Awards

Shortlisted – 2020 ABIA Fiction Book of the Year

Bruny is shortlisted for Fiction Book of the Year in the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards. It’s in excellent company. A shortlist will be announced on April 28th. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 13 May in a virtual event. More details to come here.

Bruny – Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Silver – Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Cilka’s Journey – Heather Morris (Echo Publishing, Echo Publishing)

Good Girl, Bad Girl – Michael Robotham (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)

The Scholar – Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)

Check out all shortlisted books and authors and booksellers here.

Shortlisted – 2020 INDIES Book of The Year

Bruny was shortlisted for Book of the Year in the 2020 Independent Booksellers Awards. These awards recognise our wonderful independent booksellers across Australia.

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia) (WINNER!)

Bruny by Heather Rose (Allen and Unwin)

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White (Affirm Press)

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen and Unwin)

The 2020 INDIE Fiction Award winner is There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett – an exquisite book and highly deserving. More here.

2020 Indie Book Awards shortlist

Delighted to have Bruny make the Indie Book Awards shortlist for Best Fiction Book of the Year – in amazing company with my fellow authors Charlotte Wood, Favel Parrett and Christian White. Here’s what the Indies website has to say about this year’s shortlists across all categories:

Australian independent booksellers, members of Leading Edge Books, are thrilled to announce their SHORTLIST for the Indie Book Awards 2020 for the best Australian books published in 2019!

The Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner will be announced at the Leading Edge Books Annual Conference Awards Dinner to be held on Monday 23 March 2020 in Brisbane, QLD.

Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate this country’s incredible talent and the role independent booksellers play in supporting and nurturing Australian writing.

Who will win in each category in 2020?

Who will take out the overall ‘Book of the Year’ Award?!

Without further ado…

Without further ado…

The Shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2020:

FICTION

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia)

Bruny by Heather Rose (Allen and Unwin)

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White (Affirm Press)

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen and Unwin)

NON-FICTION

Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch (Allen and Unwin)

488 Rules for Life: The Thankless Art of Being Correct by Kitty Flanagan (Allen and Unwin)

Tell Me Why by Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster Australia)

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing)

DEBUT FICTION

Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden (Macmillan Australia)

Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel (Macmillan Australia)

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean (Fourth Estate Australia)

Heart of the Grass Tree by Molly Murn (Vintage Australia)

ILLUSTRATED NON-FICTION

The Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes (Affirm Press)

Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor (Hardie Grant Books)

The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Books)

In an Australian Light edited by Jo Turner (Thames & Hudson Australia)

CHILDREN’S

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly (Lothian Children’s Books)

Into the Wild: Wolf Girl, Book 1 by Anh Do, illustrated by Jeremy Ley (Allen and Unwin Children’s)

The Tiny Star by Mem Fox & Freya Blackwood (Puffin Australia)

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books)

YOUNG ADULT

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim (Allen and Unwin Children’s)

Aurora Rising: The Aurora Cycle 1 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen and Unwin Children’s)

It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing)

Monuments by Will Kostakis (Lothian Children’s Books)

This is how it works. The twenty-four shortlisted books, the best titles of the year as nominated by Australian independent booksellers themselves, will be vying for the top spot as the Overall Indie ‘Book of the Year’. Panels of expert judges (all indie booksellers and avid readers) will choose the winners in the six book categories – Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s books (up to 12yo) and Young Adult (12+). Independent booksellers from around the country will then vote to select their favourite book of the year from the six category winners.

Since the Awards inception in 2008, the Indies have a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing. Past Book of the Year winners have gone on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards. Previous winners include: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton; Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, The Dry by Jane Harper; The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood; The Bush by Don Watson; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; All That I Am by Anna Funder; The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do; Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey; and Breath by Tim Winton.

The Awards recognise and celebrate the indie booksellers as the number one supporters of Australian authors. What makes our Indies uniquely placed to judge and recommend the best Aussie books of the past year to their customers and readers, is their incredible passion and knowledge, their contribution to the cultural diversity of the Australian reading public by recommending books beyond the big brands, and their love of quality writing.

The Indie Book Awards would like to gratefully acknowledge the 2020 Awards Sponsors: Simon & Schuster Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia, Affirm Press, Thames & Hudson Australia, Allen & Unwin, Text Publishing and Awards partner: Books+Publishing.

