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!

Awards Gala

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.

Submission Guidelines

The submission deadline was Friday, May 12, 2017. Guidelines and submission forms are below for the two prizes.
 
Literature in the appropriate genres must have been published between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

 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.

Submission Deadline:  May 12, 2017


Submissions were to be sent to:

The Victoria Book Prize Society
c/o Target Storage Ltd.
#13 - 747 Princess Avenue
Victoria, BC V8T 1K5

Sponsors

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.

Previous Winners

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize winners include:
Pauline Holdstock, The Hunter and the Wild Girl, 2016
Julie Paul, The Pull of the Moon, 2015
M.A.C.(Marion) Farrant, The World Afloat, 2014
Stephen Reid, A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden, 2013
Madeline Sonik, Afflictions & Departures in 2012
Jack Hodgins, The Master of Happy Endings in 2011
Frances Backhouse, Children of the Klondike in 2010
Patrick Lane, Red Dog, Red Dog in 2009
Arleen Paré, Paper Trail in 2008
Bill Gaston, Gargoyles in 2007
Mark Zuehlke, Holding Juno in 2006
Terrence Young, After Goodlake's in 2005
Kevin Patterson, Country of Cold in 2004

Bolen Books Children's Book Prize winners include: 
Dawn Green, In the Swish, 2016
Chris Tougas, Dojo Daycare, 2015
Daniel Loxton with Jim W.W. Smith, Pterosaur Trouble, 2014
Polly Horvath, One Year in Coal Harbour in 2013
Caitlyn Vernon, Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest in 2012
Kristi Bridgeman, Illustrator, Uirapurú (pronounced oor-a-pur-ú) in 2011
Sylvia Olsen, Counting on Hope in 2010
Penny Draper, Graveyard of the Sea in 2009
Chris Tougas, Mechanimals in 2008

Contact Us

Vanessa Herman
President
Victoria Book Prize Society
250.888.6090
victoriabookprizes@shaw.ca