Friday, February 23, 2024

Calling all book-worms: City of Victoria offering $10,000 in awards to local authors


There are so many great authors from Victoria, which is exactly why the city awards the Butler Book Prize every year to celebrate the vast array of talent in the garden city. 

The Victoria Butler Book Prize goes to a local author who wrote the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry the year prior. 

The Butler Book Prize is now in its 20th year and has been an award given by the City of Victoria in collaboration with Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies since its inception.  

There is a second award for City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize. This award goes to the best children’s book author or illustrator. 

The Children’s Book Prize was started in 2008 and championed by the City of Victoria since 2020. 

Both awards will fetch their respective recipient a $5,000 award.

“Our region is home to many talented and award-winning writers,” said Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto. 

“We’re excited to open the applications for these two awards and look forward to having the opportunity, later this year, to shine a light on the diverse voices and stories that enrich our lives and connect us with one another.” 

The prize is awarded by the Victoria Book Prize Society, who are responsible for appointing the juries to judge the submissions as well as establish policies and criteria for the juries to use in their process.

The society is volunteer-based and the juries they choose are members of the local literary arts community.

In 2022, Esi Edugyan, a two-time Giller Prize winner won the Victoria Butler Book Prize for Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling. In this work of non-fiction, Edugyan analyzes the Black experience through the lens of art, storytelling and her own lived experiences. 

Edugyan was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, attended school at UVic and remained on the island where she started a family.

Wendy Proverbs won the 2022 Victoria Children’s Book Prize for her book Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children. Her middle-grade novel tells the story of two young Indigenous girls growing up on the border of Yukon and BC being sent to a residential school. The story is told from the perspective of a grandmother who lived through the experience she is sharing with her granddaughter in contemporary times.   

Proverbs holds a BA and MA in anthropology from UVic and continues to reside in Greater Victoria.

Both books can be found locally! Just ask your friendly Victoria book store if they have any copies of either of these brilliant literary works.

Guidelines for submissions and other past winners can be found at the Victoria Book Prize Society’s website.

Books submitted for the 2023 awards must have been published between April 1st, 2022 and March 31st, 2023. They can’t have been submitted previously and must be new work.

The deadline for submissions is set for May 19th and the prizes will be awarded at a gala in October.

What is your favourite book written by a local author? Let us know in the comments!

Curtis Blandy

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