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Indie Book Awards 2021 longlists announced

Leading Edge Books has announced the longlists for the 2021 Indie Book Awards.

The longlisted titles in each category are:


  • The Tolstoy Estate (Steven Conte, Fourth Estate)
  • All Our Shimmering Skies (Trent Dalton, HarperCollins)
  • The Living Sea of Waking Dreams (Richard Flanagan, Knopf)
  • Mammoth (Chris Flynn, UQP)
  • A Room Made of Leaves (Kate Grenville, Text)
  • The Survivors (Jane Harper, Macmillan)
  • Infinite Splendours (Sofie Laguna, A&U)
  • The Last Migration (Charlotte McConaghy, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Good Turn (Dervla McTiernan, HarperCollins)
  • Honeybee (Craig Silvey, A&U)


  • Phosphorescence (Julia Baird, Fourth Estate)
  • Stalin’s Wine Cellar (John Baker & Nick Place, Viking)
  • The Last Lighthouse Keeper (John Cook with Jon Bauer, A&U)
  • The Golden Maze: A biography of Prague (Richard Fidler, ABC Books)
  • Searching for Charlotte: The fascinating story of Australia’s first children’s author (Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell, National Library of Australia)
  • The Happiest Man on Earth (Eddie Jaku, Macmillan)
  • I Catch Killers: The life and many deaths of a homicide detective (Gary Jubelin with Dan Box, HarperCollins)
  • People of the River (Grace Karskens, A&U)
  • Truganini (Cassandra Pybus, A&U)
  • Fire Country (Victor Steffensen, Hardie Grant Travel)

Debut fiction

  • The Hunted (Gabriel Bergmoser, HarperCollins)
  • Kokomo (Victoria Hannan, Hachette)
  • The Loudness of Unsaid Things (Hilde Hinton, Hachette)
  • The Bluffs (Kyle Perry, Michael Joseph)
  • The Coconut Children (Vivian Pham, Vintage)
  • The Morbids (Ewa Ramsey, A&U)
  • Song of the Crocodile (Nardi Simpson, Hachette)
  • Sheerwater (Leah Swann, Fourth Estate)
  • A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing (Jessie Tu, A&U)
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words (Pip Williams, Affirm)

Illustrated nonfiction

  • Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong (Samantha Bloom, Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive, ABC Books)
  • Plantopedia (Lauren Camilleri & Sophia Kaplan, Smith Street Books)
  • Golden Daze: Australian Surfing: Then to Now (Sean Doherty, Hachette)
  • Rivers: The lifeblood of Australia (Ian Hoskins, foreword by Don Watson, National Library of Australia)
  • To Asia, With Love (Hetty McKinnon, Plum)
  • The Flying Kangaroo: 100 years of Qantas (Neil Montagnana-Wallace, Affirm)
  • Loving Country (Bruce Pascoe & Vicky Shukuroglou, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • Beatrix Bakes (Natalie Paull, Hardie Grant Books)
  • The 99th Koala (Kailas Wild, S&S)
  • In Praise of Veg (Alice Zaslavsky, Murdoch Books)


  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals (Sami Bayly, Lothian)
  • The Year the Maps Changed (Danielle Binks, Lothian)
  • Wolfred (Nick Bland, Little Hare)
  • Skydragon (Anh Do, illus by James Hart, A&U)
  • Sing Me The Summer (Jane Godwin, illus by Alison Lester, Affirm)
  • Finding Our Heart (Thomas Mayor, illus by Blak Douglas, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • The Grandest Bookshop in the World (Amelia Mellor, Affirm)
  • Respect (Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illus by Lisa Kennedy, Magabala)
  • Welcome, Baby, To This World (Jess Racklyeft, Affirm)
  • Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend, Lothian)

Young adult

  • Future Girl (Asphyxia, A&U)
  • The Lost Soul Atlas (Zana Fraillon, Lothian)
  • When Rain Turns to Snow (Jane Godwin, Lothian)
  • Catch Me If I Fall (Barry Jonsberg, A&U)
  • Aurora Burning: The Aurora Cycle 2 (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, A&U)
  • None Shall Sleep (Ellie Marney, A&U)
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London (Garth Nix, A&U)
  • This One is Ours (Kate O’Donnell, UQP)
  • The Erasure Initiative (Lili Wilkinson, A&U)
  • Loner (Georgina Young, Text).

The longlisted titles are nominated by independent booksellers from around the country. This year, for the first time, Leading Edge opened up nominations to all independent Australian bookshops in addition to Leading Edge members.

The shortlist will be announced on 20 January 2021, and the category winners and overall book of the year will be announced at a virtual awards event on Monday, 22 March 2021.


Category: Awards Local news