William Kostakis on SKY NEWS Book Report – LOATHING LOLA

Fifteen-year-old Courtney Marlow didn’t exactly think it through. She thought the offer to have her life broadcast on national television was the perfect solution to her family’s financial troubles. She was wrong. Mackenzie Dahl, the show’s producer, promised to show Australia a real teenager. Courtney was going to be a positive role model, someone on television without a boob job and an eating disorder. But as events in her life are deviously manipulated to create drama, Courtney begins to realise that ‘ordinary’ does not translate to ‘entertaining’. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame via a little bit of Courtney – especially her conniving friend Katie, and her stepmother, Lola. But Courtney is not the pliant teenager everyone seems to think she is…A funny, edgy, completely compelling novel.

Here’s a free extract from the book:

A plea from the Brisbane Writers’ Festival team

The following message was just received from the Brisbane Writers’ Festival:

As 2009 rolls on and everyone here in the office is happily dreaming and planning for September, we spare a thought for all those who have experienced destruction and loss in North Queensland and Victoria.  In a time when so many feel heart ache we here at BWF have joined forces with our 2008 partners Clayton Utz Lawyers on a special project, and would greatly appreciate your help.

Together with Clayton Utz Lawyers we are currently collecting children’s books for an anonymous women’s refuge here in Brisbane.  In a secure location this organisation provides safe and nurturing accommodation for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence.  Women and children who arrive are traumatised and uncertain about their future.

With this in mind, at the beginning of March we are going to send the refuge as many as books for children aged 15 years and under. We seek your assistance in whatever hope and joy these books may bring into their lives. If you would like to help, please send any of your pre-loved or freshly purchased children/young adult books to the office (details below), by the 27th of February 2009.

 
Deliver books to:
 Brisbane Writers Festival
12 Merivale Street
South Brisbane QLD 4101
 
Post books to:
 Attn: Charis Holt
Brisbane Writers Festival
PO Box 3453
South Brisbane QLD 4101
 

BWF is happy and proud to be working with you, our supporters, and Clayton Utz Lawyers to bring hope and joy to the lives of others. 

From the bottom of our hearts we say thank you!

All the best,
the BWF Team.

New Release: Fate Knows No Tears

Fate Knows No Tears
A novel of passion and scandal in the days of the Raj
Mary Talbot Cross
ISBN 9781862547858      RRP $34.95     NZ$45.00

A new and absorbing book to accompany you on a passage through India … by Mary Talbot Cross who travelled to India several times to research and write this towering tale.¬ – Susan Kurosawa, Weekend Australian

Fate Knows No Tears, a romantic novel rich with the colour and pageantry of colonial India, charts the life of a gifted and sensitive woman’s struggle to assert her individuality at a time when women everywhere in the English-speaking world were demanding the right to self-expression, and struggling to redefine their role in society, culture and politics.

Violet Nicolson, courageous, outspoken and dangerously attractive, lived through a period of dramatic change in both India, and England. Her own life was no less challenging or exciting. For five years she shared her soldier husband’s adventures on the wild mountains of what is now Pakistan. Later, her embrace of local customs and the behaviour previously indulged by Nicolson’s regimental colleagues became the stuff of scandal; there was even talk of a native lover. Her passionate accounts of forbidden liaisons and sensuous jasmine-laden nights sent shock waves through polite Edwardian society.

Fate Knows No Tears is based on the life of Adela Nicolson (1865-1904), who found fame in 1901 writing under the pseudonym Laurence Hope. She was well known in her day for the adventurous nature of her life and the scandalous (for the times) manner of her death, who penned the Edwardian hit song that begins: ‘Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar…’ Her fascinating story unfolds mainly in the India of the British Raj.

Mary Talbot Cross was born and educated in England, then attended Aberdeen University in Scotland, completing a degree in French language and literature. She emigrated to Australia in 1991, after which she travelled widely. She has written several books and numerous articles treating various aspects of Australian and British history, under her given name Jennifer M.T. Carter. She lives in Burra, South Australia.

