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.

Tasmanian Premier's Literary Prizes Longlist Announced
10 Aug 2015

The longlist for the Tasmanian Premier's Literary Prizes has been announced and we are pleased to congratulate Richard Flanagan and Robert Dessaix for their inclusions on the list.

Tasmania Book Prize

The best book with Tasmanian content in any genre, recognising the influence Tasmania has had on content or perspective and is sponsored by the Government.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan

Margaret Scott Prize

The best book by a Tasmanian writer.

What Days Are For, Robert Dessaix
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan

The shortlist will be announced alongside the shortlisted manuscripts in the University of Tasmania Prize and theTasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship at the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival in Hobart on Friday, 11 September 2015.

The winners of each of the 2015 Premier’s Literary Awards will be announced at a function at Government House on 2 December 2015.

Colin Roderick Award Shortlist Announced
10 Aug 2015

​The Foundation for Australian Literary Studies is based at James Cook University and aims to foster the study and appreciation of Australian literature. Funded by the late Colin Roderick CBE, the foundation presents the Colin Roderick Award, along with the HT Priestley Memorial Medal, to the author of the best book, in the judges' opinion, that is published in Australia in the previous calendar year, which deals with any aspect of Australian life.

Two of our authors have been shortlisted this year:

The Golden Age, Joan London

The Bush, Don Watson

The winner of this year’s award and medal will be announced at the annual dinner to be held in Townsville in late October.

Sisters in Crime’s 15th Davitt Awards Shortlist
05 Aug 2015

Sisters in Crime Australia has announced its shortlist for its 15th Davitt Awards for best crime books by Australian women and the list features a number of titles from Penguin Random House authors:

Adult Novels

Young Adult Novels

Children's Novels


Leading UK crime writer, Sophie Hannah, will present the awards at a gala dinner at Melbourne's Thornbury Theatre on Saturday 29 August. Congratulations to all our shortlisted authors. 

03 Aug 2015


Melbourne 11.30am, 3 August 2015: Penguin Random House Australia CEO Gabrielle Coyne today announced the sale of Bookworld, the online book retailer that operates and, to Booktopia.

The transaction will bring together Australia’s two largest online book businesses.

Coyne said “As publishers, connecting authors with readers is at the core of what we do and a strong online player is but one of the many ways this happens.

“Bookworld and Booktopia share the same commitment to delivering a first class online experience for Australian readers, and together will have the economies of scale and the brands to strengthen and grow an important channel.”

Since it was purchased in 2011, the Bookworld business has more than doubled, its loyalty programme has trebled, and a new platform implemented. It has also won a number of awards and been named a Top 50 Online Retailer by Power Retail for the past three years.

James Webber, CEO of Bookworld, said, “I am extremely proud of what the Bookworld team have achieved in such a short time and it has been very gratifying to see this recognised by the industry awards we have won over the last couple of years. 

“I am also equally excited about the opportunities created by the bringing together of these two great businesses.

“This significantly strengthens this growing and increasingly important channel to market.” 

Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia, said, “Penguin Random House Australia have done a tremendous job growing the Bookworld business over the past few years and we have been impressed in what they have accomplished thus far.

“We look forward to the challenge of delighting the book buying community across all our websites as more and more people buy their books online.”

Booktopia was established in 2004 and is now one of the Top 10 pureplay (online only) retailers in Australia. There are over 100,000 in stock titles ready-to-ship from their 10,000 square metre Headquarters and Distribution Centre in Sydney and the Bookworld business will take full advantage of the infrastructure and systems already in place.

It is anticipated Booktopia will take operational control in mid-August, after which James Webber will leave the business. Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.


For further information please contact: 

Camilla Subeathar

Corporate Communications Manager – Penguin Random House Asia Pacific

p + 61 3 9811 2542, +61 401 135 391; e


Tony Nash

Chief Executive Officer – Booktopia

p +61 2 9045 4303, +61 431 163 887; e

Daniela Etchells, Tony’s Executive Assistant


P +61 2 9045 4311; E



Notes to Editors

Penguin Random House ( is the world’s most global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin, with the parent companies owning 53% and 47%, respectively.  Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, and Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and Brazil; DK worldwide; and Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial’s Spanish-language companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

Booktopia ( was founded in 2004 on a $10 per day budget. It took 3 days to sell the first book and today a book is sold every 10 seconds with over 1,700,000 parcels per year being shipped to Australian and New Zealand addresses. The company has won Telstra Business of the Year for Medium Sized Businesses in NSW in 2014. They are the first company ever to be listed in the BRW Fast 100 for 6 years in a row. In 2014 and 2015 they won Online Bookseller of the Year. In the past few years Booktopia has been ranked in the Top 25 retail websites in Australia by Power Retail across all retailers. Booktopia employs 90 people at its Headquarters and Distribution Centre in Sydney. They have their own recording studio to interview authors for Booktopia TV. Over 1,600,000 Australians have bought from Booktopia. Booktopia sells eBooks and has its own eBook Reader App. It also sells DVDs, Audio Books, Magazines, Games, Puzzles, Stationery and Calendars.                

