Penguin News

Catch up on all the latest news from Penguin Books Australia including award winning authors, illustrators, designers, publishers and other publishing industry and book related news.

Young novelist Majok Tulba announced as winner of 2014 Kathleen Mitchell Award
18 Sep 2014

Sudanese-Australian writer goes back to his roots to deliver a dark and moving story

17 September 2014

Majok Tulba has been announced as the 2014 winner of the Kathleen Mitchell Award for young novelists.

Sudanese-Australian writer Mr Tulba was presented with the award for his debut novel, Beneath the Darkening Sky, by The Trust Company, part of Perpetual, as trustee of the award.

Mr Tulba grew up in South Sudan and in this compelling novel, depicts the fate of children recruited as unwilling conscripts in a civil war. Set in South Sudan, he tells the story of Obinna, a young boy kidnapped to serve as a soldier in the rebel army.

Uncompromising, vivid and raw, Beneath the Darkening Sky is an astonishing portrait of a mind trying to make sense of a senseless world.

Perpetual’s General Manager of Philanthropy, Andrew Thomas, said: “On behalf of Perpetual, I congratulate Majok on winning this award for his extraordinary novel.

“As a philanthropist, Kathleen Adele Mitchell established the award to support young authors, such as Majok, and to invest in the future of Australian literature. Literature is an important way to share experiences from Australia and around the world, and I’m proud of the role Perpetual is playing in helping writers like Majok tell their stories.”

Established in 1996, the Kathleen Mitchell Award is aimed at encouraging the “advancement, improvement and standing of Australian literature”. The Award provides young Australian authors under 30 (at the time of publication of the nominated book) with funding “to improve their literary efforts”.

“The international success and film adaptation of the winning book of 2006, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, is testament to the relevance and power of the Kathleen Mitchell Award,” Mr Thomas said.

This year’s judging panel included: Dr Camilla Nelson, Senior Lecturer - School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Notre Dame; Dr Rachel Franks, Project Officer, Scholarly Engagement at the State Library of NSW; and Marilla North, Principal, The Creative Writing Workshop and freelance lecturer in Australian cultural and literary history.

The judges collectively said of Mr Tulba’s work: “Beneath the Darkening Sky is a powerful novel, beautifully constructed. The issue of child soldiers in South Sudan is one that cannot be ignored. It demands our compassionate – and urgent – attention”.

Jamie's Comfort Food comes to Ten
15 Sep 2014

Jamie's Comfort Food, starts 7.30pm Tuesday September 16 on TEN

Jamie's brand new six-part Comfort Food series is all about those simple, delightful guilty pleasures we all love. It celebrates nostalgic memories, traditions and childhood favourites. It embraces the ritual of cooking and dishes that will pick you up and raise your spirits.

It's about recipes that really hit the spot – from the perfect burger and the No. 1 toasted cheese sandwich, to reinvented old-school classics, such as Shepherd's pie, Crispy duck lasagne and many more – it's food that can wrap its arms around you and give you a great big hug. You'll also find nostalgic favourites, such as Chicken Kiev and Bolognese ravioli, plus beautiful new classics from all over the world, as well as some insanely good, seriously naughty puds, including Scrumptious sticky toffee pudding and an epic Pavlova with a bit of a twist.

Filmed at Jamie's Essex home with friends and family – including his kids, Poppy, Daisy, Petal and Buddy – the series is brimming with inspirational dishes, epic flavour combinations and some seriously clever cooking. 


Richard Flanagan’s Novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize
10 Sep 2014

The 2014 Man Booker Prize shortlist was announced today in the UK and we are absolutely thrilled to announce that five of the six titles are published by Penguin Random House. As if this news alone weren’t cause enough for celebration, we are doubly delighted to say that the list includes The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, published by Random House Australia.

Richard Flanagan, in Seattle in the middle of an American book tour to promote the novel, was woken by phone at 3am with the news. “I am speechless in Seattle,” Flanagan said. “It is a great honour and I am delighted, but it is overwhelming news.”

Richard’s place on the list, his first Man Booker Prize nomination, is just recognition for this remarkable novel and a source of particular pride for all of us at Penguin Random House in Asia Pacific, Richard being the only Australian on the list this year. Nikki Christer, Richard’s publisher of 18 years said, “I am so proud of Richard and this book. To see him shortlisted for the Man Booker is recognition of Richard as a world-class writer.”

