Conference online program


The Australian Booksellers Association is launching a mixture of live and pre-recorded sessions from the original 2020 physical program.  Pre-recorded sessions will be available on the video page to watch from Monday, July 6. The live sessions will be recorded and posted within 24hrs of each event, excluding the Richard Flanagan session which is a live-only event.

Bookings for the live events can be made via the links on the members' weekly newsletter or by emailing All events are free to attend.


Monday, July 6 at 6:00 pm via ZOOM

International guests Meryl Halls and Nic Bottomley in conversation

Join ABA CEO Robbie Egan in conversation with Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association UK and Ireland, and Nic Bottomley, owner of Mr B’s Emporium in Bath and Executive Chair of the BA Board of Management. Meryl and Nic have a wealth of knowledge of the bookselling industry and are incredibly intelligent and engaging speakers. Mr B’s Emporium is a beautiful bookshop that Nic expanded and renovated with local crowdfunding. His approach to bookselling is entrepreneurial and inspiring, practising what he calls extreme customer service, and his ‘book spas’ are an example of this. Meryl ran the BA’s member services before becoming MD and has navigated her members through the global pandemic with incredible energy and sensitivity. Anyone who met Meryl at the ABA conference last year will know she is a fierce advocate for all things books and bookselling, and she has quickly established herself as a global leader in our industry.


Tuesday, July 7 at 6:00 pm via ZOOM

Ben Ball Scribner Publishing Director and Malcolm Knox in conversation 

How free speech became the new battleground in Australian society, from marriage equality to the COVID lockdown.

Join publisher Ben Ball as he explores with Malcolm Knox the divisions that underlie our recent history, from marriage equality to the COVID lockdown. Malcolm's upcoming book Truth is Trouble shows how free speech has become the new flashpoint of the ‘culture wars’, and how it remains our deepest national faultline. This promises to be a wide-ranging and thought-provoking session.


Tuesday, July 14 at 6:00 pm via ZOOM

Small business session with Fiona Killackey

In this action-packed live session, Fiona Killackey will run through five ways you can improve your small business THIS (COVID!) WEEK.

Small business guru, Fiona Killackey’s work is all about helping business owners (and their teams) structure their offerings, culture, systems and marketing in a way that reduces stress while increasing profit, purpose and passion. Fiona brings a practical approach to finding the joy in our work lives, with strategies for improving all aspects of our businesses. From understanding how to truly measure your goals, through to planning your marketing, crafting cut-through content and leveraging your networks, this event will have you feeling energised and excited about getting things done! 


Wednesday, July 15 at 6:00 pm via ZOOM

Live only and exclusive event with Richard Flanagan 

Richard Flanagan will join us for a very special in conversation to discuss his upcoming novel, The Living Sea of Waking Dreams. Described as an ember storm of a novel Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Richard Flanagan promises to be at his most moving – and astonishing – best. This event will be live only.


Date - to be confirmed

Live recording of The First Time podcast 

A very special live recording of The First Time podcast with author and host Kate Mildenhall and extra special guest.



Nielsen Session

Nielsen Australia's territory manager, Bianca Whiteley will present a snapshot of overseas and local consumer trends in a pre and post COVID context.

Craig Silvey in conversation 

Join Craig Silvey and (super fan!) Chris Gordon from Readings Carlton in a delightful and wide-ranging conversation about his long-awaited upcoming novel Honeybee.

Sofie Laguna in conversation 

Join Sofie Laguna and Simon McDonald from Potts Point Bookshop in a revealing and passionate conversation about her highly anticipated new novel Infinite Splendours.

David McAllister 

Australia Ballet's artistic director and former principal dancer David McAllister will be speaking about his remarkable upcoming autobiography Soar: A Life Set Free.

Claire Christian

Award-winning author Claire Christian joins us to talk about the writing process and personal drivers for the main character in her upcoming new novel  It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake, her first title for adults.

Debut authors in conversation

Robert Watkins, Head of Literary at Hachette Australia in a delightfully honest and downright charming chat with three winners of prizes for Unpublished Manuscripts; Sam Coley (winner of Richell Prize 2017), Victoria Hannan (Victorian Premiers Unpublished Manuscript Award) and Nardi Simpson (black and write unpublished prize) about their 2020 debut novels