2014 ABIAs Guest Presenters Announcement!

Special Guest Presenters

We’re excited to reveal the guest presenters of the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Beloved and celebrated Australian novelist Thomas Keneally will be joined by some distinguished writers from the far flung corners of the globe to present awards. Eleanor Catton, Emma Donoghue, Cornelia Funke and Amy Tan are all in the country as the guests of the Sydney Writers Festival.

It is perhaps fitting that these writers who have extensive experience in winning awards should be so generously willing to present them. Between them, they have won two Man Booker Prizes, a Miles Franklin and an Audie, been selected for Time Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People list and appeared on far too many shortlists to detail here.

On the subject of shortlists, New Zealand’s Eleanor Catton is nominated in our very own Literary Fiction Book of the Year category this year for her excellent novel THE LUMINARIES.

Emma Donoghue’s ROOM became an international sensation when it was published in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. Her latest FROG MUSIC is, ‘a multifaceted murder mystery set in San Francisco, 1876’

As a child, Cornelia Funke wanted to be an astronaut. Luckily for kids everywhere, she instead became a novelist, penning more than 40 books including the internationally acclaimed INKHEART fantasy trilogy. German-born Cornelia joins us from her home in the US.

Amy Tan is probably best known for THE JOY LUCK CLUB, the tale of four Chinese-American families in San Francisco who share their stories over a game of mah-jong, that was made into a hugely successful film. Amy has written numerous NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers, two children’s books and many essays and short stories, and been translated into 35 languages along the way. She lives in California.

The multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer Thomas Keneally is an Australian household name and, as such, needs little introduction.

We are thrilled that Eleanor, Emma, Cornelia, Tom and Amy can join us at the newly reinvented 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards on Friday 23 May.


Award-winning satirist Casey Bennetto to host 14th Australian Book Industry Awards

Casey Bennetto to Host

The writer of hit musical KEATING!, award-winning satirist and musician, Casey Bennetto, will host the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs).

Casey Bennetto

Casey said today, “I’m rapt to be involved with the Australian Book Industry Awards – so rapt that I took the time to spell ‘rapt’ correctly. We’re talking about a night of festive colour and enchantment, a fabled engagement with the ‘book trade’ and its most illustrious denizens, a celebration of the many achievements that stud another banner year for Australian publishing. What’s not to be excited about? I plan to wear a spiffy suit and may even be moved to song for the occasion – but I encourage you to attend in spite of that.”

The multi-talented performer, whose dramaturgical credits include Eddie Perfect’s SHANE WARNE: THE MUSICAL and a contribution to Company B’s THE ADVENTURES OF SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE, recently wrote and recorded the score for hit ABC TV comedy LOWDOWN.

“We’re delighted to have Casey compere this year’s book awards,” said James Kellow, Chair of the ABIAs organising committee and Harper Collins Australia CEO. “If you like a little satire, a bit of singing and lots of laughs, then it promises to be a very entertaining night!”


2014 Book of the Year for Younger Children Shortlist

6 Stellar Nominations for Younger Readers

Books for children can often get a little overlooked, but a closer examination of our 2014 Book of the Year for Younger Children (0-8 years) shortlist reveals this fascinating fact: in no other category are the nominees more diverse, nor the numbers more impressive.

Our shortlist features: artists, playwrights, illustrators and writers; a Pixar concept artist-slash-director of an Academy Award-winning short film; a punk singer-turned-expert on all things ‘bum’; and a former pterodactyl counsellor*. And we can’t say that about the Literary Fiction Book of the Year nominees.

Exciting debuts Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti keep excellent company in distinguished children’s book veteran Alison Lester. Meanwhile, Nick Bland’s VERY BRAVE BEAR goes head-to-head with boxing elephant THE TRUNKINATOR from Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s THE 39-STOREY TREEHOUSE. Shaun Tan’s RULES OF SUMMER illuminates the shadowy secrets of childhood friendship in Australia, while Kate Knapp’s glorious RUBY RED SHOES GOES TO PARIS takes us on a beautiful journey through the streets of the world’s most chic city. See? Gorgeous diversity everywhere you look.

And, finally, to the numbers. Another impressive fact about the shortlist for Book of the Year for Younger Children is that it contains the highest selling Australian book of 2013 in THE 39-STOREY TREEHOUSE. That’s the most copies sold across all age categories and genres. A note to literary fiction writers everywhere: if you’re shooting for the bestseller’s lists, it might be time to consider including that chocolate waterfall…

The shortlist for Book of the Year for Younger Children (0-8) is:

  • THE VERY BRAVE BEAR by Nick Bland (Scholastic Press)
  • RULES OF SUMMER by Shaun Tan (Lothian Children’s Books)
  • THE 39-STOREY TREEHOUSE by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Australia)
  • RUBY RED SHOES GOES TO PARIS by Kate Knapp (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • ALPHABETICAL SYDNEY by Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti (NewSouth Books)
  • KISSED BY THE MOON by Alison Lester (Viking)


* NB: We think Terry Denton may have made this up.