Three writers of middle grade fiction have been selected as the winners of the 2019 Affirm Press Mentorship Award in partnership with Varuna, which focuses on Young Adult and Middle Fiction manuscripts for the first time.
Dave Glasheen has lived alone on Restoration Island for more than 20 years, since he lost his fortune in the stock market crash of 1987 and opted out of the rat-race for good. But what does it take to find happiness on a deserted island? Dave shares the five things he always keeps stock of on Resto.
Justin Heazlewood’s memoir Get Up Mum is partly built around tape cassette recordings Justin made of his family when he was 12, including recordings of his mum who lives with schizophrenia. ABC Radio National’s Life Matters adapted Get Up Mum for a special podcast series, with plenty of original recordings woven in.
Author–illustrator dream team Nick Falk and Tony Flowers have joined forces again for a hilarious new junior fiction book, Vognox the Viking and the Island of Skeletons. This rollicking adventure story entices struggling readers through visual storytelling techniques. Catch Tony Flowers at the Byron Writers Festival on Friday 2 August.
Following recent successes and having been named Australian Small Publisher of the Year in 2019, the team at Affirm Press is keen to maintain the momentum by recruiting an experienced, entrepreneurial editor who will love commissioning successful books across the breadth of our list (with the exception of the kids list, at least for now).
So She Did celebrates the life of May Wirth, who was born in Bundaberg in 1894 and went on to become an internationally famous circus performer. May was renowned for being the first woman in the world to perform the back across – an incredibly risky trick that involved somersaulting from one cantering horse to another. That she did it at a time when girls and women weren’t encouraged to be daring makes it all the more impressive.
Affirm Press will publish a profit-for-purpose book by writers who have experienced homelessness this November. Featuring 37 diverse writers, We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging is being edited by novelist, homelessness researcher and former Big Issue deputy editor Meg Mundell.
At 24, Georgie Dent had the world at her feet – but within a year she was suffering such crippling anxiety that she admitted herself to a psychiatric hospital. Georgie shares what this difficult time was like, and how she relived it when writing her memoir Breaking Badly.
On my five-year anniversary with Affirm Press, Keiran and Martin decided that I’d proofed enough proofs and talked enough authors back from the brink to earn some kind of reward. I thought the idea of a long-service award was lovely, but I’ll admit, when they first brought it up I expected maybe a nice pen – certainly not the chance to spend a working week anywhere in the world for a professional development experience.
Author Maggie Hutchings and illustrator Cheryl Orsini, who teamed up for the much-loved Unicorn!, join forces again in Mermaid!, a magical new story about friendship and the wonders of the sea. Maggie shares how her day-to-day work with children as a family counsellor feeds into her work as an author.
Affirm Press editor Coco McGrath teamed up with award-winning illustrator Sarah Firth to create Badass Mums: 30 Boundary Breaking Women Getting Sh*t Done. Illustrator Sarah Firth shares why her own mum, Dianne Firth OAM, is the definition of badass.
Award-winning creator Jess Racklyeft shares the inspiration behind her heartwarming new book as author–illustrator, There’s Only One Mum Like You, celebrating the big and small ways that mothers show their love every day.
Applications are now open for the 2019 Affirm Press Mentorship Award in partnership with Varuna Writers’ House. Writers of YA and middle-grade fiction interested in applying should visit the Varuna website for more details on the award and how to submit before applications close on 30 April.
When award-winning author Richard Newsome tried his hand at a writing experiment, he never expected it would turn into a three-book deal – but perhaps the bigger surprise was the way that his new character, Stella McNaught, took on a life of her own.
Bad Yogi traces the two years I spent training to become a yoga teacher while seeking treatment for an eating disorder. We in the yoga community can get our heads stuck up our asanas sometimes and I wanted something that would acknowledge the pain, but also make me laugh.
Affirm Press is delighted to join forces with the Western Sydney literacy movement Sweatshop to establish a mentorship which will enable two Western Sydney writers from culturally diverse backgrounds to develop their debut novels.
Greg French is best known as a master fly fisher, and he shares many of his wondrous fishing stories in his book Water Colour. But what many readers may not realise is that he has plenty of encounters with creatures much furrier, and bigger, than fish: bears. He shares here some incredible stories and photos from over the years.
We recently celebrated the launch of John Tesarsch’s brilliant third novel, Dinner with the Dissidents, where Lee Kofman shared some of her insights into this literary thriller, set in the tumultuous times of 1970s Moscow.
