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B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes announces purse increases and a new award for “Writing That Provokes”

Future winners of the B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes will walk away a little richer, thanks to a 50 per cent increase in the awards’ purse, effective next year.

The seven juried prizes, which cover fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and kidlit categories, will each be worth $3,000, up from $1,000.

In a press release, the B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes board president and chair Kathie Shoemaker says, “This is the beginning of a board goal to raise the cash award for each prize over the next few years to at least $5,000 each.”

The board has also approved the return of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, a $3,000 prize presented to “a writer who has contributed significantly to the development of literary excellence in B.C., as well as having produced a substantial body of work throughout their career.”

A new $5,000 award, the Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes, will also launch in 2020. The prize honours Little Sister’s bookseller and LGBTQ2S+ activist Jim Deva. The award is made possible by Deva’s longtime partner, Bruce Smyth, who donated enough money so that the prize and an accompanying shortlisted-author tour will be funded for at least 10 years.

The awards will take place in late April.