The much-anticipated 2023 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were presented on Thursday, 25 May at a star-studded event at Doltone House Darling Island in Sydney.
Featuring some of the biggest names in the Australian book industry, which publishes more than 7,000 new books annually, this year’s shortlist was a showcase of high-profile authors and incredible new and emerging talent. The winners were selected by the ABIA Academy, comprising more than 250 publishers, booksellers, agents, media and industry representatives.
Women once again dominated this year’s ABIAs, taking the book award categories of Biography, Older Children’s Book, General Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustrated Book, International Book, Literary Fiction, Small Publishers’ Children’s Book, Picture Book, New Writer, and Book of the Year.
New talent also came to the fore this year, with debut authors winning across five categories:
- The Whitewash by author Siang Lu (Wavesound) won Audiobook of the Year for its complex and ambitious multicast and multi-lingual production
- General Fiction Book of the Year was awarded to Hayley Scrivenor for Dirt Town (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia), which delivered a strong new voice to bookshop shelves
- Nagi Maehashi’s debut cookbook RecipeTin Eats: Dinner was awarded both Illustrated Book of the Year and Book of the Year in recognition of its phenomenal publishing success.
- The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year was taken out by Shelley Burr for the standout success of WAKE (Hachette Australia)
The strength of Indigenous authors and publishing was once again on show in this year’s awards:
- My Dream Time by Ash Barty (HarperCollins Publishers) was awarded Biography Book of the Year for its deeply personal content, perfectly timed with Barty’s retirement from tennis
- Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year was won by Paul Callaghan for The Dreaming Path (Pantera Press), for deftly publishing culturally sensitive and protected material into a mass market
- Eddie Betts’ The Boy from Boomerang Crescent (Simon & Schuster Australia) was awarded Social Impact Book of the Year, a new category for 2023, for a powerful story that is both personal and political.
Hall of Fame winners
The Lloyd O’Neil Hall of Fame Award for outstanding service to the Australian book industry went to author Tim Winton for his glittering 40-year literary career, which has seen him publish 29 books for adults and younger readers that have been translated into 28 languages.
The Pixie O’Harris Award was presented to Lisa Berryman, one of Australia’s most renowned publishers of children’s books, from picture books to young adult titles. With a career spanning more than 40 years, she is a tireless champion for children’s literature, bringing to light the voices of numerous successful Australian children’s book authors as well as caretaking some of Australia’s beloved classics.
Recipients of the industry business awards were: Allen & Unwin for Publisher of the Year; Big W for Book Retailer of the Year; University of Queensland Press, which again took out Small Publisher of the Year; and Matilda Bookshop, which won Bookshop of the Year.
In the new categories, Jane Palfreyman was awarded Commissioning Editor of the Year, and Stolen Focus (Bloomsbury Publishing) won Marketing Strategy of the Year.
Discover all the winners
Michael Gordon-Smith, CEO of the Australian Publishers Association, said of this year's award winners:
‘This year's Australian Book Industry Awards are packed with creativity, imagination and fresh new talent. The achievements they display from many different Australian publishers and writers will delight and inspire readers - another reminder that books and reading greatly enrich our society.’
Browse the full list of winners across all the categories below.
Audiobook of the Year
The Whitewash by Siang Lu (Wavesound, Wavesound)
Biography Book of the Year
My Dream Time by Ash Barty (HarperCollins Publishers)
Book of the Year for Older Children
The Blood Traitor by Lynette Noni (Penguin Random House Australia)
Book of the Year for Younger Children
Runt by Craig Silvey, illustrated by Sara Acton (Allen & Unwin)
Children's Picture Book of the Year
What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say by Davina Bell and Hilary Jean Tapper (Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette Australia)
General Fiction Book of the Year
Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor (Macmillan Australia)
General Non-fiction Book of the Year
Bulldozed by Niki Savva (Scribe Publications)
Illustrated Book of the Year
RecipeTin Eats: Dinner by Nagi Maehashi (Macmillan Australia)
International Book of the Year
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Penguin Random House)
Literary Fiction Book of the Year
Horse by Geraldine Brooks (Hachette Australia)
Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year
The Dreaming Path by Paul Callaghan (Pantera Press)
Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year
Off to the Market by Alice Oehr (Scribble)
Social Impact Book of the Year
The Boy from Boomerang Crescent by Eddie Betts (Simon & Schuster Australia)
Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year
WAKE by Shelley Burr (Hachette Australia)
Book Retailer of the Year
Bookshop of the Year
Commissioning Editor/Publisher of the Year
Marketing Strategy of the Year
Stolen Focus by Johann Hari (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Small Publisher of the Year
University of Queensland Press (UQP)
Publisher of the Year
Allen & Unwin
Overall Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year
RecipeTin Eats: Dinner by Nagi Maehashi (Macmillan Australia)
The coveted 2023 ABIA Book of the Year Award was awarded to Nagi Maehashi for her debut cookbook RecipeTin Eats: Dinner.
From world-class distribution to enormous pre-order sales and the continued success of a sophisticated marketing campaign built off a popular website and social media following, RecipeTin Eats: Dinner is a global publishing phenomenon. This award recognises Nagi Maehashi’s stellar achievement in cutting through within a crowded market. RecipeTin Eats: Dinner features more than 150 recipes, each with its own QR code linking to an online video tutorial. Having put the reader at the centre of her work, from budget and nutrition to the accessibility of her meticulously curated recipes, Nagi in tandem with Pan Macmillan Australia has made RecipeTin Eats: Dinner a must-have cookbook for home cooks in Australia and around the world.
Relive the awards and spread the word
Comedian Jennifer Wong hosted the 2023 ABIAs, sharing her unique brand of humour with a star-studded audience while showcasing Australia’s best authors and exciting new talent. If you missed the show, you'll be able to watch it again on the ABIA website, and share news of the winners using #ABIA2023 and the resources below:
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