News

Critically Acclaimed Bestselling Debut Novel Named Book of the Year

3 May 2019

Awards have been announced, winners toasted, writers celebrated, ample libations shouted, hangovers earned, and history made… Literally The Best Of, The 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced on Thursday 2 May at a red carpet Oscars-for-the-bookish event in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s International Convention Centre, hosted by musician and performer Casey Bennetto. The awards are judged by an academy of more than 250 respected publishing industry figures and they celebrate the most excellent of Australian writing, publishing and bookselling. The 2019 shortlist included some of the biggest names in the Australian book industry (which publishes over 7,000 new books annually) and this year’s winners are a top-shelf showcase of high profile authors and amazing new talent. Without further ado, the Australian Publishers Association is thrilled to announce this year’s winners.

Debut novelist TRENT DALTON cleaned up this year for his literary bestselling triumph Boy Swallows Universe (HarperCollins Australia). Boy Swallows Universe won four Awards – the first book ever to do so; an ABIAs record – including Book of the Year, along with Literary Book of the Year, the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, and Audio Book of the Year (Wavesound, narrated by Stig Wemyss). It’s been a big year for Trent, his novel has been embraced by readers around Australia and seriously attracting critical acclaim – winning The Indie Book Awards 2019 Book of the Year, the MUD Literary Prize 2019, and just this week, was announced the winner of the Award for New Writing and the People’s Choice Award at the NSW Premier’s Literary AwardsBoy Swallows Universe has also become an international publishing phenomenon – published globally by HarperCollins across all of the major publishing territories, and in more than 28 languages, with more deals to be announced in the near future, including screen and theatre rights. HarperCollins Australia recently celebrated a major milestone for Boy Swallows Universe; it has now sold over 129,000 copies across all formats in Australia alone since its publication in July 2018, a remarkable number for a debut Australian novel, and not yet a year old!

Behrouz Boochani has received another award for his journal-memoir, tapped out on a mobile phone from Manus Island, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Pan Macmillan Australia), translated from the Farsi by Omid Tofighian, winning the General Non-Fiction Book of the Year (Sponsored by Copyright Agency).

General Fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by Better Reading) went to Holly Ringland for The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (HarperCollins Publishers), and the Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12) went to perennial favourites Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton for The 104-Storey Treehouse(Pan Macmillan Australia).

And Bri Lee continues her run of Award shortlistings and prizes for Eggshell Skull (Allen & Unwin), which took out the Biography of the Year Award (Sponsored by Borrow Box).

Richard Walsh – publisher, editor, company director, media consultant, lecturer, broadcaster and journalist – was presented with the Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award for outstanding service to the Australian Book Industry by Chairman of Allen & Unwin, Patrick Gallagher.

The Pixie O’Harris Award for consistent contribution to children’s literature was awarded to Australian publishing and bookselling champion, Kathy Kozlowski.

Recipients of the industry business awards were Pan Macmillan (Publisher of the Year), Affirm Press (Small Publisher of the Year), Booktopia (National Retailer of the Year), Mary Martin Bookshops took out the Independent Retailer of the Year, and Ella Chapman from Hachette won this year’s Rising Star Award.

Michael Gordon-Smith, CEO of the Australian Publishers Association says: “We know a reading nation is a better nation. Just have a look at the breadth of talent on show in the shortlists and the winners of the Australian Book Industry Awards to see the riches available in ours. Pick up a winner from any good bookshop.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, IMAGE REQUESTS, OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT:  

Brendan Fredericks | BFredericksPR | 0403 265 337 | brendan@bfrederickspr.com

Australian Book Industry Award Winners 2019:

ABIA Book of the Year

Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)

 

Biography of the Year Award (Sponsored by Borrow Box)

Eggshell Skull, Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)

General Fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by Better Reading)

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Holly Ringland (HarperCollins Australia)

General Non-Fiction Book of the Year (Sponsored by Copyright Agency)

No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian (translator) (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Honourable Mention for Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales (Penguin Random House Australia)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)

 

Illustrated Book of Year

Family: New vegetable classics to comfort and nourish, Hetty McKinnon (Pan Macmillan Australia)

International Book of Year 

Less, Andrew Sean Greer (Hachette Australia)

 

Small Publisher Adults Book of the Year

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Dr Anita Heiss (ed.) (Black Inc Books)

 

Small Publisher Children’s Book of the Year

Whisper, Lynette Noni (Pantera Press)

 

The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year (sponsored by Simpsons Solicitors)

Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)

 

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

Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds, Jeremy Lachlan (Hardie Grant Egmont)

 

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

The 104-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan Australia)

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

All the Ways to be Smart, Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Scribble Kids’ Books)

Audio Book of the Year 

Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton, Narrator Stig Wemyss (HarperAudio with production by Bolinda)

Honourable Mention for Audio Book of the Year

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Dr Anita Heiss (ed.) (Wavesound)

 

 

Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award

Richard Walsh

Pixie O’Harris Award

Kathy Kozlowski

2019 Business Award Winners:

Publisher of the Year (Sponsored by Media Super)

Pan Macmillan Australia

 

Small Publisher of the Year (Sponsored by Ovato)

Affirm Press

Honourable Mention: Magabala Books

 

National Book Retailer of the Year

Booktopia

Independent Book Retailer of the Year

Mary Martin Bookshops 

Rising Star Award

Ella Chapman

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, IMAGE REQUESTS, OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT:

Brendan Fredericks | BFredericksPR | 0403 265 337 | brendan@bfrederickspr.com

Contact

The Australian Book Industry Awards are an initiative of the
Australian Publishers Association.

Address

60/89 Jones Street, Ultimo NSW 2007

Phone

0292819788

Email

abia@publishers.asn.au