Penguin Random House titles included on the shortlist:

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Random House Australia, Knopff (US), Chatto & Windus (UK))

J: A Novel, Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)

The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)

How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Josh Ferris (Viking)

Congratulations to Richard and all our authors from all of us at Penguin Random House Asia Pacific.

Captivated by You by Sylvia Day
09 Sep 2014

18th November 2014 / Paperback Original/ £7.99

The highly anticipated fourth instalment of the record-breaking Crossfire series from award-winning author Sylvia Day has arrived...

Sylvia Day’s latest novel, the eagerly awaited fourth instalment of her record-setting number one international blockbuster Crossfire series will be published in the UK/Commonwealth by Penguin UK on 18th November 2014. Continuing the story of her iconic couple, Gideon Cross and his wife Eva, Captivated by You deepens the exploration of their dynamic relationship and the challenges they face.

Day, a veteran author of over twenty award-winning novels with a career spanning a decade, is Penguin UK’s biggest fiction author of the last five years. Her novels are published in over forty countries and she is a number one bestseller in 23 countries.

Bared to You, the first instalment in the Crossfire series, was Penguin UK’s biggest book of 2012 and the publisher’s fastest-selling paperback of the last ten years. Reflected in You, the second instalment in the series, had Penguin UK’s biggest pre-order sales of all time. Entwined with You, the third instalment in the series, dominated the Bookseller’s newly established e-book chart for the first three months of its existence, with almost double the digital sales volume of the second-bestselling title over the same time period. Lionsgate has optioned the Crossfire novels for development as a television series.

‘We’re absolutely thrilled to announce the publication date of Captivated by You. Sylvia’s Crossfire series has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers around the world, across boundaries of age, gender and genre. Those readers are desperately waiting to find out what happens next in the Gideon and Eva story. The wait has been worth it, Sylvia has written a stunning and utterly compelling novel in Captivated By You.’ Alex Clarke, Publishing Director, Penguin UK


Sylvia Day is the number one Sunday Times and number one international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels sold in more than forty countries. She is a number one bestselling author in twenty three countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Her Crossfire series has been optioned for television by Lionsgate.  Visit Sylvia at, and on Twitter @SylDay.


Gideon calls me his angel, but he’s the miracle in my life. My gorgeous, wounded warrior, so determined to slay my demons while refusing to face his own.

The vows we’d exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened up old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp; my greatest fears becoming my reality; my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to bear.

At the brightest time in our lives, the darkness of his past encroached and threatened everything we’d worked so hard for. We faced a terrible choice: the familiar safety of the lives we’d had before each other or the fight for a future that suddenly seemed an impossible and hopeless dream . . .

2014 Ned Kelly Winners
09 Sep 2014

The following Penguin Random House titles have won in their categories at the 2014 Ned Kelly Awards:

The Ned Kelly Award for True Crime 

Murder in Mississippi by John Safran

John Safran Murder in Mississippi - A Penguin True Story

Best First Fiction Ned Kelly Award

Hades by Candice Fox

For more information on these awards please visit:

Dark Horse by Honey Brown wins Best Adult Novel in 2014 Davitt Awards
01 Sep 2014

Dark Horse by Honey Brown, was named Best Adult Novel in the 14th annual presentation of honours for crime books by Australian women.

For more infomation on the awards visit the Sisters in Crime website:

Shortlisted for the 2013 Colin Roderick Award
26 Aug 2014

The following titles have been shortlisted for the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Limited Colin Roderick Award 2013.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The Reef: A passionate history by Iain McCalman

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

For a complete shortlist see here:

The Winner will be announced at the Foundation’s Award Presentation Dinner, which will be held at the George Coates Restaurant, TAFE Queensland North, corner Fulham Road and Hugh Street, Pimlico, Townsville on Tuesday, 14 October, 2014.

Penguin Books Australia launches new True Stories feature with Sonya Hartnett
25 Aug 2014

25 August 2014: Melbourne: Penguin Books Australia today launches the third installment of True Stories, the non-fiction series designed especially for online readers.

True Stories reinvents reading online. Each True Story is inspired by a Penguin publication, and brings the written word to life through audio, video, stunning design and deep interactivity. The series invites readers to explore fascinating moments in remarkable Australian lives, in a way that is fun, surprising and beautiful.

