Books+Publishing Weekly Book Newsletter
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13 March 2024


The Changing Room

As a young girl in Sydney, Rachel pays more attention than she perhaps should to a cartoon character who accesses different personas on separate adventures,... Read more
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Author photograph of Rachel Paris


Hachette acquires Paris debut ‘The Unravelling’ in two-book deal x

Hachette Australia and Hachette New Zealand have acquired world rights to The Unravelling, a debut novel from Rachel Paris, in a six-figure two-book deal. Describing... Read more


Christmas Press acquires Kelleher SF novel 'The Lastling' x

Christmas Press has acquired world rights to The Lastling, a science fiction novel for upper middle-grade readers by Victor Kelleher, via Margaret Connolly of Margaret... Read more
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Larrikin House acquires ‘I Can’t Believe…’ nonfiction series x

Larrikin House has acquired world rights to a nonfiction series with multiple authors, including John Larkin, Cristy Burne, Louise Park and George Ivanoff, to be... Read more

Global book report highlights growing book prices

A new Nielsen BookData-GfK study of the global book market has found that publishing revenue and book prices grew in many countries in 2023, reports... Read more
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SWF 2024 program released, Needham wins MUD Literary Prize, International Booker Prize longlist announced

Over the past week, the program for the 2024 Sydney Writers’ Festival was announced, featuring international guests including Bonnie Garmus, Ann Patchett, Michael Connelly and Celeste Ng, and local guests including Shankari Chandran, Melissa Lucashenko and Anna Funder. Meanwhile, in Aotearoa New Zealand, seven successful recipients of the second round of funding in the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage audiobook publishing seed program will receive grants to produce 28 audiobooks in total.

In awards news, the International Booker Prize 2024 longlist has been released. Locally, Kylie Needham has won the 2024 MUD Literary Prize for her novel Girl in a Pink Dress (Hamish Hamilton); Xiaole Zhan is the recipient of the 2024 Kat Muscat Fellowship to work on their essay collection ‘Think an Empty Room, Moonly with Phoneglow’; and Penguin Random House Australia has announced the 2024 shortlist for the Penguin Literary Prize.

In the United States, Publishers Weekly reported that three former high-level staff from Penguin Random House and Macmillan have launched a new publishing company, Authors Equity, which will not pay advances, but will share a higher proportion of book profits with authors.

Elsewhere in literary news, the Guardian reported that the State Library of Victoria cancelled events involving writers Omar Sakr, Jinghua Qian and Alison Evans, who the paper said were ‘left to speculate on whether cancellations relate to their pro-Palestinian stances’.



The party’s over: Publicists, burnout and a ‘far more creative’ role x

Last week, Books+Publishing heard why book publicists are picking and choosing when (or, more often, when not) to put efforts into TikTok coverage. Here, they... Read more


New York, New York: Insights from the 2024 Australian publishing delegation x

This year’s New York Publishers’ Program took place between 12 and 16 February, with nine delegates accompanying Creative Australia’s Jo Simpson as part of the... Read more


Shankari Chandran on 'Safe Haven' x

Australian Tamil lawyer and author Shankari Chandran, who won the 2023 Miles Franklin Award for her novel Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens (Ultimo), returns with her... Read more

Cover of Dirt Poor Islanders


Shankari Chandran recommends

Winnie Dunn’s debut, Dirt Poor Islanders (Hachette). She explores Australian Tongan life with defiance and audacious honesty. It’s something we’ve never seen in Australian literature... Read more

Cover of Simple Dinner Edit


Books by Maguire, McTiernan, Patterson and Lette debut in top 10 x

Top 10 bestsellers The Simple Dinner Edit (Nicole Maguire, Plum) What Happened to Nina? (Dervla McTiernan, HarperCollins) Bluey: Happy Easter (Puffin) Bluey: Horray, It’s Easter! (Puffin) The 24th... Read more


Circadia (Judith Bishop, UQP, May) x

Judith Bishop’s Circadia is a collection of neatly formed, intelligent poems in which you can discover something new with each read. Bishop is in conversation with a... Read more


How to Avoid a Happy Life (Julia Lawrinson, Fremantle, May) x

How to Avoid a Happy Life is a lively memoir by Julia Lawrinson (Losing It), the author of over 15 books for young people. This memoir takes readers through... Read more


Peripathetic: Notes on (un)belonging (Cher Tan, NewSouth, May) x

The nine essays in this collection, Peripathetic by Melbourne-based Cher Tan, use the form’s digressive capacity well. In elastic prose informed by wide reading, Tan... Read more


Safe Haven (Shankari Chandran, Ultimo, May) x

Miles Franklin–winning author Shankari Chandran turns her focus to Australia’s inhumane practice of mandatory detention in her fourth novel, Safe Haven. As in Chai Time... Read more


To Sing of War (Catherine McKinnon, HarperCollins, May) x

From Miles Franklin–shortlisted author Catherine McKinnon (Storyland), To Sing of War confronts the interconnectedness that binds humanity. Against the backdrop of WWII, we find ourselves... Read more


Cora Seen and Heard (Zanni Louise, Walker, May) x

When Cora’s family moves to Tasmania to renovate a decrepit theatre, Cora, 12, is thrilled at the opportunity to reinvent herself as Cora 2.0: more... Read more


The Land Recalls You (Kirli Saunders, illus David Cragg & Noni Cragg, Scholastic, May) x

The title of multi-awarded Gunai poet Kirli Saunders’s picture book The Land Recalls You honours the Stolen Generations and their descendants, as well as others who have been taken... Read more


The Unexpected Mess of It All (Gabrielle Tozer, HarperCollins, May) x

Gold Inky award-winning author Gabrielle Tozer’s fifth YA novel, The Unexpected Mess of it All, displays her trademark empathy, humour and cheekiness. Jamila’s life is... Read more


What Stars Are For (Margeaux Davis, Affirm, May) x

What Stars Are For is the first picture book by sewing pattern and soft toy designer Margeaux Davis. The emerging children’s book illustrator’s love for... 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

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards closing date 19 March

Entries close soon for the richest literary prize in the nation.

Up to $100,000 will be awarded in each of the six categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult literature, children’s literature, poetry and Australian history.

Submit your entry by Tuesday 19 March. For more information, or to apply, visit the Creative Australia website.




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