National news

It was a big fortnight for awards announcements, the Ned Kellys, the Miles Franklin and the Children’s Book Council Books of the Year, all rolling in. From a self-publishing industry perspective, news of the merger of the Create Space with Kindle Direct was the big news globally.

Who dunnit? Who won the Ned Kelly Awards?

The winners of the Ned Kelly Awards – Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring published crime fiction and true crime writing – have been announced.

Best Crime Novel goes to Sulari Gentill’s Crossing the Lines; Best True Crime Novel goes to Graham Archer’s Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Ann-Jane Cheney; and Best First Crime Novel goes to Sarah Bailey’s The Dark Lake. Garry Disher was awarded the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations all! Booktopia announced that it will sponsor the awards for the next three years.

Michelle de Kretser wins the Miles Franklin (again)

Michelle de Kretser’s novel The Life to Come has won the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award of $60,000. This is the second time the de Kretser has won the award. The Miles Franklin celebrates Australian novels and is awarded each year to “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases”.

Applications open for Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships

The annual Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships are open for applications. The Fellowships are awarded to writers of a work of fiction or creative non-fiction, a play, or a suite of poems that is ready for the next stage of development. Two Fellowships are available for members of Writing NSW, with one place reserved for a writer under the age of 30. Judges of the 2018 Fellowships are Allen & Unwin publisher Jane Palfreyman, author Roanna Gonsalves, and Writing NSW CEO Jane McCredie.

CBCA Book of the Year Awards announced

The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced the winners of its Book of the Year Awards. The award for older readers goes to Take Three Girls, by Cath Crowlie, Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell.The book of the year for younger readers is How to Bee by Bren MacDibble and the early childhood award went to Rodney Loses It by Michael Gerard Bauer, Chrissie Krebs.

Writers Victoria launches Publishability program

Writers Victoria has launched Publishability, a two-year initiative to support emerging writers living with disability. Publishability will provide two authors with mentorship, editing, professional development opportunities, and financial support over the course of one year, with two new writers to participate in the program in the second year. Five publishing houses will participate in the program, including Allen & Unwin, Echo Publishing, Hachette, Penguin Random House, and the Lifted Brow. Writers Victoria is inviting other publishers to participate in the program.

International news

Amazon to merge CreateSpace and KDP

Amazon will merge its print-on-demand platforms CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Authors are being asked to move their books from CreateSpace to KDP, and Amazon has launched a help page on the KDP website to explain how the merger will affect authors.

Hugo Awards 2018 winners announced

For the third year running, N. K. Jemisin has won the best novel category at the Hugo Awards for science-fiction and fantasy titles. Jemisin picked up the award for her novel The Stone Sky (Orbit), which is the third novel in the ‘Broken Earth’ series. Several Australian authors were finalists in the awards.