The red carpet was rolled out in Sydney last week for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs), which celebrate the best in Australian writing, publishing and bookselling. Pan Macmillan Australia won publisher of the year while Affirm Press won small publisher of the year, with an honourable mention going to Indigenous publisher Magabala Books. Trent Dalton’s debut novel Boy Swallows Universe (Fourth Estate) was named book of the year.
The Sydney Writers’ Festival also wrapped up last week. Fifty-five international guests and over 350 Australian writers, academics and public figures participated in Australia’s largest writers’ festival, while 12 international publishers, literary agents and scouts travelled to Sydney to take part in the Australia Council’s popular Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program, which brings together Australian and international publishers to promote rights sales.
Australian genre specialist Clan Destine Press made local publishing news last month when it announced it had acquired UK publisher Improbable Press. The two publishers share a desire to publish ‘adventure tales where the heroes are women, people of colour, and any part of LGBTQIA+’. ‘[For] too long these characters, and neurodivergent or differently-abled people, have been relegated to sidekicks or footnotes in a world of heteronormative, male-driven narratives,’ said Clan Destine publisher Lindy Cameron.
Later this month, a number of Australians will be travelling to the US for BookExpo and the New York Rights Fair. Among the Aussies heading abroad are Allen & Unwin rights manager Maggie Thompson, Scribe Publications rights manager Amanda Tokar and Rockpool Publishing owner Paul Dennett.
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