Before anything, we want to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone involved with this poll. To all authors, we owe you thanks on so many levels, but on this occasion thank you for rallying your fans and supporting other authors with such vigour. Oh, and for writing the books that we adore. We love you all.
To the publishers, we couldn’t have done this without your tireless support, and your incredible passion for Australian books.
And last but not least, to all the lovers of Australian books who have voted in this poll, thank you. Booktopia is a proudly Australian owned and operated bookstore, created for Australians by Australians. Your support means the world to us.
That’s why we set up this poll, and made January our month of Australian Stories. We think Australian authors are pretty damn important, and want to do whatever we can to support them.
But for now, before we get any more emotional, on with the show…
Trudi Canavan was born in Kew, Melbourne and grew up in Ferntree Gully, a suburb at the foothills of the Dandenongs. In November 2001, The Magicians’ Guild was first published in Australia. The second book of the trilogy, The Novice, was published in June 2002 and was nominated for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. The third book The High Lord was released in January 2003 and was nominated for the Best Novel Ditmar category.
Trudi’s second trilogy, Age of the Five, has also enjoyed bestselling success. Priestess of the White reached No.3 in the Sunday Times hardback fiction bestseller list, staying in the top ten for six weeks.
In early 2006 Trudi signed a seven-figure contract with Orbit to write the prequel and sequel to the Black Magician Trilogy. The prequel, The Magician’s Apprentice was released in 2009 and won the Best Fantasy Novel category of the Aurealis Awards. The sequel trilogy has enjoyed great success on the bestseller lists and The Rogue reached no. 11 in the Fantasy category of the Goodreads Best Books of 2011 Awards. In 2011 she embarked on a tour that included the UK, Ireland, Poland, France and Germany.
Tara Moss is a novelist, journalist, blogger and TV presenter. Since 1999 she has written 9 bestselling novels, published in 18 countries and 12 languages. Her first non-fiction book, the critically acclaimed The Fictional Woman, was published in 2014 and became a number one bestseller.
Her writing has appeared in Australian Literary Review, The Sydney Morning Herald News Review, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian, ABC online and more. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney, and has earned her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy.
Her non-fiction writing has appeared in The Australian Literary Review, Vogue, ELLE, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, among other publications.
Before writing full-time Michael Robotham was an investigative journalist in Britain, Australia and the US. In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies.
His first novel The Suspect, a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.
In 2012 he released his eighth novel Say You’re Sorry. It went on to be New York Times bestseller and was named by Stephen King as one of his best books of 2012, who praised its, “Never-lets-up suspense and beautiful writing.”
Miles Franklin was born into a pioneering family settled in New South Wales, Australia. She wrote My Brilliant Career when she was only sixteen. Publication in 1901 brought instant fame and a notoriety that was so unwelcome that she forbade its republication until ten years after her death.
Franklin travelled to America, where she worked for the Women’s Trade Union League, and later during WWI to London and Salonika, where she did war work. In 1933 she returned to Australia, where she spent the rest of her life. My Career Goes Bung, the sequel to My Brilliant Career, was published in 1946, and her autobiography, Childhood at Brindabella, posthumously in 1963.
In 2007, Graeme completed his PhD in information systems and enrolled in the professional screenwriting course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has made a number of short films and his screenplay, The Rosie Project, won the Australian Writers Guild/Inception Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script in 2010. While waiting for The Rosie Project to be produced, he turned it into a novel which in June 2012 won the Victorian Premier’s award for an unpublished fiction manuscript.
Readers of The Rosie Project will know that Graeme Simsion has a first-class sense of humour. At professional conferences he has given addresses from on top of a ladder, dressed as a duck, and he once engaged a group of spellbound chartered accountants in community singing.
Fiona McCallum spent her childhood years on the family cereal and wool farm outside a small town on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. An avid reader and writer, she decided at the age of nine that she wanted to be the next Enid Blyton! She completed her final years of schooling at a private boarding school in Adelaide.
Fiona writes “heart-warming journey of self-discovery stories”. Her first novel Paycheque was released on April 1, 2011 and became an ‘instant bestseller’. Her second novel Nowhere Else was an even bigger hit, outselling Paycheque by early January 2012.
Fiona’s third novel, Wattle Creek, was released April 1 2012. Wattle Creek’s success saw it chosen as one of the Get Reading! “50 Books You Can’t Put Down” for 2012.
