Weekly Book Newsletter
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8 May 2019


Pan Macmillian and Affirm win at 2019 ABIAs; ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ wins book of the year

The winners of the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced in Sydney on 2 May. Pan Macmillan won publisher of the year, while... Read more
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First authors announced for Byron Writers Festival

The first authors have been announced for the 2019 Byron Writers Festival, which runs from 2­–4 August. International guests include Kurdish-Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani (who... Read more

McGraw-Hill and Cengage to merge

Education publishers McGraw-Hill and Cengage have agreed to merge. In an announcement, the publishers said both companies’ boards of directors had signed off on ‘a... Read more
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Text Prize 2019 shortlist announced

The shortlist has been announced for the 2019 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. The five shortlisted manuscripts are: ‘Tellurian Blue’ by Danielle... Read more


Over 15,000 attend Clunes Booktown Festival; Caro, Birch top bestsellers list x

Over 15,000 people attended Clunes Booktown Festival, held from 4–5 May in the former goldmining town of Clunes, Victoria. A spokesperson for Clunes Booktown told... Read more
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Labor pledges $2m for inclusive publishing

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has pledged $2 million for inclusive publishing if it wins government at the federal election on 18 May. In a... Read more


Ractliffe to study consumer insights, digital data with $15,000 publisher fellowship

The Copyright Agency has announced Hachette Australia managing director Justin Ractliffe as the recipient of its $15,000 publisher fellowship. The fellowship ‘supports the pursuit of... Read more


Aurealis Awards 2018 announced

The winners of the 2018 Aurealis Awards for the best Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writing published in 2018 have been announced. The winning... Read more

ALS Gold Medal 2019 shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2019 Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal has been announced. The shortlisted titles are: Aqua Spinach (Luke Beesley, Giramondo) Beautiful Revolutionary (Laura Elizabeth... Read more


black&write! Writing Fellowship 2019 winners announced

The 2019 black&write! Fellowships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers have been awarded to Adelaide-based writer Tania Crampton-Larking and Canberra-based writer Lisa Fuller. Crampton-Larking,... Read more


Australian Reading Hour nominated for international literacy award

The Australian Reading Hour is one of six projects shortlisted for the US$10,000 (A$14,340) Joy of Reading Award, established by Systematic and the Next Library... Read more


Hachette acquires junior fiction series ‘Kitty is Not a Cat’ in four-book deal

Hachette Australia has acquired world rights to four junior fiction titles based on the children’s television series Kitty Is Not A Cat, via Melanie Ostell... Read more


UQP acquires Chris Flynn novel in two-book deal x

UQP has acquired world rights to Chris Flynn’s novel Mammoth, as well as a short story collection, in a two-book deal. Set mostly in the... Read more


UQP sells world English rights to ‘The Lost Arabs’ to Andrews McMeel Universal x

UQP has sold world English-language rights (ex ANZ) to Omar Sakr’s poetry collection The Lost Arabs to US-based Andrews McMeel Universal. UQP publishing director Madonna... Read more


Ventura sells debut novel to Random House Germany x

Ventura Press has sold German-language rights to Karyn Sepulveda’s debut novel Letters to My Yesterday to Random House Germany. Following a bidding war, agent Amanda... Read more


Cohen wins Russell Prize for humour writing

David Cohen has won the 2019 Russell Prize for humour writing for his short story collection The Hunter and Other Stories of Men (Transit Lounge).... Read more

Four writers named 2019 ‘SMH’ Best Young Australian Novelists

Tom Lee (Coach Fitz, Giramondo), Robbie Arnott (Flames, Text), Jamie Marina Lau (Pink Mountain on Locust Island, Brow Books) and Ruby J Murray (The Biographer’s... Read more


Longlist announced for inaugural Fogarty Literary Award

Fremantle Press has announced the longlist for the inaugural Fogarty Literary Award, an unpublished manuscript award for young writers in Western Australia, worth $20,000. The... Read more

REAL Awards 2019 shortlists announced

The shortlists for the 2019 Reading & Enjoying Australian Literature (REAL) Awards—which act as shortlists for children’s choice book awards in New South Wales (KOALAs),... Read more


Serong longlisted for £15,000 Wilbur Smith Adventure Prize

Jock Serong has been longlisted for the £15,000 (A$28,230) Wilbur Smith Adventure Prize, for his novel Preservation (Text). Preservation is one of 12 titles longlisted... Read more

Trioli confirmed as Faine’s replacement

ABC News Breakfast presenter Virginia Trioli has been confirmed as Jon Faine’s replacement as host of the Mornings program on ABC Radio Melbourne, reports ABC... Read more

Baker & Taylor to close wholesale retail business

In the US, Baker & Taylor (B&T) has announced that it is closing its retail wholesale business in order to align itself with the education... Read more

