The Indie Book Awards continue to champion great Australian writing with their 2021 Longlist

Indie Book Awards 2021

This morning the longlist for the 2021 Indie Book Award has been announced. The award, which celebrates the best Australian writing, is made up of titles nominated by Australian independent booksellers.

The Awards cover the best Australian book across six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Debut Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Young Adult (12+) and Children’s. The Shortlist will be announced on January 20th, followed by Category Winners and the Book Of The Year announcement to take place at a virtual awards event on Monday March 22nd. 

The 2021 longlist sees the return of several past Book of the Year winners, including Trent Dalton, Craig Silvey, Richard Flanagan and Jane Harper. All four will be vying for the win in the Fiction Category. Meanwhile, Anh Doh who previously took home Book of the Year for The Happiest Refugee features in the children’s category this year alongside fellow past winner Jessica Townsend. 

Leanne Kadareanu, Head of Books at Leading Edge, the facilitator of the awards had this to say: 

“We are excited to announce the Longlist for the Indie Book Awards 2021. What a year it’s been!But amidst the chaos, an amazing array of Australian titles have been published, and independent booksellers across the country have continued to champion and promote great Australian writing. Despite this year’s uncertainty and ever-changing retail environment, independent booksellers have stayed strong and continued to do what they do best – recommend books – to help understand ourselves and the world we live in, and worlds to escape to.”

So without anymore from us, here is your 2021 Indie Book Awards longlist:


The Tolstoy Estate – Steven Conte (Fourth Estate Australia)
All Our Shimmering Skies – Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)
The Living Sea of Waking Dreams – Richard Flanagan (Knopf Australia)
Mammoth – Chris Flynn (University of Queensland Press)
A Room Made of Leaves – Kate Grenville (Text Publishing)
The Survivors – Jane Harper (Macmillan Australia)
Infinite Splendours – Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin)
The Last Migration – Charlotte McConaghy (Hamish Hamilton Australia)
The Good Turn – Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia)
Honeybee – Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin)


Phosphorescence – Julia Baird (Fourth Estate Australia)
Stalin’s Wine Cellar – John Baker & Nick Place (Viking Australia)
The Last Lighthouse Keeper – John Cook w/ Jon Bauer (Allen & Unwin)
The Golden Maze: A Biography of Prague – Richard Fidler (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)
Searching for Charlotte: The Fascinating Story of Australia’s First Children’s Author – Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell (NLA)
The Happiest Man on Earth – Eddie Jaku (Macmillan Australia)
I Catch Killers: The Life and Many Deaths of a Homicide Detective – Gary Jubelin w/ Dan Box (HarperCollins Australia)
People of the River – Grace Karskens (Allen & Unwin)
Truganini – Cassandra Pybus (Allen & Unwin)
Fire Country – Victor Steffensen (Hardie Grant Travel)


The Hunted – Gabriel Bergmoser (HarperCollins Australia)
Kokomo – Victoria Hannan (Hachette Australia)
The Loudness of Unsaid Things – Hilde Hinton (Hachette Australia)
The Bluffs – Kyle Perry (Michael Joseph Australia)
The Coconut Children – Vivian Pham (Vintage Australia)
The Morbids – Ewa Ramsey (Allen & Unwin)
Song of the Crocodile – Nardi Simpson (Hachette Australia)
Sheerwater – Leah Swann (Fourth Estate Australia)
A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing – Jessie Tu (Allen & Unwin)
The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams (Affirm Press)


Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong – Samantha Bloom, Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive (ABC Books)
Plantopedia – Lauren Camilleri & Sophia Kaplan (Smith Street Books)
Golden Daze: Australian Surfing: Then to Now – Sean Doherty (Hachette Australia)
Rivers: The Lifeblood of Australia – Ian Hoskins, foreword by Don Watson (National Library of Australia)
To Asia, With Love – Hetty McKinnon (Plum)
The Flying Kangaroo: 100 Years of QANTAS – Neil Montagnana-Wallace (Affirm Press)
Loving Country – Bruce Pascoe & Vicky Shukuroglou (Hardie Grant Travel)
Beatrix Bakes – Natalie Paull (Hardie Grant Books)
The 99th Koala – Kailas Wild (Simon & Schuster Australia)
In Praise of Veg – Alice Zaslavsky (Murdoch Books)


Future Girl – Asphyxia (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
The Lost Soul Atlas – Zana Fraillon (Lothian Children’s Books)
When Rain Turns to Snow – Jane Godwin (Lothian Children’s Books)
Catch Me If I Fall – Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
Aurora Burning: The Aurora Cycle 2 – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
None Shall Sleep – Ellie Marney (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London – Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
This One is Ours – Kate O’Donnell (University of Queensland Press)
The Erasure Initiative – Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
Loner – Georgina Young (Text Publishing)


The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals – Sami Bayly (Lothian Children’s Books)
The Year the Maps Changed – Danielle Binks (Lothian Children’s Books)
Wolfred – Nick Bland (Little Hare)
Skydragon – Anh Do, illustrated by James Hart (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
Sing Me The Summer – Jane Godwin, illustrated by Alison Lester (Affirm Press)
Finding Our Heart – Thomas Mayor (Hardie Grant Travel)
The Grandest Bookshop in the World – Amelia Mellor (Affirm Press)
Respect – Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy (Magabala Books)
Welcome, Baby, To This World – Jess Racklyeft (Affirm Press)
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend (Lothian Children’s Books)

The Shortlist for the Indie Book Awards will be announced on 20 January 2021, with the Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner being announced at a virtual awards event on Monday 22 March 2021. For more info on the Indie Book Awards visit HERE.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.