Alison Lester is one of Australia’s most popular and bestselling creators of children’s books. She has won many awards, including the 2005 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award for Are We There Yet? and the 2012 CBCA Eve Pownall Book of the Year Award for One Small Island.
Her picture books include Running With the Horses, a story based on the evacuation of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna during World War Two; One Small Island, about the possibility of hope and environmental preservation for a World Heritage listed island and for the world itself; Sophie Scott Goes South about a little girl’s voyage to Antarctica and the sense of wonder that it brings; and Kissed by the Moon, a lyrical celebration of the natural world and all that it has to offer a child.
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.
She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into six different languages.
She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
Colleen McCullough was born in western New South Wales in 1937. A neuroscientist by training, she worked in various Sydney and English hospitals before settling into ten years of research and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in the USA.
In 1974 her first novel Tim was published in New York, followed by the bestselling The Thorn Birds in 1977 and a string of successful novels, including the acclaimed Masters of Rome series.
In 1980 she settled in Norfolk Island, where she lives with her husband, Ric Robinson, and a cat named Shady.
An English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. That’s some of the ingredients that make up one of the most successful Romance Writers in Australia, Rachael Johns.
In a relatively short space of time, Rachael has shown herself a force to be reckoned with, helping to bolster a new movement in Australian Romance writing. At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association.
It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she loved contemporary romance.
She lives in rural Western Australia with her husband and their three children.
Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir.
Hannah is the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award.
Burial Rites is her first novel. It has been translated into twenty languages.
Nick Earls writes long, short and medium-sized fiction, so far including twelve novels and numerous shorter works. With the publication of the first installment of the Word Hunters series in September 2012, he is now officially also a writer for children.
Critics have compared his work with that of Nick Hornby, Raymond Carver, Martin Amis, VS Naipaul, JD Salinger, Woody Allen and Jeffrey Eugenides.
He is the winner of a Betty Trask Award (UK) and Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. Perfect Skin was the only novel to be a finalist in the Australian Comedy Awards in 2003, and was adapted into a feature film in Italy (Solo un Padre, Warner Brothers/Cattleya). 48 Shades of Brown was a Kirkus Reviews (US) book of the year selection, and was adapted into a feature film in Australia (Buena Vista/Prima). Five of his novels have been adapted into stage plays.
He has also written for newspapers, including the New York Times, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.
He was born in Northern Ireland, but has spent most of his life in Australia, where all of his books have been bestsellers.
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of five novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award.
He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for his novel, The Slap, which was also announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer.
He lives in Melbourne. Christos’ latest novel is Barracuda, which was published here and in the UK to rave reviews in late 2013 and became an instant bestseller.
Peter FitzSimons is the author of over 20 books – including Tobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age, Ned Kelly and last year’s Gallipoli. He has also written biographies of Nancy Wake‚ Kim Beazley‚ Nick Farr-Jones‚ Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales.
Peter is Australia’s biggest-selling non-fiction author of the last ten years.
Peter was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations.
Peter Carey is one of only four writers to have won the Booker Prize twice—the others being J. M. Coetzee, J. G. Farrell and Hilary Mantel. Carey won his first Booker Prize in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda, and won for the second time in 2001 with True History of the Kelly Gang. In May 2008 he was nominated for the Best of the Booker Prize.
Carey has won the Miles Franklin Award three times and is frequently named as Australia’s next contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
In addition to writing fiction, he collaborated on the screenplay of the film Until the End of the World with Wim Wenders and is executive director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.
Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issues.
In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism master’s program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.
She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her first novel, Year of Wonders, is an international bestseller, and People of the Book is a New York Times bestseller translated into 20 languages. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.
Keneally was known as “Mick” until 1964 but began using the name Thomas when he started publishing, after advice from his publisher to use what was really his first name. He is most famous for his Schindler’s Ark (later republished as Schindler’s List), which won the Booker Prize and is the basis of the film Schindler’s List.
Many of his novels are reworkings of historical material, although modern in their psychology and style.
In 1983 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In March 2009 the Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, gave an autographed copy of Keneally’s biography Lincoln to President Barack Obama as a state gift.
