Weekly Book Newsletter
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19 August 2020


Hachette announces paid summer internship program

Hachette Australia has announced it will run a new annual paid internship program ‘for anyone interested in a career in publishing’. The Hachette Australia Summer... Read more
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Report finds people reading more books due to Covid-19

A new research report from GlobalWebIndex (GWI) has found 20% of Australians and 26% of New Zealanders surveyed are reading more books due to Covid-19.... Read more


Synchronicity Australia options FitzGerald’s ‘Ash Mountain’ for screen

Synchronicity Australia, the new Melbourne-based arm of Glasgow production company Synchronicity Films, has acquired screen rights to Helen FitzGerald’s forthcoming novel Ash Mountain (Affirm, March 2021).... Read more
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Transit Lounge acquires Papathanasiou’s ‘The Stoning’ x

Transit Lounge has acquired world English rights to debut crime fiction novel The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou, via Martin Shaw from Shaw Literary. Canberra-based Papathanasiou,... Read more

Fed govt to propose copyright reforms, Williams appointed interim SWF artistic director

The federal government will propose reforms to Australia’s copyright laws in exposure draft legislation it expects to release later this year, and former Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams has been appointed interim artistic director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature has produced a new, freely accessible database of children’s books by and about Australia’s First Nations peoples. Meanwhile, next year’s National Simultaneous Storytime will take place on the International Space Station; UK publisher Boldwood is releasing local author Fiona Higgins’ next novel in Australia in an ‘innovative’ partnership with Booktopia’; and six Australians and four New Zealanders are among the 34 children whose artworks will illustrate the forthcoming UK edition of J K Rowling’s The Ickabog.

In awards news, Samera Kamaleddine has won HarperCollins Australia’s inaugural Matilda Children’s Literature Prize, Mykaela Saunders was named the winner of the 2020 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, and the MUBA has been renamed the SPN Book of the Year Award. Overseas, Michael Robotham has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, and the winners of the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced.

In international news, a new report found digital sales growth endured post-Covid in the German-language market.

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

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Nathan Hollier on the Indonesian book market x

Over the past two years, Melbourne University Publishing CEO Nathan Hollier attended book fairs in Indonesia, India and Malaysia and researched the book markets in... Read more


Hope in chaos: Asphyxia on ‘Future Girl’

Writer and artist Asphyxia’s illustrated YA novel Future Girl (A&U, October) is set in an ‘eerily plausible’ dystopian Melbourne, and follows a Deaf teen Piper as... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction Echo Publishing has sold German rights to Resurrection Bay, And Fire Came Down and Darkness for Light (all Emma Viskic) to Piper. HarperCollins... Read more


Bestsellers: ‘Midnight Sun’ debuts at number one x

Stephenie Meyer’s highly anticipated novel Midnight Sun—which tells the story of Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ saga from the perspective of vampire protagonist Edward—has debuted at number one on... Read more


A Letter to Layla: Travels to our deep past and near future (Ramona Koval, Text) x

Ramona Koval’s latest book is really a quest story: in it she sets out to find how humanity got to where we are now, and... Read more


Rural Dreams (Margaret Hickey, MidnightSun) x

Rural Dreams, like its name implies, is a short story collection deeply rooted in country Australia. Reading it you can practically smell the dry grass,... Read more


Aussie STEM Stars: Fiona Wood (Cristy Burne, Wild Dingo Press) x

‘Aussie STEM Stars’ is an exciting new narrative nonfiction series that celebrates experts in the fields of science, maths, engineering and technology. Book one centres... Read more


Future Girl (Asphyxia, A&U) x

The events of Future Girl play out in a future Melbourne that is eerily plausible. Food has been largely replaced by recon, an all-in-one food... Read more

Ali Cobby Eckermann on the necessity of writing

‘My decision to share my personal story through literature has been paramount to my emotional and holistic health, the cathartic telling guided by many senior healers and law-holders from my traditional land in the central desert.’As part of an essay series for MWF Digital, which concluded earlier this week, Yankunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann reflects on how the events of the last few months have shaped the focus of her attention.



Vale Noel Hammond

Murdoch Books and Allen & Unwin national business development manager Noel Hammond has died. Allen & Unwin writes: It is with great sadness that Murdoch... 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

Page appointed Dymocks Sydney general manager

Jon Page, currently buyer at Dymocks Sydney, has been promoted to general manager. In the newly created role he will have responsibility for overall store... Read more

ACT Writers Centre: 2021 artistic program call-out

The ACT Writers Centre is calling for authors interested in participating in its 2021 program. At this stage, next year’s program will comprise many digital... Read more


Support Australia Reads 2020

Australia Reads takes place from 1–12 November, with our very successful headline event the Australian Reading Hour on 12 November 2020.

We would like to recruit authors, libraries and booksellers interested in creating virtual events to support the perhaps scaled back physical events (due to Covid-19).

This November Australia Reads is releasing four wonderful ambassador children’s books that are being published for only $2.99. Individual books can be ordered now by the trade directly through the publisher. Please order in carton quantities where possible. All titles are 50% discount, firm sale. Posters and 8-pocket dumpbin are also available and these can be ordered via your Hachette account manager by 1 September 2020.

A July 2020 report into the impacts of Covid-19 delivered some good news on consumer attitudes to reading during lockdown. Findings revealed:

  • 20% of Australians say they are reading more books due to lockdowns
  • Gen Z is reading more books than pre-Covid and their reading has increased more than older generations; this increased engagement with reading has been fairly steady since March
  • In terms of reading more on a permanent basis post-Covid, 12% of Australian say they will.

Register now to get involved in Australia Reads 2020. To make a pledge to read or to host your own Australia Reads event, either physical or virtual, please visit the Australia Reads website.


Bookstore cafe for sale

A family owned and run secondhand book shop and cafe for sale located in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney.

New location and fitout, floor to ceiling book shelves, amazing venue for functions (book releases, author nights, wine nights, book clubs etc) with DA for liquor licence lodged.

We are not in a rush and are looking for a buyer who has a love for books and coffee. Please call 0420 966 188 if you would like further information.


Walker Books Australia congratulates Meg McKinlay on WA Premier’s Prize

Walker Books Australia congratulates Meg McKinlay for winning West Australian Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children for her middle grade novel, Catch a Falling Star. We also congratulate Meg McKinlay and illustrator Leila Rudge for the shortlisting of their picture book, Let Me Sleep, Sheep!


Walker Wednesday attracts over 1200 submissions

The Walker Wednesday open day attracted over 1200 submissions! These ranged from picture books to junior fiction to YA, with projects covering a vast array of topics. They were submitted by authors from a variety of publishing backgrounds, with nearly 50% having been published before.

‘How wonderful to see aspiring authors sharing their excitement and enthusiasm on social media at #walkerwednesday. This is a testament to just how much this opportunity means to them. No small thing at any time, but especially now. Our Walker Books Australia team cannot wait to get reading!’ says Linsay Knight, publisher at Walker Books Australia.

Walker Wednesday is a twice yearly initiative of Walker Books to encourage authors to submit unpublished manuscripts for consideration. The next Walker Wednesday is 25 November.


Title showcase: ‘From Distress to Deliverance’ by Stephen Gow

Title: From Distress to Deliverance Author: Stephen Gow Publisher: Self; Inscope Books Price: 75.00 ISBN: 9780646803791 Distributor: via author by email How was a young... Read more



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