Thornton (Harbour Publishing)
  • children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections by Renée Sarojini Saklikar (Nightwood Editions)
  • The Lost Letters by Catherine Greenwood (Brick Books)
  • The Place of Scraps by Jordan Abel (Talonbooks)
  • Wood by Jennica Harper (Anvil Press)

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

  • Arthur Erickson: An Architect's Life by David Stouck (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Charles Edenshaw edited by Robin K. Wright and Daina Augaitis, with Haida Advisors Robert Davidson and James Hart (Vancouver Art Gallery and Black Dog Publishing)
  • Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History by Sean Kheraj (University of British Columbia Press)
  • Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics by Graeme Truelove (New Star Books)
  • Voyage Through the Past Century by Rolf Knight (New Star Books)

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

  • If Only by Becky Citra (Orca Book Publishers)
  • The New Normal by Ashley Little (Orca Book Publishers)
  • The Path of Names by Ari Goelman (Scholastic Canada)
  • Record Breaker by Robin Stevenson (Orca Book Publishers)
  • Victoria by Silvana Goldemberg, translated by Emilie Smith (Tradewind Books)

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

  • The Great Bear Sea: Exploring the Marine Life of a Pacific Paradise by Ian McAllister, Nicholas Read, Illustrated by Ian McAllister (Orca Book Publishers)
  • How To written and illustrated by Julie Morstad (Simply Read Books)
  • Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, Illustrated by Tim Bowers (Viking Children's Books)
  • When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard (Annick Press)
  • Wild Berries written and illustrated by Julie Flett (Simply Read Books)

Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

  • The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous by Paula Wild (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • The Land of Heart’s Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island by Michael Layland (TouchWood Editions)
  • The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie by Grant Lawrence (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Raven Brings the Light by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd (Harbour Publishing)
  • This Day in Vancouver by Jesse Donaldson (Anvil Press) 

For more detailed book descriptions and author bios, visit the BC Book Prizes website.

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