Trent Dalton wins big at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards

Tonight the best and brightest of Australian publishing descended on Sydney and the Grand Ballroom of the International Convention Centre for the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards – the Australian equivalent of the Oscars for the bookishly inclined. 

If you’ve been even vaguely following the Australian literary world over the last twelve months then the news that debut novelist Trent Dalton has cleaned up the 2019 ABIAs with his novel Boy Swallows Universe should come as no real surprise. It was unlikely that he was going to leave the awards without winning at least one award, such has been the critical and popular of the novel. Instead Boy Swallows Universe, published by HarperCollins Australia, took home four awards at tonights ceremony, an ABIAs record, adding even more bling to Dalton’s presumably now overflowing trophy cabinet. 

Behrouz Boochani has also picked up another award for his journal-memoir, No Friend But The Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison. Tapped out on a mobile phone on Manus Island, and translated from Farsi by Omid Tofighian, the book has been winning awards and starting conversations since its release in the second half of last year.

Amongst the other winners were Holly Ringland who took home the General Fiction Book of the Year award for her novel The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, and Bri Lee, who took home the Biography of the Year award for the critically acclaimed Eggshell Skull. 

We were also pleased to see Jeremy Lachlan take out the Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+) with his debut release Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds, a book which made our own list for the best of 2018. Perennial childrens’ fiction favourites Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton took home the prize for younger children with the latest instalment of their Treehouse series. 

Check out all the winners below:

ABIA Book of the Year

Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)

Biography of the Year Award (Sponsored by Borrow Box)

Eggshell Skull  Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)

General Fiction Book of the Year (sponsored by Better Reading)

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart Holly Ringland (HarperCollins Publishers)

General Non-Fiction Book of the Year (Sponsored by Copyright Agency)

No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian (translator) (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Honourable Mention for Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Any Ordinary Day Leigh Sales (Penguin Random House Australia)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)

Illustrated Book of Year

Family: New vegetable classics to comfort and nourish Hetty McKinnon (Pan Macmillan Australia)

International Book of Year 

Less – Andrew Sean Greer (Hachette Australia)

Small Publisher Adults Book of the Year

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia – Dr Anita Heiss (ed.) (Black Inc Books)

Small Publisher Children’s Book of the Year

Whisper Lynette Noni (Pantera Press)

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

Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)

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

Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds – Jeremy Lachlan (Hardie Grant Egmont)

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

The 104-Storey Treehouse Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan Australia)

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

All the Ways to be Smart Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Scribble Kids’ Books)

Audio Book of the Year 

Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton, Narrator Stig Wemyss (Wavesound)

Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award

Richard Walsh

Pixie O’Harris Award

Kathy Kozlowski

2019 Business Award Winners

Publisher of the Year (Sponsored by Media Super)

Pan Macmillan Australia

Small Publisher of the Year (Sponsored by Ovato)

Affirm Press

Honourable Mention:Magabala Books

National Book Retailer of the Year

Booktopia

Independent Book Retailer of the Year

Mary Martin Bookshops

Rising Star Award

Ella Chapman

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.

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