Source of all this: https://www.indiebookawards.com.au/post/shortlist-announced-for-the-2020-indie-book-awards

 

The tour that was Bruny

Dymocks Sydney – George Street – Bruny their October Book of the Month

My first book tour is over. Bruny has been launched across Australia. Thank you to all the bookstores that so graciously and delightfully welcomed me and Bruny to author events across the country. It was such a pleasure to meet readers everywhere, brilliant booksellers, and to discover so many beautiful bookstores! Apart from the events below, there were also so many signings at independent bookstores and Dymocks stores in every city. Thank you all!

My thanks to the very dedicated and brilliant publicist from Allen & Unwin – Christine Farmer – who made all this happen … and visited endless shopping centres with me for signings. Also to Ange Stannard and Maria Tsiakopoulos in WA and Victoria who chaperoned me in those states. Also to the awesome Allen & Unwin team who designed all the Bruny collateral that decks windows and bookstores across Australia. So wonderful to have this kind of support for a novel.

Events were held at:

Hobart Sunday Sept 29 3.30pm Fullers Bookshop In Conversation with Literary Editor of the Australian, Stephen Romei

Hobart Tuesday Oct 1 6pm Official Bruny Launch Hobart RACV Hotel 6pm with Premier Will Hodgman and supported by Dymocks – SOLD OUT

Sydney Wednesday Oct 2nd 6.30pm Better Read than Dead In Conversation with Editor of The Guardian, Lenore Taylor

Wollongong Friday Oct 4th 6pm Wollongong Art Gallery In Conversation with author and journalist Caro Baum

Perth Sun Oct 6th 4.30pm National Hotel Fremantle with New Edition Bookstore In Conversation with ABC Perth’s Gillian O’Shaughnessy

Perth Mon Oct 7th 6.15 for 6.30pm Beaufort Street Books In Conversation with Jane Seaton

Brisbane Tuesday Oct 8th 6.15 for 6.30pm Riverbend Books In Conversation with Suzy Wilson

Brisbane Wednesday Oct 9th 6 for 6.30pm Avid Reader In Conversation with award-winning author Rohan Wilson

Adelaide (Stirling) – Thursday Oct 10th 6.30 for 7pm Matilda’s Bookshop In Conversation with Gavin Williams

Melbourne Friday Oct 11th 6.45pm for 7pm  – PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE: Avenue Bookstore, 127 Dundas Place, Albert Park In Conversation with James Ley – SOLD OUT

Sorrento Saturday Oct 12th evening event The Antipodes Bookshop – details to come

Melbourne Sunday Oct 13th 4pm Fairfield Bookshop In Conversation with Heather Dyer

Me and William Faulkner


A lot of unexpected things have happened this year. It’s a beautiful, brilliant year in the face of some great personal hardship. It’s strange the way life does both, but it seems to be the way it is. I am immensely grateful for it all! I am delighted to find my work reaching a wider world of readers, and I am deeply touched by the acknowledgement for so many years of hard work.

Along the way, there have been quite a few interviews, reviews and articles. This article by Jane Sullivan, published in the Age and the SMH, utterly surprised me (and totally delighted my Dad who has patiently waited to see if my books would ever be ‘discovered’ by people further afield.)

The first William Faulkner novel I read was As I Lay Dying. I must have been about 21. From there I read every novel of Faulkner’s, settling at last on Light in August as my favourite – and one of my top five favourite novels of my lifetime. I think it comes as close as any novel to being a perfect novel in form, characterisation, in tone and in the spectacular craft of good writing. So to find my words compared to Faulkner’s made my father cry, and me reflect on the wonder of life.

We never know how our creativity will touch other lives. For me that is a mysterious gift and a privilege that may yet keep me writing all my days.

It’s not easy to let the recognition in. But given everything that has unfolded, I wanted to acknowledge this very special observation by Jane Sullivan.

Here is the link to the article – and the complete text is below should the link fade.

“What a winning acceptance speech Heather Rose gave for the 2017 Stella Prize. She charmed everyone in the room: she was humble, honest and a little bit steely. To survive as a writer you need steel.

She liked to think of her winning novel, The Museum of Modern Love, as an overnight success. In fact it took 46 years from the moment her father told her a terrible thing when she was six years old.

