THE PHONE BOOTH IN MR HIROTA’S GARDEN by Heather Smith and illustrated by Rachel Wada (Orca Book Publishers) has been shortlisted for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, and Sonnet L’Abbe’s collection of poetry, SONNET’S SHAKESPEARE (Goose Lane), has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. The seven Prizes are presented annually at the BC Book Prizes Gala in the spring.

Rachel Wada is a freelance illustrator whose work is defined by heavy texture, bold color and intricate details that capture the nuances of people, places and ideas, real and surreal. Rachel’s identity as Japanese-Cantonese, an immigrant and a woman informs her artistic practice. She loves to put her own spin on traditional techniques, motifs and symbolism inspired by her cultural background. This duality of old and new is also apparent in her use of both traditional and digital mediums, and she draws inspiration from a variety of sources, from Japanese woodblock prints, Chinese pottery and ceramics, food packaging design to traditional folk art. She has a special love for the ocean, tea and noodles of all kinds. Rachel lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit

Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland. She now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her family. Her Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing. Her middle-grade novel Ebb and Flow won the Winterset Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, and her YA novel The Agony of Bun O’Keefe won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and the White Pine Award. For more information, visit

Rachel and Heather are represented by Amy Tompkins.

Sonnet L’Abbé is the author of two previous collections of poetry, A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, and, most recently, the chapbook Anima Canadensis. In 2000, she won the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for most promising writer under 35. In 2014, she was the guest editor of Best Canadian Poetry in English. Her work has been internationally published and anthologized. L’Abbé lives on Vancouver Island and is a professor of creative writing at Vancouver Island University.

Sonnet is represented by Leonicka Valcius.

To see the full list of nominations, please visit: