Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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ABIA 2020 longlists announced

The longlists for the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) have been announced.

The titles in each category are:

General fiction book of the year

  • Bruny (Heather Rose, A&U)
  • Call Me Evie (J P Pomare, Hachette)
  • Cilka’s Journey (Heather Morris, Echo)
  • Good Girl, Bad Girl (Michael Robotham, Hachette)
  • Peace (Garry Disher, Text)
  • Silver (Chris Hammer, A&U)
  • The Scholar (Dervla McTiernan, HarperCollins)
  • The Wife and the Widow (Christian White, Affirm)

Literary fiction book of the year

  • Damascus (Christos Tsiolkas, A&U)
  • Exploded View (Carrie Tiffany, Text)
  • Room for a Stranger (Melanie Cheng, Text)
  • The Drover’s Wife (Leah Purcell, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Weekend (Charlotte Wood, A&U)
  • The Yield (Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton)
  • There Was Still Love (Favel Parrett, Hachette)
  • Wolfe Island (Lucy Treloar, Picador)

General nonfiction book of the year

  • Accidental Feminists (Jane Caro, MUP)
  • Against All Odds (Craig Challen & Richard Harris, Viking)
  • Banking Bad (Adele Ferguson, ABC Books)
  • Fake (Stephanie Wood, Vintage)
  • Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life (Kitty Flanagan, A&U)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse (Jess Hill, Black Inc.)
  • Yellow Notebook: Diaries volume I 1978–1987 (Helen Garner, Text)
  • Troll Hunting (Ginger Gorman, Hardie Grant Books)

Biography book of the year

  • Australia Day (Stan Grant, HarperCollins)
  • Born-Again Blakfella (Jack Charles, Viking)
  • Gulpilil (Derek Rielly, Macmillan)
  • Penny Wong: Passion and principle (Margaret Simons, Black Inc.)
  • Tell Me Why (Archie Roach, S&S)
  • The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory (Corey White, Hamish Hamilton)
  • When All is Said & Done (Neale Daniher with Warwick Green, Macmillan)
  • Your Own Kind of Girl (Clare Bowditch, A&U)

Book of the year for older children (ages 13+)

  • Detention (Tristan Bancks, Puffin)
  • How It Feels to Float (Helena Fox, Pan)
  • It Sounded Better in My Head (Nina Kenwood, Text)
  • Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories (ed by Michael Earp, Walker Books)
  • The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling (Wai Chim, A&U)
  • This Is How We Change the Ending (Vikki Wakefield, Text)
  • Welcome to Country Youth Edition (Marcia Langton, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • Welcome to Your Period (Yumi Stynes & Melissa Kang, Hardie Grant Egmont)

Book of the year for younger children (ages 7–12)

  • Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing! (Tim Flannery, illus by Sam Caldwell, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Funny Bones (ed by Kate Temple, Jol Temple & Oliver Phommavanh, A&U)
  • How to Make a Movie in 12 Days (Fiona Hardy, Affirm)
  • Real Pigeons Nest Hard (Andrew McDonald, illus by Ben Wood, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • The 117-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, Pan)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals (Sami Bayly, Lothian)
  • Under the Stars (Lisa Harvey-Smith, illus by Mel Matthews, MUP)
  • Young Dark Emu (Bruce Pascoe, Magabala)

Children’s picture book of the year (ages 0–6)

  • All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors (Davina Bell, illus by Jenny Løvlie, Little Hare)
  • Bluey: The Beach (Ludo Studio, BBC Studios & PRH Australia, Puffin)
  • Kindness Makes Us Strong (Sophie Beer, Little Hare)
  • Lottie and Walter (Anna Walker, Puffin)
  • Mr Chicken All Over Australia (Leigh Hobbs, A&U)
  • The Painted Ponies (Alison Lester, A&U)
  • The Tiny Star (Mem Fox, illus by Freya Blackwood, Puffin)
  • Tilly (Jane Godwin, illus by Anna Walker, Scholastic)
  • Wilam: A Birrarung Story (Andrew Kelly & Aunty Joy Murphy, illus by Lisa Kennedy, Black Dog Books)

Illustrated book of the year

  • Australia Modern: Architecture, landscape & design 1925–1975 (Hannah Lewi & Philip Goad, Thames & Hudson)
  • Ben Quilty (Ben Quilty, Lantern)
  • Finding the Heart of the Nation (Thomas Mayor, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia: Second edition (ed by Bill Arthur & Frances Morphy, Macquarie)
  • Olive Cotton (Helen Ennis, Fourth Estate)
  • Step into Paradise (Jenny Kee & Linda Jackson, Thames & Hudson)
  • The Lost Boys: The untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War (Paul Byrnes, Affirm)
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook (Josh Niland, Hardie Grant Books)
  • Three Birds Renovations (Erin Cayless, Bonnie Hindmarsh & Lana Taylor, Murdoch Books)

International book of the year

  • Catch and Kill (Ronan Farrow, Fleet)
  • Fleishman is in Trouble (Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Wildfire)
  • Girl, Woman, Other (Bernardine Evaristo, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Lanny (Max Porter, Faber)
  • The Dutch House (Ann Patchett, Bloomsbury)
  • The Testaments (Margaret Atwood, Chatto & Windus)
  • Three Women (Lisa Taddeo, Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens, Corsair)

Small publishers’ adult book of the year

  • Cosmic Chronicles (Fred Watson, NewSouth)
  • Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia (Darryl Jones, NewSouth)
  • Invented Lives (Andrea Goldsmith, Scribe)
  • Kindred (Kirli Saunders, Magabala)
  • Paris Savages (Katherine Johnson, Ventura)
  • Sand Talk (Tyson Yunkaporta, Text)
  • Split (Lee Kofman, Ventura)
  • The White Girl (Tony Birch, UQP)

Small publishers’ children’s book of the year

  • Baby Business (Jasmine Seymour, Magabala)
  • Cooee Mittigar (Jasmine Seymour, illus by Leanne Mulgo Watson, Magabala)
  • Little Bird’s Day (Sally Morgan, illus by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala)
  • Love Your Body (Jessica Sanders, illus by Carol Rossetti, Five Mile)
  • Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street (Felicita Sala, Scribble)
  • Sick Bay (Nova Weetman, UQP)
  • Summer Time (Hilary Bell, illus by Antonia Pesenti, NewSouth)
  • You Can Change the World: The kids’ guide to a better planet (Lucy Bell, Pantera)

The Matt Richell award for new writer of the year

  • Being Black ‘N Chicken, and Chips (Matt Okine, Hachette)
  • Call Me Evie (J P Pomare, Hachette)
  • It Sounded Better in My Head (Nina Kenwood, Text)
  • Sand Talk (Tyson Yunkaporta, Text)
  • The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory (Corey White, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook (Josh Niland, Hardie Grant Books)
  • Troll Hunting (Ginger Gorman, Hardie Grant Books).

The longlist was voted on by the ABIA Academy, which comprises more than 250 industry representatives. A panel of experts will select the shortlists, which will be announced on 9 April, and the winners will be announced at the ABIA awards night at the Sydney International Convention Centre on 29 April.

The ABIAs celebrate the ‘collaborative efforts of authors and industry professionals who bring quality books to Australian and international readers’. For more information, visit the ABIA website.


Category: Awards Local news