Weekly Book Newsletter
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15 July 2020

ACT Writers publishes open letter regarding CWF 2020 x

ACT Writers has stated in an open letter published Sunday, 12 July that ‘as it currently stands, [it] cannot support or promote’ the 2020 Canberra... Read more
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HarperCollins announces Books Bring Us Together campaign

HarperCollins Australia is launching Books Bring Us Together, a campaign aimed at celebrating ‘the power of reading and the importance of local booksellers to our... Read more

Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize 2020 shortlist announced

The Australian Book Review (ABR) has announced the shortlist for the 2020 Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. The shortlisted works and their authors are: ‘Egg Timer’ by... Read more
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Scribe acquires Doig’s ‘We Are All Preppers Now’ x

Scribe has acquired world English-language rights to Tom Doig’s third full-length book, We Are All Preppers Now, a narrative nonfiction work that examines the practices... Read more

Book sales down 2% for year to June, ABA Booksellers’ Choice awards winners and more

Nielsen BookScan data shows that strong sales during the second quarter of 2020 have largely cushioned the local book market from the effects of Covid-19, with sales down by just 2% for the year to June compared with the same time in 2019.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is planning virtual events to celebrate this year’s Indigenous Literacy Day, with the organisation recording a ‘huge increase’ in support of late. Walker Books has launched the biannual ‘Walker Wednesday’ program to discover new writers. In other new initiatives, local authors will feature in the online literary event series ‘Comfort Food’, while two booksellers from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula have established a new literary journal.

As the ABA opened its online conference last week, the winners of its Booksellers’ Choice and booksellers of the year awards were revealed. The shortlist for the National Biography Award was announced, the ASA revealed its Takeaway Creatives grants recipients, and the Copyright Agency named the winner of its 2020 Reading Australia Fellowship. Meanwhile, Byron Writers Festival and Create NSW have teamed up to offer a new $40,000 writers residency.

Overseas, the UK Booksellers Association has welcomed the expansion of wholesaler Gardners, which has purchased assets from the administrators of wholesaler Bertrams. Despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, US print book sales were up 2.8% to the end of June, although things aren’t so positive in Germany, where book sales have fallen 8.3% in the year to June. Meanwhile, the winners of the Orwell Prize and the PEN Pinter Prize have been announced, and Irish–Australian writers Adrian McKinty and Dervla McTiernan were winners at the 2020 Thriller Awards in the US.

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Green dream: Ketan Joshi on ‘Windfall’ x

Windfall: Unlocking a fossil-free future (NewSouth, September) is renewable energy industry insider Ketan Joshi’s account of two decades’ worth of climate wars in Australia. ‘The... Read more


Rights round-up x

Acquisitions Fiction Penguin Random House Australia has acquired Echolalia (Briohny Doyle) in a two-book deal via Rach Crawford of Mackenzie Wolf (see news). Nonfiction Affirm... Read more


Bestsellers: Third Wolf Girl novel debuts at number two x

With school holidays in full swing in many states, and lockdown restrictions tightening in Melbourne, children’s books are dominating this week’s bestsellers chart. Bluey colouring... Read more


Dreams They Forgot (Emma Ashmere, Wakefield) x

The tagline on the title page of Emma Ashmere’s Dreams They Forgot is ‘stories of illusion, deception and quiet rebellion’. This is an apt description... Read more


Windfall: Unlocking a fossil-free future (Ketan Joshi, NewSouth) x

In Windfall: Unlocking a fossil-free future, renewable energy industry insider Ketan Joshi gives a teeth-gnashing account of Australia’s interminable climate debates. Working as a data... Read more


Bunnygirl (Holly Jayne, Berbay) x

In this adorable junior graphic novel, the main character Bea loves superhero comics, cute things, bunnies and eating cereal. She really wants to become a... Read more


The Fire Star (A L Tait, Penguin) x

Maven is a servant girl doomed to a life of servitude and forced to hide how sharp-minded she really is. Reeve is a squire with... Read more


None Shall Sleep (Ellie Marney, A&U) x

From mastermind Australian YA writer Ellie Marney comes a gripping new psychological thriller. Although the novel is not set in Australia—Marney opts for the larger... Read more

Representation is essential for arts orgs—even during Covid-19

‘We acknowledge that Covid-19 continues to make the programming and delivery of events extremely challenging. However, the issue of true representation is the civic and professional responsibility of all arts organisations. We have a duty to create safe and inclusive spaces for our communities, our presenters and our audiences.’ACT Writers in an open letter regarding the ‘continued lack of diversity’ in the programming of the Canberra Writers’ Festival.


Vale Elizabeth Harrower

Novelist Elizabeth Harrower has died, aged 92. Harrower was the author of five novels, beginning with Down in the City, first published in 1957. Down... Read more


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.... Read more

Daina Peel joins Five Mile

Daina Peel has been appointed to the newly created position of CFO at Five Mile in Melbourne.

Title change for Barry Jones book—Scribe November release—9781925849912

The title of Barry Jones’s forthcoming new book, previously notified as Sleepers, Wake Now! has been changed to What Is To Be Done. Scribe’s publisher, Henry Rosenbloom, said, ‘We wanted there to be no confusion that this is an entirely new work from Barry and not an update of his 1982 bestseller, Sleepers, Wake! It will be a monumental reckoning with the failure of political leadership when the world faces existential challenges.’




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