Books+Publishing Weekly Book Newsletter
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22 June 2022



‘From the treacherous auction houses of Melbourne to the sun-struck islands of Greece, Hydra took me places I never expected to go. Adriane Howell writes with... Read more
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Australia Council latest funding announced

The Australia Council has announced its latest round of funding, with $11.9 million going to 283 creative projects and activities. ‘This investment will support diverse,... Read more


Williams wins 2022 Text Prize; Matthews receives Steph Bowe Mentorship

Megan Williams is the winner of the $10,000 Text Prize for her debut YA manuscript ‘Let’s Never Speak of This Again’. According to Text, Williams’... Read more
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PRH acquires Madabushi debut ‘The Days Toppled Over’ x

Penguin Random House Australia (PRH) has acquired ANZ rights to The Days Toppled Over, the debut novel by Vidya Madabushi, in ‘a competitive auction’ managed... Read more


Eswatini writer Kota wins overall Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Eswatini writer Ntsika Kota has been named the overall winner of the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for his story ‘and the earth drank deep’.... Read more
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‘The Dogs’ removed from Miles Franklin longlist, ACCC approves Opus acquisiton of Ovato, WA Premier’s Book Awards winners x

John Hughes’ novel The Dogs (Upswell) has been removed from the Miles Franklin longlist following instances of plagiarism found by the Guardian, which has since uncovered further examples, while Upswell publisher Terri-ann White said in a statement she was affronted by Hughes’ op-ed in the Guardian on the matter.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has stated it does not oppose the acquisition of Ovato Book Printing by Opus Group, citing the belief that Ovato would otherwise ‘likely and imminently become insolvent’.

In other news, QBD Books will this month open its 85th store; Michelle Laforest has been appointed CEO of Five Mile, replacing Alexandra Maramenides; and Barry McGuire has been appointed the second Fremantle Press patron.

In awards news, the winners of the WA Premier’s Book awards have been announced; Zarin Nuzhat has won the 2022 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction; and Scribble and the Think+DO Tank Foundation have announced the winners of the inaugural Mirror Mentorship Program.

Overseas in the UK, Bloomsbury reports a 24% sales increase compared to the previous year, with profits before taxation and highlighted items up 40%. Ruth Ozeki won the Women’s Prize for Fiction for The Book of Form and Emptiness (Text); Katya Balen and Danica Novgorodoff won the 2022 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals respectively; and James Robertson won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for News of the Dead (Hamish Hamilton).



Books yule love: 2022 Christmas fiction x

Books+Publishing rounds up Australian publishers’ top local adult fiction titles releasing in time for Christmas 2022. Book club picks Among the releases due in the second... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction  Black Inc. has sold Russian rights to Angel’s Share (Kayte Nunn, Nero) to MTS Library. Martin Shaw at Shaw Literary has sold US... Read more


Scrivenor debut ‘Dirt Town’ hits number one x

Top 10 bestsellers              Dirt Town (Hayley Scrivenor, Macmillan) Heartstopper Volume One (Alice Oseman, Hodder Children’s Books) Heartstopper Volume Two (Alice Oseman, Hodder Children’s Books)... Read more


The Accident (Katie McMahon, Echo, September) x

In this second general fiction offering from the author of The Mistake, Katie McMahon provides a tangled web of 30- and 40-something characters, with overt... Read more


Cautionary Tales for Excitable Girls (Anne Casey-Hardy, Scribner, September) x

Office assistants team up to steal leftover food from corporate meetings; teenage girls deal with uninvited boys during a schoolies camping trip; children play under... Read more


Desi Girl (Sarah Malik, UQP, September) x

Desi Girl is a collection of memoir-style essays by Pakistani-Australian journalist Sarah Malik. The essays primarily chronicle Malik’s university years, taking the reader through pivotal... Read more


Farm: The making of a climate activist (Nicola Harvey, Scribe, September) x

Is it possible to be a meat-eating environmentalist? How do you spend months bonding with your heifers, seeing them as they truly are—curious, playful and... Read more


Wildflowers (Peggy Frew, A&U, September) x

When we first meet 37-year-old Nina Atkins, the protagonist of Peggy Frew’s Wildflowers, she’s going through a strange time: she’s packing all her possessions into... Read more


Be Careful, Xiao Xin! (Alice Pung, illus by Sher Rill Ng, Working Title Press, September) x

The bilingual picture book Be Careful, Xiao Xin! shows us how hard it can be for a young child to move towards independence and for... Read more


Dancing Barefoot (Alice Boyle, Text, September) x

Dancing Barefoot brings a warm and uplifting queer contemporary romance to the #LoveOzYA, #AusQueerYA and #OwnVoices scenes. Winner of the 2021 Text Prize, Alice Boyle’s... Read more


Dirt by Sea (Michael Wagner, illus by Tom Jellett, Puffin, September) x

When Daisy mishears the lyrics of the national anthem, Dad declares a road trip in Mum’s Kombi to show her that Australia is an island,... Read more


Honour Among Ghosts (Sean Williams, A&U Children's, September) x

Honour Among Ghosts is a high-action historical mystery set in a small Irish village where there are sorcerers, moralistic ghosts and spell-scribbling scribes. When 12-year-old... 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

NEW Varuna Residential Fellowships

For the first time, Varuna is offering a two-week First Nations Flagship Fellowship, and a fully funded fellowship for a parent or carer who faces barriers to finding time and space to write.

These fellowships are exciting additions to Varuna’s Residential Fellowship program. Applications are open to writers working in all creative genres and over 27 Fellowships will be awarded for residencies in 2023.

Applications close 29 July 2022.

Details here:


Steph Bowe Mentorship winner announced

Text is delighted to announce that Claire Matthews has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Steph Bowe Mentorship for Young Writers.

The mentorship was established in memory of Steph Bowe’s longstanding commitment to fostering and mentoring young writers. It’s designed to encourage an exciting new writer in Australian children’s literature under the age of 25. It is awarded to the Text Prize entrant the judging panel believes would receive the most benefit from the mentorship.

Claire will be paired with an established author for a 20-hour mentorship to develop her manuscript ‘Between the Water and the Sand’, an atmospheric YA coming-of-age story about four teenagers who take on the impossible task of building a train line through regional Queensland.

The mentorship is an initiative from Text Publishing delivered in partnership with LoveOzYA. It is supported by Express Media and the National Writers’ Centre Network. It began in 2021 and will run for three years.

Entries for the 2023 Text Prize and Steph Bowe Mentorship for Young Writers will open in early 2023.


Writing about books with Declan Fry at Faber Writing Academy

The best writers are also great readers. In this course you will learn to read like a writer—discovering how to read a book closely in order to write reviews for publication and find ways to read to inspire your own creative writing. Online, 14–28 July.

Bookings and details here.


Leading Edge to host Christmas Roadshows in four states

Leading Edge welcomes all booksellers and their staff to attend their upcoming Christmas Roadshows being held in four states.

Fifteen publishers will highlight their key titles for the Christmas period, with a guest author speaking in each state. Lunch, morning/afternoon tea provided.

  • 18 July, Melbourne VIC
  • 21 July, Sydney NSW
  • 25–26 July, Perth WA
  • 5 August, Gold Coast QLD.

For more information and non-member prices, contact Kaye Wright (p: 0428 712 734 or e: All booksellers welcome.




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