Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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‘Guardian Australia’ expands books coverage

Guardian Australia is expanding its book coverage with two new series of commissioned works on established and emerging Australian writers, launched under a dedicated section on its website called Reading Australia.

The expansion is in partnership with the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, which recently awarded the Guardian $30,000 for increased coverage of Australian books and writers in its most recent funding round.

The first series, which launched on 8 September with an article by Alexis Wright, will feature long-form interactive reads by well-known Australian authors on a personal theme chosen by the author. The series will also promote other Australian books around the same theme with a co-curated list by the writer and Guardian editors.

A second series of articles, where well-known authors are asked to highlight their favourite emerging Australian writer, was launched on 15 September with novelist Toni Jordan writing on the works of Briohny Doyle.

Guardian Australia culture editor Steph Harmon said future instalments in the series will ‘highlight the intel of those who work behind the scenes in the books industry’ and to ‘look out for recommendations of new talent from a range of industry folk as well’.

Harmon also said she would also love to do more Australian book reviews, but admitted that book review coverage is expensive ‘because of the time it takes a critic to grapple with the material’.

The new series will have a limited number of commissions under the current arrangement with the Copyright Agency. Harmon told Books+Publishing that without the partnership, ‘our budgets are as restricted as everyone else working in arts journalism in Australia right now’.

‘In my opinion, it’s the role of publications and editors to find new ways to fund the type of coverage they think is important—and we’re open to any and all suggestions, so long as our editorial independence isn’t compromised,’ said Harmon.


Category: Local news