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New $30,000 Australasian prize for historical fiction

Australia’s leading infrastructure and facilities service provider ARA Group has partnered with The Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) to announce a new major literary prize, set to award $30,000 to an outstanding historical novelist. The new ARA Historical Novel Prize gives Australian and New Zealand historical novelists the chance to be recognised in a class of their own, with the most significant prize money for any genre-based prize in Australasia. Entries will be judged on excellence in writing, depth of research, and reader appeal.

Applications are open to all authors – whether traditionally or self-published – who are residents or citizens of Australia or New Zealand, with books published between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2020. Entries may be submitted by authors, publishers and agents.

The definition of the genre set for the prize will ensure a breadth of talented writers is eligible to enter. Historical fiction will be defined as a novel written at least 50 years after the events described, or by an author not alive at the time of the events described, who therefore must approach those events only through research.

Submissions open on 1 May and close on 30 June 2020. The longlist will be released in mid-September with the shortlist announced mid-October. The prize winner will be announced on 18 November 2020. More information about the prize can be found at


EVENT: Remembering Bob with Sue Pieters-Hawke

Remembering Bob with Sue Pieters-Hawke

Thursday 26 March

6:00pm (for a 6.30pm start) - 8:00pm

Woollahra Library at Double Bay
451 New South Head Road
Double Bay NSW

Cost: $10

Bob Hawke's death in May 2019 sparked national mourning across the country as we remembered just how important Bob had been in the shaping of modern Australia. Join Bob’s eldest daughter, Sue Pieters-Hawke in conversation with journalist and literary consultant Nicole Abadee as they discuss Sue’s latest book. Remembering Bob is a collection of stories and memories about Bob by his friends, colleagues, old political foes, and ordinary Australians whose paths crossed that of their everyman Prime Minister.

Tickets include sparkling wine and canapés.

Booking essential online


Vale Mary Higgins Clark

The' Queen of Suspense', bestselling crime/thriller author Mary Higgins Clark, has died aged 92. 

Mary Higgins Clark worked as a Pan Am flight attendent before she married Warren Clark and began a family. Sadly Warren Clark died at the early age of 35. 

In order to support her five children she began to write short stories. But her agent, seeing talent, encouraged her to write novels. Her first book published, Where are the Children, was reprinted 75 times. She would continue to dominate the bestseller lists globally from that point on for the rest of her life.  

In 2000, she became the highest-paid female author in the world when her publishing company awarded her a US$64m contract for her next five books.. 

Her editor, Michael Korda, said,' Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did,'

'She understood them as if they were members of her own family. She was always absolutely sure of what they wanted to read - and perhaps more important, what they didn't want to read - and yet she managed to surprise them with every book.'

Vale Mary Higgins Clark.


Q&A with Harry Potter anniversary illustrator Levi Pinfold

Levi Pinfold is the award-winning illustrator behind the 20th anniversary Hogwarts House edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Read the Q&A! 


Jennifer Byrne announces her first novel

Hachette Australia has announced they will be working with accomplished Australian journalist, Jennifer Byrne, to publish her first novel. Read more! 



Genevieve Gannon on the real case of an IVF mixup that inspired her family drama 'The Mothers'

Emma Harvey chatted to journalist and writer of The Mothers, Genevieve Gannon, about the real cases of IVF mixup that inspired her book, and how Australia's IVF policy stacks up with the rest of the world. Listen below:


2020 Indie Awards Shortlist Announced

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