Recent awards shortlists, book launches galore, and some mid-week links

* Awards galore this week!

You’ve probably seen them already, but I thought I’d throw my two cents in on a couple of recent shortlists (click through to reviews/interviews/mentions previously featured on LM).

The Age Book of the Year shortlist is out. Readings has reported it. I’ve read three of the fiction, but unfortunately none of the poetry or nonfiction. You? The fiction shortlist is exciting – new-to-novels publisher Sleepers with the wonderful Things We Didn’t See Coming by Steven Amsterdam; Tom Cho’s clever, fun, engaging Look Who’s Morphing; and David Malouf’s rich and memorable Ransom. These are the ones I’ve read. Then there is Sonya Hartnett’s Butterfly (which I hope to get to) and Vivienne Kelly’s Cooee (one I know less about). Adam Ford has something to say on the poetry shortlist here. Who are you going for? I can’t choose! And I’ll see the announcement of the winners during the Melbourne Writers Festival keynote address by Bernhard Schlink.

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist was also announced. I’ve read four of the fiction, in this case – Eva Hornung’s affecting Dog Boy; Nam Le’s bringing-the-short-story-back-in-a-big-way collection The Boat; Christos Tsiolkas undeniably brilliant The Slap; and Tim Winton’s haunting Breath. Who’s read Murray Bail’s The Pages? What say you? Shamefully I haven’t read any of the books in the other categories. Again, it’s difficult to choose who I’d go for…

* Time to get out your diaries, Melbourne-folk.

Kalinda Ashton’s The Danger Game is being launched by Christos Tsiolkas tomorrow night. Rad.

I’m really excited about Friday night’s launch – Nathan Curnow‘s (aka poet-bunny-rock star) new book The Ghost Poetry Project. He’s also performing at Wordplay tomorrow night. More deets about both on his blog.

Stuff at Melbourne Writers Festival is selling out! Quick. There are some ticket packages if you’re having trouble deciding. And hang out with me and the SPUNC authors and publishers for FREE over three nights in the Festival Club – Thurs 27, Sat 29 and Sun 30 August.

Come along to this, if you like. Read more about the book here.

hollywoodendinglaunchinvitationAnd here it is – the invite to my first performance do. Come for all the other poets. They’re tops.


Some other things I’ve enjoyed recently:

* Steph Bowe’s thoughts on author blogs.

* Mark Mordue’s fantastic review of The Death of Bunny Munro. It’s raised many questions in my mind. We’ll have a discussion about them soon…

* Entries are open for the Age short story competition.

* A new anthology is accepting creative essays on ‘flying the flag’ – what flags mean to you.

* Uberessay is about sharing a passion for learning. Looks like a cool site. I plan to return. They’re also accepting submissions.

* The Southern Cross Literary Competition is accepting submissions.

* As many of you know, my day job is at Bookseller+Publisher magazine, and we also do the Weekly Book Newsletter. Curious about reading them? Well, some really cool subscription offers have been announced (the words free and discount are in there). Email to find out more. Check out back issues of the magazine on the website (the website content comes from the newsletter).

* Shane Strange needs your help with some research. He and Professor Jen Webb at the University of Canberra are trying to compile a list of books that have been published where the authors have been through a university creative writing program (ie undergrad, postgrad or research). Where possible they’d like the name of the author; book title; book publisher; year of publication; degree course and institution. There is no requirement that the book has to have anything to do with research or writing undertaken in the course, but the book must be published after the course was taken. He can be emailed about this at

Tomorrow: Another Queensland Poetry Festival special…

6 thoughts on “Recent awards shortlists, book launches galore, and some mid-week links

  1. Yes! All three are different. Each night I’ll be chatting to five writers/publishers for about 10 mins each. So it gives the audience an overview of the small press scene in Aus. It starts at 7:45 on the Thursday night, and 6:45 on the Saturday and Sunday. I’ll have to devote a whole blog post to it soon. But the publishers represented will be Affirm Press, Sleepers, Vanark, Melbourne Books, Transit Lounge, Spinifex Press, Wet Ink, extempore, Griffith Review, Celapene Press, Page Seventeen, Vignette Press, Sketch Media, Tactile, Ford Street and Going Down Swinging!

    Hope to see you there for sure.

  2. Wow, lots happening down in Melbourne town, and lots happening with you!
    Sigh… We’re vaguely considering a move down that way.

    I had a sneaky proof copy read of Hollywood Ending. I liked. Very cool– and very easy to get sucked into. Enjoy the launch. x

  3. Actually Brenton, I don’t know if you’d call Christos Tsiolkas or Steven Amsterdam heterosexual. And Tom Cho is a transgender individual. And there are plenty of women on those shortlists, methinks. I wouldn’t be slapping the ‘hetero’ label around too freely on these 🙂

  4. Just finished Bail’s “The Pages”. While I enjoyed it, I think it will take some time to think about – with the impact quite subtle at this stage. It lacks the obvious punch of “Breath” or “The Slap”, but there is something else going on, which (perhaps ironically?) connects with the subject matter of philosophy.

    Quite short, and worth the read.

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