Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 28, 2012

ANZ LitLovers is a Best Australian Blogs Finalist!

If you’re reading this from Australia, you might have come across the news that the ANZ LitLovers blog is one of five finalists in the 2012 Best Australian Blogs competition in the ‘Words’ category.  (It was also reported in The Australian).  The competition is run annually by the Sydney Writers Centre, and Angela Meyer, who blogs at Literary Minded is the judge for the Words category.

The other four finalists are

It’s taken me a day to get over my astonishment at being included in company with bloggers like these, but now it’s time to thank others who have helped this blog to make the finals.  I don’t really know what criteria they’ve used, but what follows is what I think has made this blog one of the most rewarding things I do:

First and foremost, I want to thank Australian authors and publishers who produce some of the finest literary fiction in the world and make it easy to write reviews for this blog.  Your work provides the content for ANZ LitLovers.  It wouldn’t exist without you.  It was Roger McDonald at the Miles Franklin literary award dinner last year who christened me ‘Ambassador for Australian Literature’ and I am proud to wear the tag.

Next, I want to thank my guest bloggers, Dr Lurline Stuart, Sally Cripps, Helen Rutten and especially Karenlee Thompson  whose reviews of short stories and memoir have filled what would otherwise be a gap on the blog.  These contributions round out the blog with other voices and add expertise in areas I don’t have, and I consider it a privilege to share this little bit of cyberspace with writers like these.

A blog is only as good as the readers who visit it, and so I want to thank every single one of you who takes the time to ‘like’ a post, to subscribe to the blog, follow it, link to a post, or add it to a blogroll.  As anyone who blogs knows, these affirmations are tremendously encouraging.  I especially want to thank all the people who comment because these interactions contribute to conversation flowing around the blog and that makes it more interesting for people to read.  I love chatting away with people who visit regularly, and I want to give special thanks to Sue from Whispering Gums, Stu from Winston’s Dad, Kim from Reading Matters, Karenlee Thompson, Tony from Tony’s Reading List, Tom from A Common Reader, Kevin from Canada, and Mark from Eleutherophobia.   These people are my Top Commenters, and if you have a WordPress blog you will know that there are stats to prove it!

I must also thank Kevin from Canada for encouraging me to host the Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize, and my fellow jurors for contributing to it: Sue from Whispering Gums, Stu from Winston’s Dad, Matt from A Novel Approach, Mark from Eleutherophobia, and Fay from Read, Ramble.  It’s been exciting to play a role in promoting literature from Asia through this new prize, but I couldn’t have coordinated it without Kevin’s wise counsel behind the scenes.

I also want to thank Stu for inviting me to participate in the Shadow Indepedendent Foreign Fiction Prize Team comprising Mark from Eleutherophobia, Stu from Winston’s Dad, Rob from Rob Around Books, Simon from Inside Books, Gary from The Parrish Lantern, Tony from Tony’s Reading List and me.  Reading the best of translated fiction in this way helps me to write my reviews of Australian literature in the context of world literature, not just our own special niche, and it’s broadened my horizons.

Then there are the authors who contribute to one of my most popular features, Meet an Aussie Author. Everybody loves to read about the wonderful people who write the books we love, but the series depends entirely on the generosity of busy writers giving up their time to participate.

Thanks also go to the publicists who’ve initiated Meet an Aussie Author contacts for me, and who send me lovely books to review.  It’s not easy for them, I’m very choosy about what I’ll read!  I’m especially grateful to the publishers who’ve introduced me to some fine authors for the Debut Aussie Fiction category.

And last but not least, thank you to my dear friend Jenny, who nominated me!

The winners will be announced on Thursday 10 May 2012.  You can follow the news with the official Twitter hashtag #bestblogs2012, and . and the Sydney Writers’ Centre at @SydneyWriters for the latest announcements.


  1. Congratulations Lisa. Well deserved, I think, I’ve been following your blog for more than a year and read and enjoy just about everything you post. i’ve read quite a few of your recommended books, most recently The Sinkings, which I really enjoyed. Thanks and well done!


  2. Congrats Lisa … I heard something vaguely about this competition some months ago and then forgot all about it until Elizabeth from the AWW challenge mentioned it a week or so ago.

