The shortlist for the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize has been announced.

The shortlisted titles are:

  • Kumukanda (Kayo Chingonyi, Chatto & Windus)
  • Her Body & Other Parties (Carmen Maria Machado, Bloomsbury)
  • First Love (Gwendoline Riley, Granta)
  • Conversations with Friends (Sally Rooney, Faber)
  • Idaho (Emily Ruskovich, Vintage)
  • My Absolute Darling (Gabriel Tallent, Fourth Estate)

Four debut authors make up the female dominant shortlist, which was chosen from a longlist of 12 announced in February. The winner will be announced on 10 May.

Established in 2006, the £30,000 (A$55,310) International Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded to the best literary work in the English language written by an author under 40 and is administered by Swansea University. Find out more here.

Overland journal has announced the shortlist for the fifth Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers.

The shortlisted writers and their works are:

  • Jazz Money, for ‘as we attack’
  • Kirli Saunders, for ‘A dance of hands’
  • Laniyuk Garcon, for ‘Remember’
  • Ralee Lancaster, for ‘haunted house’
  • Susie Anderson, for ‘revolve’.

The winner will receive $5000, publication in Overland’s print magazine and a three-month residency at Trinity College. The Nakata Brophy Prize alternates between fiction and poetry, with this year’s prize for the best poem (up to 88 lines) by an Indigenous writer under 30. Find out more here.

The finalists for the 2018 Hugo Awards, Award for Best Young Adult Book, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and for the 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards were announced at simultaneous events across the US and the UK. QWC member Kathleen Jennings has been nominated for Best Professional Artist! The Hugo Awards are science fiction’s most prestigious award. See the finalists in full here.


The Winners of the 2018 Aurealis Awards (Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards) have been announced. The winners are:


Nevermoor, Jessica Townsend (Hachette Australia)


Changing Ways book 3, Justin Randall (Gestalt)


Girl Reporter, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Book Smugglers)


“Old Growth”, J Ashley Smith (SQ Mag 31, IFWG Publishing Australia)


“The Stairwell”, Chris Mason (Below The Stairs – Tales from the Cellar, Things In The Well)


“The Curse is Come Upon Me, Cried”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Please Look After This Angel & Other Winged Stories, self-published)


In Shadows We Fall, Devin Madson (self-published)


“Conversations with an Armoury”, Garth Nix (Infinity Wars, Solaris)


Girl Reporter, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Book Smugglers)


The Silver Well, Kate Forsyth & Kim Wilkins (Ticonderoga Publications)


Infinity Wars, Jonathan Strahan (ed.) (Rebellion/Solaris)


In The Dark Spaces, Cally Black (Hardie Grant Egmont)


Soon, Lois Murphy (Transit Lounge)


Godsgrave, Jay Kristoff (HarperCollins Publishers)


From the Wreck, Jane Rawson (Transit Lounge)


The Fictional Mother, Tansy Rayner Roberts (self-published)

Sunshine Coast author Jessica Townsend has taken out Book of the Year at the 2018 Indie Book Awards for her book Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, the first children’s book to win the overall prize in the ten-year history of the awards.

The winning titles in each category are:


  • The Choke (Sofie Laguna, A&U)


  • Saga Land (Richard Fidler & Kári Gíslason, ABC Books)

Debut fiction

  • Wimmera (Mark Brandi, Hachette)

Illustrated nonfiction

  • Native: Art & Design with Australian Plants (Kate Herd & Jela Ivankovic-Waters, Thames & Hudson)

Young adult

  • Wilder Country (Mark Smith, Text)


  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend, Hachette)

The Indie Book Awards are chosen by independent booksellers to reward and promote excellence in Australian writing. Find out more here.


The shortlists for this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles are:

Older Readers

  • Mallee Boys (Charlie Archbold, Wakefield Press)
  • In the Dark Spaces (Cally Black, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Take Three Girls (Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood & Simmone Howell, Pan)
  • Because of You (Pip Harry, UQP)
  • The Secret Science of Magic (Melissa Keil, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Ballad for a Mad Girl (Vikki Wakefield, Text)

Younger Readers

  • The Elephant (Peter Carnavas, UQP)
  • How to Bee (Bren MacDibble, A&U)
  • Henrietta and the Perfect Night (Martine Murray, A&U)
  • Marsh and Me (Martine Murray, Text)
  • The Shop at Hoopers Bend (Emily Rodda, HarperCollins)
  • The Grand Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler (Lisa Shanahan, A&U)

Early Childhood

  • Rodney Loses It (Michael Gerard Bauer, illus by Chrissie Krebs, Omnibus)
  • Boy (Phil Cummings, illus by Shane DeVries, Scholastic)
  • I’m Australian Too (Mem Fox, illus by Ronojoy Ghosh, Omnibus)
  • The Second Sky (Patrick Guest, illus by Jonathan Bentley, Little Hare)
  • The Very Noisy Baby (Alison Lester, illus by Alison Lester, Affirm)
  • Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee! (Lisa Shanahan, illus by Binny, Hachette)

