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Ford Street Publishing

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by Belladonna (subscribe)
Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published September 24th 2020
Go local and read local
In recent years and especially during the tough year that has so far been 2020, there has been a massive push from governments, businesses and organisations in Australia to promote and support our local economies. With many people forced out of work and small businesses and other local operators shutting down or struggling thanks to multiple lockdowns, there has never been a better time for Australians to go local so we can help rebuild our communities.

But while it's important to support your local baker or your local cafe or your local laundromat or your local plumber in these times, there's one group of people that often gets overlooked in local campaigns: our local authors.

Ford Street Publishing

Australian authors are an exceptionally talented and creative bunch and they have written and continue to write some of the best stories in the world. Authors such as Kate Grenville, Geraldine Brooks, Thomas Keneally, Christos Tsiolkas, Andy Griffiths, Anh Do, Anita Heiss, Ruth Park, May Gibbs, Sally Morgan, Melina Marchetta, Shaun Tan, John Marsden, Bryce Courtenay, Aaron Blabey, Mem Fox and Liane Moriarty have all penned stories that have delighted, enchanted, enraptured and moved us.

And we have plenty more talents out there. Now, they may not be as well known yet as the likes of May Gibbs, Andy Griffiths or Liane Moriarty. But they are all as fiercely passionate about writing some of the best Australian stories for children. And there's one local publisher that is strongly committed to supporting our local authors.

Introducing Ford Street Publishing!
Ford Street Publishing

About Ford Street Publishing
Ford Street Publishing is a successful small independent Australian publisher of books for children and young adults. The company publishes around twelve titles a year, ranging from picture books through to novels and non-fiction for older readers. Ford Street's publisher is renowned Australian fantasy and science fiction author,Paul Collins, who has written extensively for both the local and international markets.

Paul, author of the best selling fantasy series The Jelindel Chronicles, The Quentaris Chronicles and Dragonlinks, started work in the publishing industry in the 1980s. In fact, he published Australia's very first fantasy novels, a decade before the major publishers even discovered the genre. In the 1990s, Paul published his first young adult fiction novel, the post-apocalyptic nightmare Cyberskin. The plot of Cyberskin and another post-apocalyptic trilogy published in recent years, the hugely popular The Hunger Games, are identical. But Cyberskin pre-dates The Hunger Games by about eight years.

Ford Street Publishing

In between writing his novels and receiving Australian Lifetime Achievement Awards in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paul set up his own publishing company, Ford Street Publishing.

"Australian creatives are every bit as good as their counterparts overseas," Paul tells me. Unfortunately, Paul believes that the Australian Publishing Industry is too insular. "Were it not for micro presses like Ford Street, it would be nigh impossible to get published in Australia," he says. "Some publishers are booked up till 2024. That's a long time ahead. Writers can't survive as it is, much less waiting for years to see their book published. I'm not a fan of publishers telling authors if they don't hear back from them within three months to take it that their manuscripts have been rejected, either. Authors should be respected, and this isn't showing respect in any sense of the word."

Ford Street Publishing respects its authors. Authors are supported and nurtured throughout the entire publishing process. In fact, Paul works personally with many of Ford Street's authors, giving special attention to those who have not yet been published. And he's assisted in his work by an amazing team. "I have a great team around me," Paul explains. "Several are former Penguin employees. When you commission such people it's like having a major publisher's staff working for you. Once books are published I send out review books and post on social media reviews and do my level best to get their work known to booksellers by sending out info sheets to around 600 booksellers. I have a large database to which a newsletter is sent every six weeks or so."

Ford Street's Authors

Ford Street Publishing is committed to providing children and young adults with literary works that explore the significant social issues of our time with intelligence and ingenuity. Ford Street books explore themes of contemporary relevance, including childhood grief, ageing, interfaith issues, war, bullying and whaling. These themes are given a fresh and multi-layered treatment that is thought-provoking and entertaining.

Here are six of Ford Street's writing stars.

Dimity Powell
Ford Street Publishing

Award-winning Brisbane based author Dimity Powell has published over 27 stories so far, including short stories, junior novels, and digital narratives. Ford Street published her latest picture book, Pippa, in 2019. Pippa is the story of a delightful, brave, and adventurous little pigeon with big blue sky ambitions.
Through the story of Pippa, Dimity wants to encourage young children to take risks from time to time, as long as they're safe and legal! Because if "we didn't venture to extend ourselves, try new things, and risk failure now and then, we might miss out on some truly wonderful and unexpected new discoveries." You can learn more about Dimity and Pippa here.

