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2020 Indie Awards Shortlist Announced

2020 Indie Awards Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2020 Indie Book Awards was announced yesterday, showcasing a range of talented Australian authors in the running across six categories and the overall Book of the Year award.

Last year’s Book of the Year winner, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, first won in the Debut Fiction category, and was then selected as Indie Book of the Year.

The category this year features a number of exciting new novels, including Felicity McLean’s The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, published by Fourth Estate Australia.

‘To be shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards is a special kind of thrill,’ she said.

‘Indie bookstores are our very own wardrobes into Narnia.’

You can listen to our Good Reading Podcast interview with Felicity here.

Other shortlisted authors have expressed their excitement at being recognised for these awards.

‘Recognition always warms the soul, but there's something particularly special about being recognised by the people who play such a pivotal role in connecting books with their readers. Their continued support, eleven years into my career, means the world,’ said Will Kostakis, author of Monuments, which is nominated in the Young Adult category.

Paul Byrnes, who is nominated for the Illustrated Non-Fiction category, said he was ‘pleased as punch’ that he had been shortlisted.

‘Indie booksellers are the backbone of the industry, and I am very, very grateful to know that they have got behind The Lost Boys.’

The category winners and Book of the Year winner will be announced in March of this year, at the Leading Edge Books Annual Conference Awards Dinner in Brisbane.

A complete list of the shortlisted authors is included below.



-       There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett | Read our review

-       Bruny by Heather Rose | Read our article

-       The Wife and the Widow by Christian White | Read our article

-       The Weekend by Charlotte Wood | Read our article



-       Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch | Read our review

-       488 Rules for Life: the thankless art of being correct by Kitty Flanagan

-       Tell Me Why by Archie Roach

-       Sand Talk: how Indigenous thinking can save the world by Tyson Yunkaporta


Debut Fiction

-       Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden | Read our review

-       Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel | Read our review

-       The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean | Read our review

-       Heart of the Grass Tree by Molly Murn


Illustrated Non-Fiction

-       The Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes

-       Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor | Read our review

-       The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland

-       In an Australian Light edited by Jo Turner



-       The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly

-       Into the Wild: Wolf Girl, Book 1 by Anh Do, illustrated by Jeremy Ley | Read our review

-       The Tiny Star by Mem Fox & Freya Blackwood

-       Young Dark Emu: a truer history by Bruce Pascoe | Read our review


Young Adult

-       The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim | Read our review

-       Aurora Rising: The Aurora Cycle 1 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

-       It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

-       Monuments by Will Kostakis