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.
Congratulations to all the Penguin and Destiny Romance authors who have been named finalists in the 2014 ARR Awards. Winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner to be held on 7 March 2015 as part of the Australian Romance Readers Convention.
Favourite Paranormal Romance
- Dark Moon by Leisl Leighton
Favourite Historical Romance
- An Unsuitable Match by Sasha Cottman
- The Wickedest Lord Alive by Christina Brooke
- The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie
Favourite Contemporary Romance
- Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein
Favourite Romantic Suspense
- Safe Harbour by Helene Young
Favourite Continuing Romance Series
- Chance Sisters series by Anne Gracie
- Crossfire series by Sylvia Day
- Dukes of Strathmore series by Sasha Cottman
- Westruthers series by Christina Brooke
Favourite Australian Romance Author 2014
- Anne Gracie
- Cathryn Hein
- Kelly Hunter
Congratulations also to the following Members’ Choice finalists:
Favourite Cover from a romance published in 2014
- An Unsuitable Match by Sasha Cottman (Destiny Romance)
- Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay (Penguin)
- The Wickedest Lord Alive by Christina Brooke (Penguin)
The Sexiest Hero from a romance published in 2014
- Freddie Monkton Coombes in The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie
- Gideon Cross in Captivated by You by Sylvia Day
- Xavier Westruther in The Wickedest Lord Alive by Christina Brooke
Favourite New Romance Author for 2014
- Leesa Bow
Worth £40,000, the Folio Prize is for the best novel published in the UK in 2014. The shorlist is announced 9 February, the winner 23 March.
I thank the judges and the Prime Minister for this award.
I commend the Prime Minister for continuing with these prizes at a time of austerity. And I commend the Prime Minister for lending the event here tonight the authority of his office simply by being here. These are not small things, but large symbols of what a civilised society should be—one in which culture is not understood as an economic utility, or a political embarassment, but as the necessary nub of who we are.
As the ideas of our country grow vaporous, as some young Australians find more in common with murderous fantasies in far off lands than the society in which they live, we need that culture more than ever to remind us of all that we share, for our security ever lies not in our capacity to exclude some, but to include all.
It is often said that politics shouldn't be about symbols, but acts. But in the end acts are symbols, and symbols are powerful acts. We find in symbols our meaning to live, and that meaning can be wicked, or it can be a source of hope. We choose what we wish to celebrate for reasons bad or good: a beheading—or a book.
This book would not be what it is without my publishing company, Random House, nor my publisher of near twenty years, an editor of genius, Ms Nikki Christer, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart.
For penurious writers—who in Australia on average earn according to the Australia Council less than $11,000 a year—a prize such as this—one of the world's richest— means one very simple thing: that they can continue to write for a few more years without fear of poverty. In any past year I would have welcomed this money to help me in the struggle to write, and in any future year—were I ever again to know such honour as this, I will, with delight, use the money for a few celebratory drinks and the rest to keep writing.
This year though I have been—as you may have heard—unexpectedly lucky. For all that, I am not a wealthy man, and though I could put this prize money into my mortgage, I intend to use it differently.
And there are two reasons for this. Let me explain them.
The origins of this novel lie in my late father's experience as a Japanese POW. The lesson that my father took from the POW camps and imparted to me was that the measure of any civilised society was its willingness to look after its weakest. In the camps the officers were levied, their money used to buy food and medicines for the sick.
Money is like shit, my father used say. Pile it up and it stinks. Spread it around and you can grow things.
My book only exists because in that hellish place long ago the strong helped the weak. These were concrete acts that became for me, growing up, symbols of what a good society might be.
Of what our Australia is.
My other reason is this: if me standing here tonight means anything it is the power of literacy to change lives. The difference between my illiterate grandparents and me is two generations of free state education and literacy.
Words, my father told me, were the first beautiful things he ever knew.
I intend to donate this $40,000 to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for its work with indigenous children, helping them to read. I hope it might perhaps grow a few things.
My mortgage will go on as mortgages do, but if one of those books helps a few children to advance beyond the most basic literacy to one that is liberating, then I will consider the money better spent.
And if just one of those children in turn becomes a writer, if just one brings to Australia and to the world an idea of the universe that arises out of that glorious lineage of sixty thousand years of Australian civilisation, then I will think this prize has rewarded not just me, but us all. And for that we will all owe this prize an immense debt of gratitude.
For more information regarding these awards and for the full list of winners please visit the Queensland Literary awards website. http://qldliteraryawards.org.au
Penguin True Stories has been announced as a Finalist in the Australian Interactive Media Industry (AIMIA) Awards for Best Website or Online Service – Media & Entertainment.
Winners will be announced in March 2015, you can see more details here: http://www.aimia.com.au/
Congratulations to Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest which was named winner of the inaugural Voss Literary Prize for the best novel published in Australia in 2013 and voted by the Australian University Heads of English.
For more information please visit the Voss Literary Prize website.
The 2014 Queensland Literary Awards shortlist has just been announced and we're very pleased to advise that Tigerfish by David Metzenthen has been shortlisted for the Griffith University Young Adult Book Award.
For more information about this award please visit the Queensland Literary Awards website.
Congratulations to the following Penguin Random House authors who have been successful in the 2014 Kids Own Australian Literature Awards for the following categories:
Fiction for Younger Readers
The KOALA Legend Award for 2014 went to author Libby Gleeson.
For more information on these awards visit the KOALA Awards website.
The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.
For more information please visit the Australian Society of Authors website.
Lily Brett has become the first Australian and only the fourth woman to win the Prix Medicis Etranger for her most recent novel, Lola Bensky. The prize is given to an author of a work that has been translated into French from another language and previous winners include Milan Kundera, Philip Roth, Dave Eggers and Orhan Pamuk. Congratulations, Lily.