Jane Watt (Special to the Langley Advance)

Langley scribes make BC Book shortlist

A pair of local authors are recognized for their writing achievements.

by Alex Wilks/Special to the Langley Advance

West Coast Book Prize Society shortlisted two Langley authors as finalists for the 34th annual BC Book Prizes Gala.

Andrea MacPherson, 41, and K. Jane Watt, 54, are contenders in two of the seven categories being recognized.

“I was so honoured to be shortlisted among such amazing writers,” said MacPherson. “This year’s shortlist is really strong and I am a fan of the other books included.”

The BC Book Prizes was established to celebrate the achievement of British Columbia writers and publishers – 35 candidates are chosen every year to represent provincial authors in various writing categories and genres.

Each category possesses a jury consisting of three industry professionals and the finalists are determined by a ballot vote.

“It’s a chance to celebrate made-in-B.C. books from indie publishers and established publishers alike,” noted Watt. “That really matters.”

MacPherson’s grew up in Langley and her novel, What We Once Believed, has been selected as a contestant for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize — awarded to the author with the best work of fiction.

“I was a dedicated reader and writer from a very young age. I have distinct memories of the school librarian suggesting more difficult books to me after I had burned through everything at my own grade level,” she noted.

“I was always encouraged to read and always encouraged to be creative. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t thinking about stories.”

What We Once Believed is the story of a young girl, Maybe, and the return of her estranged mother – who is now an acclaimed author.

Awash with fame and passion for the women’s movement, Camille Collins upsets the delicate balance of the community, explained MacPherson.

Competing for another category is Langley historian Watt’s coffee table-styled book, Surrey: A City of Stories.

It was shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize – awarded to an author who illustrates through their writing contribution to the enjoyment and understanding of B.C.

Her book was commissioned by the City of Surrey as part of its celebration of Canada 150. It’s described as a colourful, vibrant sampling of stories.

“Books begin with an idea, and although you try to explain to people along the way the possibilities you see and are trying to bring to the page, you need to carry your vision inside you for a very long time before it comes to light on the page,” Watt explained.

Some of the shortlisted authors will be touring across several B.C. communities leading up to the gala on May 4.

“Any event that celebrates writing and writers is exciting to me,” said MacPherson.

“In a time when we see arts funding being decreased and books coverage being cut back, we need these kinds of celebratory events more than ever.”

The winners in the seven categories will be announced at the Lieutenant-Governor’s BC Book Prizes gala in Vancouver next month.

“It’s a privilege to be part of the vibrant book industry in B.C. and to be part of the annual celebration,” said Watt.

For more information or to attend the gala, visit bcbookprizes.ca.

Just Posted

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

Third straight loss ends Langley’s Junior B Thunder season

The local squad could not snare a win against the Port Coquitlam Saints.

Giants bringing Point Roberts talent to Langley

The Vancouver Giants have announced a new signing.

VIDEO: New doctors, but fewer spaces for patients in Langley

Retirements have left some Langley residents without a family physician.

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Fraser Surrey Docks mechanic dies on the job

‘This is a very sad day - a worker went to his job this morning and didn’t go home’

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Most Read