Penguin News

Catch up on all the latest news from Penguin Random House Australia including award winning authors, illustrators, designers, publishers and other publishing industry and book related news.

Gabrielle Coyne to Leave Penguin Random House
06 Nov 2015

(Melbourne: 6th November, 2015) Penguin Random House today announced that Gabrielle Coyne, CEO Penguin Random House APAC, will leave the company.

Ian Hudson, CEO Penguin Random House International (English Language), said: “Gabrielle has made a unique contribution to our business especially after taking over the Penguin leadership mantle from Peter Field in 2003.

“She has been an outstanding advocate of Penguin in Australia before expanding her influence to Penguin Random House APAC.

“Gabrielle has long been a powerful voice for the value of books and publishing, initially in Australia and then beyond. Her passion for writing and ideas and for discovering and nurturing authors throughout their careers has shone through.

“She can be proud of her many achievements. Gabrielle takes with her our very best wishes for her future endeavours.”

Gabrielle said: “I’ve had 25 extraordinary years at first Penguin and latterly at Penguin Random House and it has been a real privilege to work with some of the world’s greatest authors and publishers. I’m confident that the talented teams will go from strength-to-strength.”

Gabrielle started her Penguin career in 1990 in the marketing department and became Marketing Director in 2000. In 2003 she was appointed Managing Director of Penguin Australia, and in 2006, New Zealand was added to her responsibilities. She was appointed CEO of Penguin Group Asia Pacific in 2009, overseeing the Penguin operations in Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia.

She has held various positions on boards in the Australian publishing community, including Vice president of the Australian Publishers Association.



Press enquiries in Australia: Hannah Glenny, Communications Manager, Penguin Random House (in Melbourne) +44 7769 617881

Rebecca Johnson awarded Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
21 Oct 2015


The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious and highly regarded awards for excellence in scientific research, innovation and science teaching.

Rebecca Johnson, Windaroo State School, Logan, Brisbane - Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

Improved primary science teaching at no extra cost

Fifteen years ago Rebecca Johnson, from Windaroo State School, initiated a new method for teaching science more effectively in primary schools without costing the government anything extra.

“No-one ever questions the need to have specialist teachers for subjects such as music, physical education and languages other than English, in primary schools,” says Rebecca.

“Particular skill sets and qualities are required to teach these subjects effectively, and I believe the same applies to teaching science.”

With a fully-resourced science room Rebecca, with her teaching partner, teaches science to every student at Windaroo State School. Because of this designated space and the importance that has been assigned to this subject area, the children are able to experience a depth of science learning usually reserved for high school. And it’s all effectively done during the classroom teachers’ non-contact time, at no extra cost.

Almost a hectare of the school grounds have been turned into teaching gardens which, under Rebecca’s guidance, the students created and built. Here they work with real-life examples of what they are learning about in the classroom and they sell the harvest to staff.

This teaching model provides continuity and consistency across the vital key learning areas of science. By the time the students enter high school they have had consistent, engaging, positive introductions to all science strands, making them far more likely to continue on with these subjects at high school and beyond.

This model has now been widely adopted by other Queensland primary schools, and Rebecca now assists teachers to set up their own specialist science programmes. For her contributions to science teaching and fostering a love of science in her students, Mrs Rebecca Johnson has been awarded the 2015 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools.

Shortlisted for the Inaugural Australian Sports Book of the Year award
21 Oct 2015

Congratulations to the following authors who have been shortlisted for this award:

Roy Higgins by Patrick Bartley

The Short Long Book by Martin Flanagan

For more information regarding this award please visit the William Hill website.

2015 Diary of a Wimpy Kid ‘Old School' Read-a-thon Winners
20 Oct 2015

Congratulations to Samuel Cousins of Perth, Western Australia and Joel Doherty of Auckland, New Zealand – Winners of the Grand Prize for our 2015 Diary of a Wimpy Kid ‘Old School' Read-a-thon! These two lucky winners will soon be travelling to Sydney to meet Jeff Kinney in person at his only Australian event!

Our congratulations and thanks to all the fabulous readers who took part in the 2015 Diary of a Wimpy Kid ‘Old School' Read-a-thon.

Related Books

Book Cover:  Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Book 10
In the latest instalment of the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, author-illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the series back to its roots, as Greg starts a new school year and faces a challenge he never could've imagined.
In the latest instalment of the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, author-illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the series back to its roots, as Greg starts a new school year and faces a challenge he never could've imagined.
Published: 03/11/2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143309000
15 Oct 2015


Bestselling author Jeff Kinney visits FIFTEEN International VENUES 

NEW YORK, NY—October 13, 2016—Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, announces today the cities for bestselling author Jeff Kinney’s unprecedented worldwide author tour. Promoting the release of book 10, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School, the itinerary includes stops in fifteen cities on five continents, where the series has topped bestseller lists for more than eight years. 

