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Australian independent booksellers, members of Leading Edge Books, are thrilled to announce their Longlist for the Indie Book Awards 2020!

Established in 2008, what makes the Indie Book Awards unique is that it’s the Australian independent booksellers themselves who nominate their best titles for the year; select the Longlist; judge the Shortlist and vote for the Category and Book of the Year winners - the entire process is based on the selection and involvement of independent booksellers, members of the Leading Edge Books group, making it one of the most democratic awards in the Australian literary calendar.

The Awards recognise and celebrate the indie booksellers as the number one supporters of Australian authors. What makes our Indies uniquely placed to judge and recommend the best Aussie books of the past year to their customers and readers, is their incredible passion and knowledge, their contribution to the cultural diversity of the Australian reading public by recommending beyond the big brands, and their love of quality writing.

The Awards cover the best Australian books in six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Debut Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s books (up to 12yo) and Young Adult (12+).

Since the Awards inception twelve years ago, Indies have a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing. Past Book of the Year winners have gone on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards. Previous winners include: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton; Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend; The Dry by Jane Harper; The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood; The Bush by Don Watson; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; All That I Am by Anna Funder; The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do; Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey; and Breath by Tim Winton.

Announced early in the award calendar year, The Indie Book Awards are now considered the forerunners of all major Australian book awards.

The Longlist for the Indie Book Awards 2020 is:


The White Girl by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)

The Rip by Mark Brandi (Hachette Australia)

Silver by Chris Hammer (Allen and Unwin)

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia)

Maybe the Horse Will Talk by Elliot Perlman (Vintage Australia)

Bruny by Heather Rose (Allen and Unwin)

Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas (Allen and Unwin)

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White (Affirm Press)

The Yield by Tara June Winch (Hamish Hamilton Australia)

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen and Unwin)


Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga by Todd Alexander (Simon & Schuster Australia)

Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch (Allen and Unwin)

Against All Odds by Craig Challen & Richard Harris (Viking Australia)

Banking Bad by Adele Ferguson (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)

488 Rules for Life: The Thankless Art of Being Correct by Kitty Flanagan (Allen and Unwin)

Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume 1 1978–1987 by Helen Garner (Text Publishing)

See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill (Black Inc.)

Tell Me Why by Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster Australia)

Back on Track by Bernie Shakeshaft with James Knight (Hachette Australia)

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing)


A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop (Text Publishing)

Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden (Macmillan Australia)

Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel (Macmillan Australia)

Hitch by Kathryn Hind (Hamish Hamilton Australia)

Act of Grace by Anna Krien (Black Inc.)

Crossings by Alex Landragin (Picador Australia)

Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern (Allen and Unwin)

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean (Fourth Estate Australia)

Heart of the Grass Tree by Molly Murn (Vintage Australia)

Taking Tom Murray Home by Tim Slee (HarperCollins Australia)


The Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes (Affirm Press)

The Leaf Supply Guide to Creating Your Indoor Jungle by Lauren Camilleri & Sophia Kaplan (Smith Street Books)

Australia Modern by Philip Goad & Hannah Lewi (Thames & Hudson Australia)

Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor (Hardie Grant Books)

The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Books)

Ben Quilty by Ben Quilty (Lantern Australia)

Australian Designers at Home by Jenny Rose-Innes (Thames & Hudson Australia)

Sydney Art Deco by Peter Sheridan (Peter Sheridan)

Warndu Mai (Good Food) by Rebecca Sullivan & Damien Coulthard (Hachette Australia)

In an Australian Light edited by Jo Turner (Thames & Hudson Australia)


The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly (Lothian Children's Books)

Into the Wild: Wolf Girl, Book 1 by Anh Do, illustrated by Jeremy Ley (Allen and Unwin Children's)

Tilly by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker (Scholastic Press)

The Tiny Star by Mem Fox & Freya Blackwood (Puffin Australia)

How to Make a Movie in 12 Days by Fiona Hardy (Affirm Press)

Mr Chicken All Over Australia by Leigh Hobbs (Allen and Unwin Children's)

The Painted Ponies by Alison Lester (Allen and Unwin Children’s)

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books)

A Trip to the Beach by Gwyn Perkins (Affirm Press)

The Glimme by Emily Rodda, illustrated by Marc McBride (Omnibus Books)


The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim (Allen and Unwin Children's)

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox (Pan Australia)

Aurora Rising: The Aurora Cycle 1 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen and Unwin Children's)

It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing)

Monuments by Will Kostakis (Lothian Children's Books)

Weapon by Lynette Noni (Pantera Press)

Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard (Fremantle Press)

Land of Fences by Mark Smith (Text Publishing)

This Is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield (Text Publishing)

I Am Change by Suzy Zail (Walker Books Australia)

The Shortlist will be announced on 15 January 2020, with the Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner being announced at the Leading Edge Books Annual Conference Awards Dinner to be held on Monday 23 March 2020 in Brisbane, QLD.

The Indie Book Awards would like to gratefully acknowledge the 2020 Awards Sponsors: Simon & Schuster Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia, Affirm Press, Thames & Hudson Australia, Text Publishing and Awards partner: Books+Publishing.

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