Allen & Unwin is Australia's leading independent publisher and is the 2020 Publisher of the Year. We have been voted "Publisher of the Year" fourteen times including in the inaugural award in 1992 and eleven times since 2000.
We publish around 250 new titles each year including literary and commercial fiction, a broad range of general non-fiction and lifestyle titles and books for children and young adults. Our imprints include Allen & Unwin, Albert Street Books, Crows Nest, House of Books, Inspired Living (MBS), Murdoch Books and Pier 9.
While we are Australian owned and operated, we are international in our thinking, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and London, a global network of connected partners, and local lists that are unrivalled in scope and quality.
Allen & Unwin acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Country on which we live and work. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.
83 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph: +61 (2) 8425 0100
406 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Ph: +61 (3) 9665 5000
Level 2, 10 College Hill
Ph: +64 (9) 3773 800
26-27 Boswell Street
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7269 1610
Allen & Unwin are proud to be the Australian and New Zealand agents for:
Allison & Busby
Faber & Faber
Granta and Portobello
Profile and Serpent's Tail
Allen & Unwin distribute to the Australian and New Zealand markets through United Book Distributors (UBD):
United Book Distributors
30 Centre Road
Scoresby VIC 3179
Ph: +61 (3) 9811 2555
Fax: +61 (3) 9811 2403
Allen & Unwin titles are available throughout the world - click here for details
We publish a wide range of literary and commercial fiction, with authors including Alex Miller, Andrew McGahan, Christos Tsiolkas, Michelle de Kretser, Sofie Laguna, Craig Silvey, Charlotte Wood, Heather Rose, Gillian Mears and Jodi Picoult. We have one of the leading crime fiction lists, with writers such as Michael Connelly, Peter Corris, Kerry Greenwood, Chris Hammer and Sarah Bailey and also one of the bestselling Australian rural romance lists from authors including Fleur McDonald, Karly Lane and Nicole Hurley-Moore.
Each year Allen & Unwin administers The Australian/Vogel's Award, in conjunction with the Vogel Bread company and The Australian newspaper, for the best manuscript by a writer under the age of 35. Winners have included Tim Winton, Kate Grenville and Andrew McGahan. We are very proud of recent winners Katherine Brabon, Marija Peričić and Emily O'Grady.
General non fiction
We have a broad-ranging non-fiction list covering topics of worldwide interest through to those dealing exclusively with Australia. We are proud to publish leading Australian and international authors including Stephanie Dowrick, Michael Leunig, Ross Gittins, Chris Masters, Paul McGeough, Tom Keneally, Peter Rees, Clementine Ford, Kerry-Anne Walsh, Roland Perry, Paul Barry, David Astle, Paul Carter, Bri Lee, Gabbi Stroud, Helen Pitt, Kitty Flanagan, Andrew Rule, Greg Sheridan, Nick Vujicic and Christopher Hitchens. We are proud to have published the autobiographies and memoirs of some of Australia’s leading personalities, most recently Kerry O'Brien, Anne Summers, Nick Riewoldt, Chris Judd, Steve Smith, Molly Meldrum, Sally Obermeder, Paul Keating, Allan Border, Richard Clapton, Lex Marinos, Wayne Swann, Rob Oakeshott, Melissa Doyle and Charlie Pickering. We occasionally publish sponsored histories and corporate titles.
Our principal areas of general non-fiction publishing are:
Mind, Body & Spirit
Our children's list is one of the best in Australia and we publish across a wide range, from picture books and board books to young adult fiction and non-fiction. Many of our books are award winners, and we enjoy great popularity and high acclaim both in Australia and throughout the world.
