2019 ABIA Shortlist Announce

11 Apr 2019

2019 ABIA Shortlist Announcement

The ABIA judging panel this year said it was tough to decide a shortlist in all 12 book categories. The panel mentioned it was great to see strong collaborations between publishers and authors to produce quality books that were in competitive markets. Many of the books shortlisted were noted for their innovative pre-sale marketing and publicity campaigns, which ultimately generated good sales for the titles. Overall the judges felt positive about the standard of Australian books for 2018.

CEO of Hachette Australia, Louise Sherwin-Stark, who was on the judging panel said, “This year’s amazing line up of longlisted books revealed that Australian publishers are vibrant, creative and innovative, and that the books we are producing are connecting with readers and selling in huge numbers. With the support of our bookselling and library partners, our creative and financial investment in authors has surfaced amazing talent and Australian readers have a veritable smorgasbord of brilliant books to choose from. Congratulations to all the longlisted, shortlisted and winning authors and their publishers. 2018 was an astounding year of truly wonderful books, a year we can all be proud of.”

Ingrid Ohlsson, Director of Non-Fiction Publishing at Pan Macmillan Australia, who also chaired the ABIA judging panel said, “I was impressed by the diversity and quality of the longlisted titles. Of particular note was the extraordinary gathering of debut fiction and non-fiction authors. In a this era of disruption, it is heartening to know that artists and thinkers of insight and talent turn to books as their means of expression. it is equally heartening to see that Australian publishers know how to guide, package, and promote this talent with such conviction and confidence.”

And the shortlisted titles are:  

Biography Book of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Borrow Box 

  • Back, After the Break, Osher Günsberg (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Challenge Accepted!, Celeste Barber (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Eggshell Skull, Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)
  • Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography, Johnathan Thurston, with James Phelps (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Teacher, Gabbie Stroud (Allen & Unwin)

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

  • Amelia Westlake, Erin Gough (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Catching Teller Crow, Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Allen and Unwin)

  • Hive, A.J. Betts (Pan Macmillan)
  • Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds, Jeremy Lachlan (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Small Spaces, Sarah Epstein (Walker Books)

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

  • Lenny’s Book of Everything, Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)
  • Real Pigeons Fight Crime, Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • The 104-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The Bad Guys Episode 7: Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?!, Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)
  • Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow: Nevermoor 2,  Jessica Townsend (Hachette 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)
  • Cicada, Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
  • Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris, Megan Hess (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Macca the Alpaca, Matt Cosgrove (Scholastic Australia)
  • Pig the Grub, Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)

General Fiction Book of the Year

Proudly Sponsored by Better Reading 

  • Scrublands, Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Holly Ringland (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Nowhere Child, Christian White (Affirm Press)
  • The Rúin, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris (Echo Publishing)

General Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Proudly Sponsored by the Copyright Agency

  • Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Boys Will Be Boys, Clementine Ford (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dear Santa, Samuel Johnson (Hachette Australia)
  • No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian (translator) (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Welcome to Country: A Travel Guide to Indigenous Australia, Marcia Langton (Hardie Grant Publishing)

Illustrated Book of the Year

  • A Painted Landscape: Across Australia from Bush to Coast, Amber Creswell Bell (Thames & Hudson Australia)
  • Family: New vegetable classics to comfort and nourish, Hetty McKinnon (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Mirka & Georges, Lesley Harding & Kendrah Morgan (Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Special Guest, Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe (Murdoch Books)
  • The Cook’s Apprentice, Stephanie Alexander (Penguin Random House Australia)

International Book of the Year

  • Becoming, Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • CIRCE, Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Less, Andrew Sean Greer (Hachette Australia)
  • Lost Connections, Johann Hari (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Ottolenghi SIMPLE, Yotam Ottolenghi (Penguin Random House Australia)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Shell, Kristina Olsson (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Shepherd’s Hut, Tim Winton (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Too Much Lip, Melissa Lucashenko (The University of Queensland Press)

Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

  • A Superior Spectre, Angela Meyer (Ventura Press)
  • Blakwork, Alison Whittaker (Magabala Books)
  • Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Dr Anita Heiss (ed.) (Black Inc Books)
  • The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted, Robert Hillman (Text Publishing)
  • The Geography of Friendship, Sally Piper (The University of Queensland Press)

Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

  • Black Cockatoo, Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler (Magabala Books)
  • I Had Such Friends, Meg Gatland-Veness (Pantera Press)
  • Rhyme Cordial, Antonia Pesenti (Scribble Kids’ Books)
  • The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls, Adam Cece (illustrated by Andrew Weldon) (Text Publishing)
  • Whisper, Lynette Noni (Pantera Press)

The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Simpsons Solicitors 

  • Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Nowhere Child,  Christian White (Affirm Press)
  • Eggshell Skull, Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Holly Ringland (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris (Echo Publishing)

Audiobook of the Year

  • Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton, Narrator Stig Weymss (HarperAudio)
  • Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, ed Anita Heiss, Narrators Gregory J Fryer, Tamala Shelton, Lisa Maza, Tony Briggs, Hunter Page-Lochard, Shari Stebbens (Wavesound)
  • The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Kate Morton, Narrator Joanne Froggatt (Bolinda)
  • The Lost Man, Jane Harper, Narrator Steve Shanahan (Wavesound)
  • The Trauma Cleaner, Sarah Krasnostein, Narrator Rachael Tidd (Audible)

Business Award for Rising Star

  • Alice Wood (HarperCollins)
  • Catriona Murdie (Penguin Random House)
  • Ella Chapman (Hachette)
  • Mark Campbell (HarperCollins)
  • Sam Cooney (Brow Books)

Big thank you to all our sponsors!

The ABIA committee would like to thank our valued sponsors – JC Decaux, Fairfax, Media Super, Opus/McPherson, The Copyright AgencyBooktopia, Griffin Press, Twitter, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Lightning Source, Nielsen Bookscan, Leading Edge Books, Better Reading, Simpsons Solicitors, John Fisher Printing, BorrowBox,  Drawcard, Books + Publishing, and our industry partners, ABA, ALIA, APA, ASA.