This is it, the final day of our countdown to Australia’s Favourite Author for 2016!
Time to take stock. Here’s the list so far…
50. Paul Jennings
49. Ruth Park
48. Fiona Palmer
47. Anh Do
46. Anna Campbell
45. Colleen McCullough
44. Banjo Paterson
43. Anita Heiss
42. Helene Young
41. Melina Marchetta
40. Charlotte Wood
39. Liz Byrski
38. Hugh Mackay
37. Rachael Treasure
36. Judy Nunn
35. Thomas Keneally
34. Fiona McCallum
33. Kerry Greenwood
32. Di Morrissey
31. Christos Tsiolkas
30. Kylie Scott
29. Alison Lester
28. Tara Moss
27. Rachael Johns
26. Fiona McIntosh
25. Tony Park
24. Jacqueline Harvey
23. Helen Garner
22. Garth Nix
21. Kate Grenville
20. Jackie French
19. John Flanagan
18. Shaun Tan
17. Graeme Simsion
16. Hannah Kent
15. Kate Forsyth
14. Richard Flanagan
13. Bryce Courtenay
12. Geraldine Brooks
11. Kate Morton
So, without further ado, here are Australia’s Top 10 Favourite Authors for 2016, as voted by you!
Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970. She is Australia’s best loved picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, has sold over four million copies and is still the best selling children’s book in Australia, 29 years after its publication.
She has written over 40 books for children among which are the perennial favourites: Possum Magic, Time for Bed and Where Is The Green Sheep?; and several books for adults also, including her best selling book for parents: Reading Magic: how your child can learn to read before school and other read aloud miracles. Her book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 weeks in 2008—2009 and also won best book for young children at the 2010 Turin International Book Festival in its Italian edition. Her books have been translated into 19 languages.
Mem Fox was an Associate Professor of Education at Flinders University in Adelaide where she taught teachers for 24 years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many honors and awards from various Australian governments and other organisations for services to literature, as well as three honorary doctorates for her work in literacy.
She has visited the USA over 100 times as both a consultant in literacy and as an author. She keeps threatening to retire but never quite gets around to it as she is always finding something new to write about or shout about.
Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s writers. He is the author of over 20 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. Over the past 15 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, won over 50 children’s choice awards, been adapted as a television cartoon series and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Last year’s The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy and illustrator Terry Denton was the bestselling book in Australia in 2015 with 312,000 copies being sold. Its predecessor The 52-Storey Treehouse was named Book o f the Year at the 2015 Australian Book Industry Awards – the first time a children’s book had received the accolade – and was the best-selling book in Australia in 2014.
The first book in the series, The 13-Storey Treehouse, meanwhile, has been turned into a stage play.
One of the novelists of his generation, Tim Winton’s literary reputation was established early when his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian Vogel Award; his second novel Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984; and his third book, Scission, a collection of short stories, won the West Australian Council Literary Award in 1985.
Winton’s fifth novel, Cloudstreet, the story of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, was a huge literary and commercial success. It has been a best seller since its publication in 1991 and was recently voted the most popular Australian novel by the Australian Society of Authors. Awards include National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1991; West Australian Fiction Award 1991; Deo Gloria Award (UK), 1991 and the 1992 Miles Franklin Award.
In 2001 his novel, Dirt Music, was published to considerable critical acclaim and impressive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the 2002 Mann Booker Prize and won the 2002 Miles Franklin Award, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Film rights have been optioned to Phil Noyce’s film company, Rumbalara Films, with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz reportedly set to star in the film.
Winton’s last novel, Eyrie, was another triumph, being nominated by many critics as their favourite book of 2013.
A trained educator with a natural gift for storytelling, John Marsden is arguably Australia’s foremost writer of Young Adult fiction.
Whilst working at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School, Marsden made the decision to write for teenagers, following his dissatisfaction with his students’ apathy towards reading and the observation that teenagers simply weren’t reading any more. Marsden then wrote So Much To Tell You in only three weeks, and the book was published in 1987. The book sold record numbers and won numerous awards including “Book of the Year” as awarded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
In 1993 Marsden published Tomorrow, When the War Began the first book in the Tomorrow Series and his most acclaimed and best-selling work to date. Recently it was selected in the American Library Association list of 100 Best Books for Teens since 1966.