New releases from Pan Macmillan Australia – February 2009

Eclipse
Richard North Patterson
9780230707030
$32.99 Trade paperback

In a novel of international intrigue, an American lawyer, Damon Pierce, attempts to save Bobby Okari, the West African leader of a protest movement, from execution by the country’s corrupt and autocratic leader. Complicating matters further is Okari’s wife, Marissa Brand, with whom Pierce had a relationship years before that he’s never quite forgotten; in fact, she persuaded him to take the case in the first place, and it is who she plays a crucial role in the eventual outcome…

Culminating in a dramatic show trial and a desperate race against time, Eclipse combines a thrilling narrative with a vivid look at the human cost of the global lust for oil.

A Prisoner of Birth
Jeffrey Archer
9780330464062
$19.99 A-format paperback

Danny Cartwright and Spencer Craig were born on different sides of the track. Danny, an East End Cockney, leaves Clement Attlee Comprehensive School at the age of 15 to take up a job at a local garage. He falls in love with Beth, the boss daughter, and asks her to marry him. Spencer Craig resides in the West End, a graduate of an English public school and Cambridge University. After leaving university he becomes a criminal barrister and is soon tipped to be the youngest Queen’s Counsel of his generation.

Danny and Beth travel up to the West End to celebrate their engagement. They end the evening in a wine bar where Spencer Craig is also celebrating – his 30th birthday, along with a select group of university chums.

Although the two young men don’t meet, their lives will never be the same again.

For, an hour later, one of them is arrested for murder, while the other ends up as the Prosecution’s chief witness in an Old Bailey trial.

The Family Tree
Ilsa Evans
9781405039031
$32.99 Trade paperback

Everybody has a book in them, or so the saying goes. For Kate Painter – wife, mother, freelance editor and aspiring writer – it’s just a matter of finding a spare five minutes, a little peace and quiet… and something to write about.

When her cousin Angie announces she has a room to let, Kate’s spur of the moment decision to move temporarily out of the family home and in with Angie takes everyone, not least her husband and teenage children, by complete surprise. Yet Kate’s sure that in this room of her own, she’ll finally be able to write the novel she’s always wanted to.

But it doesn’t happen so easily. Writer’s block, dirty laundry and emergency babysitting duties all conspire against her. Amid the endless distractions, Kate is drawn into exploring the story of her family: her less than normal childhood with Angie on the family farm, her father’s recent death, and the mystery behind Angie’s enigmatic, absent mother.

The Killing Hands
PD Martin
9781405039024
$32.99 Trade paperback

FBI profiler Sophie Anderson is an expert at dealing with gruesome murder cases and psychotic serial killers. Her latest case, however, is like nothing she’s ever seen before – the victim has had his throat ripped out.

The body is identified as a member of an Asian criminal organisation, and Sophie and her team suspect they’ve stumbled upon a gangland hit. But the butchered victim had been missing for fifteen years, presumed dead – so who lured him out of hiding to kill him?

When Sophie uncovers a number of similar murders with links to organised crime, she realises she has a seasoned killer on her hands who leaves no forensic evidence. But how does he do it?

Sophie is also grappling with more personal issues. Over-protective parents visiting from Australia, her erratic psychic skills and the growing distraction of her feelings for a fellow cop.

But Sophie will have to focus on the job – they still have no idea who’s behind the murder, or that another is being planned… one that will strike at the heart of the investigating team itself.

The Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble
L M Moriarty
9780330424707
$14.99 B-format paperback

The Space Brigade are relaxing after their spectacular triumph over Princess Petronella and her evil plans to destroy Earth, when they receive an intriguing letter. The planet of Shobble wants to employ their services. Should they accept this new mission? After all, the letter mentions grave danger. On the other hand, the people of Shobble are apparently the nicest in the galaxy. As leader of the Brigade, Nicola Berry puts it to the vote and the decision is made. It’s time to unpack the spaceship for another intergalactic adventure!

When the Space Brigade land on the planet of Shobble they soon discover this beautiful planet has a dark secret. Most of the population are virtually slaves, forced to mine for marshmallow and drill for chocolate (the ingredients of Shobble-Choc, the most divine chocolate in the galaxy). Led by a teenage girl called Topaz, the workers are beginning to rebel. The commander-in-chief wants the Space Brigade to squash the rebellion.

