APA Awards - Impressions

The Australian Educational Publishing Awards began in 1994. The awards have been held every year since then, under the supervision of chief judge Dr M Horsley, of Central Queensland University. Award categories have changed to reflect changes in publishing. This is a major task for the judges, who are involved for weeks before the awards are announced.

This year, I was asked to present two awards in the tertiary section. I felt honoured to be asked but was not sure which institution I should feel pleased to be representing: Editors Victoria, Monash or OUP.

Editors would have enjoyed being there when McGraw-Hill won in the category of Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning Resource with Business Finance 11e. Editors were barely mentioned in the proceedings, but I was chuffed to be the current President of Editors Victoria presenting this award to an Immediate Past President, Rosemary Noble, an Acquisitions Editor at McGraw-Hill.

As a fellow OUP author/editor I was proud to see OUP legal author Julia Davis, who had travelled from Tasmania, shortlisted. OUP ultimately won the Book of the Year category with its Big Ideas History.

The best part of the evening for me was catching up with Tess Moloney and Angela Tiede from my old RMIT Editing and Publishing Course (1989-90). We made the usual promises to organise a reunion, and I desperately hope that someone more organised than I am in fact does it.

Unwisely, I bought new shoes for the occasion. After about 10 minutes on my feet during pre-presentation cocktails, I was in agony and had to sit down. As we left after the ceremony it was pouring with rain, and we gave Tess Moloney a lift. She dropped her phone in the car and I found myself acting in a postmodern comedy of errors titled Blackberries in Ballarat, quietly panicking as the alien thing beeped with a new message every couple of minutes. Tess is terrifyingly well connected. I was relieved to pack up the Blackberry the next day and hand it over to a schoolboy who was about to get onto the train to go to work in a Melbourne pizza shop. In the sequel, Tess made the pickup in the production Blackberries and Pizza, and all was well that ended well.

You can download the complete list of shortlisted books and winners at www.publishers.asn.au/awards.cfm.

Trischa Mann

Ed note: two of Trischa's books have won these awards, in 2001 and 2010 respectively.