News & Blog

Mar 16

2017 ABIA Book Longlist!

We are delighted to present the 2017 ABIA Book longlist! For 17 years, the ABIAs have been celebrating Australian stories and the astounding talent in the Australian publishing industry.

The shortlist will be revealed on April 9, with the winners announced during the ABIA gala event on May 25, hosted by multiple ABIA-winning writer and performer, Magda Szubanski at the Art Gallery of NSW.

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Biography Book of the Year

  • Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing, Ashleigh Wilson (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Life As I Know It, Michelle Payne, John Harms (MUP, Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Paul Keating: The Big-Picture Leader, Troy Bramston (Scribe Publications, Scribe Publications)
  • Songs of a War Boy, Deng Adut and Ben Mckelvey (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • The Boy Behind the Curtain, Tim Winton (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • The Hate Race, Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette, Hachette Australia)
  • Victoria, Julia Baird (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Working Class Boy, Jimmy Barnes (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)


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Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years)

  • Charlie and the War Against the Grannies, Alan Brough (Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Circle, Jeannie Baker (Walker Books, Walker Books)
  • Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma, Leigh Hobbs (Allen & Unwin Children’s, Allen & Unwin)
  • Pig the Elf, Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)
  • Pig the Winner, Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)
  • The 78-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton (Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • There is a Monster on My Holiday Who Farts, Tim Miller and Matt Stanton (ABC Books: An Imprint of HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • What Do They Do with All the Poo from All the Animals at the Zoo?, Anh Do & Laura Wood (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)

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Book of the Year Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years)

  • Artie and the Grime Wave, Richard Roxburgh (Allen & Unwin Children’s, Allen & Unwin)
  • Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin Children’s, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Bad Guys Episode 4 – Attack of the Zittens, Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)
  • The Bone Sparrow, Zana Fraillon (Lothian, Hachette Australia)
  • The Unforgettable What’s His Name, Paul Jennings, illustrated by Craig Smith (Allen & Unwin Children’s, Allen & Unwin)
  • WeirDo #7 Mega Weird!, Anh Do & Jules Faber (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)
  • Words in Deep Blue, Cath Crowley (Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Wormwood Mire: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, Judith Rossell (ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers)

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General Fiction Book of the Year

  • All These Perfect Strangers, Aoife Clifford (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Birdman’s Wife, Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)
  • The Chocolate Tin, Fiona McIntosh (Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)
  • The Dry, Jane Harper (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The Four Legendary Kingdoms, Matthew Reilly (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The One Who Got Away, Caroline Overington (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Rules of Backyard Cricket, Jock Serong (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

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General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Dying: A Memoir, Cory Taylor (Text Publishing)
  • Everywhere I Look, Helen Garner (Text Publishing)
  • Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford (Allen & Unwin)
  • Girl Stuff 8-12, Kaz Cooke (Viking, Penguin Random House)
  • Talking To My Country, Stan Grant (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape (Wrightbooks, John Wiley & Sons)
  • The Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin Destroyed their own Government, Niki Savva (Scribe Publications)
  • True Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia Volume 2, David Hunt (Black Inc., Schwartz Publishing)

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Illustrated Book of the Year

  • Around the World in 80 Dinners, Janne Apelgren, Joanna Savill (MUP, Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Basics to Brilliance, Donna Hay (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Margaret Preston, Lesley Harding (Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Neighbourhood, Hetty McKinnon (Plum, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • New York, Megan Hess (Hardie Grant Books, Hardie Grant Publishing)
  • Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family, Cameron Bloom &  Bradley Trevor Greive (ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens to be Vegan), Shannon Matinez & Mo Wyse (Hardie Grant Books, Hardie Grant Publishing)
  • The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide, Kayla Itsines (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

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International Book of the Year

  • Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • Commonwealth, Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling & John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (Little Brown, Hachette Australia)
  • The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Michael Mosley (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben (Black Inc., Schwartz Publishing)
  • The North Water, Ian McGuire (Scribner, Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (Fleet, Hachette Australia)

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Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • An Isolated Incident, Emily Maguire (Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Between a Wolf and a Dog, Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications)
  • Crimes of the Father, Tom Keneally (Vintage Australia, Penguin Random House)
  • Goodwood, Holly Throsby (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Easy Way Out, Steven Amsterdam (Hachette, Hachette Australia)
  • The Good People, Hannah Kent (Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith (Allen & Unwin)
  • Where the Trees Were, Inga Simpson (Hachette, Hachette Australia)

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Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

  • Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford (Allen & Unwin)
  • Goodwood, Holly Throsby (Allen & Unwin)
  • Music and Freedom, Zoë Morrison (Vintage Australia, Penguin Random House)
  • The Dry, Jane Harper (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The Island Will Sink, Briohny Doyle (The Lifted Brow, The Lifted Brow)
  • The Midnight Watch, David Dyer (Hamish Hamilton (AU Adult), Penguin Random House)
  • The Paper House, Anna Spargo-Ryan (Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane, Elspeth Muir (Text Publishing)

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Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

  • Damned Whores and God’s Police, Anne Summers (NewSouth, NewSouth Publishing)
  • Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru, Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth, NewSouth Publishing)
  • Position Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories, Kim Mahood (Scribe Publications)
  • Poum and Alexandre, Catherine de Saint Phalle (Transit Lounge, Transit Lounge Publishing)
  • Saltwater, Cathy McLennan (University of Queensland Press)
  • The Australian Native Bee Book, Tim Heard (Sugarbag Bees)
  • The Island Will Sink, Briohny Doyle (The Lifted Brow)
  • The Worst Woman in Sydney: The Life and Crimes of Kate Leigh, Leigh Straw (NewSouth, NewSouth Publishing)

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Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

  • Crabbing with Dad, Paul Seden (Magabala Books)
  • Even Mummy Cries, Naomi Hunter & Karen Erasmus (Empowering Resources)
  • I Love Me, Sally Morgan & Ambelin Kwaymullina (Fremantle Press)
  • Mad Magpie, Gregg Dreise (Magabala Books)
  • My Sister is a Superhero, Damon Young & Peter Carnavas (University of Queensland Press)
  • Steve goes to Carnival, Joshua Button and Robyn Wells (Magabala Books)
  • The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie, Irina Goundortseva (Big Sky Publishing)
  • The Secrets We Keep, Nova Weetman (University of Queensland Press)