At first Nicola refuses to be involved but then something shocking happens that leaves her with no choice. Now the Space Brigade are on an incredible journey that will take them across infested rivers, snowy swamplands and frozen seas. Along the way they’ll learn new skills, make new friends – and they might just change this planet’s history forever.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea – Book Vouchers

 It’s getting really close to Christmas now.  And if you’re like me, you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute…

Well, don’t despair.  Boomerang Books has an excellent last minute Christmas gift idea that is sure to satisfy the hard-to-buy-for person: Get them a Boomerang Books Book Voucher for Christmas…

Boomerang Book Vouchers come in denominations of $20, $30 or $50. They can be redeemed online from Boomerang Books. The voucher recipient can choose from our great range of over 1.2 million titles.  And our discounted prices will ensure that they get great value for money when they select their books.

How does it work?

Once you have purchased the voucher using our secure shopping cart, an email voucher will be sent to you, the purchaser, the following day.  You may then add your own greeting and forward the voucher by email to the recipient.  You might even like to paste the voucher code into your own e-card…

Upon receiving the email voucher, the recipient will be directed to a redemption page on the Boomerang Books website.  Here, the recipient is required to register the book voucher serial number. The value of the voucher will then be honoured against any purchase from Boomerang Books.  Any unspent portion of an online book voucher will be credited towards one subsequent purchase

Get them a Boomerang Books Book Voucher for Christmas…

Wanting by Richard Flanagan book trailer

A young Aboriginal girl, Mathinna, is adopted by the most celebrated explorer of the age, Sir John Franklin, and his wife, Lady Jane, to show that the savage can be civilised. When Sir John disappears while looking for the fabled Northwest Passage, Lady Jane turns to the great novelist Charles Dickens for help. WANTING is a haunting meditation on love, loss and the way life is finally determined never by reason, but only ever by wanting.

Christmas Catalogue now available

The Boomerang Books Christmas Catalogue is now online.  Take a look at it here:

Christmas Gifts – Biography Books

Christmas Gifts – Books for Her

Christmas Gifts – Books for Him

Christmas Gifts – Childrens Books

Christmas Gifts – Cookbooks

Christmas Gifts – Crime Books

Christmas Gifts – Military & History Books

Christmas Gifts – Politics Books

Christmas Gifts – Sports Books

Christmas Gifts – Travel Books

Christmas Gifts – Young Adult Books

Chinese printer refuses to publish Aussie book

A Chinese printer has refused to print Putting Queensland on the Map by Felicity Jack for UNSW Press because it mentions the China-Tibet border.

The book contains just a single line which mentions the border, which Elizabeth Menzies, publisher at UNSW Press, said the printer had suggested should be removed. When UNSW Press refused, the printer advised the publisher to print the title elsewhere and the book will be printed in Thailand.

Felicity Jack’s great grandfather’s life is documented in the biography, including his travels throughout Australia and China. Menzies would not name the Chinese printer, and said ‘We print as many of our books as we can in Australia’, but go overseas for ‘those that are colour or require something different’.

‘The author [Jack] felt very strongly that she did not want her text changed by the Chinese authorities and we stand beside that,’ said Menzies.

http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/articles/2008/08/09123/

Winners of CBCA Awards announced

The winners of this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) awards have been announced.

The winning and honour books are:

Book of the Year: Older Readers

The Ghost’s Child (Sonya Hartnett, Viking) 

Honour Books:

Marty’s Shadow (John Heffernan, Omnibus)

Black Water (David Metzenthen, Penguin)

Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Dragon Moon (Carole Wilkinson, Black Dog Books)

Honour Books:

Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!) (Sherryl Clark, illustrated by Elissa Christian, Puffin)

Amelia Dee and the Peacock Lamp (Odo Hirsch, A&U)

Book of the Year: Early Childhood

Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley (Aaron Blabey, Viking)

Honour Books:

Cat (Mike Dumbleton, illustrated by Craig Smith, Working Title Press)

Lucy Goosey (Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ann James, Little Hare Books)

Picture Book of the Year

Requiem for a Beast (Matt Ottley, Lothian)

Honour Books:

The Peasant Prince (Li Cunxin, illus by Anne Spudvilas, Viking)

Dust (Colin Thompson, ABC Books)

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books (Frances Watts, illus by David Legge, ABC Books)

Honour Books:

Girl Stuff: Your Full-on Guide to the Teen Years (Kaz Cooke, Viking)

Kokoda Track: 101 Days (Peter Macinnis, Black Dog Books).

http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/articles/2008/08/09164/

Indigenous Literacy Project a success

A field trip to the Jawoyn region of the Northern Territory by representatives of the bookselling and publishing industry has highlighted both the positive benefits of the trade’s Indigenous Literacy Day fundraising activities, and the challenges facing those working to improve literacy in the region.

uzy Wilson, owner of Riverbend Books and founder of the Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP), said the trip was a chance to see how some of the funds raised by the industry had been used–and to note the changes since inital ILP visits to the region..

