Announcing the ABIA Book shortlist


Excitement for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) builds today with the release of the ABIA 2016 Book Awards shortlist and international guest presenter line-up.

A diverse national judging panel featuring representatives from all sectors of the book industry — publishers (large and small), retailers (bricks and mortar, and digital) media and festival organisers — compiled the shortlist of book excellence.

Winners will be announced at the ABIAs gala ceremony held at Art Gallery of NSW on Thursday 19 May.

A-list presenters including Richard Flanagan, Jonathan Franzen, Gloria Steinem and Jeanette Winterson are announced today, with comedian extraordinaire Kitty Flanagan, to host the evening.

As the flagship event for the Australian Book Industry, the ABIAs showcase the talent and diversity of what is the 14th largest publishing industry in the world, generating $2 billion in annual revenue with more than 7,000 new titles published each year.

More than 1,000 businesses are engaged in the publishing industry, employing over 4,000 people, many in small enterprises. Over 20,000 people work in the broader industry that includes retailers and printers.

The ABIA 2016 Book Awards shortlist features books published between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. See over for complete shortlist.

Keep up with all your ABIA news at:
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For interviews, more information and images, please contact House of Rusher
Emma Rusher, Campaign Director
T +61 0423 214 626 | E

Julie Thomson, Publicist
T +61 0427 723 198 | E


Biography Book of the Year

  • A Mother’s Story (Rosie Batty with Bryce Corbett, HarperCollins, HarperCollins)
  • Flesh Wounds (Richard Glover, ABC Books, HarperCollins)
  • Reckoning: A Memoir (Magda Szubanski, Text Publishing)
  • The Anti-Cool Girl (Rosie Waterland, 4th Estate, HarperCollins)


General Fiction Book of the Year

  • Close Your Eyes (Michael Robotham, Sphere, Hachette Australia)
  • The Lake House (Kate Morton, Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Patterson Girls (Rachael Johns, MIRA, Harlequin Enterprises)
  • The Perfumer’s Secret (Fiona McIntosh, Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)


General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Australia’s Second Chance (George Megalogenis, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • Island Home (Tim Winton, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • One Life: My Mother’s Story (Kate Grenville, Text Publishing)
  • The Dismissal (Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston, Viking, Penguin Random House)


Illustrated Book of the Year

  • Cornersmith (Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant, Murdoch Books, Murdoch Books)
  • I Quit Sugar: Simplicious (Sarah Wilson, Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Happy Cookbook (Lola Berry, Plum, Pan Macmillan)
  • Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden (Janet Hawley, Lantern, Penguin Random House)


International Book of the Year

  • Grandpa’s Great Escape (David Walliams, HarperCollins Childrens Books, HarperCollins)
  • Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ (Giulia Enders, Scribe Publications)
  • The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins, Doubleday, Penguin Random House)
  • The Story of the Lost Child (Elena Ferrante, Text Publishing)


Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Natural Way of Things (Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Other Side of the World (Stephanie Bishop, Hachette, Hachette Australia)
  • The Secret Chord (Geraldine Brooks, Hachette, Hachette Australia)
  • The World Without Us (Mireille Juchau, Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury)


Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

  • Reckoning: A Memoir (Magda Szubanski, Text Publishing)
  • Rush Oh! (Shirley Barrett, Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan)
  • Salt Creek (Lucy Treloar, Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Anti-Cool Girl (Rosie Waterland, 4th Estate, HarperCollins)


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

  • Cloudwish (Fiona Wood, Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan)
  • Friday Barnes 2: Under Suspicion (R.A. Spratt, Random House Australia Children’s, Penguin Random House)
  • Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Cat With the Coloured Tail (Gillian Mears, illustrated by Dinalie Dabarera, Walker Books)


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

  • Perfect (Danny Parker, illustrated by Freya Blackwood,  Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • The 65-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton, Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made (Fiona Katauskas, ABC Books, HarperCollins)
  • This Is a Ball (Beck & Matt Stanton, ABC Books, HarperCollins)


Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

  • Kookoo Kookaburra (Gregg Dreise, Magabala Books)
  • My Pop is a Pirate (Damon Young, illustrated by Peter Carnavas, UQP, University of Queensland Press)
  • Numerical Street (Hilary Bell, illustrated by Antonia Pesenti, NewSouth, NewSouth Publishing)
  • The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade (Davina Bell, illustrated by Allison Colpoys, Scribble, Scribe Publications)


Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

  • All Fall Down (Matthew Condon, UQP, University of Queensland Press)
  • Body Lengths (Leisel Jones with Felicity McLean, Nero, Black Inc)
  • Give the Devil His Due (Sulari Gentill, Pantera Press)
  • The Art of Free Travel (Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman, NewSouth, NewSouth Publishing)