Celebrated authors tour Northern BC

Students treated to poetry and literature from some of provinces best writers

  • Apr. 24, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Vancouver poet Kayla Czaga

Michele Taylor

Caledonia Courier

 

Students at David Hoy Elementary and Fort St. James Secondary received a visit from two BC Book Prize finalists this past week.

Gabrielle Prendergast and Kayla Czaga are touring Northern BC presenting their works through talks and reading their books with students at both schools. The authors are two of 35 authors, illustrators and publishers selected as finalists for the seven prizes that are awarded through BC Book Prizes.

Bryan Pike, Executive Director with BC Book Prizes and the tour’s driver, said the showcase is a way for kids to see that books come from more than just the library.

“It’s a great chance for (students) to hear an author talk,” he said. “Kayla, who is on tour right now, she’s from Kitimat … You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest or be in a war to write a story. It’s good for kids to see that, those types of things are valuable.”

Pike said the authors read from their books and share personal experiences with students, and said often the talks trigger an interest in reading with students. “It’s a nice way for everybody to get a little inspiration.”

Kayla Czaga, author of For Your Safety Please Hold On (Nightwood Editions), is a finalist shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize an award for the author of the best work of poetry.

Czaga spoke at FSJ Secondary School to the Grade 11 and 12 English students April 16. The 23-year-old shared her perspectives on growing up and living in Kitimat, B.C. Czaga brought a unique point of view that the students were easily able to relate to, sharing poetry on being 15, her nudist father, that drunk uncle and living in a town with only one road in and out.

“When I was in high school I never thought I would write about high school … now, I have an outside perspective,” Czaga told the students. “I never really know what I’m going to write about until I write a line about a memory that happened years back, then it turns into a poem.”

Czaga relates her positive point of view to students about making the choice to become a writer and being able to make a living as a writer living in Vancouver.

“It is something that you can achieve.”

Gabrielle Prendergast, author of Capricious (Orca Book Publishers), is a finalist shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, an award for the author of the best original work of literary fiction. Prendergast spoke to Grade 6 and 7 students at David Hoy Elementary on April 16. She pulls the quiet group of students into conversation by talking about current books that have been made into movies and engaging students on their favourite reads. She has a way of getting the students talking by relating to writing at the student’s level.

“When a movie or a book is about a young person, it’s not normally about someone who just gets up, eats breakfast and goes to school, comes home, plays video games, eats dinner and then goes to bed,” Prendergast says. “There’s nothing wrong with being an ordinary kid … but on the other hand you know, it’s not exciting like it is in a book.”

Prendergast uses the students’ interests in movies, sports and various activities to offer advice about approaching life with the kind of adventure you might find in books and how a character might approach life.

“That’s a good way to approach your life, like you’re a person in a story book,” she said. “Attack it with gusto.”

 

Fact file – BC Book Prizes

The following seven prizes are administered and awarded to celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers:

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize – Awarded to the author(s) of the best original work of literary fiction

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize – Awarded to the author(s) of the best original work of literary non-fiction

Dorothy Livesay Poetry PrizeAwarded to the author(s) of the best work of poetry

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize – Awarded to the author(s) of the book which contributes the most to the enjoyment and understanding of the province of British Columbia

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize – Awarded to the author(s) of novels, including chapter books, and non-fiction books, including biography, aimed at juveniles and young adults, which have not been highly illustrated

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize – Awarded to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of picture books, picture story books, and illustrated non-fiction books for children

Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence – Established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the Province

Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award – Presented to the originating publisher(s) and the author(s) of the book that is the most successful in terms of public appeal, initiative, design, production and content

 

Source: http://www.bcbookprizes.ca/about/criteria

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cluculz Lake fire leads to death of occupant

RCMP said mobile home was engulfed in fire when they arrived on scene

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

BC Green Party leader visits Wet’suwet’en camps at heart of pipeline conflict

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada and First Nations

Premier Horgan announces business plan approval for new hospital in Fort St. James

The new hospital in the district is aimed to be open to patients by 2024

Horgan cancels event in Fraser Lake due to security concerns, says mayor

The premier will still be visiting the district, but the location and day will not be made public

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Most Read