UK author earnings survey shows lack of diversity, drop in income

In the UK, the full results of a report on author earnings have been released, revealing that the vast majority of professional authors are white,... Read more


Eaves wins 2019 Wellcome Prize for ‘Murmur’

In the UK, Will Eaves’s novel Murmur (CB Editions) has won the £30,000 (A$55,820) Wellcome Book Prize, awarded to the best new work of fiction... Read more

Dharker turns down British poet laureateship

In the UK, poet Imtiaz Dharker has turned down the British poet laureateship, reports the Guardian. ‘I had to weigh the privacy I need to... Read more

Khaled Lutfi awarded 2019 Prix Voltaire

The International Publishers Association (IPA) has awarded imprisoned publisher Khaled Lutfi the 2019 Prix Voltaire, which supports defenders of freedom to publish. Lutfi is the... Read more


Gunaratne wins 2019 Jhalak Prize for ‘In Our Mad and Furious City’

Guy Gunaratne’s debut novel In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder) has won the £1000 (A$1860) Jhalak Prize for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction Ventura Press has sold German-language rights to Letters to My Yesterday (Karyn Sepulveda) to Random House Germany (see news). Poetry UQP has sold world... Read more


Publicity round-up x

Books+Publishing’s weekly publicity round-up covers forthcoming publicity for Australian and internationally authored books due to appear in Australian media over the coming weeks. Fiction T... Read more


Bestsellers: Latest ‘Bad Guys’ book at number five ahead of official release date x

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid (Jeff Kinney, Puffin) remains at number one on this week’s bestseller chart, followed by E L James’ The Mister... Read more

Omar Sakr’s ‘The Lost Arabs’

‘The poems have a vivid and insistent sense of place and identity, with Sakr’s bisexuality threading throughout the work, and will speak especially to young... Read more

Writing in danger of becoming ‘elitist’ says UK Society of Authors CEO

‘There is a danger of writing becoming an elitist profession which excludes new and diverse voices. This report should act as a wake-up call for the industry.’—UK Society of Authors CEO Nicola Solomon responds to the results of an author earnings survey showing a lack of diversity and a drop in income for UK authors.



RiP Peter Alexander

Bookseller Peter Alexander has died, aged 61. Allen & Unwin chairman Patrick Gallagher writes: ‘Bookselling colleagues and golfing friends alike are deeply shocked by the... Read more


RiP Kunmanara Williams

Artist, activist and author Kunmanara Williams has died, aged 68. Born in 1952 between Kenmore Park and Pukatja in South Australia, Williams won numerous art... Read more


Class act: Facilitating in-school author visits x

An inspiring in-school appearance from an author is often the key to getting kids interested in reading. Andrea Hanke spoke to four speakers’ agencies about facilitating... Read more


Book buyer spotlight: Readings’ Angela Crocombe x

Angela Crocombe has worked as an author, publicist, sales rep and in foreign rights before joining Readings as its children’s book buyer. She spoke to... Read more

Melbourne chapter of the Publishers Publicity Circle: meeting with guest Jason Steger on 19 June

The Melbourne chapter of the Publishers Publicity Circle (PPC) will host its second quarterly meeting at 6pm on Wednesday 19 June at the Affirm Press... Read more

The Next Chapter 2019 applications open

Applications for The Next Chapter 2019 are now open. Run by the Wheeler Centre, The Next Chapter is a scheme for supporting new Australian writers.... Read more

Luxury guest house with spectacular views in the Blue Mountains

‘Himalaya’ at Leura is a five bedroom, four bathroom, newly renovated guest house in Leura.

Leura is a one hour and 45 minute drive, or a two hour train trip from Central-Sydney.

This beautiful home—with views from every room—is set in two hectares of gardens and overlooks the magnificent Jamieson Valley. ‘Himalaya’ is decorated with the owner’s private collection of art, photographs, furniture, rugs and artefacts from many years of travelling to India, Nepal and Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas.

The house can accommodate 10 people, and guests are welcomed with a bottle of French champagne and cheese platter. Two of the five bedrooms have en suite bathrooms and all feature Crabtree & Evelyn and organic Urban Rituelle products.

Central heating, electric blankets and heated towel racks also provided.

More details about the house can be viewed on the website.

For Bookings: Please contact Lets Holiday at Leura (letsholiday@iinet.net.au).
Tel: Rob McDowell (0418 286 064).


Dennis Jones appointed Bookazine commercial agent for ANZ

Effective 1 May, Bookazine has appointed Dennis Jones (International Books & Publishers) to the role of commercial agent covering the ANZ region.

Dennis is based out of Melbourne, Australia. Dennis brings with him many years of experience in both the bookselling and publishing industry through his past experiences with HarperCollins, Ingram, and his own distribution business. Dennis will continue to represent Gardners UK and will now have access to product from both the US and UK. Bringing Dennis to the Bookazine team further adds to the ongoing global expansion.




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