Earlier this week, the organisers of the #AuthorsForFireys campaign—which saw more than 500 authors, illustrators and publishing professionals auction items for bushfire relief—confirmed it had raised nearly $500,000 in donations from over 1000 auction items. Meanwhile, the Children’s Book Council of Australia and children’s bookseller The Little Bookroom are also organising book drives for children affected by the bushfire crisis.
International authors Julia Donaldson, Chike Frankie Edozien, Arif Anwar, Tommy Orange and Julia Phillips are among the guests attending this year’s Perth Festival Literature & Ideas weekend, happening next month, and eight Australian writers have received international development residencies from the Australia Council to support their overseas travel. In awards news, the Hazel Rowley Fellowship shortlist and the Australian Romance Readers Awards finalists were announced; A Frances Johnson was named the winner of this year’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize; and Booktopia has opened voting for the new Favourite Australian Book award, worth $5000.
Publishers have acquired new nonfiction books by Jennifer Byrne, Sam van Zweden and Christopher Raja, and several personnel changes have also been announced: former Text sales and marketing manager Kirsty Wilson is moving to Berbay Publishing, and Léa Antigny and Kajal Narayan are joining Pantera Press, replacing current publicity and marketing director Anabel Pandiella.
Our neighbours in New Zealand reported book sales were up 2.3% in value and 3.5% by volume in 2019, with the Chinese and German book markets also reporting growth. In other international news, the UK Publishers Association says it’s ‘closely monitoring’ the situation in China after the country’s Ministry of Education issued guidelines that ban the use of foreign teaching materials in schools.