Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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LBF dogged by cancellations, industry action group to address climate change, latest awards news

After the Bologna Book Fair was postponed last week due to the coronavirus outbreak, international travel plans have been further disrupted with the news that the Big Five publishers are among a growing list of companies to withdraw some or all staff from the London Book Fair. According to organisers, the fair is still going ahead as planned next week, unless UK health authorities advise against it.

There was a whole slate of awards news this week, including the announcement of two new prizes: the $30,000 Historical Novel Prize, and the $10,000 Novel Prize for literary fiction, which is the result of international collaboration between Giramondo, Fitzcarraldo Editions and New Directions. Also announced were the winners of the Adelaide Festival Awards, shortlists for the NZ Book Awards and Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and longlists for the ABIAs, Women’s Prize for Fiction and the International Booker Prize—which includes Iranian-Australian writer Shokoofeh Azar.

There’s a new industry action group to address climate change; Jess Hill had the bestselling book at Perth Festival’s Literature & Ideas Weekend, which attracted around 15,000 visitors; Ingram Lightning Source will remove books from its catalogue as part of a ‘content integrity’ push; and the program for this year’s Clunes Booktown Festival was announced, as were the first keynotes for the APA’s BookUp conference.

In acquisitions news, HarperCollins has picked up two novels by Holly Ringland, Affirm will publish poet Omar Sakr’s debut novel and UQP has acquired a debut short story collection by Adam Thompson—one of 10 recipients of the Wheeler Centre’s inaugural Next Chapter initiative.

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Category: This week’s news