    You’ve worked hard and deserve the recognition … good luck (And thanks for the thanks, but I’ve enjoyed sharing our blog experiences and thank *you* for your help in my early days).


  3. Congratulations Lisa! This is a well deserved honour!

    Not sure who you are going to have left to thank if you win though! lol


  4. Well deserved, Lisa! FIngers crossed for the 10th of May. John.


  5. Thank you, one and all, I think you know that the reason I have done my thank-yous now is that I don’t expect any more to come of this!


  6. I am so thrilled for you Lisa. The time you spend dedicated to reviewing others creative talents is indeed a talent in itself. We are very lucky to have you promoting Australian literature. Your insights are always lively and interesting. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for the big one.


  7. Congratulations again – thoroughly deserved :) Hopefully you’ll be chosen on the 10th of May too ;)


  8. Congratulations Lisa! You deserve a big thanks from writers, publishers and readers for your hard work. I can see you are amongst worthy contenders but I think you deserve to win and I hope you do. I am extremely humbled by your thanks to me. Despite your busy life, you went out of your way to assist me with my own blog and have continually provided encouragement to me as a writer. So many authors will be absolutely thrilled to see you get this recognition for the work you do.
    Is there somewhere we can vote now or is it all up to the judge?


    • All up to the judge, Karen, though there is a People’s Award and you can vote for all kinds of blogs. Some of food blogs are divine: check out Not Quite Nigella and Cate’s Kitchen Adventures!


  9. Congratulations!

    You really deserve it, I hope you’ll win




  10. Let me add both my congratulations and thanks. I agree completely with the assessment that through your blog you are letting the rest of the world know what is up in Australian fiction — I’d like to think that one of the important aspects of my blog is doing the same thing with Canadian fiction. And, as you know, I think the two have a lot in common.

    Certainly both Australia and Canada have produced more than their share of excellent writers and they do get recognized globally. What blogs can (and do) do is highlight some of the second-level and debut authors who are every bit as worthy. You deserve your place on the finalists list for doing exactly that. And my bookshelves can testify to your success (two of my last four posts are Australian books, so that represents a vote of confidence).


    • Kevin, you have my vote for Best Canadian Blog already. What you say is so true about our respective literatures, and *chuckle* yes we do indeed influence each other’s reading…as it happens I am reading David Bezmogas The Free World which went straight onto my wishlist when you reviewed it for The Shadow Giller Prize last year:)


  11. great news lisa and so well deserved ,you do so much to promote Australian lit to us all ,thanks for the mentions as well ,all the best stu


  12. Thanks Stu, Emma, Chele, Tony:)


  13. Well done, your recognition of Australian authors is great.


  14. From the word ‘go’ I’ve been astonished at the breadth and depth of ANZ LitLovers (sounds like a dept. store fabric section!). As an 80-something librarian I’m familiar with the old school of review journals so the advent of the blog was a bit of a revelation; now through your enormous contribution the possibilities seem endless. Not only do I personally use and greatly appreciate what you offer; I point my booksellers and library colleagues in your direction too and so the benefits ripple around in my particular world. I send every good wish for success in this competition.


  15. i have been reading your blogs for about 12 months now. Although I do not have time to read many books (and those that I do are primarily non-fiction) and am absolutely amazed at the number of books you read and review, I find your blog informative and comprehensive.


    • Thank you, Simon, it’s kind of you to say so:)


  16. Congratulations, Lisa. Your blog is astonishing in scope and commitment and quality, and you really deserve this recognition. Enjoy!


  17. Congratulations Lisa. I’ve only been following your blog for a short time but I enjoy reading your considered reviews, as well as your meet the author segments. Great work!


  18. Thank you kindly Lisa, it was a pleasure to be asked to contribute. You have had the desire and showed us what blogging can achieve. I hope we will read lots more posts in coming years!


  19. […] Thank you to my guest bloggers; to visitors and contributors to the conversation on the blog;  to fellow Shadow jurors; to my behind-the-scenes mentors and support team, Kevin from Canada and Sue from Whispering Gums; to authors who contribute to Meet an Aussie Author and to the publicists who have supported this blog in a variety of ways.  If you’d like to read more about these wonderful supporters, please see my previous post where I expressed my gratitude in more detail. […]


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