National news

Dennis Jones & Associates appoints liquidator

Industry stalwart Dennis Jones & Associates has appointed a liquidator. As the leading independent distributor for small publishers and self-publishers, the news will comes as a shock to many. Dennis Jones’s closest competitor Woodslane is small in comparison, which means the industry is essentially bereft. It is a sign of the continuing disruption being wrought upon the industry. It is likely competition from models such as Lightning Source and CreateSpace have eroded Dennis Jones customer base. However, the new entrants do not offer independent distribution for those seeking to bypass the internet self-publishing model. The Australian Society of Authors has issued a statement and is issuing advice to those affected. Creditors will receive an email notice from the liquidator within the next few days. The ASA has has created a form for ASA members who wish the ASA to act on their behalf, allowing them to by-pass the liquidators who are likely to be inundated with lengthy calls and waiting times.

Dervla McTiernan shortlisted for Not the Booker prize

The Ruin by Perth-based Dervla McTiernan has been shortlisted for The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. McTiernan is in good British company, fending off rivals Raising Sparks by Ariel Kahn, Dark Pines by Will Dean, Sweet Fruit, Sour Land by Rebecca Ley, and Sealed by Naomi Booth. The sixth novel is yet to be announced and is still under discussion. Word of Mouth TV’s money is on the Perth horse. We recently interviewed Dervla and we will be posting her Sound Bite within the next two weeks. Congratulations Dervla!

Inky Awards shortlist announced

The Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria has published the shortlist for this year’s Inky Awards,which recognises high-quality young adult literature. The Gold Inky Award (for Australian books) shortlist includes: Begin, End, Begin edited by Danielle Binks, In the Dark Spaces, by Cally black, Take Three Girls, by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood, Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian and Paper Cranes Don’t Fly by Peter Vu.

Australian Short Story Festival 2018 program

The Australian Short Story Festival, co-founded by Margaret River Press and MidnightSun Publishing, has announced its program. To be held from October 19-October 21 in Perth, (last year it was in Adelaide), the program features keynote speaker academic Maria Takolander, authors Jennifer Down, Laura Elvery, Anthony Macris and Roanna Gonsalves. Venues include the Centre for Stories, City of Perth library, Alex Hotel and Gallery Central at North Metropolitan TAFE.

International news

Industry protests incursions on free speech

The last few weeks proved fairly political for the industry, both in Australia and overseas, as writers globally took a stand for freedom of speech.

The German Publishers and Booksellers Association used the Frankfurt Book Fair as a platform to launch its ‘On the Same Page’ campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations charter on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It called on the industry and its supporters to stand up for respect, cultural understanding and a free and diverse world.

Meanwhile, the British government has refused visas for Edinburgh Book Festival authors – particularly those from Palestine, triggering a strong protest and a commitment to ensuring those authors appear at a later date.

Closer to home, Australia’s Richard Flanagan protested against censorship from writers festivals in a perfectly penned broadside at the growing influence of corporate sponsorship on festival organisers.