The 2018 Australian Book Industry Awards Announced

by |May 4, 2018

ABIA2018 winners

The energy of the night was undeniable – authors, publishers and booksellers gathered together to celebrate the 2018 Australian Book Industry Awards. The red carpet was star-studded with some of the Australian book industry’s heavy hitters, including Jimmy Barnes, Richard Fidler, Jessica Townsend and Michael Robotham.

The night kicked off hosted by The Checkout’s Zoe Norton Lodge and Ben Jenkins, with special guest Julia Gillard presenting the big award of the night – the Gold ABIA Book of the Year award – to newcomer Jessica Townsend.

For entertainment, guests were delighted by The Chaser’s Andrew J Hansen’s highly comical and creative musical stylings. Awards on the night were also presented by superstar authors like Jennifer Egan, Garth Nix, Maggie Beer, Clementine Ford, Richard Fidler and so many more!

With great food, wonderful company and a vibrant atmosphere, the #ABIA2018 night will be one to remember.

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Without further ado, take a look at the winners of #ABIA2018:


It comes as no surprise that Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Man won Biography Book of the Year! He accepted his award a mere 50 minutes before being due on stage for his live show, which just shows his dedication to his crafts. Jimmy’s Working Class Man is a powerful memoir and a definite must-read.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a sensation around the world, therefore it comes as no surprise that it won International Book of the Year. With its strong message of female empowerment, this book has kickstarted a trend in publishing.

Sarah Krasnostein won General Non-Fiction Book of the Year for her powerful book The Trauma Cleaner – a compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation.

“I didn’t expect to win!” says Sarah. “Just being here is enough.”

Everyone’s favourite treehouse has landed the Audiobook of the Year award. Not only are these books visually incredible, the story itself is hilarious and translates well to audio. Kids everywhere love these treehouse adventures from Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, and what a well-deserved win it is for them!

This win was just the beginning of the night for debut author Jessica Townsend, who dominated the ABIA awards with her children’s novel Nevermoor. Jessica’s first win of the night was The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year.

“I’m completely thrilled and delighted and kind of shocked because the people in that category are so talented and wonderful and I’m such a fan of them,” says Jess. “Being able to share it with two other Hachette authors is an extra thrill.”

It seems like everyone likes a fart. Up against powerhouse picture book authors like the awesome Aaron Blabey and the marvellous Mem Fox, Zoe Foster Blake took this award for her charming book about a fart who just wants to be liked.

It came as no surprise when Jessica Townsend’s name was called yet again as the winner for the Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12) award. Jessica strongly believes that children’s literature is in a golden age in Australia at the moment and her Nevermoor series couldn’t have come at a better time. As a child, Jessica couldn’t get enough of the Tomorrow Series by James Marsden.

“The author that I devoured was John Marsden,” says Jess. “I started reading Tomorrow, When the War Began when I was eleven and I read every single one. His mastery of voice and humour and the way he was able to write such an authentic female voice in Ellie Linton – someone who is brave and vulnerable at the same time – and the way that he writes nature… I found him inspiring from day one.”

Now Jessica’s Nevermoor has gone on to inspire children and adults alike!

Begin, End, Begin represents exactly what #LoveOzYA is all about. A plethora of Australian talent came together to write this anthology of short stories, including Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks.

This all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.

Editor and author Danielle Binks accepted the award on behalf of her fellow co-authors. “I think it’s wonderful that the industry, the ABIAs, have made a big statement about what #LoveOzYA tried to do,” says Danielle. “We punch above our weight in this industry and I think it’s wonderful that they’ve recognised that.”

The winner of the Small Publisher’s Children’s Book of the Year is It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do by Josh Langley, who writes little books with big messages.

Bird-enthusiasts everywhere have fallen in love with this gorgeous book, boasting hundreds of stunning paintings of over 900 species of birds, setting a new standard in field guides.

Maggie Beer is one of Australia’s most beloved cooks and authors. Teaming up with Professor Ralph Martins, Maggie’s Recipe for Life aimed to fight one of the most debilitating diseases of our later years. Based on the latest scientific research, Maggie has created more than 200 recipes that help provide the nutrients we need for optimum brain health.

The proceeds from Maggie’s Recipe for Life will be shared between the Maggie Beer Foundation and the Lions Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to bits,” says Maggie. “This is really an easy recipe for life because I’ve learnt so much from Ralph and I’ve put his science into my food. From that it gives people something to follow without it being restrictive. This is beautiful food and every bit is good for you.”

“It’s just fantastic,” says Professor Martins. “Against all the other competition, it’s amazing!”

He’s a multi-million-copy bestselling author, so it comes as little surprise that Michael Robotham won General Fiction Book of the Year for his latest novel The Secrets She Keeps. It came as a surprise to Michael, however, who shared on Twitter that he expected to use his ‘Oh well, maybe next year’ face. How wrong he was!

“It’s a huge thrill,” says Michael. “I’m very surprised because this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve been up for this award and most times I’ve lost to the most amazing authors… you sort of think it’s not going to happen. I was very surprised.”

The Literary Fiction Book of the Year award went to newcomer Sarah Schmidt for her powerful and disturbing novel See What I Have Done about murderer Lizzie Borden.

“I’m completely surprised,” says Sarah. “I’m very honoured and thrilled.”

“I think sometimes books come to you when you least expect it,” says Sarah. “I am forever grateful that I, after seven nights of having one dream after the other, that I actually listened to her because, strangely enough, she gave me a career. She gave me this book.”

It was time for the biggie – the Gold ABIA Book of the Year award – and when Jessica Townsend’s name was called, the excitement was intoxicating. Jessica hadn’t expected to walk out of the ABIAs with one award, let alone three. Her wins are a testament to the incredible story that is Nevermoor.

“It feels really weird and very exciting,” says Jessica. “I don’t even know what to say… I genuinely hope that book sellers understand the really important role they play in publishing.”

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About the Contributor

Bronwyn Eley is new to the book industry, having previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force & even spent some time as a barista until entering the exciting world of Booktopia. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn writes in her spare time, often has her face buried in a book and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for The Host (Stephanie Meyer), Peter Pan (J.M Barrie) & Outlander (Diana Gabaldon). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.

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