The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Ray Koppe Residency Award and ASA Medal.

Western Australian writer Holden Sheppard has won the Ray Koppe Residency Award for his YA novel Invisible Boys and the ASA Medal, was awarded to children’s author Edel Wignell.

The annual Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency offers an unpublished writer under 30 a week’s stay at Varuna, The Writers’ House in Katoomba, NSW. The ASA Medal is awarded biennially in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Australian writing community.

For more information, visit the ASA website here.

UWA Publishing has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Dorothy Hewett Award for an unpublished manuscript. The shortlisted authors and their works are:

  • Teresa Bell for Lunation
  • Angela Gardner for Some Sketchy Notes on Matter
  • Kate Gordon for Everything as Perfect as a Bird
  • Louise Helfgott for Thistledown Seed
  • Julie Watts for Legacy

The judging panel includes poet Lucy Dougan, critic James Ley and UWA Publishing director Terri-ann White.

The winner, which will be announced during the 2018 Perth Writers Week, will receive $10,000 and a publishing contract with UWA Publishing.

For more information, click here.

In a report in The Conversation publication, Australian artists now spend more time on their creative practice than in previous years but earn less from it. The situation is particularly gloomy for the average Australian female artist. She is better educated than her male counterpart, she spends about the same time on creative work as he does, yet she earns a much lower income from it – $15,400 versus $22,100 in the 2014-15 financial year. Indeed, the income gap between men and women is wider in the arts than the average gap across all industries in Australia. This gap appears to be especially evident for female writers, visual artists and musicians.

These data come from a major survey of practising professional artists in Australia that the publication has carried out over the past year. It’s the most recent in a long series of surveys undertaken in the Economics Department at Macquarie University since the early 1980s with funding from the Australia Council.

The survey shows that the average income Australian artists earned from creative work is now just $18,800 a year, which is less in real terms than for any of the previous survey years. This is less than they could earn in other professional occupations that require similar educational qualifications. Their total gross annual income including all sources of income is $48,400.

According to the report: “One of the hazards that professional artists face throughout their career is having to explain why they should be paid for doing what others do for fun – painting, making music, acting, dancing, writing poetry. People often don’t appreciate that the level of education, training, experience and skill required to become a professional are at least as rigorous in the arts as they are in other professions like medicine and the law. In fact, the great majority of professional artists (90%) have post-school qualifications compared with only 53% for the general labour force. Artists spend about six years in training to obtain their basic qualifications, then almost another four years to receive further ones.”

For the full article, click here.

Books+Publishing is inviting anyone working in the Australian book industry to complete a survey on sexual harassment in the industry.

The decision to conduct a survey was prompted by evidence of widespread sexual harassment in the UK and US book industries detailed by book-industry journals the Bookseller and Publishers Weekly.

The survey covers personal experiences of sexual harassment, witnessed incidents of sexual harassment and company procedures to protect staff from sexual harassment. All responses will be anonymous.

The results will be published in Books+Publishing’s newsletters and on the website. And we will publish the findings here on the QWC website.

Complete the survey online here.

The latest issue of our FREE weekly e-newsletter, Pen & Pixel, featuring all the latest news and events as well as writing competitions and other professional opportunities plus a special give-away or two!

Read it here.

If you don’t already subscribe, you can sign up here.

The Fair Australia Prize, supported by the National Union of Workers, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, and the National Tertiary Education Union (VIC), asks writers and artists to engage with the question: What does a fairer world look like, and how do we get there? And as well as picturing a more equitable society it also asks contributors to imagine a new political agenda for Australia through fiction, essays, poetry, cartoons and art.

To view the full list of shortlisted writers and artists, click here.

Special congratulations to the QWC members amongst the shortlist including Philip Neilsen, Mandy Beaumont and Chris Brophy.

Judges of the prize are: Michalia Arathimos, Jennifer Down, Emma Kerin, Antony Loewenstein, Godfrey Moase, Jacinda Woodhead, Ellen van Neerven, Toby Fitch, Carina Garland, Sam Wallman, Cathy Wilcox and Sam Davis.

Image: Detail from ‘Circles in a Circle’ (1923)


UK book-industry journal the Bookseller has released the results of its survey on sexual harassment in the industry, with over half of the 388 respondents reporting that they have experienced harassment.


Fifty-four percent of women and 34% of men who responded to the survey said they had been sexually harassed. The incidents ranged from ‘crude or demeaning language used about women in the workplace, or at work-related social events, to suggestive comments and unwanted touching and groping, inappropriate sexual advances, predatory approaches made under cover of professional contact and assault. Two respondents to the survey said that they had been raped,’ reports the Bookseller.

