Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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SWF, BWF wrap up; Aus fiction leads most borrowed library books list

This year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival, which emphasised live events alongside some digital sessions, achieved sales and attendance levels ‘that would have been significant even in a non-pandemic year’, with the fourth high paid attendance in the festival’s history. Meanwhile, the Brisbane Writers Festival—which ran under the hybrid physical/digital model—rebuilt its audience with sell-out events while expanding its reach through its digital programming.

Almost two-thirds of the top 20 most borrowed books in Australian libraries last year were by local authors, led by Jane Harper’s The Survivors, which was the overall most borrowed title. In other news this week, Perth’s Centre for Stories received funding for a $300,000 writing program; Australia Reads announced its 2021 special edition books; Amazon opened a print-on-demand facility at its Western Sydney distribution centre; and the Copyright Agency asked the Copyright Tribunal of Australia to help find a new way to collect data on the sharing of content at schools.

In awards news, the ABA 2021 Bookseller of the Year shortlists have been announced and, in the UK, Michael Robotham has been shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger. Also overseas, the winners of the International Dublin Literary Award, Republic of Consciousness Prize and the RSL Encore Award were announced.

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Category: This week’s news