2021 Victoria Book Prize Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2021 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize have been selected by two independent juries comprised of representatives from the local literary arts community.

The $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, now in its 18th year, is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the categories of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The five finalists are:

  • Grant Buday for Orphans of Empire (fiction published by Brindle & Glass)
  • Lorna Crozier for Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats) (non-fiction published by McClelland & Stewart)
  • Briony Penn with Cecil Paul for Following the Good River: The Life and Times of Wa’xaid (non-fiction published by Rocky Mountain Books)
  • Kyeren Regehr for Cult Life (poetry published by Pedlar Press)
  • Madeline Sonik for Fontainebleau (fiction published by Anvil Press) 

The $5,000 City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize, in its 14th year, is awarded to a Greater Victoria author or illustrator for the best children’s book. The three finalists are:

  • Leanne Baugh for Wild Bird (fiction published by Red Deer Press)
  • Leslie Gentile for Elvis, Me and the Lemonade Stand Summer (fiction published by Cormorant Books)
  • Melanie Siebert for Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health (non-fiction published by Orca Book Publishers)

The 2021 submissions included writers with books published between April 2019 and March 2021, to allow those who missed last year’s submission deadline due to the pandemic, an opportunity to be recognized. The winners will be announced at a free online event, hosted by CBC’s Gregor Craigie, on Sunday October 3 at 7 p.m. as part of the Victoria Festival of Authors. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance via the Victoria Book Prizes website: victoriabookprizes.ca.

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 City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize recognizes and celebrates exceptional children’s and youth literature in our community. The prize was established in 2008 by the late Mel Bolen of Bolen Books.

Additional sponsors include the Union Club of British Columbia, Friesens Corporation, Munro’s Books,

Russell Books, Tanner’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, CBC Radio, Island Blue Book Printing, and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes policy and criteria for the prizes, administers the competition and appoints the juries. For more information: victoriabookprizes.ca or victoria.ca/bookprizes.