Australian Book Industry Awards Announces 2020 Shortlist

AAR Helen Garner - photo by Darren JamesThe Australian Publishers Association has announced the shortlist for the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards which will be presented via a special Virtual Event on Wednesday 13 May 2020.

Hosted by Casey Bennetto, the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) promises to be a star-studded broadcast featuring among others Judy Nunn, Leigh Sales, Anita Heiss, Julia Gillard, Kate Ritchie, Richard Harris and Michael O’Loughlin, along with many of Australia’s finest authors nominated for awards on the evening. There will also be a very special performance from author singer songwriter Clare Bowditch.

Of special note is the announcement of the two Hall of Fame Awards, Helen Garner as the recipient of the Lloyd O’Neill Award for outstanding contribution to the industry and Erica Wagner as the recipient of the Pixie O’Harris Award for consistent contribution to Children’s Literature.

Both have contributed a lifetime of outstanding work to the Industry and will be acknowledges at the Virtual Event. Recognising the importance of encouragement and development within the industry, the ABIAs has announced Hazel Lam from Harper Collins as the recipient of the 2020 Rising Star Award.

The 2020 shortlist includes some of the biggest names in the Australian book industry (which publishes over 7,000 new books annually) and this year’s list is a top-shelf showcase of high profile authors and amazing new talent. The shortlist features the titles, publishers and authors in the running for the 2020 ABIAs. Check out the list below!

The ABIA Voting Academy is made up of over 250 representatives from across the bookselling and publishing industry as well as additional specialist experts. Following the announcement of the shortlist, a series of expert panels decide on the winner in each category.

The ABIAs showcase the collaborative efforts of authors and industry professionals who bring quality books to readers in both Australia and around the world. The move to digital will enable thousands across the globe to experience the ABIAs in a brand-new way.

Join the Australian Publishers Association as they celebrate online the achievements of authors, publishers, editors, illustrators, designers, publicists, and marketers, as their esteemed celebrity guests present the nominations for over 19 Book, Audiobook and Business Awards which are celebrated each year.

To watch the Awards on Wednesday 13 May 2020 – click here! For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Helen Garner – photo by Darren James

Shortlist for the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards are:

Audiobook of the Year:

  • Fake: A Startling True Story of Love in a World of Liars, Cheats, Narcissists, Fantasists and Phonies, by Stephanie Wood (Penguin Random House Australia, Penguin Random House Australia Audio) Narrated by Claudia Karvan
  • No Friend But the Mountains, by Behrouz Boochani (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia Audio) Narrated by: Omid Tofighian, Isobelle Carmody, Janet Galbraith, Mathilda Imlah, Geoffrey Robertson, Richard Flanagan, Sarah Dale, Thomas Keneally, Yumi Stynes
  • The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness, by Hugh Van Cuylenburg (Penguin Random House Australia, Penguin Random House Australia Audio) Narrated by Hugh Van Cuylenburg
  • The Yield, by Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House Australia, Penguin Random House Australia Audio) Narrated by Tony Briggs
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, by Clare Bowditch (Audible Australia, Audible Studios) Narrated by Clare Bowditch

Biography Book of the Year:

  • Born-Again Blakfella, Jack Charles (Penguin Random House Australia, Viking)
  • Tell Me Why, Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster Australia, Simon & Schuster)
  • The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory, Corey White (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • When All is Said & Done, Neale Daniher, with Warwick Green (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Book Retailer of the Year:

  • Booktopia
  • Dymocks
  • Harry Hartog Bookseller
  • QBD Books
  • Readings

Bookshop of the Year:

  • Books Kinokuniya (Sydney)
  • Fullers Bookshop (Hobart)
  • Mary Martin Bookshop (Port Melbourne)
  • Readings Carlton (Melbourne)
  • Riverbend Books (Brisbane)

Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+):

  • Detention, Tristan Bancks (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling, Wai Chim (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Welcome to Country Youth Edition, Marcia Langton (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • Welcome To Your Period, Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang (Hardie Grant Egmont, Hardie Grant Egmont)

Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12):

  • Funny Bones, Edited by Kate Temple, Jol Temple and Oliver Phommavanh (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Real Pigeons Nest Hard, Written by Andrew McDonald, Illustrated by Ben Wood (Hardie Grant Egmont, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • The 117-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan Australia, Pan Australia)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals, Sami Bayly (Hachette Australia, Lothian Children’s Books)
  • Young Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)

Children’s Picture Book of the Year (ages 0-6):

  • All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors, Davina Bell and Jenny Løvlie (Hardie Grant Egmont, Little Hare)
  • Bluey: The Beach, Ludo Studio, BBC Studios and Penguin Random House Australia (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)
  • Mr Chicken All Over Australia, Leigh Hobbs (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Tiny Star, Mem Fox and Freya Blackwood (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)
  • Wilam, Andrew Kelly, Aunty Joy Murphy, Lisa Kennedy (Walker Books Australia, Black Dog Books)

General Fiction Book of the Year:

  • Bruny, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Cilka’s Journey, Heather Morris (Echo Publishing, Echo Publishing)
  • Good Girl, Bad Girl, Michael Robotham (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Silver, Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year:

  • Against All Odds, Craig Challen and Richard Harris (Penguin Random House Australia, Viking)
  • Banking Bad, Adele Ferguson (HarperCollins Publishers, ABC Books)
  • Fake, Stephanie Wood (Penguin Random House Australia, Vintage Australia)
  • Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life, Kitty Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse, Jess Hill (Black Inc., Black Inc.)

Illustrated Book of the Year:

  • Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925–1975, Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad (Thames & Hudson Australia, Thames & Hudson Australia)
  • Ben Quilty, Ben Quilty (Penguin Random House Australia, Lantern Australia)
  • The Lost Boys: The untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War, Paul Byrnes (Affirm Press, Affirm Press)
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook, Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)
  • Three Birds Renovations, Erin Cayless, Bonnie Hindmarsh and Lana Taylor (Murdoch Books, Murdoch Books)

International Book of the Year:

  • Fleishman is in Trouble, Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Hachette Australia, Wildfire)
  • The Dutch House, Ann Patchett, (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Penguin Random House Australia, Chatto & Windus)
  • Three Women, Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens (Hachette Australia, Corsair)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year:

  • Damascus, Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Weekend, Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Yield, Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • There Was Still Love, Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Wolfe Island, Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillan Australia, Picador Australia)

Publisher of the Year:

  • Allen & Unwin
  • Hachette Australia
  • Penguin Random House Australia

Small Publisher of the Year:

  • Magabala Books
  • NewSouth Publishing
  • University of Queensland Press

Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year:

  • Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia, Darryl Jones (NewSouth Publishing NewSouth)
  • Kindred, Kirli Saunders (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Paris Savages, Katherine Johnson (Ventura Press, Ventura Press)
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • The White Girl, Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press, University of Queensland Press)

Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year:

  • Little Bird’s Day, Written by Sally Morgan, Illustrated by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Love Your Body, written by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti (Five Mile, Five Mile)
  • Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street, Felicita Sala (Scribe Publications, Scribble)
  • Sick Bay, Nova Weetman (University of Queensland Press, University of Queensland Press)
  • You Can Change the World: The Kids’ Guide to a Better Planet, Lucy Bell (Pantera Press, Pantera Press)

The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year:

  • Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips, Matt Okine (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Call Me Evie, J.P. Pomare (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)