Born on June 17, 1867, in Grenfell, Lawson is considered one of the leading writers of Australia’s colonial period. He was the son of a Norwegian seaman, Niels Larsen, who later changed his name to Peter Lawson. In Henry’s early years, the family lived on a poor selection in the Mudgee district. Lawson suffered from deafness and was often teased as a result.
His parents separated in 1883, and Henry moved to Sydney with his mother, Louisa. It was there that Louisa began publishing the feminist newspaper The Dawn.
He wrote short stories and ballad-like poems, illuminating the lives of rural, working Australians. He traveled extensively, and was frequently published in the Bulletin.
He died impoverished in 1922. At his funeral, crowds lined the streets to farewell Australia’s ‘poet of the people’.
32. Helen Garner
Helen Garner’s first novel, Monkey Grip, was published in 1977, and immediately established her as an original voice on the Australian literary scene. She is known for incorporating and adapting her personal experiences in her fiction, something that has brought her both praise and criticism, particularly with her novels, Monkey Grip and The Spare Room.
Throughout her career, Garner has written both fiction and non-fiction. She attracted controversy with her book The First Stone about a sexual harassment scandal in a university college. She has also written for film and theatre, and has consistently won awards for her work.
In subsequent books, she has continued to adapt her personal experiences. Her later novels include The Children’s Bach and Cosmo Cosmolino. In 2008 she returned to fiction writing with the publication of The Spare Room, a fictional treatment of caring for a dying cancer patient, based on the illness and death of Garner’s friend Jenya Osborne. She has also published several short story collections: Honour & Other People’s Children: two stories, Postcards from Surfers and My Hard Heart: Selected Fictions.
Melina Marchetta’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993, winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) among many others. In 2000 it was released as a major Australian film, winning an AFI award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay as well as the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.
Melina taught secondary school English and History for ten years, during which time she released her second novel, Saving Francesca, in 2003, followed by On the Jellicoe Road in 2006, and Finnikin of the Rock in 2008. Saving Francesca won the CBC Book of the Year Award for Older Readers. On the Jellicoe Road was also published in the US as Jellicoe Road, and it won the prestigious American Library Association’s Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009. In 2008, Melina’s first work of fantasy, Finnikin of the Rock, won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel and was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Award for Older Readers.
Traci Harding is an Australian novelist. Her work combines fantasy, facts, history and esoteric beliefs.
She has recently sold the film rights to The Alchemist Key, with production recommencing in 2010 She was born and raised in Carlingford, a western suburb of Sydney, Australia.
Harding states that her early interests were, “music, boys, daydreaming and storytelling”.
After leaving school she first pursued an interest in music. Later she started writing stories, novels, and then film scripts.
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s best-known authors. She’s published eight books of fiction and four books about the writing process. Her best-known works include the international best-seller The Secret River, The Idea of Perfection, and The Lieutenant.
The Secret River has won many prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize for Literature and the Christina Stead Prize. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Award.
Several of her novels have been made into major feature films, and all have been translated into European and Asian languages.
In March 2010 Kate Grenville was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of New South Wales and in November 2012 she was awarded the same honour by the University of Sydney.
Colin Milton Thiele (1920 – 2006) was renowned for his award-winning children’s fiction, most notably the novels Storm Boy, Blue Fin, the Sun on the Stubble series, and February Dragon.
Thiele wrote more than 100 books, which often described life in rural Australia, particularly the Eudunda, Barossa Valley, and Murray River/Coorong regions of South Australia. Several of his books have been made into films or television series.
In 1977 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the second highest level of the order, for his services to literature and education.
Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the ‘good drawer’ which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne.
Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery.
Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E. He is currently directing a short film with Passion Pictures Australia; his most recently published book is The Oopsatoreum: inventions of Henry A. Mintox, written in conjunction with the Powerhouse Museum.
From the moment Craig Silvey’s first book Rhubarb hit the shelves in 2004, it became clear Australia had unearthed another incredibly exciting talent. In 2005 Silvey was named as one of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Novelists. Rhubarb was selected as the inaugural book for the ‘One Book’ series of events at the 2005 Perth International Arts Festival, and was included in the Australian national ‘Books Alive’ campaign. And then came Jasper.
Jasper Jones has become one of Australia’s Favourite Novels. Recently voted 6th in the Tuesday Book Club’s list of Aussie Books to Read Before You Die, it opened the whole world to Silvey and his wonderful writing and thoughts on Australian society, both past and present.