Our many talented authors and illustrators include:
Picture books – Ron Brooks, Armin Greder, Nicki Greenberg, Roland Harvey, Leigh Hobbs, Elizabeth Honey, Stephen Michael King, Alison Lester, Chris McKimmie, Heidi McKinnon, Glenda Millard, Kirsty Murray, Alex Rance, Tohby Riddle, Shaun Tan, Bruce Whatley, Margaret Wild
Children’s fiction – Kate Constable, Terry Denton, Deborah Ellis, Anna Fienberg, Karen Foxlee, Kim Gamble, Libby Gleeson, Julie Hunt, Paul Jennings, Catherine Jinks, Bren MacDibble, Patty Mills, Jaclyn Moriarty, Martine Murray, Wendy Orr, Boori Pryor & Meme McDonald, Richard Roxburgh, Lian Tanner, Kate and Jol Temple, Sean Williams, Karen Wood
Young adult fiction – Libba Bray, Ursula Dubosarsky, Scott Gardner, Barry Jonsberg, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Margo Lanagan, Justine Larbalestier, E. Lockhart, Maureen McCarthy, Kirsty Murray, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, Lili Wilkinson
Non-fiction – Laklak Burarrwanga, Mark Greenwood, Christobel Mattingley, Nadia Wheatley
Murdoch Books is the largest illustrated book publisher in Australia. We publish books on a wide range of subjects including food and cooking, gardening, design, interiors, general history, lifestyle and Australiana. Our books are sold around the world and our authors include renowned chefs and restaurateurs, TV personalities, interior designers, photographers, and lifestyle writers. We have recently published books by Elyse Knowles, Peter Kuruvita, Annabel Crabb, Karen McCartney, Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw, Alex Stuart, Anna Polyviou, Kirstin Ferguson and Catherine Fox, Anthony Puharich and Libby Travers, and AB Bishop.
Allen & Unwin
Close to 250 titles a year are published under the Allen & Unwin imprint, ranging from across fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children.
Albert Street Books
With a keen commercial focus, Albert Street Books’ vision is to publish books for babies to 12-year-olds that are warm and charming, funny and friendly, and easy to sell, to buy, and to love.
Inspired Living presents readers with fresh ideas and new insights into ancient wisdoms, to inspire their mind, body and spirit.
Adventure and popular classics collections, comic book collections, popular culture, history and memorabilia collections, nostalgia and gift books are all part of the CROWS NEST imprint - 'where the action is'.
House of Books
The House of Books aims to bring Australia's cultural and literary heritage to a broad audience by creating affordable print and ebook editions of the nation's most significant and enduring writers and their work.
Our mission with Murdoch Books is to excite, delight and inspire our readers with beautifully produced books that have an unswerving commitment to integrity of content, innovation in design and high production values.
Allen & Unwin commenced publishing in Australia in 1976 as part of the UK company George Allen & Unwin Ltd established in 1914.
In July 1990, following the sale of the UK company, Allen & Unwin's Australian directors effected a management buy-out and the company became fully independent, owning the Allen & Unwin imprint throughout the world.
In 1914 Allen & Unwin was established in the UK by Stanley (later Sir Stanley) Unwin. The company grew steadily over the next 50 years, developing a reputation as one of Britain's, and the world's, leading publishers, with authors including Bertrand Russell, Thor Heyerdahl and JRR Tolkien. Before and after the Second World War the company published many of the world's leading radical intellectuals, which has ensured Allen & Unwin's continuing reputation throughout the English-speaking world.
In 1976 Patrick Gallagher arrived from the UK to set up an Australian arm of Allen & Unwin, concentrating initially on building a list of books along the lines of the UK publishing program, principally in the social sciences and general non-fiction.
In 1978 Allen & Unwin's initial Australian titles were published, with the first major general title Menzies Observed appearing in 1979. In that year the company also moved from a purely publishing base to taking on distribution of the UK company's titles.
In 1980 John Iremonger joined the company and oversaw the publication of David Marr's biography Barwick, which won the inaugural NSW Premier's Literary Award and enhanced Allen & Unwin's presence and profile in the Australian book trade.
1981 marked Allen & Unwin's first venture into fiction publishing with the establishment of The Australian/Vogel Literary Award, a prize which was to launch many young writers – Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Brian Castro, Mandy Sayer and Andrew McGahan among them – on outstanding literary careers. Peter Corris's The Empty Beach was the first in a crime fiction list which grew to include books by Jennifer Rowe, Marele Day, Kerry Greenwood, Garry Disher and Barry Maitland.
