Full List of 2013 Booktoberfest Prize Winners


Booktopia Weekly Prize Draw :

$250 Booktopia Gift Certificate

Week 1 Winner: T. Davis, Churchill, VIC

Week 2 Winner: A. McKinnon, Penshurst, NSW

Week 3 Winner: G, Thomas, Glengarry, VIC

Week 4 Winner: R. Courtney,  Wollstonecraft, NSW


Allen & Unwin Prize

A collection of 20 gorgeous books, including new fiction, non fiction and children’s books


K. Thompson, Arundel, QLD


Bloomsbury Prize

Ten brand new books worth nearly $300


C. Macmillan, Armadale, VIC


The Five Mile Press Prize

The entire Five Mile Press Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $500!

P. Smith, Wavell Heights, QLD


Hachette Australia Prize

The entire Hachette Australia Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $700

L. Shepherd, Caboolture, QLD


Hachette Children’s Books Prizes

Ten Read and Play for Active Toddlers Packs Packs

- J, Menzies, Ulladulla, NSW
– T. Atkinson, Summerhill, TAS
– J. Lightfoot, Swanbourne, WA
– D. Wilcock, Wyee Point, NSW
– B. Lee, Alfredton, Vic
– K. Ramsey, Gordon, NSW
– R. Armstrong, Yarrawarrah, NSW
– R. Durack. Bateman, WA
– C. Bell, Kotara Fair, NSW
– S. K. Yeom, Burwood, NSW


Hardie Grants Books Prize

The entire Hardie Grant Booktoberfest Showcase

K. Owen, Ascot Vale, VIC


Harlequin Prize

One of six Rural Romance Prize Packs valued at $120!

- J. Lord, Cranbrook, QLD
– C. Burke, Silverdale, NSW
– M. Sadler, Spring Ridge, NSW
-M. Devellerez, Nollamara, WA
– H. Layt, Molendinar, QLD
– S. Single, Moree, NSW


HarperCollins Prize

The entire Harper Collins Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $950!

- M. Prescott, Sinnamon Park, QLD


Lonely Planet Prize

A Crumpler luggage pack valued at $530!

- S. Calder, Morayfield, QLD


Pan Macmillan Australia Prize

The entire Pan Macmillan Australia Booktoberfest Showcase valued at almost $700

- H. Wills, Turramurra, NSW


Murdoch Books Prize

A collection of 14 gorgeous books, including lavish cooking, incredible gardening and magnificent lifestyle titles worth over $650!

- L. Priest, Surrey Hills, VIC


Penguin Books Australia Prize

The entire Penguin Books Australia Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $950

- A. Harris, Williamstown, VIC


Random House Prize

The entire Random House Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $800

- M. Lum-Brown, Drummoyne, NSW


Simon & Schuster Australia Prize

An amazing book prize pack worth over $950

L. Maloney, Sydney, NSW


Text Publishing Prize

The entire Text Publishing Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $600.00!

K. Rice, Mudgee, NSW


Walker Books Prize

The entire Walker Books Booktoberfest Showcase worth over $350!

P. Robinson, Wadeye, NT


Wiley Prize

A great collection of smart Business reads, top holiday gadget guides and beautiful books worth over $500!

- G. Underwood, Gawler, SA


Woodslane Prize

A $300 book voucher for the purchase  of any Woodslane publications and a $200 voucher for the purchase of any Ken Duncan products.

Alana Smith, Clarkson, WA

Please note: all winners will be contacted soon via email.

Thanks to all the publishers who contributed to this year’s Booktoberfest.

GUEST BLOG: Sulari Gentill On Imaginary Friends

sulariYasser Arafat is notoriously credited with having said that a war about religion is like having a fight over who has got the best imaginary friend. As provocative as the statement is to people of faith, it cannot be denied that human beings have long been capable of intense personal relationships with figures who have no objective existence. Whether such a person is called devout or insane depends often on the social acceptability of the said imaginary friend.

But such friendships are not just the domain of the pious and the mad. Writers, too, can lay claim to relationships with people they’ve made up. Of course, the zealot, the deranged and the author, are not mutually exclusive conditions. The latter two may in fact be interchangeable.

