Penguin News

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

Celebrating Where Song Began
22 May 2015

​Congratulations to Tim Low for his win at the ABIAs last night. Where Song Began was named the General Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

This award and the critical reception we have had with this book are a reflection of Tim's ability to speak to both birdwatchers and enthusiasts and the layperson interested to understand more. In his review, Sean Dooley of Sydney Morning Herald said, "'Tim Low is the rare author who is able to turn complex and sophisticated research into a form digestible to the general reader without 'dumbing down' the science . . . A brilliantly readable book that not only gives Australian birds recognition long overdue, but allows for a fresh understanding of the way the world (and particularly our island continent) functions."

For the full list of award winners visit the ABIA Awards website.

A Special Night at the NSW Premier's Awards for Don Watson
20 May 2015

​Congratulations to Don Watson.

We are thrilled by the news from last night's NSW Premier's Awards that The Bush was awarded both the Douglas Stewart Prize for non-fiction and the NSW Premier's Book of the Year.

Our own Tom Keneally, writing in Weekend Australia, described the book as a "magnificent, celebratory, contradictory study of the Australian bush will challenge the national imagination . . . An amiable, learned, playful and engrossing book . . . There is a sense that an amiable and eloquent uncle is telling us everything piquant he knows about theology and culture and land use and the beasts and flora and families of the bush."

For more information on the awards visit the NSW Premier's Literary Awards website.

2015 Miles Franklin Shortlist Announced
18 May 2015

We are delighted with the news today that two Penguin Random House authors have been shortlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Congratulations to Sonya Hartnett shortlisted for Golden Boys and Joan London shortlisted for The Golden Age.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said:

'The 2015 Miles Franklin shortlist presents a powerful group of Australian novels with a rich cast of unforgettable characters, and themes ranging from childhood gangs and domestic violence to itinerant thieves, wartime internment and the post-war polio epidemic.'

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is regarded as Australia's most prestigious literature prize and was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin. First awarded in 1957, the prize is awarded each year to the novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.

The winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2015 will be revealed on 23 June 2015. 

New Jamie Oliver book announced
14 May 2015

In fantastic news, the new book from Jamie Oliver, Everyday Super Food, out later this year will make eating well exciting, delicious, easy and fun.

No matter how busy you are, you'll find that healthy eating the Jamie way is both straightforward and achievable, making it super easy to choose exactly the kind of meals that suit you.

The book is divided into breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and every tasty meal is nutritionally balanced so that any combination over the day will bring you in under your recommended daily allowance of calories, allowing you to enjoy snacks and drinks on the side. You can eat Smoothie Pancakes with Berries, Banana, Yoghurt and Nuts for breakfast, Tasty Fish Tacos with Game-Changing Kiwi, Lime and Chilli Salsa for lunch and Griddled Steak and Peppers with Herby-Jewelled Tabbouleh Rice for dinner, and still be healthy! Whether you dip in and out of it, eat from the book Monday to Friday or use it faithfully every day for a month, it's totally up to you.

In Everyday Super Food, Jamie's done all the hard work for you - all you need to do is choose a delicious recipe, cook it up and, most importantly, enjoy it.

Every meal in this book is a good choice and will bring you a step closer to a healthier, happier you.

James Patterson donates $100,000 to bookshops to get kids reading
05 May 2015


James Patterson, the world’s bestselling author, is giving bookstores in Australia and New Zealand up to $5000 each to spend on initiatives to get children reading. The total prize pool available is $100,000.

The US author, who made the announcement in Sydney today, believes that there are far too many children at risk of living their lives without books and is concerned that this translates to a world ‘run by the self-centred, the short-sighted and the glib. The apathetic and the narrow-minded.’

‘There is no doubt in my mind that bookshops play an essential role in the community in getting kids reading,’ says James, who has run similar initiatives in the UK and the US.

‘I have been inspired, moved and delighted by the innovative proposals I have received from bookstores in the UK and the US. And I have been thrilled to see the real difference that these grants have already started to make. I can’t wait to see the proposals from Australian and New Zealand bookstores.’

To apply for the grant, booksellers must already have a dedicated children’s book section in their store.