Working closely with the local publishers, Kinney, who was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world, will be featured in major media outlets, meet tens of thousands of fans during author events held in major venues, and will discover local cultures. A dynamic multi-platform social-media campaign, which will include videos documenting each tour stop, will be coordinated with all publisher partners. Fans can also stay up to date on Jeff Kinney’s travel at Upon publication of book 10 there will be more than 164 million copies of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in print around the globe. 

Worldwide tour cities include: New York, NY Ÿ Boston, MA Ÿ Tokyo, Japan Ÿ Beijing, China Ÿ Sydney, Australia Ÿ Madrid, Spain Ÿ London, UK Ÿ Lisbon, Portugal Ÿ Frankfurt, Germany Ÿ Athens, Greece Ÿ Istanbul, Turkey Ÿ Bucharest, Romania Ÿ Amsterdam, Netherlands Ÿ Riga, Latvia Ÿ Rio de Janerio, Brazil

“I’m incredibly excited to be embarking on a global tour to celebrate the launch of my tenth book. One of the biggest surprises of my life is that kids from all over the world seem to relate to Greg Heffley and his comic struggles,” says Jeff Kinney. “What I’ve learned is that childhood itself is a universal condition that transcends culture and language. I can’t wait to meet as many Wimpy Kid fans in as many countries as possible during the tour. I’m sure my life will be enriched beyond measure.” 

Participating Wimpy Kid book 10 tour publishers include the originating publisher, ABRAMS, in the United States, Poplar Publishing in Japan, Guangdong New Century Publishing House in China, Penguin Random House in Australia, RBA Group in Spain, Penguin Random House in the United Kingdom, 20/20 Editora in Portugal, Baumhaus Verlag in Germany, Psichogios Publications in Greece, Epsilon in Turkey, Editura Art in Romania, De Fontein in The Netherlands, Zvaigzne ABC in Lativa, and V&R Editoras in Brazil.

“The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and series has had an incredible reach all around the world,” says Michael Jacobs, president and CEO of ABRAMS. “We are thrilled and privileged to organize this truly global tour so that Jeff can meet his fans—kids, parents and caregivers, teachers, librarians and booksellers worldwide to coincide with the release of Old School.”

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School follows Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley as he goes on a weeklong field trip to a farm and deals with a generation gap between the kids and their chaperones. The November 3 coordinated global on-sale tour is a milestone for the Wimpy Kid series and for children’s book publishing.  

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The series has remained on the New York Times bestseller lists since the publication of the first book, for more than 425 weeks total, and more than 325 on the series list. The books have been sold in more than 53 editions in 48 languages. Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, Kinney’s work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. Three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. Jeff Kinney won two Children’s Choice Book Awards. Books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers around the globe. The Wimpy Kid Island (Wimpy Wonderland) on, a virtual world for kids, remains one of the most visited on the site.

For more information, interviews, or images, please contact:
Tina Gumnior, Senior Children's Publicist

Related Books

Book Cover:  Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Book 10
In the latest installment of the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, author-illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the series back to its roots, as Greg starts a new school year and faces a challenge he never could've imagined.
In the latest installment of the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, author-illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the series back to its roots, as Greg starts a new school year and faces a challenge he never could've imagined.
Published: 03/11/2015
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780670079087
Here Come the Dogs shortlisted for 2015 ACT Book of the Year
13 Oct 2015

Here Come the Dogs by Omar Musa has been shortlisted for the 2015 ACT Book of the Year Award.

For more information regarding this award visit the ACT Book of the Year Awards website.

Related Books

Book Cover:  Here Come the Dogs
In small town suburbia, three young men are ready to make their mark. 
In small town suburbia, three young men are ready to make their mark. 
Published: 23/07/2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780670077090
Penguin Random House to publish John le Carré’s memoir in September 2016
12 Oct 2015

Sydney, 10 October 2015: Penguin Random House is delighted to announce the acquisition of The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life by acclaimed novelist, John le Carré.

To be published in September 2016 in the UK in Viking Hardback and simultaneously in Australia by Penguin Random House. The audiobook, read by the author, will be released at the same time.

“Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I’m sitting now,” from The Pigeon Tunnel, by John le Carré.

For more than fifty years John le Carré has written novels that have come to define our age, from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to The Constant Gardener, from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to A Most Wanted Man. His books have been admired by writers such as Philip Roth and Graham Greene, Ian McEwan and Robert Harris, and by figures from world politics such as Barack Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi. He is one of only a handful of writers whose novels have been successfully adapted for the big and small screen and whose characters have been mastered by the greatest actors of their time: in the 1960s by Richard Burton; in the 1970s by Alec Guinness; in 2005 by Ralph Fiennes; in 2014 by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré’s memoir and his first work of non-fiction, opens up this extraordinary writing life for the first time. It is an exhilarating journey into the worlds of his ‘secret sharers’ - the men and women who inspired some of his most enthralling novels - and a testament to the author’s unique and personal engagement with the last half-century.

“It is a huge honour for Penguin Random House to be publishing John le Carré’s memoir. The Pigeon Tunnel is the story of our times as seen through the eyes of one of this country’s greatest novelists. It will be a thrill to publish it in 2016,” Tom Weldon, CEO Penguin Random House UK.

