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2014 Book of the Year: The Rosie Project
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2014 Book of the Year: The Rosie Project

2014 Australian Book Industry Awards announced in Sydney: Friday 23 May, 9.45pm

The 14th Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced in Sydney tonight in front of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Minister for the Arts George Brandis, with Graeme Simsion’s celebrated novel The Rosie Project taking out the coveted Book of the Year award.

Other big winners included the recipient of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, for International Book of the Year and the multi-award-winning debut Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, who beat illustrious fellow contenders Richard Flanagan, Fiona McFarlane, Christos Tsiolkas and Tim Winton to scoop Literary Fiction Book of the Year. The full list of winners is below.

The ABIAs judging panel awarded the night’s top accolade to The Rosie Project because of author Graeme Simsion’s passion and energy in promoting it, and because Text Publishing – which also took out Small Publisher of the Year in the business awards – achieved great success in launching a debut author in a difficult market, commending in particular the publisher’s “exemplary” marketing, social media and publicity campaigns. The judges called the book “an engaging, comic story”.

Graeme Simsion was unable to attend the ceremony but this evening said about his win: “I’m delighted and honoured to win the ABIA for Book of the Year. It’s been a very strong year for Australian books and any of the shortlisted works would have been worthy winners. This particular award means a lot to me because it comes from people who I consider partners in the success of The Rosie Project.”

This is the first time the International Book of the Year has been awarded. Eleanor Catton, at the dinner to present two awards, said this evening of winning the award for The Luminaries. “It’s a huge honour to be acknowledged by the Australian literary community. I really feel as though I have a home here. I feel enormous gratitude to Allen & Unwin especially, who have done an absolutely stellar job publishing and promoting the book in Australia.”

Hannah Kent, winner of Literary Fiction Book of the Year for Burial Rites, said: “I’m completely thrilled to win. It was a big surprise and enough of an honour just to be shortlisted in that company, with authors I have loved and read for a long time.”

Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of the Australian Publishers Association said: “Congratulations to the winners and to everyone involved with all the shortlisted books. The MC was moved to song about the book industry. The guests of honour were a Prime Minister who’s an author and an Attorney-General who’s an avid reader. One of the prize-winners was a VC, and the Book of the Year prize was awarded to a novelist whose other books are on data modelling. It’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of how alive the book industry is and how central it is to Australian life.

The winners were announced tonight at a dinner at Doltone House in Sydney’s Pyrmont, and they represent Australia’s finest and most popular writers and industry personalities. The ABIAs are divided into two categories: book awards and business awards. In the business awards, the highly anticipated Lloyd O’Neil Award for Outstanding Service to the Australian Book Industry was award posthumously to legendary novelist Bryce Courtenay, who passed away in 2012. His wife Christine Courtenay accepted the honour on her late husband’s behalf. The Pixie O’Harris Award for Distinguished and Dedicated Service to the Development and Reputation of Australian Children’s Books went to Angela Namoi, Children’s Rights Director at Allen & Unwin.

Patricia Genat, President of the Australian Booksellers Association said tonight: “On behalf the 650 members of the ABA, we think it’s fantastic that we can celebrate the industry in such a glamorous and effective way. Congratulations to all of tonight’s wonderful award winners. The more we share our hard work and build relationships between booksellers and publishers, the stronger our industry will be.”

The 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards go to:

  • General Fiction Book of the Year: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Text Publishing)
  • Literary Fiction Book of the Year: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Macmillan)
  • General Non-fiction Book of the Year: The Stalking of Julia Gillard by Kerry-Anne Walsh (Allen & Unwin)
  • Illustrated Book of the Year: I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson (Macmillan)
  • Biography of the Year: The Crossroad by Mark Donaldson, VC (Macmillan)
  • Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years): The 39-Storey Treehouseby Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Macmillan)
  • Book of the Year for Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years): WeirDo by Anh Do (Scholastic Press)
  • International Book of the Year: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Allen & Unwin)
  • Book of the Year: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Text Publishing)

Industry award winners are:

  • Publisher of the Year: Penguin Australia (www.penguin.com.au)
  • Small Publisher of the Year: Text Publishing (www.textpublishing.com.au)
  • Independent Book Retailer of the Year: JOINT WINNERS: Pages & Pages Booksellers (www.pagesandpages.com.au) and Readings (www.readings.com.au)
  • Online Book Retailer of the Year: Booktopia (www.booktopia.com.au)
  • National Book Retailer of the Year: Dymocks (www.dymocks.com.au)
  • Innovation Award: Pages & Pages Booksellers (www.pagesandpages.com.au)

For full shortlists, please see go to Australian Book Industry Awards.

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