Silvey says of his literary influences that “I’ve always been attracted to Southern Gothic fiction. There’s something very warm and generous about those regional American writers like Twain and Lee and Capote, and it seemed to be a literary ilk that would lend itself well to the Australian condition.”
Jackie French’s writing career spans sixteen years, 42 wombats, 120 books for kids and adults, translations into nineteen languages, and slightly more awards than wombats, both in Australia and overseas.
Her books range from provocative historical fiction such as Hitler’s Daughter and They Came on Viking Ships to the hilarious international bestseller, Diary of a Wombat with Bruce Whatley, as well as many nonfiction titles such as The Fascinating History of Your Lunch, and To the Moon and Back (with Bryan Sullivan), the history of Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek and man’s journey to the moon.
In 2000, Hitler’s Daughter was awarded the CBC Younger Readers’ Award. To the Moon and Back won the Eve Pownall Award in 2005. Macbeth and Son, and Josephine Wants to Dance were both shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards.
The Paul Jennings phenomenon began with the publication of Unreal! in 1985. Since then, readers all around the world have devoured his books.
Paul Jennings has written over one hundred stories and has been voted ‘favourite author’ over forty times by children in Australia, winning every children’s choice award.
The top-rating TV series Round the Twist and Driven Crazy are based on a selection of his enormously popular short-story collections such as Unseen! which was awarded the 1999 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Children’s Book.
In 1995 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to children’s literature and was awarded the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 2001. Paul has sold more than 8 million books worldwide.
Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.
Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with The Gypsy Crown – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.
Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, a bad-tempered black cat, and many thousands of books.
Morris Gleitzman grew up in England and came to Australia when he was sixteen. He was a frozen-chicken thawer, sugar-mill rolling-stock unhooker, fashion-industry trainee, student, department-store Santa, TV producer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter until he wrote his first children’s novel in 1993.
He is now one of the world’s best-known and loved children’s authors. Gleitzman tackles tough subjects in a funny and offbeat way . He has never set out to write “issues books” and says that his writing is as much for himself as for his readers.
Di Morrissey is one of the most successful authors Australia has ever produced. She trained as a journalist, working in the media around the world. Her fascination with different countries; their landscape, their cultural, political and environmental issues, forms the inspiration for her novels.
Her first book Heart of the Dreaming instantly became a bestseller. Since then she has published another 20 bestsellers.
Di Morrissey’s books have touched the hearts and emotions of readers around the world. She writes about personal relationships, the environment, Aboriginal reconciliation, identity and Australia’s relationship with its South East Asian and Pacific neighbours. All her novels are inspired by a particular landscape.
Fiona McIntosh is an internationally bestselling author of novels for adults and children.
Originally born in Brighton, England, at the age of nineteen, McIntosh travelled first to Paris and later to Australia, where she has lived ever since.
She is a travel columnist and co-founded an award-winning travel magazine with her husband, which they ran for fifteen years before Fiona became a full-time author.
Fiona now roams the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels. Although Adelaide is her family’s home, she admits her best writing is done from the peace of Tasmania.
Isobelle Carmody is one of Australia’s most acclaimed fantasy authors.
She began her first book, Obernewtyn, when she was fourteen and since then she has written some of our greatest works of fantasy. She is perhaps best known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles and for her novel The Gathering (joint winner of the 1993 Children’s Literature Peace Prize and the 1994 CBC Book of the Year Award).
Another of her novels, Greylands, was joint winner of the 1997 Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction – Young Adult Division, and was named a White Raven at the 1998 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She has also written many short stories for both children and adults.
Isobelle divides her time between Prague in the Czech Republic and her home on the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
Graeme Base is one of the world’s leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986, and has achieved classic status with worldwide sales approaching three million copies. It has now inspired an animated TV series.
Other favourites by Graeme Base include The Eleventh Hour, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, The Sign of the Seahorse, The Discovery of Dragons, The Worst Band in the Universe,The Waterhole (and The Waterhole Board Book), Jungle Drums and Uno’s Garden. In 2007 this last title featured in six major awards and was winner of three: Speech Pathology Book of the Year, younger readers; The Green Earth Book, USA; The Wilderness Society Environment Award.
In 2003, his first novel for young readers, TruckDogs, was released. It was short-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards the following year. In 2009 Graeme produced the the fascinating, beautiful and challenging book Enigma; can you crack the code? Graeme’s most recent book is The Last King of Angkor Wat.
