On Monday 2 March The Australian Publishers Association announced the 2020 ABIA longlist. The longlist introduces the titles, publishers and authors in the running for the 2020 ABIA. And what a list it is! Check it out below. 

This announcement marks the lead up to the premier event on the Australian book industry calendar—The ABIA Awards night—held on Wednesday 29 April in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s ICC. Coinciding with the Sydney Writers Festival, the red-carpet event will be hosted by Casey Bennetto, back by popular demand, and a very special performance from longlisted author Clare Bowditch. 


Celebrating the achievements of authors, publishers, editors, illustrators, designers, publicists and marketers, this award night is now well and truly one of the entertainment year’s night of nights. The ABIAs showcase the collaborative efforts of authors and industry professionals who bring quality books to Australian and International readers.

The ABIA Academy—a group of more than 250 representatives drawn from across the industry—have selected books published in 2019 for awards across a range of categories including Fiction, Biography and Audiobook, as well as  acknowledging the business of publishing and marketing within Australia.

The 2019 ABIA shortlist will be released on Thursday 9 April.

On Thursday 16 April the Rising Star Award, the Lloyd O’Neill Hall of Fame Award, and the Pixie O’Harris Award for consistent contribution to children’s literature, will be announced.

For further information and media inquiries, please contact:

Brendan Fredericks | BFredericksPR | 0403 265 337 |

Biography Book of the Year

  • Australia Day, Stan Grant (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Born-Again Blakfella, Jack Charles (Penguin Random House Australia, Viking)
  • Gulpilil, Derek Rielly (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Penny Wong: Passion and Principle, Margaret Simons (Black Inc., Black Inc.)
  • Tell Me Why, Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster Australia, Simon & Schuster)
  • The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory, Corey White (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • When All is Said & Done, Neale Daniher, with Warwick Green (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+)

  • Detention, Tristan Bancks (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)
  • How It Feels to Float, Helena Fox (Pan Macmillan Australia, Pan Australia)
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, Michael Earp et al (Walker Books Australia, Walker Books Australia)
  • The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling, Wai Chim (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • This Is How We Change the Ending, Vikki Wakefield (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Welcome to Country Youth Edition, Marcia Langton (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • Welcome To Your Period, Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang (Hardie Grant Egmont, Hardie Grant Egmont)

Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12)

  • Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing!, Tim Flannery (Hardie Grant Egmont, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Funny Bones, Edited by Kate Temple, Jol Temple and Oliver Phommavanh (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • How to Make a Movie in 12 Days, Fiona Hardy (Affirm Press, Affirm Press)
  • Real Pigeons Nest Hard, Written by Andrew McDonald, Illustrated by Ben Wood (Hardie Grant Egmont, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • The 117-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan Australia, Pan Australia)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals, Sami Bayly (Hachette Australia, Lothian Children's Books)
  • Under the Stars, Lisa Harvey-Smith, Mel Matthews (illustrator) (Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne University Press)
  • Young Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)

Children's Picture Book of the Year (ages 0-6)

  • All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors, Davina Bell and Jenny Løvlie (Hardie Grant Egmont, Little Hare)
  • Bluey: The Beach, Ludo Studio, BBC Studios and Penguin Random House Australia (Penguin Random House Australia and Puffin)
  • Kindness Makes Us Strong, Sophie Beer (Hardie Grant Egmont, Little Hare)
  • Lottie and Walter, Anna Walker (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)
  • Mr Chicken All Over Australia, Leigh Hobbs (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Painted Ponies, Alison Lester (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Tiny Star, Mem Fox and Freya Blackwood (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)
  • Tilly, Jane Godwin and Anna Walker (Scholastic Australia, Scholastic Press)
  • Wilam, Andrew Kelly, Aunty Joy Murphy, Lisa Kennedy (Walker Books Australia, Black Dog Books)

General Fiction Book of the Year

  • Bruny, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Call Me Evie, J.P. Pomare (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Cilka's Journey, Heather Morris (Echo Publishing, Echo Publishing)
  • Good Girl, Bad Girl, Michael Robotham (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Peace, Garry Disher (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Silver, Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Wife and the Widow, Christian White (Affirm Press, Affirm Press)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Accidental Feminists, Jane Caro (Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne University Press)
  • Against All Odds, Craig Challen and Richard Harris (Penguin Random House Australia, Viking)
  • Banking Bad, Adele Ferguson (HarperCollins Publishers, ABC Books)
  • Fake, Stephanie Wood (Penguin Random House Australia, Vintage Australia)
  • Kitty Flanagan's 488 Rules for Life, Kitty Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse, Jess Hill (Black Inc., Black Inc.)
  • The Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume I 1978, Helen Garner (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Troll Hunting, Ginger Gorman (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)

Illustrated Book of the Year

  • Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925–1975, Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad (Thames & Hudson Australia, Thames & Hudson Australia)
  • Ben Quilty, Ben Quilty (Penguin Random House Australia, Lantern Australia)
  • Finding the Heart of the Nation, Thomas Mayor (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia: Second Edition, Bill Arthur and Frances Morphy (eds.) (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macquarie Dictionary Publishers)
  • Olive Cotton, Helen Ennis (HarperCollins Publishers, Fourth Estate)
  • Step into Paradise, Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson (Thames & Hudson Australia and MAAS Media, Thames & Hudson Australia)
  • The Lost Boys: The untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War, Paul Byrnes (Affirm Press, Affirm Press)
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook, Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)
  • Three Birds Renovations, Erin Cayless, Bonnie Hindmarsh and Lana Taylor (Murdoch Books, Murdoch Books)