‘We are thrilled by James Patterson’s extraordinary generosity in supporting Australian booksellers in promoting kids’ books,’ says Joel Becker, the Chief Executive of the Australian Booksellers Association.

‘This is great news for an industry that is already seeing significant growth in sales for younger readers. Along with James, we celebrate the role that bookshops have in communities throughout Australia. We are excited about the opportunity that these grants will provide for bookshops to reach out to new audiences, and to develop ideas and programs that encourage young people to engage with the world of books and reading. Our members will take up this opportunity with a gusto that will knock your socks off!’

New research shows that the number of books in the family home directly impacts a child’s reading level – by as much as three years. A 2014 study across 42 countries and 200,000 cases found that having a home library enhances academic performance for all children. The improvement was irrespective of the parent’s own education, which has massive implications.

Even if a parent is illiterate, just having a children’s book in the home helps. Its very physicality is an invitation to pick it up and turn the pages.

‘This initiative shines a light on literacy. It prompts us to ask: what do we want our future to be and how do we get there?’ says James.

Reading skills in Australia have dropped significantly since 2000, according to the most recent (2012)
OECD report on literacy across 65 countries and half a million children. One in three Australian high school students can be considered functionally illiterate.

‘Bookshops guard against a future in which far too many children are illiterate,’ says James. ‘So many bookstores are already making a difference in their communities and I’m looking to help bookstores who want to do more.’

‘I’m open to all sorts of ideas. From an after-school bookclub, to an emailed newsletter. From a spot bonus to a valued employee, to funds to create a storytelling tent. Send me your ideas and I will read them,’ says
James. ‘For me, making the pledge is the easy part. The tricky task will be deciding which shops to help.’

Booksellers have until 5pm Tuesday 30 June to apply for the grant.  Download an application form >

About James Patterson
James Patterson is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. Since winning the
Edgar™ Award for Best First Novel with THE THOMAS BERRYMAN NUMBER, his books have sold in excess of 300 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades – the Alex CrossWomen’s Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels – and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. He lives in Florida with his wife and son. James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books specifically for young readers.

About the 2014 research
Titled Scholarly Culture and Academic Performance in 42 Nations, this research, which was co-authored by Dr Joanna Sikora from Australian National University and two others, found that the number of books in the family home dramatically impacts reading ability. To obtain a copy of this research paper, please email


For more information contact Peri Wilson >
Telephone: (02) 8923 9803

ALS Gold Medal 2015 shortlist announced
05 May 2015

The shortlist for the 2015 Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal has been announced. Congratulations to Joan London the shortlisted Penguin Random House author.

ALS Gold Medal 2015 shortlist

The winner will be announced at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) conference in July.

2015 RSL Ondaatje Prize Shortlist announced
04 May 2015

The shortlist for the 2015 RSL Ondaatje Prize has been announced. Congratulations to the following shortlisted Penguin Random House authors:

The winner will be announced 18 May. For more information, go to the website here

Cover reveal for Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 10: Old School
28 Apr 2015


In the latest instalment of the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, author-illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the series back to its roots, as Greg starts a new school year and faces a challenge he never could've imagined.

Shortlists announced for 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
24 Apr 2015

Congratulations to our Penguin Random House authors who have been shortlisted for the 2015 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, announced today.

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
Only the Animals, Ceridwen Dovey
Golden Boys, Sonya Hartnett
The Golden Age, Joan London

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing
Here Come the Dogs, Omar Musa

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non‐fiction
The Reef: A Passionate History, Iain McCalman
The Bush, Don Watson

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature
The First Voyage, Allan Baillie

Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature

Are You Seeing Me?, Darren Groth

Congratulations to all of our authors on this fantastic achievement. The winners will be announced Monday 18 May 2015.

For the full list of shortlisted titles visit the awards website here

ALS Gold Medal longlist announced
23 Apr 2015

The longlist for the 2015 Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal has been announced. Congratulations to the following longlisted Penguin Random House authors:

The shortlist will be announced in May, ahead of the winner announcement at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) conference in July. 


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22 May 2015
Celebrating Where Song Began
​Congratulations to Tim Low for his win at the ABIAs last night. Where Song Began was named the General Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

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