“For as long as I have had the privilege of working with David Cornwell, people have asked me when he would write his memoirs. Those people will be surprised and delighted by what is about to be published – insights into the creative mind, tales of adventures in the movie trade, encounters with the great and the not-so-good, intensely moving stories drawn from over 50 years of observing the world –  told in prose other writers would envy,” Jonny Geller, CEO Curtis Brown.

Media Enquiries:

Heidi McCourt, Publicity Manager, Penguin Books
Penguin Random House Australia
Ph: +612 8923 9925

Penguin Random House celebrates three winners in the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards
09 Oct 2015


We are delighted that three of our authors have been recognised as winners in the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards (QLA). 

University of Queensland Fiction Book Award
The Golden Age, Joan London 

University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award 
The Bush, Don Watson

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award
The Pause, John Larkin

The QLA celebrate and promote the strength and diversity of Australian writing talent. A community driven program, the awards are managed by The State Library of Queensland in collaboration with sponsors, industry partners and the writing community.

This year 58 authors were shortlisted across 12 categories.

For more information visit the Awards website.

Penguin Random House to publish Greste books
08 Oct 2015


Penguin Random House is delighted to announce the acquisition of two books connected with journalist Peter Greste.

The first will be the Greste family’s story in their own words to be published in late 2016. From the moment they learnt of Peter’s arrest and imprisonment in Egypt, the Greste’s showed us the power of a family dedicated to rescuing one of their own. Theirs has been a compelling tale of determined and passionate advocacy, of hope, disappointment and ultimate triumph, which Australians have already taken to heart. Lois, Juris, Andrew and Michael kept the injustice being suffered by their son and brother in hearts and minds around the country, and on the agenda of governments and media around the world. They made an important political issue deeply relatable, and inspired us all with their courage and commitment. For Peter, their support was life-saving. The image of Peter returning to his family is one that will remain with Australians for many years to come.  In this book, all five family members will describe how they found the strength and bravery to orchestrate this remarkable campaign.

Speaking on behalf of the Greste family, Andrew said, “Now that some time has passed since Peter’s deportation, we have all had time to gather our thoughts and reflect on the 400 days he was in prison. Throughout the campaign, we received enormous public, media and government support.  As a result, we all felt that it was important to document the campaign and each of our own individual experiences, providing some insight into the family and campaign dynamics. Our family book will describe the emotional highs and lows we all went through to bring Peter home. It will also cover the personal gut wrenching events as well as some of the comical moments that took place away from the media spotlight. We are delighted that Penguin has given us to opportunity to fulfil this vision”.

In the second book, Peter will tell his personal story: the full account of his work as a journalist with Al Jazeera, of his arrest and time in gaol, of the court and political battles he endured with his two colleagues and his subsequent freedom. The book will use these experiences as a way into investigating how the role of the international journalist has changed since 9/11, to the point where journalists are themselves the target of terrorists and repressive governments. This book will bring together Peter’s own story with those of many other journalists.

Peter, who currently spends much of his time campaigning for press freedom, said, “Over the years of working in some of the world’s most difficult environments, I’ve watched the way that the business of journalism has changed, and become ever more dangerous. During my time in prison, I thought hard about why those changes had taken place, and the historical forces that had put not just the three of us behind bars but that had made the world so risky for journalists everywhere. I am excited by the partnership with Penguin, which gives me the opportunity to tell both the story of our time in Egypt, and the wider crisis facing the industry that is so central to our democracy.”

Of both acquisitions, Ben Ball, Publishing Director Penguin General said, “These are both books that deserve the widest possible Australian readership.  This is an important story, of family love and individual courage that will remain in the national consciousness. Penguin Random House is very proud to be working with the Greste family”.

Media enquiries:

Alysha Farry
Head of Consumer Marketing, Penguin Books
Penguin Random House Australia
Ph: +612 8923 9945


Tim Winton In Conversation
06 Oct 2015

For over thirty years, Tim Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. This October Tim will be appearing in-conversation for two special events (Perth and Melbourne only) to share his personal relationship with the Australian landscape, how it came to be, how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life. Both events will be followed by a book signing.


Beaufort Street Books and The Lane Bookshop present Tim Winton in conversation for one night only in Perth
6:30pm Wednesday 7 October at Perth Concert Hall

Readings present Tim Winton in conversation for one night only in Melbourne

7:00pm Friday 9 October at the Athenaeum Theatre  

Tim Winton is one of the Australia’s most acclaimed writers, thinkers and essayists, and a prominent advocate for the conservation of our natural environment.  His new book, Island Home – a landscape memoir is a brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, and a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country’s. 



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27 Jan 2016
Quentin Blake to illustrate rediscovered Beatrix Potter Tale
  Beatrix Potter’s THE TALE OF KITTY-IN-BOOTS was recently rediscovered by Penguin Random House Children’s, over 100 years after it was originally writtenLondon – 26 January 2016In September 2016, Frederick Warne & Co., Beatrix Potter’s original publisher and an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s, will publish a brand-new tale by one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, Beatrix Potter.

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