Marsden has won every major writing award in Australia for young people’s fiction, including what Marsden describes as one of the highlights of his career, the 2006 Lloyd O’Neil Award for contributions to Australian publishing. This award means that Marsden is one of only five authors to be honoured for lifelong services to the Australian book industry. John Marsden was also nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2008, the world’s largest children’s and youth literature award, and the second largest literature prize in the world.
Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.
“We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the ‘Heil Hitlers’ and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there’s another side to Nazi Germany,” said Zusak in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
At just 40, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. Upon the publication of The Book Thief he was dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is also the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.
One of the stars of Australian fiction, Monica McInerney is the Australian-born Dublin-based author of the best-selling novels Hello from the Gillespies, The House of Memories, Lola’s Secret, At Home with the Templetons, Those Faraday Girls, Family Baggage, The Alphabet Sisters, Spin the Bottle (Greetings from Somewhere Else in the USA), Upside Down Inside Out and A Taste for It; the novella Odd One Out and a short story collection All Together Now, published internationally and in translation. Her articles and short stories have appeared in newspapers, magazines and anthologies in Australia, the UK and Ireland.
The House of Memories was a Number 1 Australian bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2013 Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Awards in the UK in the Contemporary Romantic Novel category. Lola’s Secretwas shortlisted for the General Fiction Book of the Year in the 2012 Australian Book Industry Awards. At Home with the Templetons was a Number 1 bestseller in Australia and was shortlisted for the General Fiction Book of the Year in the 2011 Australian Book Industry Awards and for the Eason Popular Fiction Award in the 2010 Irish Book Awards. Those Faraday Girls won the General Fiction Book of the Year in the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards. All Together Now was shortlisted in the same category in the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards.
In 2006, Monica was the main ambassador for the Australian Government’s Books Alive national reading campaign, for which she wrote a limited edition novella called Odd One Out.
For more than 20 years, she and her Irish husband have been moving back and forth between Australia and Ireland. They currently live in Dublin.
Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of 12 novels. In 2005, Matthew was the first author to participate in the Australian Government’s ‘Books Alive’ initiative, for which he wrote the short novel Hell Island, featuring Shane Schofield. Over 200,000 copies of that work were given away for free in August of 2005.
Matthew’s books are published in over 20 languages and he has sold over 3.5 million books worldwide: over 1 million in Australia alone; over a million in the US; and over a million in the UK.
Walt Disney Pictures have optioned the movie rights to his children’s book, Hover Car Racer, while Ice Station was optioned by Paramount Pictures.
Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.
The Husband’s Secret has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is set to be translated into over 35 languages. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.
With the launch of her most recent novel, Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Film and television rights have already been snapped up by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a series of books for children.
Before writing full-time Michael Robotham was an investigative journalist in Britain, Australia and the US. In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and show business personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies.
His first novel The Suspect, a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.
Michael’s novels have since been translated into 23 languages. He is a twice winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year and has twice been twice shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger and twice for the CWA’s acclaimed Gold Dagger Award, beating out J.K. Rowling, Belinda Bauer and Stephen King to win the award last year for Life Or Death.
Isobelle Carmody is one of the world’s most highly acclaimed authors of fantasy and young adult fiction. At fourteen, she began Obernewtyn, the first book in her much-loved Obernewtyn Chronicles, and has since written many works in this genre. Her novel The Gatheringwas joint winner of the 1993 Children’s Literature Peace Prize and the 1994 CBCA Book of the Year Award, and Greylands was joint winner of the 1997 Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction (Young Adult category), and was named a White Raven at the 1998 Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
Isobelle’s work for younger readers includes her two series, The Legend of Little Fur, and The Kingdom of the Lost, the first book of which, The Red Wind, won the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers in 2011. She has also written several picture books as well as collections of short stories for children, young adults and adults.
After living in Europe for more than a decade, these days Isobelle divides her time in Australia between her home on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, and Brisbane, where she is working on a PhD at the University of Queensland.
Congratulations Isobelle on being voted Australia’s Favourite Author for 2016!!!
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About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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