Weekly Book Newsletter
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26 May 2021


Anderson, Elisara awarded 2021 black&write! fellowships

The 2021 black&write! fellowships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers have been awarded to Susie Anderson and Tylissa Elisara. Each fellowship is worth $10,000... Read more
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Russell Prize for Humour Writing 2021 shortlists announced

The State Library of NSW has announced the shortlists for the 2021 Russell Prize for Humour Writing and the inaugural Humour Writing for Young People... Read more


Hardie Grant acquires Ampersand Prize–shortlisted YA novels x

Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing has acquired two additional titles from the Ampersand Prize 2020 shortlist: Completely Normal (and Other Lies) by Biffy James and We... Read more
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Barjas wins US$50k International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Jordanian poet and novelist Jalal Barjas has won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel Notebooks of the Bookseller (Arabic Institute for Research... Read more

SWF, BWF wrap up; Aus fiction leads most borrowed library books list

This year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival, which emphasised live events alongside some digital sessions, achieved sales and attendance levels ‘that would have been significant even in a non-pandemic year’, with the fourth high paid attendance in the festival’s history. Meanwhile, the Brisbane Writers Festival—which ran under the hybrid physical/digital model—rebuilt its audience with sell-out events while expanding its reach through its digital programming.

Almost two-thirds of the top 20 most borrowed books in Australian libraries last year were by local authors, led by Jane Harper’s The Survivors, which was the overall most borrowed title. In other news this week, Perth’s Centre for Stories received funding for a $300,000 writing program; Australia Reads announced its 2021 special edition books; Amazon opened a print-on-demand facility at its Western Sydney distribution centre; and the Copyright Agency asked the Copyright Tribunal of Australia to help find a new way to collect data on the sharing of content at schools.

In awards news, the ABA 2021 Bookseller of the Year shortlists have been announced and, in the UK, Michael Robotham has been shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger. Also overseas, the winners of the International Dublin Literary Award, Republic of Consciousness Prize and the RSL Encore Award were announced.

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

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Melbourne City of Lit meets Heidelberg’s The Travel Bookshop

In this series, run in partnership with the Melbourne City of Literature Office, we get to know some of the bookshops in the UNESCO Cities of Literature... Read more


Amani Haydar on ‘The Mother Wound’

Artist, writer and lawyer Amani Haydar’s father murdered her mother in 2015, while Haydar was pregnant with her first child. The Mother Wound (Macmillan, July),... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction Benjamin Paz and Caitlan Cooper-Trent on behalf of Clare Forster at Curtis Brown Australia have sold world rights (ex ANZ) to debut novel... Read more


‘Treehouse’ titles top children’s fiction, nonfiction charts YTD x

Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s ‘Treehouse’ series—which celebrates 10 years in print this year—has topped the Australian children’s fiction chart (The 130-Storey Treehouse) and Australian... Read more


Goodrem memoir debuts at number two x

The 13th Bad Guys book is back at number one, with last week’s bestselling title Bluey: My Mum is the Best slipping out of the... Read more


The 22 Murders of Madison May (Max Barry, Hachette) x

The idea of parallel universes might once have been exotic, but between public interest in physics, the increasing popularity of science fiction books and movies,... Read more


Daughter of the River Country (Dianne O’Brien with Sue Williams, Echo) x

This book isn’t always an easy one to read, but it is certainly worthwhile. Dianne O’Brien’s memoir takes us through death, abuse, imprisonment and trauma... Read more


The Mother Wound (Amani Haydar, Macmillan) x

Like her own mother before her, Amani Haydar lost her mother young. In 2006 Haydar’s grandmother was killed in the 2006 Israeli–Lebanese conflict. In 2015... Read more


All Dogs Bark (Catherine Meatheringham & Deb Hudson, Windy Hollow Books) x

A picture book that is particularly appealing for canine lovers, All Dogs Bark is a joyous and raucous look at the dogs of the world.... Read more


The Memory Thief (Leonie Agnew, Puffin) x

Following her last spellbinding tale The Impossible Boy, Leonie Agnew has created another spine-tingling adventure novel for middle-grade readers. The Memory Thief tells the magical... 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

Brio Books distribution to move to Booktopia

Brio Books has announced that its distribution will move from Hardie Grant Publishing (HEDS) to BPS (Booktopia Publisher Services) from July.

HEDS will continue to receive orders for Brio Books until 30 June 2021, with unsupplied orders/backorders to transfer to BPS from 1 July. HEDS will authorise returns on behalf of Brio until 29 October 2021. (All returns to be physically received at HEDS by 30 November 2021.) BPS will authorise all returns after 29 October 2021.

Please contact your Hardie Grant representative should you require further details.


Scribe pre-empts US bestseller on Secret Service

Scribe has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights in Zero Fail: the rise and fall of the Secret Service, by Carol Leonnig. On release last week in the United States it became a #1 Amazon bestseller, and has since generated widespread publicity.

Ms Leonnig is the co-author of A Very Stable Genius and a foremost investigative reporter at the Washington Post, where she has won numerous awards for her work, including three Pulitzer Prizes.

Scribe’s publisher, Henry Rosenbloom, said, ‘Zero Fail is a unique, deeply researched, and riveting account of what’s gone on and what’s gone wrong at the US Secret Service. It’s revelatory, in the deeply immersive investigative-journalism tradition of major books such as Dark Money by Jane Mayer and Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.’

Scribe acquired the rights in a pre-empt from Natasha Fairweather at the RCW Literary Agency. It will publish Zero Fail in early July.




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