Weekly Book Newsletter
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11 December 2019

Final ‘WBN’ for 2019

Today’s Weekly Book Newsletter (WBN) is the last for 2019 and the newsletter will return on Wednesday, 15 January. The Daily Newsletter will return on... Read more
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Arts to be merged into new government ‘super-department’

From 1 February 2020, the Department of Communications and the Arts (DCA) will be incorporated into the new Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and... Read more


‘Bridget Crack’ wins 2019 Tasmania Book Prize

The winners of the 2019 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes have been announced. The winning works and their authors are: Tasmania Book Prize for the best... Read more
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Winton wins 2019 Voss Literary Prize for ‘The Shepherd’s Hut’

Tim Winton has won the 2019 Voss Literary Prize, worth $5000, for his novel The Shepherd’s Hut (Hamish Hamilton). Now in its sixth year, the... Read more

Copyright Agency announces recipients of $455k in funding grants

Twenty-one projects and six new initiatives have received a total of $455,691 in the latest round of funding from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. Literary... Read more
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Hardie Grant announces new parental leave policy x

Hardie Grant will introduce changes to its parental leave policy in 2020 that will mean secondary carers will receive the same paid parental leave benefits... Read more


Booton appointed Stella Prize executive director x

The Stella Prize has appointed Jaclyn Booton as its new executive director, replacing previous ED Michelle Scott Tucker, who in July left the role after... Read more


Peri Wilson appointed A&U publicity director x

Peri Wilson has been appointed publicity director at Allen & Unwin (A&U). Wilson has worked across media, arts and advertising industries, within companies including Random... Read more

Melbourne City of Lit announces Quebec City exchange recipients

The Melbourne City of Literature has announced the six Victorian-based book-industry professionals who will spend a week in Quebec City, as part of a new... Read more


Lebeter wins Horne Prize 2019 for essay on climate change and biodiversity

Rachael Lebeter has won the the $15,000 Horne Prize for her essay ‘Diary of a Wildlife Carer’, on the plight of native fauna in the... Read more

Aman, Brabon named joint winners of the David Harold Tribe Fiction Award

Writers Claire Aman and Katherine Brabon are the joint winners of the 2019 David Harold Tribe Fiction Award, worth $12,000. The award is offered by... Read more

Chen wins Deborah Cass Prize 2019

Writer Janette Chen has won the 2019 Deborah Cass Prize for emerging writers from migrant backgrounds for her manuscript extract ‘Wall of Men’. Chosen from... Read more


Inaugural Writing WA Literary Lions Medal shortlist announced

Writing WA has announced the shortlist for the inaugural Literary Lions Medal. The new award recognises individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the... Read more


Sun wins KYD New Critic Award

Sydney-based writer and designer Michael Sun has been named the winner of the 2020 Kill Your Darlings (KYD) New Critic Award. Sun receives a $1000... Read more


HQ Fiction acquires Fiona Lowe novels in two-book deal

HarperCollins imprint HQ Fiction has acquired ANZ rights to two new novels by Victoria-based author Fiona Lowe in a ‘substantial’ deal. A Home Like Ours,... Read more


Big Sky sells six children’s titles to US imprint Windmill Books

Big Sky Publishing has sold North American and US territories rights to six children’s titles to Windmill Books, an imprint of independent educational publishing house... Read more


MidnightSun acquires Steve Heron picture book x

MidnightSun has acquired world rights to the picture book Ling Li’s Lantern, by Steve Heron and illustrated by Benjamin Johnston. Ling Li’s Lantern follows Ling... Read more


‘The Dirt Hole and its Variations’ wins 2019 Diagram Prize

Charles L Dobbins’ self-published title The Dirt Hole and its Variations has won the 2019 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year presented by... Read more

Staff at NYC bookshop chain McNally Jackson ‘likely’ to unionise

In the US, employees at New York City bookshop and stationary store chain McNally Jackson are voting on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale, and... Read more


What we’ll be reading in 2020 x

Books+Publishing editors Sarah Farquharson and Kelsey Oldham share the books they’re most looking forward to reading in 2020. Sarah Farquharson: Like many others, I was... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction Scribe has sold world audio and large print rights to Small Mercies (Richard Anderson, April 2020) to Ulverscroft. Nonfiction Black Inc. has sold North... Read more


Bestsellers: Bluey bounds back to number one x

After spending two weeks at number one on the Australian bestsellers chart, Wrecking Ball, the 14th ‘Wimpy Kid’ book (Jeff Kinney, Puffin), has slipped to... Read more


No Place for an Octopus (Claire Zorn, UQP) x

This is Claire Zorn’s first picture book and it comes as rather a surprise—she is well known as an author of novels for young adults,... Read more

Title omission reveals government’s attitude to the arts x

‘Words matter and while the loss of the word “arts” from the title of a department has been described as a technicality by the Minister in response to the outcry, the symbolic importance of our nation’s cultural identity has clearly not been considered by the Morrison government.’—The WA Chamber of Arts and Culture responds to the federal government’s decision to absorb the arts department into the new Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications ‘super-department’.