The first edition of John W. English's How to Organise and Operate a Small Business in Australia is published. Now fully updated in a tenth edition, lifetime sales of this classic handbook number over 200,000.
Shallows by Tim Winton wins Australian literature's most prestigious prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
In 1986 Allen & Unwin reached an agreement with fledgling UK publisher Bloomsbury to distribute their books in Australia and New Zealand.
In 1988 Rosalind Price joined the company to start up Allen & Unwin Books for Children and Teenagers, now one of Australia's leading children's imprints.
In 1989 Allen & Unwin took on the sales and distribution of books for ABC Enterprises, the commercial arm of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
By 1990 the strength of Allen & Unwin's local publishing program (including a second Miles Franklin Literary Award, for Tom Flood's Oceana Fine) gave the directors the confidence to embark on a Management Buy Out of Allen & Unwin from HarperCollins, which in 1990 took over the UK parent company and disbanded the imprint. With financial support from the Unwin family and venture capitalists Hambros Bank, directors Patrick Gallagher, Paul Donovan, Peter Eichhorn and Rhonda Black were now heading an independent company, which owned the Allen & Unwin imprint throughout the world.
In 1992 Allen & Unwin began representing the Orion Publishing Group in Australia and New Zealand, a partnership that would endure for 14 years. That same year, Allen & Unwin was voted the inaugural Publisher of the Year by booksellers throughout the country, and the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers was awarded to The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels by Anne Fienberg and Kim Gamble.
The Hand that Signs the Paper by Helen Darville wins The Australian/ Vogel Literary Award and subsequently the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
In 1997 the CBCA Picture Book of the Year was awarded to Not a Nibble! by Elizabeth Honey.
After 18 months in operation, Allen & Unwin's then-distributor Alliance Distribution Services (a joint venture with Hachette Livre Australia), wins the first of six Distributor of the Year Awards, voted by Australian booksellers.
The Binna Binna Man by Meme McDonald and Boori Pryor sweeps the pool at the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, winning Book of the Year, the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature and the Ethnic Affairs Commission Award.
Fox, by Ron Brooks and Margaret Wild, is voted the Picture Book of the Year by the CBCA and Wolf on the Fold, by Judith Clarke, wins the Older Readers Book of the Year by the CBCA.
Papunya School Book of Country and History is the winner of CBCA Book of the Year Eve Pownall Award.
Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller wins the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Allen & Unwin author John Nicholson wins the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books for the fourth time, for his book Animal Architects.
In 2005, the Miles Franklin Literary Award was presented to The White Earth by Andrew McGahan. Allen & Unwin began representing the illustrious Faber & Faber list in Australia and New Zealand. And Allen & Unwin Children's Publisher Rosalind Price was honoured with the Pixie O'Harris Award for 'distinguished and dedicated service to the development and reputation of Australian children's books.'
The first winner of the Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues (established to commemorate the remarkable publishing career of John Iremonger) is published, Australian Heartlands by Brendan Gleeson. Also that year, Allen & Unwin expanded its local publishing program with the launch of three new Australian imprints: Arena, a new commercial fiction and nonfiction imprint; Inspired Living, dedicated to publishing in the area of Mind Body Spirit; and Jacana, a natural history imprint.
In 2007, Allen & Unwin is voted Publisher of the Year by Australian booksellers for the eighth time since the award began in 1992. That same year Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan is awarded the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers.
Allen & Unwin moves its distribution to United Book Distributors. Alex Miller receives China's prestigious Annual Foreign Novels 21st Century Award for Landscape of Farewell. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas is the overall winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book. Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers
For the ninth time in the nineteen year history of the award Allen & Unwin is voted Publisher of the Year by Australian booksellers. Craig Silvey's Jasper Jones is voted overall Book of the Year and Thomas Keneally's Australians is voted General Non Fiction Book of the Year. Also that year, Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers. Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers is also voted the winner of the CBCA Picture Book of the Year.
