Author, journalist and Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani, whose memoir No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Picador) has won several Australian literary awards and been sold into nine territories, will headline this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Indonesia (23–27 October). Boochani, who has been detained on Manus Island since 2013, will appear at the festival via WhatsApp.
A number of new ventures have been announced in the Australian book industry over the past month. Australian literary agents Gaby Naher of The Naher Agency and Grace Heifetz of Curtis Brown Australia have partnered to form a new Sydney-based literary agency called Left Bank Literary. Two former Finch Publishing staff—managing editor Samantha Miles and digital and media manager Sonya Danaher—have launched Bad Apple Press, a ‘boutique’ publisher of nonfiction specialising in memoir. And Thames & Hudson has announced an expansion of its Australian publishing division, with the Melbourne-based company opening a Sydney office and appointing former Melbourne University Publishing executive publisher Sally Heath to develop a new narrative nonfiction list.
Finally, international publishers and agents heading to Frankfurt can now register for the Australian Publishers Association’s Speed Meeting Program. The program offers participants the opportunity to meet independent Australian publishers and learn more about the Australian market (especially useful for those thinking of applying for the popular Australia Council Visiting International Program). For more information and to register, email the Australian Publishers Association’s Cat Colwell at email@example.com.