Shortlist announced for 2021 Indie Book Awards

Indie Book Awards

This morning the shortlist for the 2021 Indie Book Awards have been unveiled. The twenty-four shortlisted books, the best books of the year as nominated by Australian independent booksellers, now go on to vie for the coveted Overall Indie ‘Book of the Year’ for 2021. 

A panel of judge will choose the winners in each of the Awards’ six categories, whilst independent booksellers from across the country will then vote to select their favourite from the six category winners. 

Since they were founded in 2008, the Indie Book Awards has built up a reputation for singling out the best in Australian writing. Past Book of the Year winning authors include Trent Dalton, Jessica Townsend, Richard Flanagan and Craig Silvey, all of whom are shortlisted again this year. 

Here is your shortlist for the 2021 Indie Book Awards: 


All Our Shimmering Skies – Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)
The Living Sea of Waking DreamsRichard Flanagan (Knopf Australia)
Mammoth – Chris Flynn (University of Queensland Press)
Honeybee – Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin)


Phosphorescence – Julia Baird (Fourth Estate Australia)
The Happiest Man on Earth – Eddie Jaku (Macmillan Australia)
People of the River – Grace Karskens (Allen & Unwin)
Truganini – Cassandra Pybus (Allen & Unwin)

Debut Fiction

The Bluffs – Kyle Perry (Michael Joseph Australia)
Song of the Crocodile – Nardi Simpson (Hachette Australia)
A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing – Jessie Tu (Allen & Unwin)
The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams (Affirm Press)

Illustrated Non-Fiction

Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong – Samantha Bloom, Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)
Plantopedia – Lauren Camilleri & Sophia Kaplan (Smith Street Books)
Beatrix Bakes – Natalie Paull (Hardie Grant Books)
In Praise of Veg – Alice Zaslavsky (Murdoch Books)

Young Adult

Future Girl – Asphyxia (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
Catch Me If I Fall – Barry Jonsberg (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 Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals – Sami Bayly (Lothian Children’s Books)
Sing Me The Summer – Jane Godwin, illustrated by Alison Lester (Affirm Press)
The Grandest Bookshop in the World – Amelia Mellor (Affirm Press)
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend (Lothian Children’s Books)

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.