Posted by: Lisa Hill | January 25, 2012

2012 Indie Awards

The 2012 Indie Awards shortlist is out, winners to be announced on March 14th.  The awards honour the best Aussie books for the previous year in four categories: fiction, non-fiction, debut fiction and children’s books.  There’s also a  ‘Book of the Year’ award.



Debut Fiction

Children’s Books

Caleb's Crossing The Street Sweeper Foal's Bread Five Bells

Worse Things Happen at Sea: Tales of Life, Love, Family and the Everyday Beauty in Between NotebooksAfter WordsA Private Life: Fragments, Memories, Friends

Past the Shallows (1 Volume Set)All That I AmThe Roving PartyWatercolours

The Jewel Fish of Karnak The Little RefugeeThe Coming of the Whirlpool (Ship Kings)The 13-Storey Treehouse


  1. A hard choice for the fiction prize, as I have read all and like them all. I think The Street Sweeper should win. I haven’t read any of the non fiction and only two of the debut fiction. I thought Past the Shallows was beautifully written and I fancy that one to win. The Roving Party was also excellent. As to the children’s I can’t recommend any, but I know my grandson would want to read the Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s novel if he had the choice.



    • I’ve been holding off reading The Street Sweeper because it’s in our ANZLL schedule for later in the year. I know I’m going to love it, I think Perlman is one of our best writers.
      Actually, I don’t want to criticise the awards because I think any awards help authors and more power to whoever organises them, but I wish they had separate categories for picture books and ‘chapter books’. In picture books the illustrations are integral to the text and they ‘read’ in an entirely different way to text, even if there are illustrations in the ‘chapter books’. Graeme Base’s work is brilliantly complex and beautiful, and as you say, the Griffiths and Denton humour is totally different but every bit as good in its own way as that, and probably more popular with certain age groups.


  2. So delighted to see Gail Jones Five Bells getting some recognition with this shortlisting. It was by far the most “literary” book I read last year — it made my top 10 — and yet I’ve barely seen it mentioned/reviewed on blogs/websites.


  3. shame not one book is a translation Lisa ,but some interesting and new titles to me ,all the best stu


    • Stu, my understanding is that this award is for Australian authors, so I wouldn’t expect to see any books in translation on this list.


      • Ah, but he has a point, Kim…Australia is a multilingual country with a large immigration program. I would be surprised if there weren’t authors writing in their own languages here, but whatever there is doesn’t make its way into the mainstream unless or until the book becomes available in English.
        Also, some Aboriginal languages are still strong and perhaps there are authors writing in an indigenous language.
        But I don’t know of any publishers who support Australian books in translation – but there should be one somewhere!


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