Affirm Press is an independent Melbourne-based publisher dedicated to publishing great Australian stories, big ideas, and the most engaging local and international authors.

We publish a broad range of non-fiction books and a select list of fiction. We love nothing more than nurturing Australian writers. In 2017 we added a brilliant list for younger readers.

We’re interested in building relationships, not one-offs, and we’re driven by finding creative ways of publishing and promoting each of our titles. We’re a close-knit and supportive team, which means each Affirm Press book is lovingly chaperoned through every step of the publishing process.

As well as being one of Australia’s fastest growing publishers, we also like to think we’re the most optimistic and we love books that ‘influence by delight’. We see opportunities in the changing publishing industry and distinguish ourselves through editorial commitment and a strong focus on sales and marketing.

Our in-house sales staff are supported by the dynamic team at Hachette Australia and New Zealand and our titles are distributed by Alliance Distributions Services. We currently represent three international publishing houses in Australia and New Zealand:  The Experiment (NYC), The School of Life (London) and Imagine That (Suffolk). We sell rights to overseas publishers, audio and film producers, and have a partnership with the prestigious Kaplan/DeFiore Rights Agency (NYC).

Affirm Press acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of Australia, and the people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the place we now live and work called Melbourne.

Meet the Team

Martin Hughes

Publishing Director (and CEO)

Assumes the task of overseeing this whole enterprise yet can’t reconcile his own expenses.

Was at Lonely Planet and The Big Issue before starting Affirm Press.

His amusing animated outbursts have led to speculation about a TV series, titled ‘Hughsey Loses It’.

Keiran Rogers

Sales and Marketing Director

Inauspicious start to publishing life when Keiran’s parents failed to spot the typo in his first name. Formerly at Hardie Grant and Hinkler, he could sell ice to Eskimos but can’t see the upside in this economic climate.

Loves Whitney Houston, suffers fools gladly, and has an embarrassing collection of novelty fishing paraphernalia.

Tash Besliev

Kids Publisher

Unable to function without coffee. Can be bribed with ice cream. Any time of day, any day of the year.

Has worked almost every role in children’s publishing.

Loves picture books with a clear hook, junior fiction that knows how to catch distracted readers, contemporary fiction for readers 10+, and engaging and accessible non-fiction.

Grace Breen

Publishing and Marketing Manager

Came to Affirm Press from The Australian Ballet.

Though yet to do a pirouette, she can do a creepy ‘Happy Birthday’ dance that never fails to impress.

With the name of an Irish rebel, she refuses to be tamed – and will eat her muesli at her desk whenever she damn well wants.

Kelly Doust

Publisher – Commercial

When her teenage dreams of becoming a rock star were cruelly curtailed by a distinct lack of any musical ability whatsoever, Kelly Doust sensibly turned her focus to her first love, books. With a background as an author, audiobook publisher, publicity manager at Allen & Unwin and publisher at Murdoch Books, Kelly is passionate about creating beautiful, important and uplifting books which also sell their socks off.

Kevin O’Brien

Managing Editor

Powered by tea, keyboard shortcuts and other people’s errors, Kevin has spent 20 years in publishing and there’s not a grey hair on his head. [Design: please amend photo.]

Fell into a scheduling vortex one year by deciding to wear ‘day of the week’ socks always on the right day.

Publishing interests include literary fiction, humour, history and military history.

Ruby Ashby-Orr

Senior Editor

Heads up the Affirm Press Launceston Office (i.e. is the only person in the Affirm Press Launceston Office).

When in Melbourne, she is known to give sound advice on whether fellow staff’s leftovers are still good to eat. (If it smells okay and has no mould the answer is generally ‘yes’.)

Loves plot-driven, big-ideas fiction, smart commercial memoirs and any books which make her laugh embarrassingly loud in public.

Coco McGrath


Former bookseller Coco McGrath hails from sunny Brisbane.

Can balance a bottle of wine on her head and dance at the same time. Passionate about pasta and Andy Murray.

Interested in books with a social conscience: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, nature writing, gardening books and anything to do with the environment.

Natasha Seymour

Editorial Assistant

Nat has a penchant for turtlenecks and netball-related injuries. She’s got steely focus, but can always be distracted by the snack table.

Having spent a lot of time correcting her friends’ text messages, she’s excited to now be in the big league. Loves to read books about ordinary lives written in extraordinary ways.

Meg Whelan

Senior Editor (Kids)

Previously the kids buyer at The Hill of Content bookshop, ‘Wheels’ was voted team member most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse due to her kick-arse practicality, cool-headedness and exceptional knowledge of YA dystopia.

Keen on picture books that feature gorgeous writing and innovative illustration styles, loves graphic novels for all ages and in all genres, and is a gigantic nerd for fresh and exciting sci-fi/fantasy MG and YA.

Coral Huckstep

Editor (Kids)

With a name like a 1920s jazz starlet, Coral has been under pressure from the team to create her own dance routine, The Huckstep.

Despite her apparent lack of interest in dance choreography, Coral has still managed to impress her colleagues with her poor coordination with curling irons.

Has a soft spot for eccentric characters and whimsy. Will go too hard on a mood board if allowed.

Lauren Ravida

Sales and Distribution Coordinator

Things escalated quickly for Lauren with books when her casual uni job led to her becoming manager of a bookstore! Her spooky ability to uncover anything online quickly earned her the nickname ‘Stalky Spice’ in the office.

Passionate about publishing LGBTQIA+ and diverse voices, and loves reading young adult submissions (particularly if they have fantasy/sci-fi themes).

Steph Bishop-Hall

Production Manager

Steph has been repping Tassie since before it was hip. Did a Masters in publishing but realised production was where it was at by visiting bookstores and paying more attention to cover embellishments and paper stocks than the actual content of the books.

Is most excited to publish illustrated books with special production potential or anything that requires some out-of-the-box thinking. Also passionate about gardening and the environment.

Sasha Beekman

Production Controller and Project Editor

From the muggy climes of Darwin comes our very own Sasha Beekman.

Is an author, was a bookseller, and now makes up one half of our production team.

This committed karaoke queen is equally enthusiastic about choosing the right cover treatments and perfecting the verses of Linkin Park’s ‘In the End’.

Laura McNicol Smith

Publicity Manager

With a background in arts publicity and book production, Laura is living proof of Steph and Ruby’s long-held belief that double-barrelled surnames really do result in doubly talented individuals.

Can spot a media hook from a hundred metres and has a collection of sparkly socks that is the envy of the office.

Loves short stories, literary fiction and anything that makes her laugh uncontrollably at her desk.

Rosanna Hunt


Joined Affirm Press in mid-2020, meaning some of her colleagues suspected she was just a figment of Zoom’s imagination. When she’s not singing the praises of our authors far and wide, she can be found trying her hand at disc golf or learning French (just don’t ask her to actually speak the language out loud).

Loves feminist memoirs and doesn’t mind a good romance novel either.

Susie Kennewell

Publishing Coordinator

When she’s not falling up stairs, tumbling off her bike or creating her own version of an escape room on the Affirm balcony, Susie looks after the nitty gritty end of publishing (contracts, rights, logistics, and oh so much more).

A loyal Saints supporter who hopes that one day she will see them do something other than draw or lose a premiership.

Staff photo credit: Adam Haddrick


28 Thistlethwaite Street
South Melbourne  VIC  3205

Ph: (03) 8695 9623

Alliance Distribution Services

Ph: (02) 4390 1300


Ph: (03) 8695 9623

Keiran Rogers
Sales and Marketing Director

Ph: 0419 554 517

Keiran Rogers
Sales and Marketing Director

Ph: 0419 554 517