True Stories: Close to Home follows Sonya Hartnett, one of Australia’s most popular and at the same time edgiest writers, on a 23-year, 25-book, 12-house journey in search of new inspiration.

Golden Boys, published this month by Penguin Books Australia, is everything that readers around the world love about Sonya Hartnett. It is delightful, it is dark, and it is utterly compelling. A tale of kids growing up and adults who are supposed to be looking after them, it is also the most personal and self-revealing of all Hartnett’s books.

Yet Hartnett will tell you Golden Boys did not originate from her. She found Golden Boys, the same way she has found all her books – she moved into a new house, and there it was. “I always feel that the book has been waiting for me in that house. It had to be in that house. It couldn’t just be anywhere,” says Hartnett. True Stories: Close to Home asks if the secret to inspiration could really be as simple as right place, right time.

Designed for online readers, True Stories: Close to Home combines text with stunning visuals, including video interviews, hand drawn sketches, and soulful photography of the Melbourne suburbs in which Hartnett has hunted for inspiration.

Kylie Robertson, Penguin’s Creative Director - Digital said: “True Stories is a destination for a new kind of reading experience. The mix of interactivity and layered content is a unique way of placing the reader in the very centre of the storytelling experience.”

Previous True Stories features include John Safran: Murder in Mississippi and Father Bob: The Larrikin Priest.

Stylish and compelling, True Stories: Close to Home takes the reader on a fascinating journey with Sonya Hartnett, a writer like no other.

- ENDS -

For more information, please contact: Rhian Davies, Penguin Group (Australia) Ph 03 9811 2509 or email
Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett is available as an eBook and in paperback.

62nd Australian Book Design Award Winners 2014
25 Aug 2014

The Australian Book Designers Association (ABDA) announced the winners for the 2014 Book Design Awards at a gala event in Melbourne on Friday August 22. Congratulations to all our designers who received an award.

Best designed non-fiction book
Madness a Memoir by Kate Richards, designed by Allison Colpoys

Best designed fully-illustrated book under $50 RRP
Naples: A Way of Love by Carla Coulson and Lisa Clifford, designed by Evi O

Best designed cookbook
Love Italy by Guy Grossi, designed by Daniel New

Bookworld People's choice award for best designed book of the year
101 Moments of Joy and Inspiration by Meredith Gaston, designed by Arielle Gamble, illustrated by Meredith Gaston

Designers' Choice Book of the Year (Joint winners) 
Love Italy by Guy Grossi, designed by Daniel New and Decade designed by David Pidgeon, Hardie Grant

For more information on these awards please visit

Australian author Antonia Hayes’ debut novel Relativity has been acquired by Penguin Random House
20 Aug 2014



Australian author Antonia Hayes’ debut novel Relativity has been acquired by Penguin Random House, and will be published in 2015 by Penguin Books.

Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, has worked in publishing for several years as a book publicist, in bookshops, and she has co-directed Australia's National Young Writers' Festival.  Her debut, Relativity, is an irresistible story about science, love, unbreakable bonds and irreversible acts.  

Enthusiastic to be publishing a fresh new Australian talent, Ben Ball, Publishing Director Penguin General said, “I'm delighted that we've acquired ANZ rights to Relativity after an exciting auction. Readers at publishing houses around the country have responded to Antonia's beautifully drawn, complex and profoundly engaging characters. With touches of A Beautiful Mind and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Relativity will be a huge and exciting book for us in 2015.”


Commenting on the news, Antonia said, “I'm extremely excited that Relativity will be published by Penguin and can't wait to work with their creative and talented team. It's also such an honour to be included in Penguin's strong local fiction list, alongside so many authors and books that I hugely admire.”

For further information, please contact Alysha Farry on +612 8204 3323 or


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18 Sep 2014
Young novelist Majok Tulba announced as winner of 2014 Kathleen Mitchell Award
Sudanese-Australian writer goes back to his roots to deliver a dark and moving story 17 September 2014 Majok Tulba has been announced as the 2014 winner of the Kathleen Mitchell Award for young novelists.Sudanese-Australian writer Mr Tulba was presented with the award for his debut novel, Beneath the Darkening Sky, by The Trust Company, part of Perpetual, as trustee of the award.

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