For the tenth time in the twenty year history of the award Allen & Unwin is voted Publisher of the Year by Australian booksellers. Anh Do's The Happiest Refugee wins Biography of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Booksellers' Choice Award and overall Book of the Year. Kate Morton's The Distant Hours wins General Fiction Book of the Year. Hamlet by Nicki Greenberg is the Joint Winner, of the CBCA Picture Book of the Year. Shake a Leg by Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod is the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction.
Allen & Unwin is voted Publisher of the Year for a record eleventh time by Australian booksellers. Allen & Unwin acquires Murdoch Books, the biggest independent illustrated book publisher in Australia. Crow Country by Kate Constable is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers and The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers.
For the twelfth time (and fourth consecutive year) Allen & Unwin is voted Publisher of the Year by Australian booksellers. Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper wins General Fiction Book of the Year as well as Best Promotional Campaign. The Coat by Julie Hunt, illustrated by Ron Brooks is the winner of the CBCA Picture Book of the Year and Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers. Red by Libby Gleeson was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction.
Allen & Unwin becomes majority owner of Atlantic Books, cementing our UK publishing arm. A Very Unusual Pursuit by Catherine Jinks is the winner of CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers.
Sofie Laguna's Eye of the Sheep wins the prestigious Miles Franklin award. The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present, by Libby Gleeson, illustrated Freya Blackwood, is the overall winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers. One Minute’s Silence by David Metzenthen, illustrated by Michael Camilleri, wins the Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction.
Allen and Unwin is voted Publisher of the Year for a record-breaking thirteenth time. Charlotte Wood's The Natural Way of Things is voted 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Illuminae, by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff, wins Book of the Year for Older Children.
Rockhopping by Trace Balla, is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers and Go Home, Cheeky Animals by Johanna Bell and Dion Beasley, wins the CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood.
Michelle de Kretser's The Life to Come wins the Miles Franklin Literary Award. How to Bee by Bren MacDibble wins the CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers and Do not lick this book by Idan Ben-Barak, illustrated by Julian Frost wins the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.
Allen & Unwin launches exciting new children’s imprint Albert Street Books. With a keen commercial focus, Albert Street Books will publish irresistible books for babies to 12-year-olds that are warm and charming, funny and friendly, and easy to sell, to buy, and to love. It will proudly showcase and be a new home for fantastic creators and great stories.
At the Australian Book Industry Awards, Allen & Unwin is awarded Publisher of the Year, and the following titles won their categories; Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life wins General Non-fiction Book of the Year, Bruny by Heather Rose wins General Fiction Book of the Year, The Weekend by Charlotte Wood wins Literary Fiction Book of the Year and Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch wins Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year. Also that year, My Friend Fred by Frances Watts, illustrated by A. Yi, is the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood.
Allen & Unwin launched inaugural annual Allen & Unwin Crime Fiction Prize.
Allen & Unwin announced a new imprint, JOAN, curated by writer, actor and director Nakkiah Lui. Named for her grandmother, the JOAN imprint will commission books across all genres.
Allen & Unwin charities
Allen & Unwin has a long and proud history of supporting charitable programs, with an emphasis on literacy and education. Current partners are the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Public Education Foundation, Footpath Library, Sydney Story Factory and the Aboriginal adult literacy organisation Literacy for Life Foundation. These five fantastic organisation provide literacy and education opportunities for young people and those living in the most disadvantaged and challenging circumstances. The work they do is life changing.
Allen & Unwin environmental activities
In early 2006 Allen & Unwin set out to reduce its environmental footprint and established a green committee. After a comprehensive audit of our energy use, we implemented energy-saving measures in our Melbourne and Sydney offices and installed a rainwater tank in the Sydney office building, saving thousands of litres of water a year. In 2008, we committed to using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards for the paper our books are printed on so that, whenever possible, the paper we use is sustainably sourced. Since 2010 we have relied heavily on shorter print runs and print on demand books to reduce wastage. At the start of 2020, Allen & Unwin renewed its efforts by establishing a new committee dedicated to making our business more environmentally aware and walking more lightly on the earth.