2020 ABIAs cancel red carpet event in favour of huge livestream celebration

A key fixture of Australia’s literary scene, the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) celebrates the very best in homegrown literature and publishing.

This year, as we collectively navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABIAs team have made the decision to forego their usual awards ceremony. Instead, they’ll be livestreaming the event, turning it from a 500 guest party into a global celebration that can be accessed by thousands.

There’s more details to come, but what we know so far is that the virtual awards will take place on Wednesday 13th May at 4pm, with Casey Benetto retaining hosting duties.

The longlist was published earlier this month, with ABIA Academy members voting across 12 categories. The shortlist, along with the Hall of Fame, Rising Star and Pixie O’ Harris Awards, will be released prior to the main event on Tuesday 28th April.

The 2020 ABIA longlist is as follows:

Biography Book of the Year

  • Australia Day, Stan Grant
  • Born-Again Blakfella, Jack Charles
  • Gulpilil, Derek Rielly
  • Penny Wong: Passion and Principle, Margaret Simons
  • Tell Me Why, Archie Roach
  • The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory, Corey White
  • When All is Said & Done, Neale Daniher, with Warwick Green
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch

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

  • Detention, Tristan Bancks
  • How It Feels to Float, Helena Fox
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood
  • Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, Michael Earp et al
  • The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling, Wai Chim
  • This Is How We Change the Ending, Vikki Wakefield
  • Welcome to Country Youth Edition, Marcia Langton
  • Welcome To Your Period, Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang

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

  • Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing!, Tim Flannery
  • Funny Bones, Edited by Kate Temple, Jol Temple and Oliver Phommavanh
  • How to Make a Movie in 12 Days, Fiona Hardy
  • Real Pigeons Nest Hard, Written by Andrew McDonald, Illustrated by Ben Wood
  • The 117-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals, Sami Bayly
  • Under the Stars, Lisa Harvey-Smith, Mel Matthews (illustrator)
  • Young Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe

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

  • All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors, Davina Bell and Jenny Løvlie
  • Bluey: The Beach, Ludo Studio, BBC Studios and Penguin Random House Australia
  • Kindness Makes Us Strong, Sophie Beer
  • Lottie and Walter, Anna Walker
  • Mr Chicken All Over Australia, Leigh Hobbs
  • The Painted Ponies, Alison Lester
  • The Tiny Star, Mem Fox and Freya Blackwood
  • Tilly, Jane Godwin and Anna Walker
  • Wilam, Andrew Kelly, Aunty Joy Murphy, Lisa Kennedy

General Fiction Book of the Year

  • Bruny, Heather Rose
  • Call Me Evie, J.P. Pomare
  • Cilka’s Journey, Heather Morris
  • Good Girl, Bad Girl, Michael Robotham
  • Peace, Garry Disher
  • Silver, Chris Hammer
  • The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan
  • The Wife and the Widow, Christian White

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Accidental Feminists, Jane Caro
  • Against All Odds, Craig Challen and Richard Harris
  • Banking Bad, Adele Ferguson
  • Fake, Stephanie Wood
  • Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life, Kitty Flanagan
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse, Jess Hill
  • The Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume I 1978, Helen Garner
  • Troll Hunting, Ginger Gorman

Illustrated Book of the Year

  • Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925–1975, Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad
  • Ben Quilty, Ben Quilty
  • Finding the Heart of the Nation, Thomas Mayor
  • Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia: Second Edition, Bill Arthur and Frances Morphy (eds.)
  • Olive Cotton, Helen Ennis
  • Step into Paradise, Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson
  • The Lost Boys: The untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War, Paul Byrnes
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook, Josh Niland
  • Three Birds Renovations, Erin Cayless, Bonnie Hindmarsh and Lana Taylor

International Book of the Year

  • Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow
  • Fleishman is in Trouble, Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  • Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo
  • Lanny, Max Porter
  • The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  • Three Women, Lisa Taddeo
  • Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • Damascus, Christos Tsiolkas
  • Exploded View, Carrie Tiffany
  • Room for a Stranger, Melanie Cheng
  • The Drover’s Wife, Leah Purcell
  • The Weekend, Charlotte Wood
  • The Yield, Tara June Winch
  • There Was Still Love, Favel Parrett
  • Wolfe Island, Lucy Treloar

Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

  • Cosmic Chronicles, Fred Watson
  • Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia, Darryl Jones
  • Invented Lives, Andrea Goldsmith
  • Kindred, Kirli Saunders
  • Paris Savages, Katherine Johnson
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta
  • Split, Lee Kofman
  • The White Girl, Tony Birch

Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

  • Baby Business, Jasmine Seymour
  • Cooee Mittigar, Written by Jasmine Seymour, Illustrated by Leanne Mulgo Watson
  • Little Bird’s Day, Written by Sally Morgan, Illustrated by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr
  • Love Your Body, written by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti
  • Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street, Felicita Sala
  • Sick Bay, Nova Weetman
  • Summer Time, Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti
  • You Can Change the World: The Kids’ Guide to a Better Planet, Lucy Bell

The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

  • Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips, Matt Okine
  • Call Me Evie, J.P. Pomare
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta
  • The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory, Corey White
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook, Josh Niland
  • Troll Hunting, Ginger Gorman
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch

For more information on the awards, check out the ABIA website.

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