About Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin is Australia's leading independent publisher and has been voted "Publisher of the Year" thirteen times including 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, academic and professional titles and books for children and young adults. Our imprints include Allen & Unwin, Arena, Crows Nest, House of Books, Inspired Living (MBS), Murdoch Books and Pier 9.

Our offices

83 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph: +61 (2) 8425 0100

406 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Ph: +61 (3) 9665 5000

Office 3, Level 3
HB Building
228 Queen Street
New Zealand
Ph: +64 (9) 3773 800

Ormond House
26-27 Boswell Street
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7269 1610

Representation and distribution

Allen & Unwin are proud to be the Australian and New Zealand agents for:
Absolute Press
Adlard Coles
Alma/Alma Classics
Andrew Brodie
Atlantic Books and Corvus
Black Dog & Leventhal
Constable & Robinson
Faber & Faber
Fairchild Books
Granta and Portobello
Hart Publishing
Icon Books
Nicholas Brealey
Profile and Serpent's Tail
Short Books
Nosy Crow

Murdoch Agencies:
The Quarto Group
Alison & Busby
Barrington Stoke
Pushkin Press
Pushkin Children's
Pushkin Vertigo
Wild Things
Daunt Books

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

International sales

Allen & Unwin titles are available throughout the world - click here for details

What we publish

We publish a wide range of literary and commercial fiction, with authors including Alex Miller, Andrew McGahan, Christos Tsiolkas, Michelle de Kretser,  Josephine Moon, Craig Silvey, Gillian Mears and Jodi Picoult. We have one of the leading crime fiction lists, with writers such as Michael Connelly, Peter Corris and Kerry Greenwood, and also one of the bestselling Australian rural romance lists from authors including Fleur McDonald, Karly Lane and Therese Creed.

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 Christine Piper, Paul D Carter and Rohan Wilson.

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 Clive Hamilton, Stephanie Dowrick, Michael Leunig, Ross Gittins, Chris Masters, Paul McGeough, Tom Keneally, Peter Rees, Kerry-Anne Walsh, Roland Perry, Paul Barry, David Astle, Paul Carter, Nick Vujicic and Christopher Hitchens. We are proud to have published the autobiographies and memoirs of some of Australia’s leading personalities, most recently 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:
Current Affairs
How to/Practical
Military history
Mind, Body & Spirit
Natural history
Popular science
True crime

Academic and professional books
Allen & Unwin has a strong academic and professional publishing program which includes the work of many of the region's leading scholars in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Health Sciences.

Some of Allen & Unwin's best-known academic authors include: Margaret Alston, Joan Beaumont, Richard Broome, Raewyn Connell, Stuart Cunningham, Glyn Davis, Graeme Davison, Bill Gammage, John Germov, Clive Hamilton, Jane Johnston, Grace Karskens, Vivian Lin, John Loughran, Jane Maidment, Marion Maddox, Julie Pallant, Henry Reynolds, Matthew Ricketson, Amanda Sinclair, Claire Smith, David de Vaus and Mark Wahlqvist.

Allen & Unwin publishes textbooks, professional reference books, writing guides, and a range of other types of academic books dealing with Australian and international issues.

For a detailed list of the academic and professional subject areas in which Allen & Unwin publishes, please visit our Academic submission guidelines page

Children's books
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 - Alison Lester, Armin Greder, Bruce Whatley, Chris McKimmie, Elizabeth Honey, Leigh Hobbs, Margaret Wild, Nicki Greenberg, Roland Harvey, Ron Brooks, Shaun Tan

Children’s fiction – Anna Fienberg, Catherine Jinks, Deborah Ellis, Julie Hunt, Karen Wood, Kate Constable, Kim Gamble, Lian Tanner, Libby Gleeson, Meme McDonald & Boori Pryor, Paul Jennings, Terry Denton

Young adult fiction – Amie Kaufman, Barry Jonsberg, Brigid Kemmerer, E. Lockhart, Garth Nix, Justine Larbalestier, Kirsty Murray, Libba Bray, Margo Lanagan, Maureen McCarthy, Rebecca James, Ursula Dubosarsky

Non-fiction – Christobel Mattingley, Laklak Burarrwanga, Mark Greenwood, Nadia Wheatley

Murdoch Books
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 Peter Gilmore, Martin Benn, Neil Perry, Dan Hong, Peter Evans, Luke Mangan, Adriano Zumbo, Darren Palmer, Phillip Johnson, David Darcy and Tessa Kiros.

Our imprints

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.

For fiction lovers Arena has epic fantasy, thrillers, crime, adventure and chick lit as well as a broad range of commercial non-fiction.

Inspired Living
Inspired Living presents readers with fresh ideas and new insights into ancient wisdoms, to inspire their mind, body and spirit.

Crows Nest
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.

Murdoch Books
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.

Brief history

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.

Allen & Unwin charities

Allen & Unwin charities
Allen & Unwin has a proud history of supporting charitable programs, with an emphasis on literacy, education and cultural initiatives. Current partners are the Indigenous Literacy Foundation  (most recently we hosted twelve young women from the Tiwi Islands while they completed a book begun as an ILF project), the Public Education Foundation, the Footpath Library, 100 Story Building and Sydney Story Factory. In the past, we have supported Books in Homes (NZ), Oxfam, Surfaid, the Wakakirri National Story Festival, Inspire Foundation and Australian Wildlife Conservancy in addition to providing scholarship funding to students from Liverpool Boys' and Girls' High Schools. We also regularly donate books to a range of organisations that have included the Exodus Foundation, Mission Australia, The Children's Hospital and the John Morony Correctional Complex.

Allen & Unwin environmental activities
In early 2006 (we were on the case before the release of the Stern report!) Allen & Unwin set out to reduce its environmental 'footprint'. Measures we have taken to date include:

  • An comprehensive audit of our energy use and carbon footprint using the Carbon Clarity service offered by Big Switch Projects
  • Switching to green power for electricity used in our Melbourne office
  • Altering the thermostat to save energy in our kitchens
  • Adjusting timers so that the air-conditioning only operates during core working hours
  • Installing energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Alerting staff to the energy drain from computers, printers and monitors left on standby and asking them to switch off fully each night
  • Encouraging staff to minimise office printing and to use electronic forms of communication where possible
  • Our Melbourne office has built a bike rack to encourage more staff members to ride their bikes to work
  • Our Sydney office has installed a rainwater tank, with the goal of saving up to 250,000 litres of water per year