Raised on a healthy diet of Enid Blyton, Morton decided to become a writer after completing a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Putting her dreams of acting aside she concentrated on writing and completed two manuscripts and began to construct the narrative of what would eventually become the bestseller The Shifting Fog.
Kate Morton’s books are published in 38 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards, and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008.
Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and Spain, and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008. It won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards and was a New York Times bestseller in 2009. The Distant Hours was an international bestseller in 2010 and won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2011 ABIAs. Kate was voted Australia’s Favourite Novelist by Booktopians in 2013.
Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author.
He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood.
Paterson’s more notable poems include Waltzing Matilda, The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow.
On the night of Paterson’s death, Vance Palmer broadcasted a tribute: ‘He laid hold both of our affections and imaginations; he made himself a vital part of the country we all know and love, and it would not only have been a poorer country but one far less united in bonds of intimate feeling, if he had never lived and written’.
Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three brothers is Australian Rules football journalist Martin Flanagan. He grew up in the remote mining town of Rosebery on Tasmania’s western coast.
His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries.
He directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?
His latest book The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia. A full-time writer since 2001, he has worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.
Garth’s books include the award-winning fantasy novels Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen; and the cult favourite YA SF novel Shade’s Children. His fantasy novels for children include The Ragwitch; the six books of The Seventh Tower sequence, and The Keys to the Kingdom series.
More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world, his books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian and The Australian, and his work has been translated into 37 languages.
He lives in a Sydney beach suburb with his wife and two children.
Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and England, a government press secretary, a public relations consultant, and freelance writer. His novels have been acclaimed bestsellers since his very first, Far Horizon.
He is also a Major in the Australian Army Reserve and served six months in Afghanistan in 2002 as the public affairs officer for the Australian ground forces.
He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time between their home in Sydney and South Africa, where they own a tent and a Series III Land Rover.
Rachael Treasure currently lives in southern rural Tasmania with her two young children, Rosie and Charlie. Her three novels, Jillaroo, The Stockmen, and The Rouseabout, have all been bestsellers in Australia, selling more than 100,000 combined copies by the end of 2007. In 2008 Random House signed her to a 4 book contract for British release.
A former jillaroo and reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on rural affairs, she is a passionate working dog trainer and in 2007 received Tasmania’s rural woman of the year award.
From the unlikeliest of beginnings, Bryce Courtenay’s sweeping epics found a place in the hearts of Australians everywhere.
Courtenay began writing novels at a relatively late stage in his life after over three decades in the advertising industry.
His first and arguably most well known book, The Power Of One, was first published in 1989 and was adapted soon after into an award-winning film.
His consistency of style and warmth of voice has kept readers enthralled since those early days, and he established himself as one of Australia’s most popular novelists. He has remained one of Australia’s most popular writers even after his passing in November 2012.
A trained educator with a natural gift for storytelling, John Marsden is arguably Australia’s foremost writer of Young Adult fiction.
Whilst working at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School, Marsden made the decision to write for teenagers, following his dissatisfaction with his students’ apathy towards reading and the observation that teenagers simply weren’t reading any more. Marsden then wrote So Much To Tell You in only three weeks, and the book was published in 1987. The book sold record numbers and won numerous awards including “Book of the Year” as awarded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
In 1993 Marsden published Tomorrow, When the War Began the first book in the Tomorrow Series and his most acclaimed and best-selling work to date. Recently it was selected in the American Library Association list of 100 Best Books for Teens since 1966.
Marsden has won every major writing award in Australia for young people’s fiction, including what Marsden describes as one of the highlights of his career, the 2006 Lloyd O’Neil Award for contributions to Australian publishing. This award means that Marsden is one of only five authors to be honoured for lifelong services to the Australian book industry. John Marsden was also nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2008, the world’s largest children’s and youth literature award, and the second largest literature prize in the world.
Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970. She is Australia’s best loved picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, has sold over four million copies and is still the best selling children’s book in Australia, 29 years after its publication.
She has written over 40 books for children among which are the perennial favourites: Possum Magic, Time for Bed and Where Is The Green Sheep?; and several books for adults also, including her best selling book for parents: Reading Magic: how your child can learn to read before school and other read aloud miracles. Her book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 weeks in 2008—2009 and also won best book for young children at the 2010 Turin International Book Festival in its Italian edition. Her books have been translated into 19 languages.
