The George Ryga Award

The George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature

Initiated by The George Ryga Society, BC BookWorld, CBC Radio (Kelowna), and Okanagan College, this annual literary prize is awarded to a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a new book published in the preceding calendar year.

Entrance Guidelines and Requirements

Read the Criteria and Instructions for entry into this competition.

2012 Winner Announced!Joel Bakan poster

2012 Winner: Joel Bakan – Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children


Bakan cover

(Adjudicator: Angie Abdou, author of The Bone Cage)

Joel Bakan is an author, filmmaker and a professor of law at the University of British Columbia. His work examines the social, economic, and political dimensions of law, and he has published in leading legal and social science journals as well as in the popular press. Bakan has won numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, worked on landmark legal cases and government policy, and served frequently as a media commentator. Visit his website for more information.

Past Winners

2011: Richard Wagamese – One Story, One Song (Adjudicator: Andrew Steeves)

2010: Larry Campbell, Neil Boyd and Lori Culbert – A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Fight for its Future (Adjudicator: Greg Simison)

2009: Steven Galloway – The Cellist of Sarajevo (Adjudicator: )

2008: Leilah Nadir – The Orange Trees of Baghdad (Adjudicator: Ivan Townshend, Chair, Geography, University of Lethbridge)

2007: Harold Rhenisch – The Wolves at Evelyn (Adjudicator: Sharon Josephson, Chair, Communications, Okanagan College)

2006: Leslie Robertson and Dara Culhane – In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver (Adjudicator: Myrna Kostash)

2005: Robert Hunter – The Greenpeace to Amchitka: An Environmental Odyssey (Adjudicator: Ross Tyner, Chair, Okanagan College Library)

2004: Maggie De Vries – Missing Sarah (Adjudicator: Craig McLuckie, Chair, Department of English, Okanagan College)

Visit the George Ryga Award website for more information.