Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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VPLA winners, Williams resigns from Wheeler Centre, Pascoe withdraws from festivals and more

Last week, S Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack were named winners of Australia’s most valuable literary award—the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature—for their play Counting and Cracking. Other writers honoured at the VPLAs included Christos Tsiolkas, Christina Thompson, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Helena Fox and Chloe Higgins.

The Wheeler Centre, meanwhile, is looking for a new director, with the news that Michael Williams will be leaving the organisation after 10 years as its head.

Also making awards news this week were the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlists, a new $15,000 short story prize and the inaugural winner of Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Book award. Speaking of Booktopia, the online retailer announced it has bought various assets of the Co-op bookshops, with the campus bookseller’s outlets to be closed over the next two months.

Bruce Pascoe has withdrawn from scheduled appearances at Perth Festival and Adelaide Writers’ Week, while writer and teacher Nicolas Brasch is the new director of Melbourne Jewish Book Week.

Overseas, Macmillan has responded to the American Dirt controversy with a promise to increase Latinx representation; Macmillan employees have been banned from attending Digital Book World over the company’s library ebook embargo; and organisers of the Taipei book fair have postponed the event due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Category: This week’s news