Picture Book

  • Ten Pound Pom (Carole Wilkinson, illus by Liz Anelli, Walker Books)
  • The Great Rabbit Chase (Freya Blackwood, Scholastic)
  • Mopoke (Philip Bunting, Omnibus)
  • A Walk in the Bush (Gwyn Perkins, Affirm)
  • Swan Lake (Anne Spudvilas, A&U)
  • Florette (Anna Walker, Viking)

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

  • Do Not Lick This Book (Idan Ben-Barak, illus by Julian Frost, A&U)
  • M is for Mutiny! History by Alphabet (John Dickon, illus by Bern Emmerichs, Berbay)
  • Left & Right (Lorna Hendry, Wild Dog Books)
  • The Big Book of Antarctica (Charles Hope, Wild Dog Books)
  • Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines (Prue & Kerry Mason, illus by Tom Jellett, Walker Books)
  • Koala (Claire Saxby, illus by Julie Vivas, Walker Books)

Crichton Award for New Illustrators

  • Can You Find Me? (Gordon Winch, illus by Patrick Shirvington, New Frontier)
  • I Just Ate My Friend (Heidi McKinnon, A&U)
  • Mopoke (Philip Bunting, Omnibus)
  • Once Upon an ABC (Sophie Masson, illus by Christopher Nielsen, Little Hare)
  • The Sloth Who Came to Stay (Margaret Wild, illus by Vivienne To, A&U)
  • Tintinnabula (Margo Lanagan, illus by Rovina Cai, Little Hare)

The winners will be announced at an event in Brisbane on 17 August.

For more information about the CBCA Awards, click here.

 The Australian Book Designers Association have announced the Longlist for the 66th Australian Book Design Awards 2018. The Australian Book Design Awards celebrate the bravest and brightest, the most original and beautiful books published in Australia each year. The Shortlist will be announced on Monday 9 April and the winners of the Australian Book Design Awards will be announced at the Awards Party in Melbourne on Friday 25 May. See the longlist in full here.

The Australian Publishers Association (APA), the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) have released a joint statement promoting ‘safe workplaces’.

The statement, published by the each of the peak bodies on 14 March, states that the organisations “endorse safe workplaces, embrace diversity, accept no form of harassment, and encourage respectful behaviours”.

“We have a shared policy to ensure that people in positions of authority do not abuse their powers; managers listen to and support their staff; staff behave appropriately to one another and to their customers and there is a fair and independent channel for reported issues,” the statement reads. “We encourage all our members to adopt strong policies to ensure a fair workplace for everyone.”

To accompany the joint statement, the APA has compiled a list of resources on its website for both employers and employees.

The statement comes after Books+Publishing‘s 2017 survey on sexual harassment in the Australian book industry, where 54% of respondents said they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Management Committee of Queensland Writers Centre is today excited to announce the appointment of Lori-Jay Ellis as Chief Executive Officer.

Lori-Jay brings to the role a personal passion for the written word, along with a firm belief in nurturing, mentoring and developing creative talent, and proven leadership success in both the arts and corporate sector.

QWC Chair Leanne Dodd said an extensive national search had been conducted to identify the right candidate to lead the organisation through what is expected to be a growth phase, and to deliver a sustainable future for QWC and its members.

“Lori-Jay has a demonstrated track record of delivering sustainable financial performance and strong brand awareness,” Dodd said. “We are delighted to have the benefit of her varied experience in arts, government and corporate environments both here and internationally, and are confident that her strong values and experience will assist us to engage with our expanding markets and ensure QWC’s continued success in serving the needs of writers now and into the future.”

Born in Bundaberg, Lori-Jay has a Bachelor of Arts from Brisbane’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and is an active member of the Australian Society of Authors, Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of New Zealand (and of course QWC!). As a published speculative fiction writer, Lori-Jay has a solid understanding of international digital platforms and new writing models.

Lori-Jay commenced her career as an entrepreneurial film producer and writer in Brisbane. Following a role as CEO of a community arts studio in Sydney, she took on the challenge of managing a New York art gallery, before moving into a range of executive corporate roles, including work with the Dairy Farmers co-operative and SocialAble Ltd, an Auckland-based social media agency with a focus on creative contribution for non-profit clients. She has recently made a permanent return to Brisbane.

From winning first prize at the Bundaberg Art Show at age ten through to her present focus on storytelling and speculative fiction, Lori-Jay says her world has always revolved around the creative process: “I look forward to using my professional and creative experience in meaningful ways to engender a substantial contribution and a lasting, desired impact on Queensland’s writing ecology.”

Lori-Jay replaces outgoing CEO, Katie Woods, who leaves the organisation well-positioned for the future after the recent success of the award-winning 8 Word Story billboard campaign.

“The Management Committee would like to gratefully thank Katie for her time at the helm of QWC and wish her all the best for the future.” Dodd said.

Lori-Jay will commence as CEO from 16 April 2018.