‘Visiting the new school at Wugularr was a particularly profound moment,’ she told WBN. ‘The beautiful new library that was accessible to the community as well as the school was a lovely space filled with books, many of which were supplied by our project. The old school had very few books and no library. It was exciting to see that many classrooms now have beautiful book displays; and the presence and access to books in the school has markedly increased.’

Wilson was joined on the fact-finding trip by industry representatives including Penguin CEO Gabrielle Coyne and general manager, education, sales and marketing Kristen Gill; Allen & Unwin director Peter Eichhorn and children’s book director Liz Bray; Robyn Huppert of the Australian Booksellers Association; Gleebooks co-owner and ILP chair David Gaunt; and ILP ambassadors Andy Griffiths and Tara June Winch (pictured, with students in the Wugularr school library).

As well as the new school at Wugalarr, where Griffiths read to students from The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow, the group visited the also relatively new school at Manyallaluk, where Winch supplied sea shells, paints and paper butterflies for students to use in illustrating the story she read to them.

The group also visited the library at Burunga, which is available both to students and the wider community. ‘Discussions were made later in the trip about how we could build upon and provide even richer input during these field trips,’ said Wilson. ‘Andy Griffiths and others had some terrific suggestions about story-writing workshops which will be followed up on in coming months.’

The challenge of continuity
While the brand new school and library at Wugalarr was an impressive development, the fact that five of the seven teachers on staff had been at the school for only two weeks clearly demonstrated to the group the challenges of providing continuity of education in remote communities.

‘The issues of continuity were seen as being one of the most significant for everyone in the community to face–continuity of staff, continuity of learning, in particular “reading support” between home and school, and sustained and continuous health care support,’ said Wilson. ‘The Project could see that there were a number of small things we could do to support the extraordinary souls who take on the challenge of working in these remote areas.’

As well as highlighting the challenges of improving literacy in these communities, the field trip emphasised the importance of providing support. ‘For instance the Indigenous principal of Barunga School, Anita Camfoo described for us the huge delight felt by the community when five children in the school–with an enrolment of seventy eight–reached the literacy bench mark last year,’ said Wilson. ‘Anita’s statement inspired much discussion amongst the group. While recognising the sense of achievement that the school felt from this result it only highlighted for us the differing expectations regarding literacy success in remote communities.  We discussed strategies of support that could be used to help raise the numbers of children reaching the benchmark.’

Plans for 3 September–Indigenous Literacy Day
This year’s Indigenous Literacy Day, when participating booksellers and publishers will donate a percentage of their earnings to the project, will take place on Wednesday 3 September.

Events planned on or near the day include:

NSW
In Sydney, Josh Pyke, Tara June Winch, Jacquie Harvey, Gabi Hollows and Libby Gleeson will present a memorable hour of music and storytelling to a school audience hosted by Sydney Grammar on the morning of September 3; Wesley Enoch, Tara June Winch, Julianne Schultz and performing artists will be special guests at an ILP/PEN evening at the State Library of NSW on the evening of September 3.

WA
Sally Morgan and May O’Brien will be special guests at a storytelling event for schools at the State Library of Western Australia; The University of WA will present a special evening panel featuring Indigenous writers and storytellers.

SA
Uni of Adelaide will host a special fundraising event involving book readings and performances.

NT
The Fred Hollows Foundation is organising a special event with Indigenous writers, musicians and performers in Darwin;  ILD Ambassador Anita Heiss will be in Alice Springs for a keynote address on literacy and also for media interviews.

