Holden Sheppard’s ‘The Brink’ makes the longlist for the Indie Book Awards

The Indie Book Awards have revealed their ‘long list’ of nominations for their 2023 award, and Holden Sheppard’s second novel The Brink has made the list.

The Awards cover the best Australian books in six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Debut Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s books (up to 12yo) and Young Adult (12+). Since the Awards inception, independent booksellers have a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing.

Past Book of the Year winners have gone on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards. Previous winners include Love Stories by Trent Dalton, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan.

Western Australian author Holden Sheppard is nominated with his second young adult work The Brink. The novel follows a group of school-leavers whose end of year celebrations take an unexpected turn.  Sheppard previously received high acclaim for his debut Invisible Boys.

Also making the ‘lost list’ is Hannah Gadsby with her autobiographical work Ten Steps to Nanette. 

If you’re looking for a good read over the summer, here’s a great list to find some good books.


Limberlost by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing)
Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au (Giramondo)
Horse by Geraldine Brooks (Hachette Australia)
The Tilt by Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin)
Salt and Skin by Eliza Henry-Jones (Ultimo Press)
The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane (Allen & Unwin)
Seeing Other People by Diana Reid (Ultimo Press)
The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding by Holly Ringland (Fourth Estate Australia)
Willowman by Inga Simpson (Hachette Australia)
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson (Michael Joseph Australia)


The Boy from Boomerang Crescent by Eddie Betts (Simon & Schuster Australia)
The Ballad of Abdul Wade by Ryan Butta (Affirm Press)
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Emma Carey (Allen & Unwin)
The Book Of Roads And Kingdoms by Richard Fidler (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)
Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby (Allen & Unwin)
The First Astronomers by Duane Hamacher, with Elders and Knowledge Holders (Allen & Unwin)
Raised by Wolves by Jess Ho (Affirm Press)
Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here by Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner by Grace Tame (Macmillan Australia)
The Jane Austen Remedy by Ruth Wilson (Allen & Unwin)


Sunbathing by Isobel Beech (Allen & Unwin)
The Islands by Emily Brugman (Allen & Unwin)
Wake by Shelley Burr (Hachette Australia)
The Mother by Jane Caro (Allen & Unwin)
Cautionary Tales for Excitable Girls by Anne Casey-Hardy (Scribner Australia)
Every Version of You by Grace Chan (Affirm Press)
Jesustown by Paul Daley (Allen & Unwin)
All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien (HQ Fiction, HarperCollins)
Son of Sin by Omar Sakr (Affirm Press)
Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor (Macmillan Australia)


Bush Life by Beauty in the Bush Collective (Affirm Press)
Eat Weeds by Diego Bonetto (Thames & Hudson Australia)
With Nature by Fiona Brockhoff (Hardie Grant Books)
Sons of War by Paul Byrnes (Affirm Press)
First Nations Food Companion by Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan (Murdoch Books)
Big Beautiful Female Theory by Eloise Grills (Affirm Press)
Cressida Campbell by National Gallery of Australia (National Gallery of Australia)
RecipeTin Eats: Dinner by Nagi Maehashi (Macmillan Australia)
Tenderheart by Hetty McKinnon (Plum)
Creature: Paintings, Drawings and Reflections by Shaun Tan (Windy Hollow Books)


Frank’s Red Hat by Sean E Avery (Walker Books Australia)
Come Together by Isaiah Firebrace, illustrated by Jaelyn Biumaiwai (Hardie Grant Explore)
Market Day by Carrie Gallasch, illustrated by Hannah Sommerville (Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing)
Ceremony: Welcome to Our Country by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, illustrated by David Hardy (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
Guardians: Wylah the Koorie Warrior 1 by Jordan Gould and Richard Pritchard (Albert Street Books)
Floof by Heidi McKinnon (Albert Street Books)
The Bookseller’s Apprentice by Amelia Mellor (Affirm Press)
All The World Says Goodnight by Jess Racklyeft (Affirm Press)
Runt by Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin)
My Strange Shrinking Parents by Zeno Sworder (Thames & Hudson Australia)


Cop and Robber by Tristan Bancks (Puffin)
The Museum of Broken Things by Lauren Draper (Text Publishing)
Completely Normal (and Other Lies) by Biffy James (Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing)
A Little Spark by Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
Sugar by Carly Nugent (Text Publishing)
A Walk in the Dark by Jane Godwin (Lothian Children’s Books)
Unnecessary Drama by Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing)
Only a Monster by Vanessa Len (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
The Brink by Holden Sheppard (Text Publishing)
Where You Left Us by Rhiannon Wilde (University of Queensland Press)

The Shortlist will be announced on 18 January 2023, with the Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner being announced at a virtual awards event on Monday 20 March 2023.

OIP Staff

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