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BWF: YA, women authors top bestsellers

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) bookshop recorded a 5.9 percent growth in sales at the Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) bookstore from the previous year, thanks to ‘the strong six-day program and change in festival shop location’, said State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald.

McDonald said the festival store’s bestsellers ‘reflected a strong demand among attendees for nonfiction, particularly in political, social and cultural affairs’.

‘Nonfiction titles made up 50 percent of this year’s top 20 bestsellers, with Speaking Up by Gillian Triggs and Accidental Feminists by Jane Caro among the top five,’ said McDonald. ‘And female authors were particularly popular with readers again, making up 65 percent of the 2019 bestseller list and every spot in the top five.’

The top ten bestselling books at the festival bookstore were:

  • Hive (A J Betts, Pan)
  • After the Lights Go Out (Lili Wilkinson, A&U)
  • Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend, Lothian)
  • Speaking Up (Gillian Triggs, MUP)
  • Accidental Feminists (Jane Caro, MUP)
  • See What You Made Me Do (Jess Hill, Black Inc.)
  • Early Riser (Jasper Fforde, Hachette)
  • The Art of Growing Up (John Marsden, Macmillan)
  • Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella (Jack Charles, Penguin)
  • Sand Talk (Tyson Yunkaporta, Text).

BWF artistic director Zoe Pollock said program highlights included the opening night gala; free family events with authors John Marsden, Jessica Townsend and Maxine Beneba Clarke; sold-out free events exploring Indigenous language and storytelling at SLQ’s kuril dhagun and the Talking Circle; and sold-out LoveOzYA events.

Other popular events included Jessica Townsend’s Word Play event exploring the Nevermoor world, Jack Charles and Gillian Triggs discussing their respective memoirs, a night of spoken word poetry from the anthology Solid Air (UQP), and the children’s performance of Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria (Giramondo) in the Angel Palace.

‘We are thrilled to have presented our 57th Brisbane Writers Festival, with over 150 authors in attendance bringing the big and important conversations to Brisbane readers,’ said Pollock. ‘Our theme this year, This Way Humanity, showcased a diverse and inspiring mix of talent and opinions with panels, conversations and workshops running from Friday through to Sunday.’


Category: Festivals Local news