VIC
Alexis Wright, John Marsden, Arnold Zable will be key guests at the Victorian State Library in a special panel organised through the Victorian Writers’ Centre on the evening of September 3; A special launch event will be held at Readers Feast on morning of September 3; Paul Jennings and Kaz Cooke will be key guests at a Victorian schools event organised at Ivanhoe College.

QLD
The State Library of Queensland is holding daytime storytellling and an evening panel to celebrate the day.

ACT
Kate Grenville will give a keynote address in Canberra at the National Library of Australia on the evening of September 3.
For more information on events, or how to become involved, visit www.worldwithoutbooks.org

Victorian Prem’s awards shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards was announced on Friday, 8 August, by Arts Minister Lynne Kosky at the State Library of Victoria.

The 2008 Awards are in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, young adult fiction, an unpublished manuscript by an emerging Victorian writer, poetry, drama, essay, history, Indigenous writing, journalism, music theatre, and writing about Italians in Australia. The winning writers will share a total prize pool of $210,000.

The full list is here

Books Alive Campaign has commenced

The 2008 Books Alive campaign has commenced.  You may have seen the ’50 books you can’t put down’ promotional material in the weekend press.

Well, Boomerang Books is happy to be a part of the campaign for the first time – buy one of the 50 books from us and you will receive a FREE copy of Michael Robotham’s explosive new thriller Bombproof.

You can see the full list of 50 books here…

Here’s some information about Bombproof and Michael Robotham…

New video on Boomerang Books website

Video – Chloe Hooper in conversation with Sally Warhaft about The Tall Man
Chloe Hooper discusses the writing of her new non-fiction book The Tall Man with Monthly editor Sally Warhaft. Exploring the events surrounding the death of Cameron Doomadgee in police custody on Palm Island, the book expands on the story originally told in her Walkley Award-winning essay in The Monthly in November 2006.
Video – Nam Le in conversation with Cate Kennedy about The Boat (Part 2)
Part 2 – Nam Le discusses his much-acclaimed new collection of short stories, The Boat, with fellow short story writer and poet Cate Kennedy. Presented by Readings at the Asialink Centre, University of Melbourne.
Video – Nam Le in conversation with Cate Kennedy about The Boat (Part 1)
Part 1 – Nam Le discusses his much-acclaimed new collection of short stories, The Boat, with fellow short story writer and poet Cate Kennedy. Presented by Readings at the Asialink Centre, University of Melbourne.
Video – David Malouf on Australian culture and writing. Mildura Writers’ Festival (Part 2)
Part 2 – In this closing lecture at the Mildura Writers’ Festival, David Malouf considers how Australian writing reflects the nation’s soul, and what it tells us about Australian society and culture- as well as how the writing has been formed by these. He compares Australian writing with other national embodiments then comes to consider the contemporary writing scene and its possible future directions, and that of Australia’s broader culture. David is introduced by historian and author Prof. Alan Frost.
Video – David Malouf on Australian culture and writing. Mildura Writers’ Festival (Part 1)
Part 1 – In this closing lecture at the Mildura Writers’ Festival, David Malouf considers how Australian writing reflects the nation’s soul, and what it tells us about Australian society and culture- as well as how the writing has been formed by these. He compares Australian writing with other national embodiments then comes to consider the contemporary writing scene and its possible future directions, and that of Australia’s broader culture. David is introduced by historian and author Prof. Alan Frost.
Video – Junot Diaz, in conversation with Ramona Koval. Sydney Writers’ Festival (Part 2)
Part 2 – In this entertaining and enlightening conversation, Junot Diaz discusses his 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao with Ramona Koval, host of ABC Radio National’s Book Show. This session was a highlight of the Sydney Writers’ Festival 2008.
Video – Junot Diaz, in conversation with Ramona Koval. Sydney Writers’ Festival (Part 1)
Part 1 – In this entertaining and enlightening conversation, Junot Diaz discusses his 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao with Ramona Koval, host of ABC Radio National’s Book Show. This session was a highlight of the Sydney Writers’ Festival 2008.