International Book of the Year

  • Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow (Hachette Australia, Fleet)
  • Fleishman is in Trouble, Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Hachette Australia, Wildfire)
  • Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Lanny, Max Porter (Faber, Faber)
  • The Dutch House, Ann Patchett, (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Penguin Random House Australia, Chatto & Windus)
  • Three Women, Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens (Hachette Australia, Corsair)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • Damascus, Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Exploded View, Carrie Tiffany (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Room for a Stranger, Melanie Cheng (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • The Drover's Wife, Leah Purcell (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Weekend, Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Yield, Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • There Was Still Love, Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Wolfe Island, Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillan Australia, Picador Australia)

Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year

  • Cosmic Chronicles, Fred Watson (NewSouth Publishing, NewSouth)
  • Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia, Darryl Jones (NewSouth Publishing NewSouth)
  • Invented Lives, Andrea Goldsmith (Scribe Publications, Scribe Publications)
  • Kindred, Kirli Saunders (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Paris Savages, Katherine Johnson (Ventura Press, Ventura Press)
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Split, Lee Kofman (Ventura Press, Ventura Press)
  • The White Girl, Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press, University of Queensland Press)

Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year

  • Baby Business, Jasmine Seymour (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Cooee Mittigar, Written by Jasmine Seymour, Illustrated by Leanne Mulgo Watson (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Little Bird’s Day, Written by Sally Morgan, Illustrated by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Love Your Body, written by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti (Five Mile, Five Mile)
  • Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street, Felicita Sala (Scribe Publications, Scribble)
  • Sick Bay, Nova Weetman (University of Queensland Press, University of Queensland Press)
  • Summer Time, Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti (NewSouth Publishing, NewSouth)
  • You Can Change the World: The Kids' Guide to a Better Planet, Lucy Bell (Pantera Press, Pantera Press)

The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

  • Being Black 'n Chicken, and Chips, Matt Okine (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Call Me Evie, J.P. Pomare (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory, Corey White (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook, Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)
  • Troll Hunting, Ginger Gorman (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)  


Keep up with all your ABIA 2020 news at:


Twitter @ABIA_Awards

Instagram @ABIA_Awards

Facebook ABIA Awards

Year of Publication

How far would your government go? 

A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea and China is Australia's newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. 

Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

A girl is found hiding in a secret room in a house being renovated after a terrible crime. For weeks she has survived by sneaking out at night, stealing food for herself and two dogs that are kept in the garden. The nurses at the hospital where she is taken call her “Angel Face” because she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen, or somewhere in between. She doesn’t appear on any missing person’s file, or match the DNA of any murder victim.

Six years later, still unidentified, the same girl is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac, when she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is sent to interview Evie and decide if she’s ready to go free, but Evie Cormac is unlike he’s anyone he’s ever met. She’s damaged, destructive, and self-hating, yet possessed of a gift, or a curse, that makes her both fascinating and dangerous to be with—the ability to tell when someone is lying. Soon he is embroiled in her unique and dangerous world, his life in utmost peril.

Year of Publication

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town--brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he's hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne--something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can't remember the night in question.

The fragments of Kate's shattered memories of her old life seem happy: good friends, a big house in the suburbs, a devoted boyfriend. Bill says he'll help her fill in the blanks--but his story isn't adding up. And as she tries to reconcile the girl she thought she'd been with the devastating consequences Bill claims she's responsible for, Kate will unearth secrets about herself and those closest to her that could change everything.

A riveting debut novel that fearlessly plumbs the darkest recesses of the mind, Call Me Evie explores the fragility of memory and the potential in all of us to hide the truth, even from ourselves. 

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Constable Paul Hirschhausen runs a one-cop station in the dry farming country south of the Flinders Ranges. He's still new in town but the community work-welfare checks and working bees-is starting to pay off. Now Christmas is here and, apart from a grass fire, two boys stealing a ute and Brenda Flann entering the front bar of the pub without exiting her car, Hirsch's life has been peaceful.

Until he's called to a strange, vicious incident in Kitchener Street. And Sydney police ask him to look in on a family living outside town on a forgotten back road.

Suddenly, it doesn't look like a season of goodwill at all. 

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

For half a lifetime, journalist Martin Scarsden has run from his past. But now there is no escaping. He'd vowed never to return to his hometown, Port Silver, and its traumatic memories. But now his new partner, Mandy Blonde, has inherited an old house in the seaside town and Martin knows their chance of a new life together won't come again. Martin arrives to find his best friend from school days brutally murdered, and Mandy the chief suspect. With the police curiously reluctant to pursue other suspects, Martin goes searching for the killer. And finds the past waiting for him. 

He's making little progress when a terrible new crime starts to reveal the truth. The media descend on Port Silver, attracted by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity and religion. Once again, Martin finds himself in the front line of reporting. Yet the demands of deadlines and his desire to clear Mandy are not enough: the past is ever present. 

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.

A security card in the dead woman's pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy - it has funded Emma's own ground-breaking research. The enquiry into Carline's death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn't be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity. Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?

Year of Publication

Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and The Widow is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives. Brilliant and beguiling, The Wife and The Widow takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love? 

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Submitted by Karen on Mon, 02/03/2020 - 02:18 pm