Book industry’s stellar night of nights

May 7, 2019

The 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced on Thursday 2 May at a red carpet Oscars-for-the-bookish event in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s International Convention Centre.

Debut novelist Trent Dalton cleaned up this year for his literary bestselling triumph Boy Swallows Universe (HarperCollins Australia). Boy Swallows Universe won four Awards – the first book ever to do so; an ABIAs record – including Book of the Year, along with Literary Book of the Year, the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, and Audio Book of the Year (Wavesound, narrated by Stig Wemyss).

Behrouz Boochani received another award for his journal-memoir, tapped out on a mobile phone by text message from Manus Island, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Pan Macmillan Australia), translated from the Farsi by Omid Tofighian, winning the General Non-Fiction Book of the Year (Sponsored by Copyright Agency).

General Fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by Better Reading) went to Holly Ringland for The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (HarperCollins Publishers), and the Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12) went to perennial favourites Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton for The 104-Storey Treehouse (Pan Macmillan Australia).

And Bri Lee continues her run of award shortlistings and prizes for Eggshell Skull (Allen & Unwin), which took out the Biography of the Year Award (Sponsored by Borrow Box).

Justin Ractliffe of Hachette was awarded the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund 2019 Publisher Fellowship.

Richard Walsh – publisher, editor, company director, media consultant, lecturer, broadcaster and journalist – was presented with the Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award for outstanding service to the Australian Book Industry by Chairman of Allen & Unwin, Patrick Gallagher.

The Pixie O’Harris Award for consistent contribution to children’s literature was awarded to Australian publishing and bookselling champion, Kathy Kozlowski.

Recipients of the industry business awards were Pan Macmillan (Publisher of the Year), Affirm Press (Small Publisher of the Year), Booktopia (National Retailer of the Year), Mary Martin Bookshops took out the Independent Retailer of the Year, and Ella Chapman from Hachette won this year’s Rising Star Award.

See a full list of awards and photos.