For me, writing is a kind of glorious madness, a descent into the world in my head where it is me who is the figment, the ghost, the imaginary observer. It is a seductive world which I often leave only reluctantly to engage with the real world to which I was born.

The relationships between writers and their protagonists are intriguing, not for the least part, because they can be so varied in intensity and quality. There are writers who insist their protagonists are merely literary constructs, and others who set a place at the table for the hero/heroine of their latest novel.

I have known my imaginary gentleman sleuth, Rowland Sinclair, for five books now, two years of his life, four years of mine. In that time he has always stood in the periphery of my vision, regarding me with a kind of amused resignation, watching me as I watch him. We have an understanding, he and I.

With each book I have, admittedly, become increasingly involved with Rowland, to the point that he is now all but real to not just me, but also my family. My husband and I will often talk about Rowland as if he were an old friend with a tendency of finding trouble. You know the kind. We will argue about the rights and wrongs of Rowland’s actions, as if those actions were fact. Every now and then, I hear our conversations as a third party might, and find myself both alarmed and vaguely embarrassed by the extent to which this figment of my imagination has insinuated himself into our lives. But I reassure myself that I am a writer, and as such a certain level of delusion is not only acceptable but possibly necessary.

My personal writing process is quite instinctive and impulsive: there is no form or formula to my method, just a pursuit of story. I simply sit down and make things up, allowing the words of come out as they will. I write chronologically, beginning with the first word of the novel, and proceeding with little idea of what is coming until I write it. This is undoubtedly dangerous, and risks an outcome that has no structure or resolution or rambles interminably. Somehow though, my work seems to find a natural structure and rhythm, and an internal consistency with ensures it makes sense. I never work in a quiet or serene place, writing instead in the midst of my noisy family, or in airports or cafés, or half listening to the evening news or some late night television show. I used to think that was out of necessity—I was a mother with a demanding day job and I had to multi-task if I ever hoped to find time to write. But I realise now that there may in fact be a purpose to this insane way of working. Writing in the midst of noise and movement, where I am not completely focussed, allows me to engage my subconscious in a way that absolute concentration cannot.

It is not uncommon for a writer to gain new insight into his/her or own work through reviewers or readers, who point out nuances and themes which we ourselves hadn’t noticed. Of course, we’re usually quite happy to claim them after the fact! Because I write without plotting, I have always been surprised at the serendipity by which the details of my narratives fall into place, asides I wrote in chapter one on a whim, by chapter thirty prove crucial as if I had laid the thread on purpose. Both the above, I think, owe more to the storyteller’s subconscious than they do to chance or luck. There are many things we do as writers for reasons, about which we not consciously aware, but which have a purpose and a design nonetheless. Somewhere in our subconscious is stored everything we know and have read, every revelation of research, every image, every sound and every feeling. It’s not surprising then that this is cradle of our creativity, where stories are born. The writer’s trick is tapping into that and then trusting it.

Though I don’t consciously plan or plot, there probably is a subliminal design to my work. What I see as Rowland Sinclair leading me through his world and his story is possibly just my subconscious guiding a story it has planned without needing to bother the poor beleaguered and limited conscious part of my brain which has to deal with the realities of the world.

So what I’m trying to say is that we “pantsers”, we writers who just go with the story and allow our protagonists to do as they choose, are probably not as unruly and unstructured in our writing as we may seem.  It is just that we elect not to look too hard at what exactly is at work to produce our plots and our characters. We trust that part of ourselves which tells us “this is the way it was”.

The lawyer in me feels the need to insert a disclaimer at this point.  I am telling you what I think I do. It’s my best guess… but I really can’t be sure, and I haven’t tested the theory in any way. Some part of me feels that examining a spell too closely, articulating it too precisely, will break it, rob it of its magic. And I can’t risk that. After all, I have got the best imaginary friend.

Sulari Gentill’s Gentlemen Formerly Dressed is a Booktoberfest title. Buy this book now to go in the draw to win Booktopia’s weekly giveaway – a $250 Booktopia voucher – AND order by 31st October 2013 to go in the draw to win the fantastic publisher prize.

Click here for prize details and to see the full Simon & Schuster Showcase

Gentlemen Formerly Dressed

by Sulari Gentill

After narrowly escaping Nazi terror, Rowland Sinclair and his companions land in London, believing they are safe. But they are wrong.

