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Magical middle-grade novel wins major prize

Jessica Townsend’s 2017 debut children’s novel Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Hachette Australia)—the first in a magical series for younger readers—has won the overall award at the biennial Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Other winners included Small Spaces (Sarah Epstein, Walker Books) for YA; The Death of Noah Glass (Gail Jones, Text) for fiction; The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History (Meredith Lake, NewSouth) for nonfiction; and Archival-Poetics (Natalie Harkin, Vagabond Press) for poetry.

Sienna Brown has won the MUD Literary Prize for debut novelists for her historical novel Master of My Fate (Vintage), based on the true story of one man’s journey from slavery in Jamaica to freedom in colonial New South Wales.

The shortlist for the Stella Prize for Australian women’s writing has been announced. In the running are three novels, There was Still Love (Favel Parrett, Hachette), The Yield (Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton) and The Weekend (Charlotte Wood, A&U); a collection of short stories, Here until August (Josephine Rowe, Black Inc.); and two nonfiction titles, memoir Diving into Glass (Caro Llewellyn, Hamish Hamilton) and investigation into domestic abuse, See What You Made Me Do (Jess Hill, Black Inc.).

The longlists for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) have been announced. The awards, which are chosen by a panel of Australian book industry representatives, include multiple categories across adult fiction, nonfiction and children’s books.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has announced its list of Notable Books, which act as the longlist for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. The categories include older readers, younger readers, early childhood, picture books and information books.

Australian children’s author Margaret Wild has received the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Wild is the author of over 70 children’s books, including recent titles The Feather (illus by Freya Blackwood, Little Hare), The Sloth Who Came to Stay (illus by Vivienne To, Allen & Unwin) and Bogtrotter (illus by Judith Rossell, Walker Books).

Children’s author Ursula Dubosarsky has been chosen as the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2020–21, succeeding 2018–19 laureate Morris Gleitzman. Dubosarsky is the author of over 60 books for children and young adults, and her work has been translated into 14 languages.

In international awards news, Australian illustrator Shaun Tan has been shortlisted for the UK’s Kate Greenaway medal for his short story collection Tales from the Inner City (Allen & Unwin), for which fellow Australian Rovina Cai was also nominated. Cai was longlisted for her illustrations in Patrick Ness’ novel And the Ocean Was Our Sky (Walker Books), while author Karen Foxlee was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for her middle-grade novel Lenny’s Book of Everything (Allen & Unwin).

Iranian-Australian writer Shokoofeh Azar has been longlisted for the International Booker Prize for her novel The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (trans from Farsi by Anonymous, Wild Dingo Press), which tells the story—narrated by a 13-year-old ghost—of a family compelled to flee their home in Tehran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Azar is the first Australian writer to be longlisted for the prize since it restructured as an annual translation award in 2015. US and UK rights were previously sold to Europa Editions.

Jane Rawson’s novel From the Wreck (Transit Lounge) has been shortlisted in the UK’s Kitschies awards, presented to ‘progressive, intelligent, and entertaining literature with a speculative element’. World English-language rights (ex-ANZ) were sold to Picador UK in 2018.


Category: Think Australian newsletter Award-winners