Mem Fox was an Associate Professor of Education at Flinders University in Adelaide where she taught teachers for 24 years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many honors and awards from various Australian governments and other organisations for services to literature, as well as three honorary doctorates for her work in literacy. She has visited the USA over 100 times as both a consultant in literacy and as an author. She keeps threatening to retire but never quite gets around to it as she is always finding something new to write about or shout about.
Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.
“We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the ‘Heil Hitlers’ and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there’s another side to Nazi Germany,” said Zusak in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
At just 37, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. Upon the publication of The Book Thief he was dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is also the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.
Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s writers. He is the author of over 20 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. Over the past 20 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, won over 50 children’s choice awards, been adapted as a television cartoon series and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Andy is passionate about inspiring a love of books and reading, and this passion drives his work as an ambassador with The Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an initiative of the Australian Publishing Industry, to provide books and literacy resources to remote Indigenous communities around Australia. Andy regularly participates in field trips to remote areas of New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to run writing workshops with Indigenous children and to help facilitate the Foundation’s work.
One of the stars of Australian fiction, Monica McInerney is the author of the internationally bestselling novels, A Taste for It, Upside Down Inside Out, Spin the Bottle, The Alphabet Sisters, Family Baggage, Those Faraday Girls and At Home with the Templetons. Those Faraday Girls was the winner of the General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards.
Her collection of short fiction, All Together Now, was shortlisted for the same award in 2009. At Home with the Templetons was shortlisted in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 Irish Book Awards and in the Romantic Elements category of the 2011 Australian Romantic Book of the Year Awards.
In 2006 she was the ambassador for the Australian Government initiative Books Alive, with her novella Odd One Out.
Monica grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley of South Australia and has been living between Australia and Ireland for twenty years. She and her Irish husband currently live in Dublin.
Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D’Arcy, is an award-winning children’s writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.
The Phryne Fisher series began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written sixteen books in this series and says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.
When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates’ Court for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.
Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of 12 novels. In 2005, Matthew was the first author to participate in the Australian Government’s ‘Books Alive’ initiative, for which he wrote the short novel Hell Island, featuring Shane Schofield. Over 200,000 copies of that work were given away for free in August of 2005.
Matthew’s books are published in over 20 languages and he has sold over 3.5 million books worldwide: over 1 million in Australia alone; over a million in the US; and over a million in the UK.
Walt Disney Pictures have optioned the movie rights to his children’s book, Hover Car Racer, while Ice Station was optioned by Paramount Pictures.
One of the novelists of his generation, Tim Winton’s literary reputation was established early when his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian Vogel Award; his second novel Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984; and his third book, Scission, a collection of short stories, won the West Australian Council Literary Award in 1985.
Winton’s fifth novel, Cloudstreet, the story of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, was a huge literary and commercial success. It has been a best seller since its publication in 1991 and was recently voted the most popular Australian novel by the Australian Society of Authors. Awards include National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1991; West Australian Fiction Award 1991; Deo Gloria Award (UK), 1991 and the 1992 Miles Franklin Award.
In 2001 his novel, Dirt Music, was published to considerable critical acclaim and impressive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the 2002 Mann Booker Prize and won the 2002 Miles Franklin Award, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Film rights have been optioned to Phil Noyce’s film company, Rumbalara Films, with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz reportedly set to star in the film.
Winton’s most recent novel, Eyrie, was another triumph, being nominated by many critics as their favourite book of 2013.
Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.
The Husband’s Secret has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is set to be translated into over 35 languages. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.
With the launch of her most recent novel, Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Film and television rights have already been snapped up by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a series of books for children.
Booktopia is proud to announce, after thousands of your nominations and over 100,000 votes from Australian readers, that Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015 is…
John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn’t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed.
John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. Ten years after writing them he decided to turn them into a novel to publish.
The series has come a long way since then, having been on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 80 weeks, with over 5 million copies being sold in the US alone.
The Ranger’s Apprentice series and his Brotherband series are available in more than one hundred countries, and have had multiple award shortlistings and wins in Australia and overseas.
A $100 million film adaptation of The Ranger’s Apprentice is expected to commence in the next year.
Congratulations John on being voted by Australian readers Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015!
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About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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