Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Canberra Writers Festival cancelled, Open Book internship pilot to run in 2022

After an initial postponement, the Canberra Writers Festival has announced the event will not go ahead in 2021, due to ongoing Covid outbreaks in the ACT.

Open Book, a new paid internship aiming to increase cultural diversity in the Australian publishing workforce, has announced the details of its 2022 pilot program. The Hazel Rowley fellowship has increased from $15,000 to $20,000, while the Australian Crime Writers Association has announced a new fiction award. In other news, Clare Hallifax has been appointed publisher of Walker Books Australia and New Zealand, replacing Linsay Knight in the role.

Veronica Lando is the winner of HarperCollins’ 2021 Banjo Prize for her ‘hauntingly atmospheric’ crime novel The Whispering. The longlist for the Voss Literary Prize was also announced this week, as were the winners of the Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards and the recipient of the NZSA Beatson Fellowship. In the UK, Australian author Kathleen Jennings won the Best Newcomer category at the British Fantasy Awards, for her debut novel Flyaway (Picador).

Overseas, this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair—which runs from 20–24 October—is expecting between 700 and 800 delegates to attend in person, well down on 2019’s total of 4000 international guests. In France, lawmakers are considering a draft law that would stop Amazon from offering virtually free delivery for book purchases. Canadian book sales were up 11% in the first six months of this year, and in the UK, Clare Whitfield was named the winner of the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award for her debut novel People of Abandoned Character, described as ‘a fresh take on the Jack the Ripper Story’.

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Category: This week’s news