Weekly Book Newsletter
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25 March 2020

Bookshops still operating, Indie Book Awards announced online and more

Despite some confusion over the definition of the term ‘essential services’, bookshops have been allowed to stay open as state and federal governments implement lockdown measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. The Australian Booksellers Association has been asking publishers to support retailers with a range of special measures as booksellers decide whether to stay open or operate a delivery-only service. Meanwhile, distributors say they remain operational. Books+Publishing is continuing to add to its list of bookshops that are responding to the crisis in inventive ways. Please email news@booksandpublishing.com.au to add your shop to the list. We’ve been heartened to see the ways booksellers are continuing to serve their communities in a very challenging time.

After this year’s Leading Edge conference was postponed, the winners of the Indie Book Awards were announced online, with Favel Parrett’s novel There Was Still Love named 2020 Indie Book of the Year. Also announced via social media were the winners of LEB’s industry awards, with Penguin Random House and Affirm Press taking home publisher awards, and NSW retailers Abbey’s and BooksPlus named bookshops of the year.

Australians Maria Tumarkin and Shaun Tan received overseas recognition this week, with Tumarkin named as one of eight writers worldwide to be awarded the prestigious (and valuable) Windham Campbell Prize, and Tan was shortlisted for the UK’s Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration. Locally, the shortlists for this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced, Lance Richardson was awarded the $15,000 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship for his proposed biography of writer and Paris Review co-founder Peter Matthiessen, and Kill Your Darlings announced its inaugural First Nations editor-in-residence.

In acquisitions news, Hachette has acquired a tie-in book to the ABC investigative series RevelationAllen & Unwin will publish a new novel by Debra Oswald, Pantera Press has picked up drag queen Courtney Act’s memoir, and a guide to journalism for kids will be published by NewSouth in 2021.

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

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Literary awards go digital

Following the federal and state governments’ bans on mass gatherings in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers of literary awards are turning to live-streaming their... Read more


CYL may be gone but YA can still thrive through grassroots advocacy x

In her first op-ed as Junior columnist for 2020, Adele Walsh investigates the vacuum left by the shuttering of the Centre for Youth Literature last... Read more
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Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction Hachette has sold Czech-language rights to There Was Still Love (Favel Parrett) to Grada. HarperCollins has sold North American rights to The Woman... Read more


Bestsellers: ‘The Mirror and the Light’ ascends the chart x

Bluey’s new Easter book (Bluey: Easter Fun!) is spending its second consecutive week at the top of the bestsellers chart, followed by Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror... Read more
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Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal (Anna Whateley, A&U) x

Peta Lyre is an atypical girl living in a typical world. Her best mate says she has so many letters that they almost make up... Read more

Covid-19 is already affecting writers' incomes

‘As review space has shrunk over the years, live events have become even more crucial. Writers’ festivals, launches and events promote our books, our passion, our intellectual capital. They give us momentum. They give us community. All that is gone for now. We need to come up with solutions.’—Sophie Cunningham argues that the Covid-19 crisis will further reduce writers’ already-low incomes.



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 NSW moves meeting to Zoom

In light of the Covid-19 safety concerns, Editors NSW has shifted its meeting ‘Health and medical writing: opportunities and pitfalls’ to now be a Zoom... Read more



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