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Category Archives: publishing

Cold Feet and Hot Little Hands: Abigail Ulman on writing – and not writing – her first book

Post-book deal, every time I sat down to try to write something, I felt paralysed by some kind of literary stage fright. I had shown my work to other people before – for writing workshops, and submissions to literary journals and competitions – but I had never before written a story while thinking This story is going to be published in a book. Or, more accurately, This story idea is nowhere near good enough to be published in a book. Read more »

Searching for Mr Salinger

Joanna Rakoff’s book is ‘the truth, told as best [she] could’, of her year as an assistant at one of New York’s oldest literary agencies, a job for which many an Arts graduate would sell a kidney. Read more »

MUBAs and Shakers: The 2013 Most Underrated Book Award

The Small Press Network hosted the Most Underrated Book Awards of 2013 last Friday night. From the start, the equivocal nature of ‘underrated’ was under the microscope. As ebullient MC Mary Masters put it, the award could be interpreted as the literary equivalent of ‘that shirt is divine … Read more »

Why we’re still curled up with the book

If this were a book I could start at page one. If this were a book there would be print and maybe pictures on paper pages. I could pick it up, carry it to an armchair, flip through it and absently read my way through the beginning, … Read more »

A very quiet battle: librarians, publishers, and the Pirate Bay

Recently, novelist Ursula Le Guin suggested that publishers are ‘terrified by the idea of letting public libraries have their e-books.’ Publishers, she suggested, have jacked up the price of ebook licenses and set up draconian DRM systems to make it basically untenable for public libraries to freely … Read more »


  Launching a publishing venture is a leap of faith–whether it’s a brand new print publication or an interpretation of an already successful one. In this podcast, Meaghan Dew asks Dumbo Feather’s Digital Director Brendan McKnight, and Damed editor Mad Dame, how it feels to take that jump.  

Commerce, compromise and the business of writing

  Thanks to a thoughtful post on Overland by Jennifer Mills earlier this year a hearty discussion has ensued online about the need to #paythewriters. It’s a principle I support and a discussion I respect. We live in a capitalist society and what keeps it (and us) … Read more »

To Agent or Not To Agent?

What do literary agents even do, and how do you get one? Should you get one? Irma Gold talks to Australian authors, Jackie French and Marion Halligan, and agency founder Mary Cunnane about the industry dos and don’ts. French decided against having an agent after having one … Read more »

Bento books

My recent dependence on the Japanese café near my office seems to be having an impact on my mindset. Over my carefully prepared bento box I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of containers. The Japanese have an important tradition of presenting food in careful, clever … Read more »

Poster girl for persistence: Annabel Smith’s Whisky, Charlie, Foxtrot

Annabel Smith is something of a poster girl for me. She exemplifies just what it takes to keep writing in an increasingly tough publication environment. Her first novel, A New Map of the Universe, was one of the flagship publications for the new writing imprint at the … Read more »