A bizarre murder plunges the hapless Australians into a queer world of British aristocracy, Fascist Blackshirts, illicit love, scandal and spies.

A world where gentlemen are not always what they are dressed up to be… more

REVIEW: Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson (review by Andrew Cattanach)

I’ll let you behind the curtain of having the best job in the world. Publishers are awesome, and very generous. So when a book comes along that excites and surprises a publisher, so much so that we only get to look at a quick teaser before release instead of the entire book, we tend to take notice.

Mike Tyson’s autobiography Undisputed Truth is one of those books.

As the sports nerd in the office I came in one day to find a sampler of Undisputed Truth on my desk. I flicked through it and expected a pretty watered down version of events, a fallen star trying to dig himself out of trouble with a ghostwriter and PR manager at hand.

What I got blew my socks off. This is Mike Tyson, leaving his support staff at the door. A naive street kid who had it all and then threw it all away. He lays it all down, every thought, every feeling, every emotion. At 23 he was hailed as possibly the greatest fighter to ever live, married to a movie star, earning millions of dollars for fights that rarely went past the first round. By 24 he was broke, in jail and a worldwide disgrace. He writes of his sentencing that “it took me a long time to realise that that little white woman judge who sent me to prison just might have saved my life.”

It’s difficult to decide whether this is a story of ‘how did it all go wrong’ so much as ‘how did it all go right’, if only in his early days. He was raised as a gang member, a fat kid with a lisp who tried to stay quiet and not get hurt. How did he become a national celebrity, and what happened when he discovered the only thing that knocked him off his perch was himself?

Undisputed Truth isn’t so much a story about Tyson as a story of a world of scatter gun celebrity worship. A study in what happens when the music stops but the camera keeps rolling.

A book like this doesn’t come around very often. Don’t miss out.

Click here for more about Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson

Alex Miller, Miles Franklin winning author of Coal Creek, talks books for Booktoberfest

BOOKS HAVE… made a writer of me. It doesn’t get more important than that as far as I’m concerned. Reading is the most satisfying experience of my life. I spend as much time doing it as I possibly can. Finding the right book is critical. And finding a new author whose work I can respond to is always pure magic.

I WRITE BECAUSE… I love writing. I think I became a writer in order to explore my ideas and responses to the world around me, which I often found it difficult to share with others. Also I liked my autonomy, and a writer can choose his or her own working hours – midnight to dawn or whenever. The difficulty of becoming a writer never bothered me. I knew it was going to work for me sooner or later. And if you’re a writer you don’t have to retire but can keep on doing the thing you love till you drop off the chair.

No one ever asks; Why do you read? But it’s becoming a question we might well ask these days. It’s not the books people are reading which are being discussed among customers in the local fruit shop as it once was but is now the series they’re watching. The world has changed!

IF I HAD TO OFFER FIVE BOOKS… I might offer five hundred:  And I don’t know whether everyone should read these five books, but I can honestly say they are among the books that have given me great pleasure and satisfaction. Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian; Evelyn Juer’s House of Exile: The Life and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann; Daniel Arsand’s Lovers; Aharon Appelfeld’s The Immortal Bartfuss and Ray Mooney’s A Green Light, the most powerful crime fiction book I’ve ever read.

MY FAVOURITE BOOK NOOK IS… on the couch of an evening in front of the wood fire in winter in our house in the country – a kind of heaven.

Alex Miller’s Coal Creek is a Booktoberfest title. Buy this book now to go in the draw to win Booktopia’s weekly giveaway – a $250 Booktopia voucher – AND order by 31st October 2013 to go in the draw to win the fantastic publisher prize. Click here for prize details and to see the full Allen & Unwin Showcase

Coal Creek

by Alex Miller

Me and Ben had been mates since we was boys and if it come to it I knew I would have to be on his side.’

Bobby Blue is caught between loyalty to his only friend, Ben Tobin, and his boss, Daniel Collins, the new Constable at Mount Hay. ‘Ben was not a big man but he was strong and quick as a snake. He had his own breed of pony that was just like him, stocky and reliable on their feet.’ Bobby understands the people and the ways of Mount Hay; Collins studies the country as an archaeologist might, bringing his coastal values to the hinterland. Bobby says, ‘I do not think Daniel would have understood Ben in a million years.’ Increasingly bewildered and goaded to action by his wife, Constable Collins takes up his shotgun and his Webley pistol to deal with Ben. Bobby’s love for Collins’ wilful young daughter Irie is exposed, leading to tragic consequences for them all.

