ABIA winners 2015 – congratulations Judith Rossell!

Last night in Sydney, the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) announced their winning selections for 2015 – an annual literary showcase which fittingly takes place during the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

And it's big congratulations to Australian Writers’ Centre presenter Judith Rossell – she ended up ’top of the pile’ for the Book of the Year for Older Children (8-14yrs) for her novel Withering-By-Sea. That book has been barnstorming its way through awards season with reckless abandon this year – a well-deserved gong for this humble and very talented illustrator/author!

Did you know: Judith used to be a CSIRO scientist – and worked as a product development officer at a cotton spinning company. As she said in our recent podcast interview , “I like to think I’m the children’s illustrator in Australia who knows the most about early stage fibre processing.” (We think she’s safe there.)

We tell you this to inspire you to believe that you can change careers and find success as an author. Not every author is born with a pen behind their ear (actually, none are – that would be medically baffling – but you know where we’re going with this) …and Judith has proved that you can achieve success even if you were once in the most unlikely profession.

Here’s the complete list of ABIA winners from last night:

  • Matt Richell New Writer of the Year: Lost & Found, Brooke Davis
  • Book of the Year for Younger Children (0-8yrs): The 52-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton
  • Book of the Year for Older Children (8-14yrs): Withering-By-Sea, Judith Rossell
  • General Fiction Book of the Year: Lost & Found, Brooke Davis
  • Literary Fiction Book of the Year: Foreign Soil, Maxine Beneba Clarke
  • International Book of the Year: All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  • General Non-Fiction Book of the Year: Where Song Began, Tim Low
  • Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year: Diary of a Foreign Minister, Bob Carr
  • Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year: Tea and Sugar Christmas, Jane Jolly & Robert Ingpen
  • Biography Book of the Year: A Bone of Fact, David Walsh
  • Illustrated Book of the Year: ANZAC Treasures, Peter Pedersen

We think you’ll agree that Judith is in very good company!

Bonus: Recently we profiled five of the shortlisted authors and shared their advice on writing. You’ll find that story here.

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