The Banff Mountain Book Competition, an internationally recognized literary competition that celebrates mountain literature in all its forms, has recently unveiled its winners, with the distinction of two originating from British Columbia!

Drawing Botany Home: A Rooted Life is a beautifully illustrated natural history memoir written by Lyn Baldwin, a British Columbia botany instructor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She won the Environmental Literature Award, which carries a cash prize of $3,000.



Drawing Botany Home: A Rooted Life emphasizes the importance of re-establishing our connection with local plants as a crucial step in global restoration. Lyn returns to her childhood home in British Columbia, and reflects on the impact of her nomadic lifestyle. Through the lens of her field journal, Lyn explores the intricate lives of plants, discovering profound lessons from the natural world. The memoir serves as a metaphorical reconciliation tool, bridging personal challenges and addressing the complex history of settler/Indigenous relations.

Instead: Navigating the Adventures of a Childfree Life – A Memoir is a compelling memoir written by Victoria-based Maria Coffey. She is an accomplished travel writer and was awarded the Adventure Travel Award, with a cash prize of $3,000.



Instead: Navigating the Adventures of a Childfree Life – A Memoir chronicles Maria’s adventurous life, serving as a vibrant travelogue, a love story, and a personal reflection on the risks and rewards associated with embracing unconventional paths. Following two traumatic incidents in her twenties, Maria resolves to live fully, balancing her desire for freedom with a newfound fear of loss that steers her away from parenthood. It’s a compelling read for those curious about unconventional paths and a testament to the transformative power of embracing the unexpected.

Both books were published by Victoria-based Rocky Mountain Books who are renowned for publishing award-winning works that delve into the distinctive facets of mountain culture, outdoor adventure, and ‘writing of place’. This includes volumes covering hiking, climbing, skiing, and outdoor recreation, as well as topics such as history, art, memoirs, biography, travel, and environmental writing.

The exceptional contribution made by this years’ authors, publishers, and illustrators have not only captivated readers but have also enriched the exploration of mountain culture. Congratulations to all the winners for their inspiration and commitment to fostering a deeper appreciation for the unique challenges and beauty of mountainous regions and exploration!