Publishers Weekly x

Books+Publishing is partnering with US trade news magazine Publishers Weekly to provide our subscribers with exclusive access to the weekly digital edition of PW magazine... Read more


Book bites: Starting 2020 on the right note x

Mischa Parkee, teacher and children’s specialist at Sydney’s Better Read Than Dead, shares her top children’s picks for the new year. What better way to... Read more

Editors Victoria: Working Grammar course

Editors Victoria is running a one-day grammar course, taught by Glenys Osborne. Do you know what to do when you are writing and copyediting, but... Read more

Walker Books acquires Suzy Zail’s first picture book

Walker Books Australia is delighted to acquire Suzy Zail’s first picture book. Arabella’s Alphabet Adventure is a picture book for 3–7 years old, about an ABC board book who longs to be taken seriously.

Suzy has had great success with her recent YA novel, I am Change, which has recently been longlisted for the Indie Awards.

Arabella dreams of being read by adults. Instead she has 26 letters and is relegated to the bottom shelf of the children’s section of the library, where she endures the humiliation of being scribbled on and torn. When Arabella finds herself on the returns trolley next to a travel guide, she slips inside and travels to Africa. Arabella sees much of the world but shares it with no-one. Not once is she read. Lonely and exhausted, she returns home with a newfound appreciation for the children who cradle her. No longer dreaming of paragraphs, Arabella is proud to sit on the lowest shelf of the library and share her alphabet.


Change of personnel at Text Publishing

Patti Patcha is concluding a terrific 2019 as Text’s sales coordinator. She has relished the chance to connect with ‘the wonderful booksellers this country is lucky enough to have.’ Thanks Patti, from all at Text!

Commencing in January, Stef Italia will take up the position of sales manager. Stef has been an indispensable and skilful member of the Text team, across various roles, since 2016. She brings years of bookselling and publishing experience to her new position. Contact: Stefanie.Italia@textpublishing.com.au


New NZ distributor for ReadHowYouWant’s Dyslexic Books

ReadHowYouWant is pleased to announce that Library AV NZ has been appointed to act as its exclusive distributor for its range of Dyslexic Books in New Zealand. This will take effect from 1 January 2020.

Library AV has demonstrated its passion for the product and its marketing expertise in the schools and libraries in New Zealand and will make a significant impact on the sales of these titles in that market.

ReadHowYouWant’s range of Large Print, Daisy and Braille titles will continue to be represented in New Zealand by its existing library supplier channels.


Allen & Unwin/Murdoch Books to distribute Welbeck Publishing

Allen & Unwin and Murdoch Books are excited to announce that they will be the sales, marketing, publicity and distribution partner in Australia and New Zealand for the Welbeck Publishing Group as of 1 May 2020. Welbeck is a newly formed UK based publishing company co-owned by Marcus Leaver and Mark Smith which earlier this year acquired Carlton Books—currently distributed in ANZ by Hardie Grant Books.

‘We are delighted to be working with Marcus and Mark once again on this new publishing venture. They both have a track record of publishing wonderfully successful books with an eye on the ANZ market.’—Robert Gorman CEO Allen & Unwin.

‘Since we established Welbeck it has been our intention to work with Allen & Unwin so we can publish our books most effectively in Australia and New Zealand. The A&U team have been excellent partners to both me and Mark in our previous companies and we very much look forward to working with them to similar effect again.’—Marcus Leaver Executive Director Welbeck Publishing Group.

Welbeck would like to thank Hardie Grant Books for all their support of the Carlton Books list and request that customers continue to order from Hardie Grant until 30 April 2020. Carlton Books titles invoiced by HEDS will not be accepted by United Book Distributors (UBD) for return. Authorised returns relating to orders placed with Hardie Grant Books should be sent to Harper Entertainment Distribution Services (HEDS) by 30 June 2020. From 1 May 2020, all orders for Carlton Books and Welbeck Publishing Group titles should be sent to UBD (orders@unitedbookdistributors.com.au) or please see your Allen & Unwin/Murdoch Books Account Manager.




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Matthia Dempsey

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