The 2020 ABIA winners are…

The announcement of the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards saw both familiar faces and rising stars rewarded for their hard work. Streamed live on YouTube, the top gong for the ABIA Book of the Year was given to a picture book for the first time: Bluey: The Beach, based on ABC Kids’ popular children’s television show Bluey.

From press release: 

The 2020 ABIA Book of the Year is Bluey: The Beach, Ludo Studio, BBC Studios and Penguin Random House Australia (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin).

ABC Kids’ Bluey is Australia’s most popular children’s television show about a family of Aussie heelers. Produced by Brisbane-based Ludo Studio, it recently won an International Emmy Kids Award celebrating the world’s best content for young viewers. It’s the most-watched program in the history of ABC iview, has won a Logie Award, AACTA award and two Screen Producers Australia awards, and now, to add to that impressive list of accolades, the awards have begun in another sphere altogether, publishing.

Not only has Bluey:The Beach won the prestigious ABIA Book of the Year award, it is the first children’s picture book to do so.

Kitty Flanagan has taken out the General Non-Fiction Book of the Year for her hilarious anti-self-help book, Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin). Biography Book of the Year (sponsored by BorrowBox) went to AFL legend Neale Daniher who has inspired millions with his courageous battle against Motor Neurone Disease, for When All is Said & Done with Warwick Green (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia). A memoir also took out The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, awarded to Clare Bowditch, Your Own Kind of Girl (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin).

Behrouz Boochani has received another award for his journal-memoir, tapped out on a mobile phone from Manus Island, winning Audiobook of the Year for No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia Audio), narrated by Farsi translator Omid Tofighian, and Benjamin Law, Isobelle Carmody, Janet Galbraith, Mathilda Imlah, Geoffrey Robertson, Richard Flanagan, Sarah Dale, Thomas Keneally, Yumi Stynes.

Allen & Unwin’s amazing fiction list cleaned up in the fiction categories; General Fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by Better Reading) went to Heather Rose for Bruny (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin), and Literary Book of the Year went to The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin). Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12) went to perennial favourites Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton for The 117-Storey Treehouse (Pan Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia).

Helen Garner was presented with the Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award for outstanding contribution to the Australian Book Industry by Leigh Sales and Michael Heyward.

Paul Jennings presented the Pixie O’Harris Award to Erica Wagner, for her consistent contribution to children’s literature.

Capping off a massive year, Allen & Unwin took out Publisher of the Year! Recipients of the industry business awards were Magabala Books (Small Publisher of the Year), Readings (Book Retailer of the Year), and Books Kinokuniya took out the Bookshop of the Year, and recognising the importance of encouragement and development within the industry, Hazel Lam from Harper Collins was the recipient of the 2020 Rising Star Award.

Australian Book Industry Award Winners 2020:

 ABIA Book of the Year

    • Bluey: The Beach, Ludo Studio, BBC Studios and Penguin Random House Australia (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)

 Audiobook of the Year

    •   No Friend But the Mountains, by Behrouz Boochani (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia Audio) Narrated by: Benjamin Law, Omid Tofighian, Isobelle Carmody, Janet Galbraith, Mathilda Imlah, Geoffrey Robertson, Richard Flanagan, Sarah Dale, Thomas Keneally, Yumi Stynes

 Biography Book of the Year

    • When All is Said & Done, Neale Daniher, with Warwick Green (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)

 Book Retailer of the Year

    •   Readings

 Bookshop of the Year:

    •   Books Kinokuniya (Sydney)

 Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+)

    • Welcome To Your Period, Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang (Hardie Grant Egmont, Hardie Grant Egmont)

 Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-12)

    • The 117-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan Australia, Pan Australia)

 Children’s Picture Book of the Year (ages 0-6)

    • Bluey: The Beach, Ludo Studio, BBC Studios and Penguin Random House Australia (Penguin Random House Australia, Puffin)

 General Fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by Booktopia)

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

 General Non-fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by The Copyright Agency)

    • Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life, Kitty Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

 Illustrated Book of the Year

    • The Whole Fish Cookbook, Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)

 International Book of the Year

    • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Penguin Random House Australia, Chatto & Windus)

 Literary Fiction Book of the Year

    • The Weekend, Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

 Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award

    •   Helen Garner

 Pixie O’Harris Award

    •   Erica Wagner

 Publisher of the Year (sponsored by Media Super)

    •   Allen & Unwin

 Rising Star Award

    •   Hazel Lam (HarperCollins Australia)

 Small Publisher of the Year (sponsored by Ovato)

    •   Magabala Books

 Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

    • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)

 Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

    • Love Your Body, written by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti (Five Mile, Five Mile)

 The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year (sponsored by Simpsons Solicitors)

    • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin) 

Keep checking our blog – we’ll have interviews with Heather Rose, author of General Fiction Book of the Year-winning Bruny, as well as comedy writing tips from Book of the Year for Younger Children winner Andy Griffiths.


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