In the first season of the television series Girls, the famously self-absorbed central character, Hannah Horvath, infamously announced ‘I think that I may be the voice of my generation’, before back-peddling to ‘or at least a voice. Of a generation’. Think that’s obnoxious? Try wrangling the courage to be the voice of several generations. I have written the history of World Expo 88 … Or at least a history of World Expo 88.

Popularly conceived as the catalyst for Brisbane’s coming of age, Expo recorded over eighteen million visits (including staff, VIPs and repeat visitors with season passes) during its six-month run. That’s a higher figure than Australia’s population at the time. Expo was an all-ages love-affair, and it continues to be venerated nearly thirty years after it first bedazzled and bewitched.

Its various legacies—coupled with fierce nostalgia—have contributed to a formidable sense of public ownership of the event that some historians may be wary to transgress.

Who are you to write about Expo? I can’t believe you interviewed X but not Y! You explored the wrong issues! Reached the wrong conclusions! Too much controversy, not enough John Farnham! AND YOU BARELY TOUCHED ON THE QUEUES AT THE NEW ZEALAND PAVILION!!!!!!!

These are just some of the imaginary issues my imaginary critics have raised in relation to my Expo quest. I didn’t set out to tell the Expo story—I just wanted to read it. How did Expo come about? What were the social and political aids or impediments to its success? Was it like other world expositions? How does it fit within the zeitgeist of the era? What is its significance to Brisbane?

Photo courtesy Anthony Mullins

That book didn’t exist. This seemed quite the oversight to a former Expo season-pass holder such as myself—an oversight I felt should be rectified. Next problem: while I had majored in history and English at university, my subsequent energies had been directed towards fiction writing and indie film. If I was to stand a fighting chance against my imaginary critics, I needed to achieve peak history-writing fitness. Cue a neon-hued Expo research montage in which I interview many of the event’s instigators, organisers and objectors, study hundreds of articles and documents, produce audio-visual material for the South Bank Corporation and the Queensland Museum for their 20th anniversary Expo celebrations, write the didactic text for the Museum of Brisbane’s 25th anniversary of Expo festivities and complete a history and political science PhD about Expo.

Next problem: now I know too much. I could write more about Expo than anyone could possibly want to read (I’ve also noted that I can talk about it at greater length than is polite). Of equal concern: I have a vast knowledge of all the things I don’t know about Expo. There are going to be scores of people out there who know more about its staff, deals, finances, scandals, technology, souvenirs, intergovernmental relations and menu items than I do. But I can’t keep researching forever.

What to do? Write the book I originally wanted to read.

Be objective, professional, respectful … and maybe add in a few more lines about the New Zealand pavilion. Other people have had 30 years to be the book-form voice of Expo. And there is nothing to prevent them from doing so alongside or after my contribution. In the meantime, I’m attempting to placate my inner critics by reminding myself that I’m just a voice of Expo. And I’m trying not to remember that nobody likes Hannah Horvath.


Jackie Ryan holds a PhD in history and political science from The University of Queensland, where she was an Honorary Research Fellow. Her thesis topic is the subject of her book, We’ll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP).  Jackie produces the Aurealis Award-winning Burger Force comic series and is the founding editor of comedy writing collective the Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary. The websites for these projects have been archived by the National Library of Australia as sites of cultural significance.

The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 novels in contention for the 2018 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.


The full 2018 longlist is as follows:
Author (nationality), Translator, Title (imprint)
• Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
• Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
• Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
• Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
• Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
• Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)
• László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On(Tuskar Rock Press)
• Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
• Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
• Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
• Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
• Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)
Find out more here.

The longlists for the 2018 Inky Awards have been announced. The awards are presented by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria for local and international fiction, poetry, anthologies and graphic novels written for young adults.

The titles longlisted for the Gold Inky Award (for an Australian book) are:

  • Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology (ed Danielle Binks, HarperCollins)
  • In the Dark Places (Cally Black, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Beautiful Mess (Claire Christian, Text)
  • Take Three Girls (Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood, Pan Macmillan)
  • Ida (Alison Evans, Echo)
  • Wreck (Fleur Ferris, Random House)
  • A Shadow’s Breath (Nicole Hayes, Random House)
  • Remind Me How This Ends (Gabrielle Tozer, HarperCollins)
  • Paper Cranes Don’t Fly (Peter Vu, Ford Street)
  • Ballad for a Mad Girl (Vikki Wakefield, Text)

The titles longlisted for the Silver Inky Award (for an international book) are:

  • The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli, Puffin)
  • Turtles All the Way Down (John Green, Puffin)
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (Lauren James, Walker Books)
  • Still Life with Tornado (A S King, Text)
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzi Lee, HarperCollins)
  • Genuine Fraud (E Lockhart, A&U)
  • Warcross (Marie Lu, Puffin)
  • One of Us Is Lying (Karen McManus, (Puffin)
  • Release (Patrick Ness, Walker Books)
  • The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas, Walker Books)

Shortlists of five books in each category will be decided on by a panel of teenage judges and announced in August, after which members of the public aged 12-18 are eligible to cast their votes. The winners will be announced in October. Find out more here.

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