City of Victoria Butler Book Prize
2017 Victoria Book Prize Winners!
Congratulations to Yasuko Thanh and Margriet Ruurs, winners of the 2017 Victoria Book Prize Awards!
Yasuko Thanh was named the winner of the 14th annual City of Victoria Butler Prize for Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, published by Hamish Hamilton.
Margriet Ruurs was named the winner of the 10th annual Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey, published by Orca Book Publishers.
Mayor Lisa Helps and event sponsor Brian Butler presented Thanh with the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and Samantha Holmes from Bolen Books presented Ruurs with the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize.
About Yasuko Thanh
Previous to winning the Journey Prize for her short story Floating Like the Dead in 2009, Thanh earned her living as a busker, an opium dealer, a cleaner of goat pens, a bed and breakfast operator, a housekeeper, and a panhandler. In 2013, she was named one of 10 writers to watch by CBC Books. Yasuko completed her Bachelor of Arts as well as a Master’s of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. She also screams in the punk band 12 Gauge Facial.
In Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, Thanh transports readers into a vivid, historical Vietnam, one that is filled with chaotic streets, teeming marketplaces, squalid opium dens, and angry ghosts that exist side by side with the living. Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains won the Rogers Writers Trust for Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
About Margriet Ruurs
Ruurs is the author of many award-winning books for children. She enjoys speaking about reading and writing to students at schools around the world. Her adventures have taken her to such countries as Myanmar, Pakistan, Laos, Tanzania and many other countries. Ruurs was born in the Netherlands but has been a Canadian for most of her life.
Stepping Stones; A Refugee Family’s Story is a unique picture book that was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr’s art and contacted him to see if he would agree to work with her. Including many of Mr. Ali Badr’s already-created pieces, Ruurs created a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe.
2017 Book Prize Finalists
City of Victoria Butler Book Prize Finalists
Celebrating its 14th year, the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the preceding year in the categories of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The five finalists were:
M.A.C. Farrant (poetry) – The Days: Forecasts, Warnings, Advice (Talonbooks)
Kevin Patterson (fiction) – News from the Red Desert (Random House Canada)
Steven Price (fiction) – By Gaslight (McClelland & Stewart)
Yasuko Thanh (fiction) – Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains (Hamish Hamilton)
Patricia Young (poetry) – Short Takes on the Apocalypse (Biblioasis)
Bolen Books Children's Book Prize
Marking its 10th year, the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize is awarded to an author or illustrator for the best children’s book published in the preceding year. The three finalists were:
Kari Jones (ages 12+) – At the Edge of the World (Orca Book Publishers)
Margriet Ruurs (picture book) – Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey (Orca Book Publishers)
Robin Stevenson (ages 9-13) – Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community (Orca Book Publishers)
Two independent juries comprised of representatives from the literary arts community adjudicated the entries for literary merit. Congratulations to all the finalists!
The winners were announced at the Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at the Union Club of British Columbia. Guests had the opportunity to meet the finalists and get their books signed.
About the Victoria Book Prize Society
The Victoria Book Prize Society is a non-profit organization that establishes the policy and criteria for the two prizes, appoints the juries, and administers the competitions. Two independent juries comprised of representatives from the literary arts community are appointed by the Society to review and assess the submissions. For more information, click here.
- City of Victoria Butler Book Prize - Submission Form [PDF - 286 KB]
- City of Victoria Butler Book Prize - Guidelines [PDF - 92 KB]
Submissions were to include the following:
- A submission form - completed and signed.
- FIVE copies of the book. (One copy will be part of a display at Victoria City Hall.)
- Entry fee. $25 per entry, payable by cheque to: Victoria Book Prize Society
NOTE: Finalists are required to provide SEVEN additional copies for promotional purposes.
Submissions were to be sent to:
The Victoria Book Prize Society
c/o Target Storage Ltd.
#13 - 747 Princess Avenue
Victoria, BC V8T 1K5
Founded in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies. The Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize was founded in 2008. Additional sponsors include the Union Club of British Columbia, Greater Victoria Public Library, Island Blue Print, Magnolia Hotel and Spa, Friesens Corporation and CBC Radio.
Madeline Sonik, Afflictions & Departures in 2012
Bolen Books Children's Book Prize winners include:
Victoria Book Prize Society