Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Bookshops still operating, Indie Book Awards announced online and more

Despite some confusion over the definition of the term ‘essential services’, bookshops have been allowed to stay open as state and federal governments implement lockdown measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. The Australian Booksellers Association has been asking publishers to support retailers with a range of special measures as booksellers decide whether to stay open or operate a delivery-only service. Meanwhile, distributors say they remain operational. Books+Publishing is continuing to add to its list of bookshops that are responding to the crisis in inventive ways. Please email to add your shop to the list. We’ve been heartened to see the ways booksellers are continuing to serve their communities in a very challenging time.

After this year’s Leading Edge conference was postponed, the winners of the Indie Book Awards were announced online, with Favel Parrett’s novel There Was Still Love named 2020 Indie Book of the Year. Also announced via social media were the winners of LEB’s industry awards, with Penguin Random House and Affirm Press taking home publisher awards, and NSW retailers Abbey’s and BooksPlus named bookshops of the year.

Australians Maria Tumarkin and Shaun Tan received overseas recognition this week, with Tumarkin named as one of eight writers worldwide to be awarded the prestigious (and valuable) Windham Campbell Prize, and Tan was shortlisted for the UK’s Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration. Locally, the shortlists for this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced, Lance Richardson was awarded the $15,000 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship for his proposed biography of writer and Paris Review co-founder Peter Matthiessen, and Kill Your Darlings announced its inaugural First Nations editor-in-residence.

In acquisitions news, Hachette has acquired a tie-in book to the ABC investigative series RevelationAllen & Unwin will publish a new novel by Debra Oswald, Pantera Press has picked up drag queen Courtney Act’s memoir, and a guide to journalism for kids will be published by NewSouth in 2021.

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Category: This week’s news