Weekly Book Newsletter
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26 February 2020

Bologna postponed due to coronavirus, CBCA & ABDA longlists, screen adaptations and more

Bologna Children’s Book Fair organisers have postponed the event for a month due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Originally scheduled for 30 March–2 April, the fair will now run from 4–7 May. The news comes after the Taipei International Book Exhibition was postponed (from early February until 7–12 May) and Australian publishers warned of possible delays to book supply, both as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

Among the awards news this week, the CBCA’s Notable books for 2020 and ABDA longlists were announced, Karen Wyld won UWAP’s Dorothy Hewett Award, Sienna Brown was named winner of the MUD Literary Prize, and three Australians were longlisted for the UK’s Carnegie and Greenaway medals.

In other news, film and TV adaptions of books by Melanie Cheng, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Behrouz Boochani have been announced, the City of Melbourne has relaunched the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards, Bethany Patch has left Penguin Random House, and the National Library of Australia has made cuts to its publishing imprint.

Overseas, revenue and profit was down at Simon & Schuster in 2019, and the shortlist for this year’s Folio Prize was announced.

This week we also welcome a new columnist, Veronica Sullivan. In her first piece for the year, Sullivan explores how bookstores decide what books to stock, in the wake of the controversy surrounding Jeanine Cummins’ novel American Dirt. Each month we’ll be alternating between an op-ed from Sullivan and our Junior columnist—look out for their first column on the children’s book industry, coming late March.

For all the latest localinternational and rights news, sign up to our Daily newsletter here.

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Why are booksellers leaving Leading Edge? x

A number of Australia’s most prominent independent booksellers are leaving Leading Edge Books in favour of a new buying group set up by the Australian... Read more


The bookseller’s dilemma: What bookstores won’t stock x

As conversations proliferate about cultural appropriation in literature, debates about whether—and how—bookstores should stock controversial books have been renewed. In her first column for 2020,... Read more
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Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction Black Inc. has sold world audio rights to Melting Moments (Anna Goldsworthy) to Ulverscroft. Nonfiction Black Inc. has sold traditional Chinese character rights... Read more


Bestsellers: ‘Witcher’ casts spell on charts x

The top three titles in this week’s top 10 bestsellers chart are all spending their second consecutive week in their respective positions. Dropping out of... Read more
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Mum’s Elephant (Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe, illus by Christina Booth, Magabala) x

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe has spun a cherished childhood memory into a beguiling tale for children in this debut picture book. In its pages she... Read more

Ivor Indyk on literary writing and publishing

‘A prize as supposedly prestigious as the Prime Minister’s Award has only a modest impact on sales, and in the case of poetry, none at all. Speaking generally, we have to deal with a reluctant readership, a timid readership, a readership now barely versed in the idea of literature at all.’Touching on the work of Brian Castro, Gerald Murnane and Alexis Wright, Giramondo publisher Ivor Indyk ponders ‘the place occupied by literature in Australia, at the far edge of trade publishing’ in a slightly revised version of the Boisbouvier Oration he delivered at MWF in September 2019.



Read the latest 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. View the... Read more

Editors Victoria: Punctuation refresher

Editors Victoria is running a one-day face-to-face course, taught by Ann Philpott, which is designed to help writers and editors brush up on their punctuation.... Read more

Russia and the West 2017-19

Trade consignment and retail orders accepted for Russia and the West 2017-19, RRP$25. Tony Kevin’s controversial new book. Selling well. A book for fearless and discerning readers.

See www.tonykevin.com.au or email tonykevin@grapevine.com.au




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Matthia Dempsey

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