2015 Man Booker Prize longlist announced
30 Jul 2015

We are delighted with the news that four Penguin Random House titles have been longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize:

Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg

The Green Road, Anne Enright

Satin Island, Tom McCarthy

A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler

You can read the announcement here.

The shortlist will be announced on 15 September and the winner will be announced on 13 October.

Congratulations to all our authors.

Penguin Random House to publish Tim Winton’s provocative meditation on Australia and its landscape
28 Jul 2015

To be published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books, in September 2015, Island Home 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.

For over thirty years, Tim Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. What is true of his work is also true of his life: from boyhood, his relationship with the world around him – rockpools, seacaves, scrub and swamp – has been as vital as any other connection. 

‘I’m increasingly mindful of the degree to which geography, distance and weather have moulded my sensory palate, my imagination and expectations. The island continent has not been mere background. Landscape has exerted a kind of force upon me that is every bit as geological as family…’

In a new collection of non-fiction, Island Home – a landscape memoir, Winton explores the story of how his relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life.  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. 

Ben Ball, Publishing Director, Penguin General, says, ‘Tim Winton’s Island Home is a revelation – an insight into the life and work of one of our finest authors and an inspiration about how to live in and listen to this land. It’s an answer to the question of what it means to be Australian, in which we learn a lot about its author’s views and practices, and even more about ourselves.’

Island Home – a landscape memoir by Tim Winton, will be published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books, on Wednesday 23 September 2015.

Read an extract:


Penguin Random House announces changes to Lantern imprint
22 Jul 2015

 Sydney 22 July 2015:  Penguin Random House Australia today announced changes to the Lantern imprint which will see a reduction in the number of illustrated books published in 2016 and 2017.

Gabrielle Coyne, CEO Penguin Random House said the changing base retail market had challenged the existing model.

“The prevailing market conditions mean there is no longer the retail footprint there once was to support the number of illustrated books in our future 2016 and 2017 programme. 

“With this changing base, we are unable to achieve the commercial success we and our authors desire.

“The 2015 Lantern programme remains firmly in place, as does our commitment to the successful publication of this year’s books.”

With a focus on food, travel, gardening, lifestyle, interior design and art, Lantern was launched in 2004. Collecting a host of design, industry and publishing awards locally and internationally, Lantern has been recognised as a leader in content and production standards. 

Lantern Publishing Director Julie Gibbs will stay with Penguin Random House until the end of the year, to guide the team and the development of the 2016 and 2017 publishing programme.



Media Enquiries

Camilla Subeathar 

Corporate Communications Manager

Penguin Random House Asia Pacific

Ph: + 613 9811 2542; +61 401 135 391


The Golden Age wins 2015 Kibble Award
15 Jul 2015


We are delighted by news that Joan London’s third novel, The Golden Age, has been named winner of the 2015 Kibble Award.

The response to this novel, which tells the story of thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, a refugee from wartime Hungary, learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia, has been quite exceptional. Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, the Stella Prize and the ALS Gold Medal Award, the Kibble Literary Award win confirms Joan’s status as, in the words of The Australian: “our finest living writer of marriage and family life.”

The Sydney Morning Herald described the novel as being written in “the poetic language of love”, going on to say: “the novel is also a universal meditation on nostalgia and hope, belonging and exile, love and loss, old world and new.” While Joan herself recently shared some of her thoughts on the book’s central themes along with an extract from the novel with The Guardian Australia.

Joan London "To be recognised by such advocates for reading in Australia is an absolute honour. I feel so privileged to be recipient of the 2015 Kibble Award."

The Nita B Kibble Awards aim to encourage Australian women writers to improve and advance literature for the benefit of our community. The Kibble recognises established authors, while the Dobbie is awarded to women writers for their first published work.

Congratulations to Joan on this exceptional honour.

Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2015 - shortlisted
06 Jul 2015

The following Penguin Random House titles have been shortlsted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2015

Three to Five years:

The Great Garden Mystery by Renee Treml

Tim and Ed by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner

Five to Eight Years:

Hasel and Rose by Caroline Magerl

Stories for Simon by Lisa Miranda Sarzin & Lauren Briggs

Eight to Ten Years:

Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman

Meet Douglas Mawson by Mike Dumbleton, illustrated by Snip Green

Indigenous Children:

Our Island by Children of Gununa, Alison Lester & Elizabeth Honey

Speech Pathology Australia website.

Announcing the release date for Kings Rising by C. S. Pacat
26 Jun 2015

The release date for Kings Rising: Book Three of the Captive Prince Trilogy by C. S. Pacat has been announced:

Pre order from your favourite retailer.

Print ISBN: 9780143799610
eBook ISBN: 9781743484951


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20 May 2016
Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards Shortlist Announced
We are delighted to announce that the following Penguin Random House authors have been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards:

Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela and Matt Ottley
Ollie and the Wind by Ronojoy Ghosh

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