She’d read him her poem about a rabbit, and he said, “You’re going to be a great writer.” For years she was devastated by the huge gulf that existed between her own writing and that of the great writers.

There was progress. Two failed novels; a first published novel (she remembers only the one unkind review); a second novel that once delivered her a royalty cheque for 57 cents in a 60-cent envelope; a third novel with ardent fans, but very few readers; a series of stories for children, written with Danielle Wood.

The Museum of Modern Love took 11 years to write, was rejected by Australian and US publishers, and finally found a home with Allen & Unwin.  Somewhere along the line Rose accepted she would never be a great writer. But she wants nothing more than to continue to write.

This is literary success in Australia. But what about in the world. Something prompted me to compare Rose’s words with the indisputably great writers’ award acceptance orations of the past, so i went to the Nobel Prize website and had a look. You know what? I preferred Rose’s speech. It seemed to resonate more.

The Nobel prizewinners whose speeches I found were all men. They usually began with a dutiful nod to humility, and some of them kept up that note. But others became Godlike. They made stirring calls to the writers of the future (who they assumed were men) and told them what they should be writing about. I began to think that if their dads had ever told them they’d be great writers, they’d just take that as their due.

Of course I found rhetoric and grand pronouncements about literature that are still frequently quoted.  Faulkner thought the writer must write about nothing but “the old verities and truths of the heart … love and honour and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice”. Hemingway thought the writer must always try “for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed”. Steinbeck believed that “a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature”.

These writers were speaking on a world stage, at a time when the world seemed a dark place at risk of nuclear annihilation. It’s still dark, though perhaps a different kind of darkness. Rose was speaking on a small stage, to an Australian audience, mostly women, after winning a prize for women. Inevitably it’s a speech about smaller, personal things.

Or is it? “Being a successful woman is not an easy path,” Rose said – especially in Australia, and she cited the case of Julia Gillard. And then she, too, rose to the challenge of defining the task of the writer: “to tell our stories. To reflect the human experience. To find what is common and what is uncommon. To explore the past, be with the present, to imagine the future … And if we do not foster our creativity when we hear it calling – whether in our children or as adults – then the world is poorer for it.”

None of those great men mentioned children.”

Janesullivan.sullivan9@gmail.com

 

 

The Christina Stead Prize 2017!

“I cannot express how wonderful it is to bring such an award home to Tasmania.”

Writing is a long game. Or at least it has been in my case. To those who have read my Stella Prize speech, you’ll know I’ve been writing since I was a very small child. Since before I even had words but simply knew I wanted to put pen to paper and express things. And this year, 2017, Year of Writing Miracles, has somehow emerged as a year where all that hard work has come to fruition. On May 23rd, as part of the New South Wales Premier’s Prizes, The Museum of Modern Love won the Christina Stead Prize for fiction.

The Christina Stead prize commemorates the brilliant Australian author Christina Stead. It has previously been won by the most incredible list of authors – and I am humbled and awed by finding my book among them. They include Helen Garner, Elizabeth Jolley, Beverley Farmer, Kate Grenville, Alex Miller, Robert Drewe,  J.M.Coetzee, Joan London, Merlinda Bobis, Carrie Tiffany, Michelle De Kretser, Thea Astley,  Tim Winton, David Malouf, Peter Carey …

Most excitingly, it has only once before been won by a Tasmaniam. That was back in 1989 for Helen Hodgman’s novel Broken Words. Helen was actually born in England and only spent a few teenage years in Tasmania, so this is the first time it’s gone to a born and bred Tasmanian. I’m particularly proud of that for all my fellow Tasmanian writers and the rich reading community that has so generously supported my writing over the past 20 years.

I cannot express how wonderful it is to bring such an award home to Tasmania. I hope this inspires many other writers not only in Tasmania but in all the remote parts of Australia, who often work with a sense of increased isolation from the literary centres of Melbourne and Sydney, and all writers who work long and hard at their craft in the hope of a breakthrough moment in their careers, that sometimes  – sometimes – it happens. I do hope it happens for you.

Here’s a little background from the State Library of NSW  about the award and the judges comments on The Museum of Modern Love.