The Bookseller said that reports of sexual harassment came from across the industry, however, the risk appeared to be higher for publicists (66%) and booksellers (61%). The Bookseller also noted that harassment was often carried out by ‘more senior or high-status male colleagues, professional contacts, authors or clients, and the targets are often young, in junior roles, new in the workplace or working freelance’.

The Bookseller found that just 30% of women and 37% of men who had been sexually harassed had reported the incident, with those who chose not to report citing reasons such as feelings of fear, shame and embarrassment; concerns that their claims would be dismissed or have an impact on their career; and the subtle and pervasive nature of harassment.

Last month, US book-industry journal Publishers Weekly also reported on numerous examples of sexual harassment in the industry after conducting its own survey. It concluded that ‘in spite of publishing’s high percentage of female workers, the industry still has a sexual harassment problem’.

Story courtesy of Books+Publishing which will soon be inviting readers to participate in a survey on sexual harassment in the Australian book industry.

The shortlisted titles are:

Victoria: The Queen (Julia Baird, HarperCollins)

Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia (Steve Cannane, ABC Books)

Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell (Louise Milligan, MUP).

The 2017 Walkley Book Award recognises excellence in Australian nonfiction literature and long-form journalism produced by an Australian journalist or writer, published in the year from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.

For more information about the Walkley Awards, click here

Perth author Tim Winton will be joined by UK author Alan Hollinghurst, Canadian author Louise Penny and other local authors Helen Garner, Kim Scott, William Yang, Robert Drewe and Josephine Wilson at the 2018 Perth Writers Week, which runs from 19-25 February.

The 2018 festival is curated by West Australian literary editor William Yeoman, who was appointed guest curator following Katherine Dorrington’s departure. The event has been extended from four days to a full week, and will be based at the University Club of Western Australia, as well as extending out into libraries and bars in Perth.

The full program will be released in January. For more information, click here.


The winners and honour books in each category are:

Picture Book

Do Not Open This Book (Andy Lee, illus by Heath McKenzie, Lake Press)

Honour books

Pig the Winner (Aaron Blabey, Scholastic)

What Do They Do with All The Poo from All The Animals at the Zoo? (Anh Do, illus by Laura Wood, Scholastic)

Fiction for younger readers

  • The Bad Guys Episode 2: Mission Unpluckable (Aaron Blabey, Scholastic)

Honour books

  • WeirDo: Mega Weird! (Anh Do, illus by Jules Faber, Scholastic)
  • You Choose: Alien Invaders from beyond the Stars (George Ivanoff, Random House)

Fiction for older readers

  • The 78-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths, illus by Terry Denton, Pan)

Honour books

  • Exploding Endings: Painted Dogs and Doom Cakes (Tim Harris, Harbour Publishing)
  • My Dead Bunny (Sigi Cohen, illus by James Foley, Walker Books)

Fiction for years 7-9

  • Pennies for Hitler (Jackie French, HarperCollins)

Honour books

  • Carnage (Michael Adams, Scholastic)
  • Cry Blue Murder (Kim Kane & Marion Roberts, UQP).

Winners are selected from the Reading & Enjoying Australian Literature (REAL) Awards shortlist, which also acts as a shortlist for the children’s choice awards in the Australian Capital Territory (COOL Awards), Victoria (YABBAs) and the Northern Territory (KROC Awards).

For more information about the KOALAs, visit the website here.

Ruth Clare’s memoir Enemy (Viking) and Libby Hathorn’s picture book A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy (illus by Phil Lesnie, Lothian) have jointly won the 2017 Asher Award.

The $12,000 Asher Literary Award is awarded biennially to a female author whose work has an anti-war theme, and is administered by the Australian Society of Authors on behalf of the Australia Council. For more information, click here.


Dreaming in the Dark (Jack Dann, PS Australia), an anthology of Australian genre fiction, has won a 2017 World Fantasy Award in the anthology category. The hardback volume is a ‘celebration Australia’s current Golden Age of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magical realism’.

Contributors include Garth Nix, Janeen Webb, Angela Slatter, Terry Dowling and Sean Williams, and the anthology is edited by Queensland-based writer Jack Dann.

Winners were also announced in the categories of long fiction, short fiction, special award—professional and special award—nonprofessional. For the full list of winners and nominees, click here.

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