City of Victoria Butler Book Prize

Congratulations to the 2018 Victoria Book Prize Finalists!

The Victoria Book Prize Society is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2018 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize.

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize Finalists

Celebrating its 15th 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 are: 

Lorna Crozier (poetry) – What the Soul Doesn’t Want (Freehand Books)
Patrick Friesen (poetry) – Songen (Mother Tongue Publishing)
Rhonda Ganz (poetry) – Frequent, Small Loads of Laundry (Mother Tongue Publishing)
Bill Gaston (fiction) – A Mariner’s Guide to Self Sabotage (Douglas & McIntyre)
Maria Tippett (non-fiction) – Sculpture in Canada (Douglas & McIntyre)

Bolen Books Children's Book Prize Finalists

Marking its 11th 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 are:

Monique Gray Smith – Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation (Orca Book Publishers)
Julie Lawson – A Blinding Light (Nimbus Publishers)
Dr. Jillian Roberts – On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty (Orca Book Publishers)

Thank you to all those who submitted entries to the 2018 Victoria Book Prizes.

Awards Gala - Get Your Tickets!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
Union Club of British Columbia, 805 Gordon Street

Join CBC Radio's Gregor Craigie for an entertaining evening of readings from shortlisted authors, dessert and the awarding of the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Bolen Books Children's Book Prize. Cash bar and books available for sale.

This isn't your traditional gala. Come be part of this relaxed and welcoming event where writers and book lovers come together to celebrate our region's incredible talent. Everyone welcome.

Tickets are $20 and are available now at Bolen Books, Munro’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, Tanner’s Books, and the Victoria Book Prize Society at 250.589.8430 or at

You can also purchase your tickets online.

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 local literary arts community are appointed by the Society to review and assess the submissions. For more information, click here.

How to Apply

Submission Deadline: Closed on Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Literature in the appropriate genres was to have been published between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.

 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(s) and payment were to be delivered to:
The Victoria Book Prize Society
c/o Target Storage Ltd.
#38 - 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 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:
Yasuko Thanh, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, 2017
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: 
Margriet Ruurs, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey, 2017
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

Alyssa Polinsky
Victoria Book Prize Society