M.A.C. Farrant and Daniel Loxton with Jim W.W. Smith Win Victoria Book Prizes

Two Greater Victoria authors were recognized for their literary achievements tonight at the 2014 Victoria Book Prize Awards Gala. M.A.C. (Marion) Farrant, author of The World Afloat, published by Talonbooks, was named the winner of the 11th annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Daniel Loxton, with Jim W.W. Smith, was named the winner of the 7th annual Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for Pterosaur Trouble, published by Kids Can Press.

Mayor Dean Fortin and event sponsor Brian H. Butler presented Farrant with the $5,000 prize for her award-winning fiction book.

Samantha Holmes of Bolen Books presented the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize to Loxton for the award-winning book for children ages four to seven.

The World Afloat is a collection of 75 irreverent and humorous stories that meld narrative with elements of prose, poem and farce. Master of the absurd and expert observer M.A.C. Farrant interrupts everyday routine – daily rounds of doctor’s appointments, meetings, and mealtimes with intensely surreal frothy moments that help keep chins up and thrust bravely forward. As each “miniature” story reads stranger (and truer) than the one before, Farrant coaxes her readers from their well-worn, earthbound narratives into a “world afloat” on satire, absurdity and, in her most brilliant moments, expansive joy.

Born in Sydney, Australia and raised in Victoria, Marion Farrant is the acclaimed author of nine previous collections of satirical and humorous short fiction and two works of non-fiction. Her novel, The Strange Truth About Us: A Novel of Absence, was selected as a Globe and Mail Best Book in 2012.  Farrant’s writing has been widely anthologized in North America and has been dramatized for television. In 2013, in conjunction with the Arts Club Theatre of Vancouver, she adapted her 2004 memoir, My Turquoise Years, into a highly successful stage play.

Loxton’s Pterosaur Trouble is book two in the Tales of Prehistoric Life series. It follows the pterosaur, a majestic flying reptile, as he encounters a pack of tiny but vicious dinosaurs. A unique blend of digital illustrations and landscape photography brings the ensuing battle to life. Dramatic stories plus eye-popping visuals equate to a surefire hit with young dinosaur lovers.

Daniel Loxton is a writer and illustrator who specializes in science and critical thinking publications especially for young readers. He is the editor of Junior Skeptic, the children’s science section of Skeptic magazine. As an illustrator, Daniel specializes in photo-realistic computer-generated scenes for science books and magazines. Before starting his writing career, Daniel worked for 10 years as a professional shepherd in the wilderness of northern British Columbia. He lives in Victoria with his wife and his two young children.

The awards gala was held at the Union Club of British Columbia and emceed by Jo-Ann Roberts, host of CBC’s All Points West. Victoria’s Poet Laureate Janet Rogers opened the evening with the reading of her poem Lekwungen Land.

The City of Victoria Butler Book Prize celebrates its 11th year in 2014 and is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies. The Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize founded by Mel Bolen in 2008 provides authors and illustrators of children's and youth literature an increased opportunity for recognition. Additional sponsors include the Union Club of British Columbia, Magnolia Hotel and Spa, Chateau Victoria, Greater Victoria Public Library, Island Blue Print, and CBC Radio.

The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes the policy and criteria for the prizes, appoints the juries and administers the competitions.

Learn more.