Media-Release: Children-edited book competes with industry’s best at ABDA 2020

For the first time in Australian Book Design Award’s 68-year history, a book conceptualised, edited and produced by children (ages 10-12) has been nominated in the Children’s Fiction Book category.

On 21 February 2020, the Australian Book Design Association announced the books longlisted for the 68th Australian Book Design Award 2020. The much-anticipated awards are a highlight of the Australian publishing industry.

One book among the 149 longlisted for the awards stands out: The Sound Of The Dark. It is the only book where the book designer, Regine Abos, and cover designer, Daniel Gray Barnett, took instructions from young editors on the design of the book.

The book stands beside some of the biggest children’s book of the year including Running With The Horses (publisher Penguin Books), Lizard’s Tale (publisher Text Publishing), 52 Mondays and Funny Bones (publisher Allen & Unwin).

This richly-illustrated collection of ‘creepy horror’ stories has been conceptualised and edited by a panel of fifteen Year 5-6 students from Greater Dandenong as a part of Early Harvest program run by 100 Story Building. This 8-year-old annual publishing program puts together a panel of young editors from marginalised backgrounds to publish an anthology of stories under the mentorship of publishing professionals.

The children editors had the final word on key design decisions for the book, including its C4 book format, the blue cover theme, the black and white interiors, the cover, and the haunted house theme that runs through illustrations of the book design.

Like any professional cover design process, the editors created a cover brief for cover designer Daniel Gray Barnett, and selected the cover design (of the three presented by Daniel) that now sees the book longlisted.

The decision that led to a robust debate among the young editors was the book format. This year marked a major redesign for the book, moving it from a large literary journal format to a compact C-4 book format. The children editors were informed of the pros and cons of moving to a C-4 format, including cost and printing implications, but the ultimate decision was left to them.

The children went with the format that was more cost-effective, but not before one editor Raei exclaimed:

Oh my god! Is this what being a grown-up feels like?’

The ABDA shortlist will be announced in April 2020.

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For interviews with designer Regine Abos, Daniel Gray Barnet and/or young editors, photo opportunities and further details, please contact:
Chetna Mahadik, Marketing Coordinator, 100 Story Building
P: 03 9044 8215
E: chetna@100storybuilding.org.au