Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 20, 2019

2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist

Here’s the shortlist for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2019! The prize recognises exceptional new contributions to local literature.

The winner will be announced in October and chosen by a judging panel of booksellers, Readings managing director Mark Rubbo and guest judge and former Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction winner Jennifer Down. The winner receives $3000 in prize money.

Once again I have proven that I would make a hopeless prize judge: nothing that I nominated has been chosen.  But I have read and reviewed two of them…

The six books are:

A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop, see Kim’s review at Reading Matters

Inappropriation by Lexi Freiman, see Theresa’s review at Theresa Smith Writes

The Flight of Birds by Joshua Lobb, (update 18/9/19) see my review

A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer, see my review

This Taste for Silence by Amanda O’Callaghan and

The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson. see my review

(Links go to Readings Bookstore).

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!

PS FWIW my (somewhat long) shortlist when we were asked to nominate titles on Twitter were:

The Trespassers by Meg Mundell, see my review;

The Returns, by Philip Salom, see my review;

Little Stones by Elisabeth Kuiper, see my review;

Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson, see my review;

Invented Lives by Andrea Goldsmith, see my review;

The War Artist by Simon Cleary, see my review;

Driving Into the Sun by Marcella Poilain, see my review; and

Into the Fire by Sonia Orchard,  see my review.

Which proves, I reckon, that this is a good year for OzLit!


  1. Thanks for the link… it’s an interesting list. I had originally interpreted the New Australian Fiction title as being for debut writers only, but it seems I’ve got that wrong…


    • Yes, I thought that too, or emerging writers at least (whatever that means!)
      I’m pretty sure someone has reviewed Inappropriation, but I can’t remember who. Hopefully, a hand will go up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wah! I haven’t read any… need to get busy (after the MWF).


  3. Like Kate, I’ve read neither their shortlist nor yours. I think I’d better stick to the last century where at least I keep afloat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yup, I’m drowning too:)


  5. My first thought was debut, but then I read the descriptions again and the focus seems not the author (as in new author) but the writing as in something new about the style or approach? Also, how local is local!

    Nice to see Angela Meyer’s book listed. An interesting book that qualifies as “new”?


    • I don’t know. I get the Readings magazine and I’ve probably read the rules somewhere, but I can’t remember…


  6. I have reviewed Inappropriation:
    I much prefer A Superior Spectre though!


    • I knew I’d seen it somewhere!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you might have mentioned it once before in a review of a different book. A comparison of sorts.


        • Yes, the title is familiar to me, but I don’t know why – maybe just from reading your review?

          Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist was announced yesterday. I haven’t read any (but Lisa has) – I have a couple on reserve at the […]


  8. […] among the shortlisted books for the 2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, was a book by an author entirely new to me.  Joshua Lobb is senior lecturer in creative writing […]


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