Call to ban Nitschke book

The sisters of an Australian woman who committed suicide using the drug Nembutal, have called on Attorney-General Robert McClelland to ban Philip Nitschke’s book Killing Me Softly: Voluntary Euthanasia and the Road to the Peaceful Pill (written with Fiona Stewart, Penguin). However, Nitschke said his book does not encourage or direct a person to commit suicide. The woman in question had been refused membership to Nitschke’s organisation Exit International on psychiatric grounds, according to ABC Online. ‘If a person has got a clear psychiatric history we let them know that we think that they need to access appropriate services for that,’ said Nitschke. Another book by Nitschke, The Peaceful Pill Handbook, cannot be sold in retail shops in Australia, after being refused classification in 2007. However, it can be mail-ordered by individuals from Exit International in the US, is available on Amazon and, since May, is able to be sold in New Zealand if sealed and with an indication of censorship displayed.

New UK Writing Prize announced

The University of Warwick in the UK has launched a new writing prize for ‘an excellent and substantial piece of writing in the English language, in any genre or form’. Open to authors writing in English in any country, the £50,000 (A$102,000) prize will be awarded biennially, beginning in 2009. The theme for the inaugural prize is ‘complexity’. A panel of five judges including mathematician Ian Steward and literary blogger Stephen Mitchelmore will announce a longlist of 15 to 20 titles in October and a shortlist of six in January 2009 with the winner to be announced in February next year. ‘The winning submission will represent an intellectual, scientific and/or imaginative advance and be written with an energy and clarity that make it accessible and attractive to a wide audience,’ said a statement. In addition to the £50,000 monetary prize, the winning author will be awarded the opportunity to take up a short placement at the University. To find out more visit www.warwick.ac.uk/go/prizeforwriting.

Rushdie named Best of the Booker

Salman Rushdie was today (10 July) named winner of the Best of the Booker award for Midnight’s Children.

The shortlist of six books was selected by a panel of judges – the biographer, novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning (Chair), writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan, Professor of English at University College, London. The decision then went to a public poll. Midnight’s Children won with 36% of the votes.

Victoria Glendinning commented, ‘The readers have spoken – in their thousands. And we do believe that they have made the right choice.’

Midnight’s Children won the Booker Prize in 1981. It was then chosen as the Booker of Bookers in 1993 – the only other time a celebratory prize has been awarded.

Inside Kevin 07 – the people who made it a success

Meet the dedicated band of political and creative strategists who engineered Labor’s reversal of fortune.

See first-hand the birth of a new style of campaigning.

Discover who was responsible for Kevin07.

Due to intense media demand, Melbourne University Press will release August title Inside Kevin 07 a week early. The new in-store date is Monday, 21 July.

Inside Kevin 07 takes readers into the extraordinary campaign that put Kevin Rudd in the Lodge. Labor’s 2007 victory was historic, not only in numerical terms, but also in what it represents about the party itself, and its future.Among other things, the 2007 campaign showed the emergence of a new kind of Labor leader in Kevin Rudd, who had neither a factional powerbase nor close ties with the unions. It also showed the return of the positive campaign, and the ALP’s strategic use of modern media, from YouTube to the catchphrases that we heard during the course of 2007. ‘Working families’, anyone?Christine Jackman has had the full cooperation of all the key Labor players in the campaign, including Kevin Rudd and Tim Gatrell, and the book is written from her exclusive access to research and files from the Labor camp. Inside Kevin 07 is an unprecedented revelation of how a modern political party works – and succeeds.

Glenn McGrath book to be released

Random House Australia wishes to express its deep sadness regarding the recent death of Jane McGrath. Our thoughts are with Glenn and his family at this very difficult time. Glenn McGrath:  Line and Strength – The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath with Daniel Lane ISBN 9781741667196, went to print two weeks ago in accordance with Glenn McGrath’s management and is still on schedule for an 1 August publication date. Random House will be donating a percentage of each copy sold to the McGrath Foundation, which supports Australian women touched by breast cancer. Further donations to the McGrath Foundation can be made at any branch of the National Australia Bank or at http://www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au/.

Boomerang Books launches new support program for Australian publishers

Boomerang Books has just launched a support program for Australian publishers which is designed to assist them to sell more Australian books.

We are offering Aussie publishers a sub-site on the Boomerang Books website through which to promote their books, among a number of other benefits.

We have just opened a sub-site for Lonely Planet:

For further information, please 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.

http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/articles/2008/06/08569/

‘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.

http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/articles/2008/06/08602/

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.

http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/articles/2008/06/08569/

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/.