In the spirit of the ‘Literary Tattoos’ session at Melbourne Writers Festival, where festival-goers can get inked with a book-related design, the Affirm Press team reveals what our own literary tattoos would be.
Australian production company Carver Films (Snowtown, Sunshine) has partnered with prestigious US-based production company Anonymous Content (True Detective, 13 Reasons Why, The Revenant, Babel, Spotlight) to win the screen rights to Christian White’s chart-topping thriller, The Nowhere Child.
It was an intense and inspiring week. My first meeting with the editors became a three-hour discussion of my manuscript. I’d been working alone for years on my story; to talk about it with editors who had read my work deeply was my idea of heaven.
I have wanted to make a book about colour for young children for some time. As well as helping them make sense of the world, it’s a child’s first experience of the aesthetic, of art really, and of a visual, sensory, and emotional response.
Fiction classes helped me breathe life into the characters in my story without divulging too much of them personally. It also taught me how to set a scene using all my senses, even when it hurt emotionally to revisit certain memories or moments in my life.
I read Melbourne author Christian White’s DECAY THEORY in a day, a night and a morning. I was absolutely enthralled; my family didn’t get a look-in. Christian writes with a kind of magic, and I was under his spell from the very first page.
It sounds ridiculous, but I didn’t realise until pretty late in life that books were made by people or that you could work as part of that world. But one of my earliest memories is reading The Pokey Little Puppy on my mum’s lap, squished into her brown 70s rocking chair, which we used to do a lot.
The plan was always to become an editor with a trade publisher (if you check my Grade 12 notebook it has ‘Book editor’ listed as #1 dream job, followed, for reasons I can no longer explain, by ‘Town Planner’).
What a year 2016 has been! And yet I’ve learned so little. Perhaps the lessons of the recent past will reveal themselves when I’m not panicking about the hundred things undone, the Christmas shopping unshopped, and the promised blog piece for Grace heretofore unwritten. It’s been a bumper year for Affirm Press and we’ve continued the huge expansion of recent years. Blahdy blah. But like every other publisher, we’re weighing up the what ifs – what if we’d recognised what the least successful ten books would be, and focused all our energy on the top ten instead? Why does it [...]
On 7 January I will face my fear of water and swim the world's largest open water event: the Lorne Pier to Pub. I agreed to take on the challenge nearly 12 months ago as a way of raising funds for domestic violence.
Letter to My Teenage Self is the passion project of teenager Grace Halphen who, after having a tough time transitioning between schools, set out to create a book that would help other teenagers feel reassured and less isolated when they went through tough times. The book features letters from 55 prominent Australians offering the advice they wish they’d heard when they were growing up.
Greg French believes that fly fishers have discovered how to develop physical and spiritual connections with nature that are completely sustainable. ‘Trout are found in some of the most wild, romantic and scenically diverse habitats on Earth, and fly fishers the world over share a unique camaraderie, something universally profound and sincere.
I first pitched the idea having seen an article about Dock Street Brewery’s ‘Ain’t Nothing to Funk With’ – a golden saison barrel-aged with the music of Wu Tang Clan. Being a beer and a hip-hop lover I had to investigate, and I realised there are heaps of weird and wacky beers out there but no books dedicated to them. So the idea was born, and Martin and Keiran were foolish cool enough to give me a go at it!
Sometimes it's actually liberating to know that you aren't the best. It might help us concentrate on achieving things that we are more capable of. I'm not saying people should give up, however sometimes I think some people just shouldn't begin in the first place.
We’ve all heard the safety warning on planes before takeoff to always apply your own oxygen mask before attending to your loved ones - the idea being that without your own air, you can’t help anyone else. Well, it’s the same for parenting.
Affirm Press is pleased to announce that we have acquired the rights to publish Paula Keogh’s memoir The Green Bell. In October 2015 Paula received manuscript development from our editors, Ruby Ashby-Orr and Kate Goldsworthy, as part of the Affirm Press Mentorship Award at Varuna House.
Nearly three years ago, we restructured and committed ourselves wholeheartedly to publishing and we’ve been expanding ever since. We’re officially the fastest growing publisher in Australia, but we pride ourselves more on being the most positive publisher in Australia (through a combination of dynamism, idealism and, frankly, naivety).
‘I used to wake in the morning and put my pants on one leg at a time with hope and belief. Now I lay around pantless with belief only in home deliveries and twist top bottles. Damn you Leunig. My hope has drained away.’ – Tim Rogers (You Am I)