‘The Time We Have Taken’ wins Miles Franklin award

The Time We Have Taken by Steven Carroll (Fourth Estate) is the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Carroll receives the award, valued at $42,000, at a gala dinner held in Sydney this evening. ‘It’s an extraordinary thrill and honour,’ the author said of his win, but added that it was ‘also daunting to be joining a long list of authors whom you’ve either studied or admired for years’.

‘The Miles Franklin comes with the gravitas of a whole literary tradition and you feel that weight almost instantly.’

Read about it here:

ABIA Awards 2008

Penguin is the 2008 publisher of the year, Scribe is small publisher of the year, Gleebooks the independent bookseller of the year and Dymocks Garden City Booragoon chain bookseller of the year, following the announcement of the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) at a gala dinner in Melbourne on Sunday night.

Read more here:

Robotham, Cotterill shortlisted for Daggers

Books Alive ambassador Michael Robotham has been shortlisted for the £2000 (A$4100) CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for crime writing.

Robotham was nominated for Shatter (Little Brown), which the judges described as ‘dark, deep and brooding; everything a psychological thriller should be’.

Sometime Australian, the south-east Aisa-based author Colin Cotterill, is in contention for the £20,000 (A$41,000) Duncan Lawrie Dagger for his novel The Coroner’s Lunch (Text).

Both awards will be announced in London on 10 July as part of the 2008 Duncan Lawrie Daggers.

For more information, click here.


Romantic book of the year shortlist announced

The finalists in the Romance Writers of Australia’s 2008 Romantic Book of the Year awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:

Long work: Claiming the Courtesan (Anna Campbell, Harper Collins Australia); Duet (Kimberley Freeman, Hachette Livre Australia); Tomorrow’s Promises (Anna Jacobs, Hodder); Ashblane’s Lady (Sophia James, Harlequin Quill); Serendipity (Melanie La’ Brooy, Penguin); Lands Beyond the Sea (Tamara McKinley, Hodder & Staughton).

Short work: The Prince’s Forbidden Virgin (Robyn Donald,  Harlequin Mills & Boon); Their Lost-and-Found Family (Marion Lennox, Harlequin Medical); The Single Dad’s Marriage Wish (Carol Marinelli, Harlequin Medical); Island Heat (Sarah Mayberry, Harlequin Blaze); One Night before Marriage (Anne Oliver, Harlequin Sexy Sensation); Outback Man Seeks Wife (Margaret Way, Harlequin Sweet).

The winners will be announced at the Romance Writers Association national annual conference in Melbourne on 23 August.


Galley Club Awards shortlist announced

The shortlist in the Kayell Australia Galley Club Awards for Excellence in Book and Magazine production have been announced.

Awards are under the categories of Books: Sheetfed, Books: Webfed, Non-Standard Items, Periodicals, and Innovation. The shortlist is now available at the Galley Club website (click here).

The winners will be announced at the 32nd annual Galley Club Awards Gala Dinner on Friday June 27.

Griffin Poetry Prize announced

The winners of this year’s Griffin Poetry Prize were announced at a colourful Caribbean-themed awards in Toronto on 4 June.  

Notes From the Air: Selected Later Poems by John Ashberry (international) and The Holy Forest: Collected Poems by Robin Blaser (Canadian) were the 2008 winners. The C$1000,000 (A$103,000) prize, the richest in the world for a single volume of poetry, is divided between the two winners. The prize is for first-edition books of poetry published in 2007, and submitted from anywhere in the world..

The 2008 judges, poets George Bowering, James Lasdun, and Pura López Colomé, read an unprecedented 509 books from 31 countries in order to compile the shortlist and choose the winners. Selected poems from the shortlist will appear in The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology: A Selection of the 2008 Shortlist, edited by George Bowering and published by House of Anansi Press, with all royalties donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

For more information visit http://www.griffinpoetryprize.com/

Environment Awards for Children’s Literature announced

 The winners of the Wilderness Society’s annual Environment Awards for Children’s Literature have been announced.

Going Bush (Nadia Wheatley & Ken Searle, A&U) took out best nonfiction picture book. Going Bush is based on a Harmony Project, a bush walk in inner Sydney taken with 16 children from nearby primary schools, and incorporates their art and writing in a celebration of Aboriginal tradition, local knowledge, and the power of the land to unite us.

The award recognises works that encourage appreciation and understanding of the natural world or an awareness of environmental issues.

Canberra Writers’ Festival

The sixth annual Canberra Writers’ Festival will be held from 19 to 24 June. Guests include Garth Nix, David Malouf, Camilla Noli, Michael Robotham, Michelle Cahill and Alexis Fleming. There will be a seminar series for aspiring writers with tutors such as Mark Tredinnick (The Little Red Writing Book), Jeremy Fisher (president of the Australian Society of Authors) and former publisher and agent Lesley McFadzean. For the festival program, booking information and enrolment in the seminar series, as well as further news and information visit www.actwriters.org.au.

Writers, publisher express concern over Henson controversy

MUP CEO Louise Adler and authors Peter Goldsworthy and J M Coetzee are among several ‘prominent figures’ who have writen an open letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and NSW Premier Morris Iemma, asking them to ‘rethink their comments’ about the work of Bill Henson, which was last week removed by police from a Sydney gallery. The letter also calls on Minister for the Arts Peter Garrett to stand up against ‘a trend of encroaching censorship,’ according to today’s Age.

Pen ‘3 Writers Project’ authors announced

Sydney PEN has announced that Christopher Kremmer, Melissa Lucashenko and Anna Funder will be the next three writers commissioned for The 3 Writers Project, which last year featured Alexis Wright, Gideon Haigh and Christos Tsiolkas. Each author will write 10,000 words on ‘three big issues facing contemporary Australia’–Kremmer on ‘greed’, Lucashenko on ‘survival’ and Funder on ‘courage’. The writers will also each deliver a public lecture and discuss their essay in Sydney and Canberra and the three works will be published as a collection by Allen & Unwin next year.

Author behind Gun Alley murder pardon

Research by author Kevin Morgan and used for his book Gun Alley: Murder, Lies and Failure of Justice (S&S) has led to the pardoning of a man who was wrongly convicted for murder and hung in 1922. Colin Ross, who was hung for the murder of 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke, was convicted after the jury was told that hair found in Ross’ home was that of the victim. After tracing the hair to an archive, author and researcher Morgan pushed for the hair to be examined using modern technology, which found that the hairs did not come from Tirtschke’s scalp. Ross was posthumously pardoned yesterday.

Fremantle Press makes e-book available free online

In an unusual move for an Australian publisher Fremantle Press has announced it will make e-book copies of Hal Spacejock 1 available free online from June.

The e-book giveaway coincides with the release of the fourth book in the series by Simon Haynes, who believes the move will help to build his audience. ‘Science fiction readers are typically technologically savvy and familiar with e-books,’ he said. ‘They are often bloggers with many online connections and the spread of information across the online community is incredibly fast.’

Fremantle Press sales and marketing manager Clive Newman said that while giving away a book for free–‘especially one that is on its third reprint’–was not something the Press would ‘normally contemplate’ he believed the giveaway would attract overseas readers who ‘aren’t going to buy the fourth novel … if they haven’t read the first.’

Overseas, publishers including HarperCollins have experimented with free online books recently and Fremantle Press says there are signs these can ‘lead to increased book sales.’

The free book can be found at http://www.spacejock.com.au/.