Illustrator Bob Graham and author Christobel Mattingley are Australia's nominees for the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. The awards are presented bi-ennially by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) to an author and illustrator 'whose complete works have made an important and lasting contribution to children's literature'.
The judges said that the novel, set on Sydney's north shore, 'interrogated the mores of contemporary Sydney in the same way that Christos Tsiolkas did for Melbourne in The Slap, or [Jonathan] Franzen for middle America in Freedom'. They also commented that Indelible Ink is an 'utterly original, strangely charismatic novel [boasting] complex, compelling characters, incisive wit and striking observations about the way we live now'. (Age, 26 August 2011).
A third-year English student at The University of Melbourne has initiated an 'unofficial' course in Australian literature because no formal classes are available. Stephanie Guest felt 'angry and disappointed' that she could not study her national literature at the university so she emailed friends and, receiving an enthusiastic response, organised a series of seminars.
The shortlists for the 2011 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards have been announced by the premier, the Hon. Anna Bligh. Two books received double nominations — Amanda Lohrey's Reading Madame Bovary (Fiction Award and Australian Short Story Collection) and Anna Krien's Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania's Forests (Non-Fiction Book Award and Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate).
Ms Bligh noted that the 2011 shortlists included 'passionate, inspiring, educational and humorous works by some of Australia’s great writers, reflecting the incredible literary talent thriving in Queensland and throughout Australia.'
The full shortlist is available on the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards website. The award winners will be announced on Tuesday, 6 September 2011.
Jeannie Baker and Nicki Greenberg are joint winners of the 2011 Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA), Picture Book of the Year Award. The award is for books with an audience range from birth to eighteen years.
Baker's Mirror, designed to be read from the left and the right, contrasts the lives of two young boys in Australia and Morocco; Greenberg's Hamlet, intended for a young adult audience, is a graphic novel adaptation of Shakespeare's play.
Other category winners this year are Sonya Hartnett for The Midnight Zoo (Older Readers), Isobelle Carmody for The Red Wind (Younger Readers), Jan Ormerod and Freya Blackwood for Maudie and Bear (Early Childhood), and Ursula Dubosarsky and Tohby Riddle for The Return of the Word Spy (Eve Pownall Award).
For a full list of winners and honour books, see the Children's Book Council of Australia website.
The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) has declared Saturday, 20 August 2011, the inaugural National Bookshop Day. Bookstores around the country will be celebrating 'their contributions to the local community and to Australian literature, culture and society'.
For more information, and for news on other ABA initiatives, go the Association's website.
Seven poems are shortlisted for this year's Blake Poetry Prize. Nominated poets are Robert Adamson, Anthony Lawrence, Verity Laughton, Maureen O'Shaughnessy, Ron Pretty, Mark Tredinnick and Todd Turner.
The winner of the prize, which 'encourages Australian poets to engage in the dialogue between religion, spirituality and poetry', will be announced on 15 September. For further information, see the Blake Poetry Prize website.
The first two novels in Ballarat-based Peter Temple's Jack Irish series are being developed as telemovies for ABC TV. The independent production company Essential Media and Entertainment has engaged award-winning scriptwriters Andrew Knight and Matt Cameron to adapt Bad Debts and Black Tide and the ABC expects to screen the telemovies mid-2012.
Further information is available on the Essential Media and Entertainment website and on the ABC's regional Victorian Ballarat website. (The ABC site includes comments from Peter Temple.)
The Aus-e-Lit page on the AustLit home page has been replaced by the AustLit Toolkit. The Aus-e-Lit Project (2008-2011) has delivered a number of tools and services to AustLit. These tools and services are currently being integrated into the research practices of AustLit personnel, and AustLit users will also have the opportunity to download tools and participate in an emerging research commons.
The Toolkit includes an introduction to the new page, instructions on how to download the research tools, and video tutorials. AustLit users can also browse the AustLit Trails page, another new feature where researchers, students, and teachers can compile, describe, and publish exhibitions of internet accessible content that explore specific themes in Australian literary culture.
This year's Mundaring heARTlines Festival will honour the life of Louise Schofield following her death from breast cancer. Schofield won the 2004 West Australian Young Readers' Book Award for her children's book Secrets in the Tingle Forest and was shortlisted for the Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature for the same title.
Australian libraries and library associations have joined together to make 2012 the National Year of Reading. Public, state and territory libraries plan to link 'all the great things that are already happening around books, reading and literacy, and [give] them an extra boost, with inspirational programs and events taking place across the country'.