Three Australian publishers – Annette Barlow (Allen & Unwin), Ivor Indyk (Giramondo) and Bernadette Foley (Hachette Livre) chatted to Varuna director Peter Bishop today about their process of sorting through manuscript submissions, what they’re looking for in new writers.
Annette Barlow refuted the common notion that Australian publishers are no longer supporting new writers or providing editorial development. She spoke passionately about her desire to work with an author get a book just right before publishing. She also talked about the excitement of finding talented new voices, such as Queensland writer, Kate Morton author of The Shifting Fog.
Ivor Indyk gave his perspective as an independent publisher. Giramondo is interested in quality literary fiction, and as a small publisher that only publishes 4-6 titles per year, they tend to be choosy about what they take on. Indyk said he was interested in the musicality of writing, the rhythmn, cadence and aesthetics of well-crafted prose.
Bernadette Foley empathised with writers who brave the frustrations of attempting to be published. She said she doesn’t know the magic answer to "what she is looking for" but is motivated by a good story and interesting writing. She recommended writers read widely and stay connected with what is being published by browsing in bookstores.