Eta Draconis Cover Design Shortlisted in 72nd Australian Book Design Awards

Awards, Eta Draconis 10.04.2024

The cover design for Brendan Ritchie’s novel, Eta Draconis, has been shortlisted in the 72nd Australian Book Design Awards 2024.

Eta Draconis’ cover was designed by Josh Durham, known as Design by Committee, a graphic designer from Naarm/Melbourne. It’s well deserved, Josh — congratulations!

The winners of the Australian Book Design Awards will be announced on May 24th, 2024, at Craft & Co in Melbourne. More information about the awards and the full shortlist can be found on their website.

CBCA 2024 Book of the Year Awards: Eta Draconis

Awards, Eta Draconis 28.02.2024

The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced its 2024 Book of the Year Awards Notables List and Eta Draconis can be found on their Older Readers Notables List – “entries in this category may be fiction, drama or poetry and should be appropriate in style and content for readers in their secondary years of schooling. Ages 13-18 years.”

In what reads as an allegory for COVID, the lyrical, introspective style of this novel depicts a half-formed moorlessness that will speak deeply to young people whose lives changed so drastically in 2020. Anchored with a strong sense of place, the atmospheric tone is bleak, but ultimately offers a hopeful note. Elora’s character rings rawly true; at times, she’s thoughtful and reflective, and in the next moment, achingly young and unworldly. This is a very literary story but with a character-driven focus that appeals, with coming-of-age themes that quite literally showcase a young person’s changing reliance from family to the wider world. The actions of the characters are believable and authentic – people respond in strange ways in a crisis, and a slow apocalypse, one in which you literally have no control over anything but how you choose to live your life, would bring out the extremes of these behaviours


Eta Draconis: Teaching notes are now available

Eta Draconis 01.11.2023

Teaching notes for Eta Draconis are now free to download from UWA Publishing.

Teaching notes for Brendan Ritchie’s novel Eta Draconis are now available for free download from UWA Publishing. These teaching notes have been prepared by Melinda Tognini for UWA Publishing and are freely available to assist teachers in the classroom.

Please click here to download.

If you have any queries or are a school looking to purchase a class set please contact UWA Publishing via email or via phone 08 6488 3670.

The Newtown Review of Books reviews Eta Draconis

Eta Draconis 28.10.2023

Brendan Ritchie has woven a gripping tale around this journey made by two young women in a time of change and uncertainty.

Dr Ann Skea, The Newtown Review of Books

Eta Draconis has been reviewed by Dr Ann Skea for The Newtown Review of Books. The Newton Review of Books is an independent site for book reviews covering a wide range of genres.

Australian Book Review: Polycrisis – Coming of age in a collapsing world

Eta Draconis 06.09.2023

J.R. Burgmann has reviewed Brendan Ritchie’s Eta Draconis and Roanna McClelland’s The Comforting Weight of Water for the Australian Book Review as both novels “in different ways [..] attend to the central question: how does one come of age in a collapsing world?”

Much like the late Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Ritchie’s rhythmic text is punctuated quite precisely by affecting flashbacks that reveal the developing rift between Elora and Vivienne. 

J.R. Burgmann, Australian Book Review

Author event: Laurie Steed, Michael Trant & Brendan Ritchie

Eta Draconis, Events 29.08.2023

“Join Laurie Steed, Michael Trant and Brendan Ritchie for an author event at the Busselton Library on Monday 4th September.

Laurie Steed is a prize-winning novelist and short story writer from Perth, well-known for his novel You Belong Here which was shortlisted for the 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

Michael Trant is a WA country boy turned suburban writer, whose novels Wild Dogs and No Trace depict the quintessential “outback noir” that Australia’s vast landscape is so perfectly set up for.

Brendan Ritchie is a local South West writer who was the winner of the 2022 Dorothy Hewett Award, and is the author of new book Eta Draconis.

Busselton Dymocks will have copies of the writers books for sale, with cash and eftpos available.

The Busselton Library will provide drinks and light refreshments on arrival.

Like all Busselton & Dunsborough Libraries events, it is free, however bookings are required.”

Queensland Reviewers Collective: Eta Draconis by Brendan Ritchie

Eta Draconis, Press 26.07.2023

Rod McLary of the Queensland Reviewers Collective has reviewed Eta Draconis.

It is a beautifully realised story of the importance of family and the need for us to shape our own future regardless of any threats which may stand in our way.

A story of hope in the face of potential destruction – well-written with engaging protagonists.  Recommended to all readers.

Rod McLary, Queensland Reviewers Collective

Augusta-Margaret River Mail: Author to speak at Margaret River Library

Eta Draconis, Events, Press 26.07.2023

An article on Brendan Ritchie’s talk at the Margaret River Library was published in today’s Augusta-Margaret River Mail.

Cowaramup local and award winning novelist Brendan Ritchie will share the creative process behind his work and his latest book, Eta Draconis, at a free event on Thursday.

Nicky Lefebvre, Augusta-Margaret River Mail

Margaret River Library: Author Talk with Brendan Ritchie

Eta Draconis, Events 17.07.2023

Brendan Ritchie is scheduled to host an author talk at the library in Margaret River on July 27th, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

“Brendan will treat guests with an insight into the creative process behind his work and talk about his latest offering. Light refreshments will be provided after the talk.”

Reserve your (free) spot through Eventbrite or phone 9780 5600 or email

Keeping Up With The Penguins: Eta Draconis Review

Eta Draconis, Press 03.07.2023

Eta Draconis has been reviewed by Sheree of Keeping Up With The Penguins.

Eta Draconis is like an upper-YA Australian take on The Grapes Of Wrath, complete with the misery spiral and messy teenage relationships (that Ritchie absolutely nails, by the way). You won’t be able to help glancing up at the night sky after you’re done, wondering whether the stars might actually fall someday.

Keeping Up With The Penguins