Miller’s exquisite depictions of the country of the Queensland highlands form the background of this simply told but deeply significant novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic consequences of misunderstanding and mistrust. Coal Creek is a wonderfully satisfying novel with a gratifying resolution. It carries all the wisdom and emotional depth we have come to expect from Miller’s richly evocative novels.

Click here to buy Coal Creek from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Are You A Booktoberfest Prize Winner for Week 4?


Booktopia Weekly Prize Draw :

$250 Booktopia Gift Certificate

Week 1 Winner: T. Davis, Churchill, VIC

Week 2 Winner: A. McKinnon, Penshurst, NSW.

Week 3 Winner: G, Thomas, Glengarry, VIC

Week 4 Winner: R. Courtney,  Wollstonecraft, NSW

Why I Love Books: By Guy Grossi, author of Love Italy

There is something about the smell of a book I love. That smell when you turn the fresh crisp pages and the feeling of the paper. It’s usually the first thing I do when I pick up a new book, run my hand along the pages. While I love technology, there is something special about holding and feeling a book. Seeing someone’s hard work bound together into the final product. Something you can’t get from reading the same print online.

I love the romance about it, getting caught up in a story or lost in the images printed on the pages. I like having books to use as references when I need. Both at home and at work I’m surrounded by all kinds of books. As an educational tool, I love reading and using them to better my knowledge, there is nothing more important than constantly learning. Also important is their ability to share a story or paint a picture and engage the reader.

I hoped to achieve all of these things in Love Italy. I wanted to create a publication that was educational, teaching about the traditions and history of Italian food. I also wanted to share the stories of some very special people who work every day to preserve the techniques that bring the Italian food culture to life.

The last thing I wanted to achieve with this book was somewhat a piece of art. The photos and words used have created a beautiful masterpiece that evokes all kinds of emotion as it takes you on a food journey through Italy.

Click here to order Love Italy from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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Simon and Schuster joins our Booktoberfest celebration – you could win a prize pack worth over $950!

How would you like to give everyone you love a book for Christmas… without you having to pay a cent?

To help us celebrate Booktoberfest the awesome people at Simon and Schuster are giving you the chance to win a prize pack worth over $950!

Order any of the books in the Simon and Schuster Booktoberfest Showcase to go into the draw to win their entire showcase!

Click here to enter the Simon and Schuster showcase

Simon and Schuster Booktoberfest Highlight

Crossing the Line

by Wendell Sailor

Superstar Brisbane Broncos and Kangaroos winger Wendell Sailor shocked everyone when he switched codes to play union in 2001. The King of the Wing, whose thunderous runs intimidated anyone in his path, surprised even himself when he was selected for the Wallabies, becoming the first Australian player raised in league to represent his country in both codes.

But in 2006, it all fell apart.

During a routine drug test for the Waratahs, he tested positive for cocaine and was banned from the game for two years. And those years away would prove to the toughest challenge of his life. The self-confessed party boy who constantly sought the public spotlight was now forced to do some soul-searching, and most of it wasn’t pretty.

But Sailor fought back hard and worked through the shame, throwing himself into charity work and mentoring young people in alcohol and drug awareness programs. With the help of his family and old coach and mentor, Wayne Bennett, he began his path to redemption.

When the ban was up, Sailor made a triumphant return to the code that had first discovered him at age 18, and the St George Illawarra Dragons had a new winger – and a player determined to prove what he was capable of until his final game in 2010. But Crossing the Line isn’t just Sailor’s story as the comeback king. Written with Jimmy Thomson, Wendell reveals a dark secret that has haunted him since childhood. He tells us what it’s like to be a black man in a white man’s world and the toll racism takes on elite sport. He shows us how good friends and mentors are so important to our national heroes. And he also demonstrates how crucial the bonds of family – and the love and trust of good people – are for anyone, hero or not.

Click here to buy Crossing the Line from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


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