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Open Right

One person who knows the grave dangers that bushfires can bring is author Ella Holcombe who lost her family in the 2009 Kinglake blaze.

This experience led Ella to create the sensitive and uplifting title, The House on the Mountain, ill. by David Cox and published by Allen and Unwin. This title gently introduces primary-aged children to the concept of serious bushfires and mass evacuation in a non-confrontational and moving manner.

As always, Booked Out thanks the hard-working firefighters who battle these blazes so we can stay safe.

If you listened closely on Monday night, you might have heard a cheer echoing in Prahran! We are thrilled to see our authors so strongly represented in the @cbca_vic Book of the Year notable longlist.

Fantastic talks from Fiona Wood, Jo Stanley and Alex Rance reminded us of how childhood reading sets important lifelong habits.

Fiona Wood summed up the night perfectly with her comment on the 2019 Book Week theme of ‘Reading is my Secret Power’. “Reading fosters empathy, and empathy will help us save the world.” – we couldn’t say it better ourselves.

Well done all. 🌟😊👌💛

On Monday evening, the Booked Out team headed off to Readings Carlton to celebrate the launch of Mark Brandi’s newest novel, The Rip.

The book was launched with grace and humour by the inimitable Hannie Rayson, who also asked Mark to share how he came to write a novel about those who live on the periphery of our society.

After the success of Wimmera, we are expecting great things from Mark Brandi’s second novel. Read a little more about the book on Hachette’s website here.

Congratulations Mark, on a stellar launch!

Check it out! Adrian Beck and Sally Rippin‘s new KidLit series has officially launched. And what a better way to start than an interview with Kristin Gill and Kim Kane, author of #GingerGreen – our favourite feisty fox series. If you’re on the go, you can listen to the podcast version here: 🦊🌟📚

The Kid Lit Club is an ongoing video podcast, where you can join bestselling kids’ authors Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck as they discuss children’s books from all angles, featuring author interviews as well as behind-the-scenes exclusives. Whether you’re a teacher, parent, author or a book industry professional, this is the podcast for you!

The anticipated Stella Prize longlist was announced last night. This award recognises and celebrates Australian women writers’ contribution to literature, both in non-fiction and fiction categories.

Booked Out was absolutely thrilled to see not one, but two familiar faces in the Longlist: Bri Lee, nominated for her timely memoir Eggshell Skull, and Maria Tumarkin with Axiomatic, a genre-defying and engrossing read.

Congratulations to Bri, Maria, and all those on the longlist!

Read about all the nominees on the Stella website.

Booked Out is delighted to announce that Cate Kennedy will be joining the VCE Twilight Seminars series in 2019 to speak on Like a House on Fire.

This special event will allow students to deepen their understanding of Like a House on Fire through Cate’s comprehensive sixty-minute talk encompassing her writing process and covering themes of love, family, regret, pain and salvation.

This will be followed by an open floor thirty-minute Q&A session for students to ask questions about topics they may find challenging.

Students who attend Cate’s talks benefit immensely from hearing directly from their studied author, and value having their questions answered with gentleness, intelligence and enthusiasm from Cate.

Cate Kennedy was excellent!  She was engaging, warm and suggested useful, practical strategies that the students can use in their own writing. The students said they found her presentation really interesting … the kids were really engaged for the full hour.
– Camberwell High School.

Event details are:

Date: Thursday, 28th March 2019
Time: Talk: 5.15pm – 6.15pm. Q&A and Signing: 6.15pm – 6.45pm (optional).
Venue: Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria
Cost: $18.00 pp, incl. GST
RSVP: Friday, 15th March 2019

This event is a part of a Booked Out VCE Twilight Seminars series, with other events scheduled for Maxine Beneba Clarke and Toni Jordan.

To secure your place at our event for Cate, please download and fill out the booking form, and email it to

Attention all VCE English and Literature Teachers!

Booked Out is excited to announce that after the success of last years’ seminar, we will be hosting another Twilight Seminar with Maxine Beneba Clarke in 2019, who will be speaking on her short story collection Foreign Soil.

This unique event will allow VCE students to deepen their understanding of Foreign Soil. Maxine’s comprehensive sixty-minute talk will cover the writing process, and discuss the works’ themes of race, resilience and diversity. This will be followed by a Q&A session.

This event is perfect for year 12 students and teachers studying Foreign Soil. Located at the State Library of Victoria this event is accessible via public transport, and is a five minute walk from Melbourne Central Station.

All the details are below:

Date: Thursday, 21st March 2019
Time: Talk: 5.15pm – 6.15pm. Q&A and Signing: 6.15pm – 6.45pm (optional)
Venue: Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria
Cost: $18.00 pp, incl. GST
RSVP: Friday, 8th March 2019

To secure your place at this event, please download and fill out the booking form, and email it to

For further enquiries, please call 03 9824 0177.

We look forward to seeing you and your VCE students there!

This event is a part of a Booked Out’s ‘Night at State Library VCE series’, with other events scheduled for Cate Kennedy and Toni Jordan later in 2019. Email us to find out more.

We will never tire of saying congratulations to the incredible and empowering Bri Lee. Bri is now winner of the People’s Choice Award category in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for Eggshell Skull (an office favourite). The accolades just keep on coming! ⭐️🐣💀💖

And we’re off! To all the students starting school today, or simply returning for the new year, we wish you a fantastic year full of success and fun! 📚👩‍🏫📝

25 January 2019
Speaker Spotlight: Mike Rolls.


After surviving one of the most deadly diseases, Mike is passionate about teaching resilience and his unique and practical method of ‘simplification’. Check out Mike’s interview with the ABC here, describing how physical transformations can lead to life changing mental transformations.