A national literary program that hands out readers’ choice awards is being led this year by a Dr. Charles Best Secondary graduate.
Kristain Oliveria-Barnes, a former Coquitlam resident, is the program director for The Canadian Book Club Awards (CBCA), which last week released its 2022 list of finalists.
The initiative is sponsored by The Self Publishing Agency Inc. that’s run by Megan Williams, who also has ties to Coquitlam.
Oliveria-Barnes said authors and publishing houses submit their new works to the awards program for review by a CBCA “Avid Readers” team.
And once its finalists’ list is out in September, “Verified Readers” from across Canada assess the books in one or two categories to vote on their favourite.
Verified Readers tend to be readers in book clubs or book worms and influencers with large social media followings who will further promote the publications.
Oliveria-Barnes said the awards program has hundreds of Verified Readers in the country.
The winning authors, who are announced on Dec. 30, receive 100 award stickers to place on their hard- and soft-covered copies, a podcast interview and bragging rights.
This year saw a record-breaking number of book entries from trade publishers (with a doubling of CBCA genre categories), as well as Verified Readers.
Oliveria-Barnes said the purpose of the program is to give wider exposure to books that aren’t on the radar because they may be independently published.
“It’s something that they can enter and have their book reviewed by Canadian readers — not by a panel of experts,” she said. “We give authors a level playing field.”
She added, “What readers are looking for is a good story that’s told well. Readers don’t care how it’s published. They’re just looking for a good book.”
Meanwhile, CBCA is still accepting applications for Verified Readers for 2022. Successful candidates must be able to read all three books in a chosen category and cast their vote by Dec. 19.
Visit thecanadianbookclubawards.ca to sign up.
The finalists of The 2022 Canadian Book Club Awards are:
- Holden: After & Before, Tara McGuire (Arsenal Pulp Press)
- Lost in Beirut: A True Story of Love, Loss and War, Ashe & Magalena Stevens (Anonymous Inc.)
- Liar, Liar Gown on Fire, Cindy Buckshon (independently published)
- Moments In Time, Tom Locke, (Hub Consulting Services)
- The Music Therapy Studio, Rick Soshensky (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)
- All CAPS, Craig Colby (Friesen Press)
- Pulling Together—A Coach's Journey to Uncover the Mindset of True Potential, Jason Dorland (Heritage House)
- Unlocked: The Power of You, Gezim Gashi (TSPA The Self Publishing Agency Inc.)
- Healing is Messy AF, Kaitlyn Kenealy, MA, LPC (Tea Time with the Psychos)
Health & Wellness/Spiritual:
- Citrine Horizon: A Soul Journey Through Health Trauma, Hannah Seraphim (Earl Grey Press)
- Back to Life: One Woman's Inspiring Triumph Over a Series of Terminal Diagnoses, Kathy McLaughlin, (Friesen Press)
- Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life, Jane Enright (She Writes Press)
- Freedom Lessons, Eileen Harrison Sanchez (She Writes Press)
- Welcome to the Hamilton, Tanya E. Williams (Rippling Effects)
- Mangos and Snowflakes, Isis Maria Henriquez (Verdad Press)
- Ten Rules for Faking It, Sophie Sullivan (St. Martin's Griffin)
- Sixteen Summers, Caitlin Moss (independently published)
- The Refusal, Eve M. Riley (Snugrox Publishing)
- The Amsterdam Deception, Tony Ollivier (Pandamoon Publishing)
- Coldwater Confession, James A. Ross (Level Best Books)
- Catch .22, Diane L. Kowalyshyn (The Wild Rose Press, Inc)
- Tides of the Sovereign, Kate Gateley (Friesen Press)
- Percivious Origins, Jennifer Cook (AJ JJ Publishing)
- Spindrifts, A-M Mawhiney (Friesen Press)
- On Traigh Lar Beach, Dianne Ebertt Beeaff (She Writes Press)
- Mysteries You Can't Put Down, Brad Bennett (BookBaby)
- The MomBabes: A Motherhood Anthology Volume 2, Christina Walsh & Carolyn Turkington (MomBabes Media)
- What Does It Mean to Be Your Best?, Kelly Shuto (independently published)
- Success, Ruthie Godfrey (Independently published)
- Siege of Herons - Collective Nouns Alphabetically, Ramona Wildeman (An Acceptable Time Press)
- One Arctic Night, Donald Whibley (Friesen Press)
- Look Within, Miles Mcalister (independently published)
- The Herd, Ryan Poirier (Friesen Press)
- Baking Magic: Awaken Your Inner Pastry Chef, Sasha Nary (Front Table Books)
- Great Scoops: Recipes from a Neighbourhood Ice Cream Shop, Amelia Ryan & Marlene Hayley (Figure 1 Publishing)
- Playlist Kitchen: Upbeat Recipes & The Music That Brought Them To Life, Becky Van Drunen (Playlist Publishing)
- Discombobulated Constellations, Briana Lenzi (FriesenPress)
- North Star Heart, Natasha Silva (independently published)
- Shitty Jody, Krista Black (Friesen Press)