About Christina Stead

The award commemorates Christina Ellen Stead (1902-1983), Australian novelist and short-story writer. Stead was born in Rockdale, New South Wales. She published fifteen novels beginning with The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934). Her most well-known novel The Man Who Loved Children (1940) was based on her childhood in Sydney. Stead lived most of her life overseas, in Europe and the U.S., but retained a strong sense of national identity, reviewing Australian novels for the New York Times Book Review and keeping up with news from Australia through family correspondence. Her work, including several volumes of short stories, is acclaimed for her satirical wit. Stead’s literary popularity in Australia increased significantly after her return in 1974. The same year she received the inaugural Patrick White Literary Award to recognise her lifetime achievement.

Judges’ Comments

In a now semi-famous aphorism, mid-century French philosopher Simone Weil called attention ‘the rarest and purest form of generosity’, and more than the spirit of that observation inhabits Heather Rose’s deeply striking seventh novel. Initially centred on Arky, a composer for film, The Museum of Modern Love deftly orchestrates a range of characters including the US-Serbian artist Marina Abramović. In Abramović’s 2010 work The Artist Is Present, people were invited to sit silently in a chair directly across from her in order to share each other’s gaze. This is pivotal for a novel deeply concerned with the expansiveness of attention and the limits of responsibility.

The narrator’s voice gives the novel a quiet power, as if the universe was filled with a non-meddling benevolence. There’s a cinematic quality too, with even minor figures sketched in with sure and affecting touches. The Museum of Modern Love is alive with the surprise and challenge of presence in many of its forms — it is a very generous book indeed.

Images and storytelling have been intertwined since the first human beings gathered by a painted wall to tell tales in the firelight. Heather Rose’s The Museum of Modern Love works with these ancient ghosts with exquisite care and intelligence. Positing grief and art as deep echoes that corroborate the transitory nature of our lives, Rose brings the reader to a place of acceptance despite the inevitable darkness. With rare subtlety and humanity, this novel relocates the difficult path to wonder in us all.

 

This lovely picture is NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian handing me the prize. I love the delight in both of us!

Christina Stead Prize - Gladys Berejiklian NSW Premier

The Wheeler Centre interview – on muses, dinner companions and why imagination needs to be taught.


Up now at The Wheeler Centre is this interview.

Heather Rose is a novelist, art student and businesswoman, who writes for both adults and young readers. Her seventh novel, The Museum of Modern Love, is out now. Heather chatted with us about Leo Tolstoy, Edith Wharton and her dream of founding a School of Imagination.

The Museum of Modern Love – almost published


unnamed

 

To anyone who wonders how long novels take to write … well, sometimes they take a very long time. Here is the cover art of my new novel –  The Museum of Modern Love – about to be published in Australia September 2016. It’s taken 11 years. I did write 4 other novels in the meantime – but it’s been a lesson in endurance. As the cover suggests, it’s about art – and also marriage. And Marina Abramovic is a character in the novel. I hope you enjoy it.

Somerset Celebration of Literature 2016


Every year, in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, a most remarkable celebration of children’s literature takes place – the  Somerset Celebration of Literature –  at the Somerset College. Angelica Banks was lucky enough to be one of the thirty authors for 2016. It’s hard to express the scale of this festival. There are literally thousands of children streaming in from across Queensland to listen to authors and engage in sessions about books and words and writing.

One group of primary school students travelled 12 hours from Rockhampton by train for one day at the festival. Another had travelled 6 hours by bus.

From the extraordinary students who provide individual valets for each writer to ensure we can navigate the large campus and find our marquees, to the book shop team, the catering team, the green room team, the people who set up and put away everything it takes to create this festival, right through to the brilliant drivers who chauffeur us to various destinations, the school staff, and the teachers who make everything possible – bringing their students to experience and explore the love of literature – this is a festival that is full of heart.

Here we are about to start a workshop session wearing our Angelica Banks summer garb – having traded our long blue velvet coats etc for hats – given the 30 degree heat and 90% humidity.

Angelica Banks at Somerset Celebration of Literature 2016
Angelica Banks at Somerset Celebration of Literature 2016

 

Writing retreats


One of the secrets of getting books done is sometimes to run away to some secluded little spot that allows complete, uninterrupted writing time. This month I’ve been lucky enough to find a house in the perfect location for my next novel. Where it is will remain a mystery until that novel is done. Some of you might recognise it. Others will wonder where to find that magnificent sunset… or that brilliant cloudscape … ah the wonders of Tasmania.

Bruny large 2

 

Bruny 3