Molly Schmidt’s Salt River Road makes the Indie Book Award Shortlist

Australian independent booksellers have chosen Salt River Road by Molly Schmidt as one of their favourite books of 2023. Her novel, which won the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award in 2022, was one of four titles to make it onto the shortlist in the Debut Fiction category.

Molly said she was so grateful for the support of booksellers to help reach readers. She said, ‘The characters of Rose and Frank Tetley have been with me since I was a teenager and are as real to me as close friends. The emotion they feel and the lessons they learn are inspired by my own story, and when a reader holds the spine of Salt River Road in their hands, they are holding a piece of me. It is an enormous thing to know that readers and booksellers are connecting with these characters and fragments of myself, and that this story is touching people.’

In a media release about the announcement, the Award’s facilitator, Leanne Kadareanu, Head of Books at Leading Edge Retail, said the books were handpicked by the true champions and lovers of Australian writing – our independent booksellers – making the shortlist the ultimate guide for booklovers seeking Australian stories.

Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards celebrate the best Australian writing, recognising and celebrating that indie booksellers, with their incredible passion and knowledge, are the number one supporters of Australian authors.

Molly is joined on the debut fiction shortlist by Madeleine Gray for Green Dot, Jane Harrison for The Visitors and Kerryn Mayne for Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder. The winner in each category will receive prize money of $1,000 and the Book of the Year winner will receive an additional $1,500. Category winners and the overall winner will also receive crystal trophies. The category winners and the overall Book of the Year winner will be announced at a virtual awards event on Monday 25 March 2024.

Since the inception of the Awards , 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 from WA include: Runt by Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, and Breath by Tim Winton.

For more info on the Indie Book Awards visit

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