Dannika Patterson
Ford Street Publishing

Dannika Patterson is passionate about our children connecting and re-connecting with nature through play. It is these experiences that our children need more of in this digital, social media-driven age we live in, and that Dannika has so beautifully captured in her picture books Jacaranda Magic and Scribbly Gum Secrets, both published by Ford Street. "I am passionate about connecting children to nature through quality literature," Dannika says. "My mission is to help children fall in love with the natural world (because we protect what we love) in a joyful, gentle, age-appropriate way." Read here to find out more about Dannika and her books.

Mark Carthew
Ford Street Publishing

Mark Carthew is a man of many talents. He's an award-winning author, poet, educator, academic and musician (he owns six guitars). He's a photographer, bushwalker, bird watcher and cloud catcher. Mark has a strong passion for language and the power of rhyme and verse. His numerous books for children are well known for celebrating language, humour and word play. The Dingle Dangle Jungle is Mark's latest children's book, published by Ford Street Publishing. The Dingle Dangle Jungle is a fun rollicking romp through the Amazonian forest, but it has a serious message for children too.

"Many of my books feature animals or the natural environment," Mark explains. "The links to learning about the importance of nature and ecosystems are clear with this title; and I have been delighted that we have been able to make a real contribution to community awareness of the diversity of animals in the Amazon jungle and by default, the need to protect the fragility of our world's rainforests and creatures." Read here to discover more about Mark and his books.

Juliet M Sampson

Ford Street Publishing

Award-winning Melbourne-based author Juliet M Sampson published her delightful picture book, Grace's Mystery Seed, via Ford Street in 2019. "Grace's Mystery Seed was inspired by my love of something in a garden," Juliet says. "Years ago, a famous writer gave me a seed to plant. I had never been a gardener and was wondering how I would manage to do this task. I enjoyed caring for this seedling and this is where the inspiration for Grace's Mystery Seed started." Read here to find out more about Juliet and her book.

Ian Trevaskis
Ford Street Publishing

Born and raised in Geelong, Victoria, Ian Trevaskis is an award-winning author, educator, adventurer, and great thinker. Ian's early picture book Quincy, based on his son's fear of dogs, won a Notable Book Award by the Children's Book Council of Australia. His latest young adult novel, Of Boys and Boats, was recently published by Ford Street. Of Boys and Boats is based on Ian's childhood events and memories of growing up in Geelong in the 1950s. For more information about Ian and his books, please go here.

Michael Hyde
Ford Street Publishing

Michael Hyde has been writing for over forty years. He is a man who deeply cares. "The wrongs and ills of the world inspire me," he says. "I only have to be taken by a small spark to get me going." That small spark has burnt many times into a raging wildfire, with Michael not afraid to tackle some very hard-hitting themes in his novels. For example, in Michael's young adult novels, the world of the tough, streetwise 14-year-old boys he once taught comes alive. He deals with youth suicide in Max, boys searching for their dads in Hey Joe, and the not so very glamorous world of Australian Rules Football in Tyger Tyger and Footy Dreaming.
His latest book, co-written with his partner Gabrielle Ghoury and published this year by Ford Street, is Girls Change the Game, a choose your own adventure style book where the reader gets to choose what happens in the story. Read here to learn more about Michael and his books.

Other Ford Street authors
You can learn more about Ford Street's many other talented creatives by visiting the Ford Street website here. You can also order their books via the Ford Street Publishing online bookstore.

Go local: Read local!
This year has certainly been tough for Australia's small businesses, and they need our support. Ford Street Publishing is a small local business that supports our local authors. And our local authors and small local publishers certainly need our support.

"Ordering books online direct from publishers' websites is the best way to support them," Paul Collins says. "Ordering books from municipal libraries is another good way, reviewing their books on Goodreads and wherever else they can. There are many ways to support the smaller presses."

So come on, Australia! Let's go local, and read local by supporting our local authors too.

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Your Comment
Thanks Belladonna. I love these publishers and writers
by May Cross (score: 3|7230) 29 days ago
Well done Ford Publishing! It's great to see and hear about lical businesses which can too often be overshadowed by large corpirations.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8042) 25 days ago
what a great initiative by Ford Publishing. Wll done
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|1435) 25 days ago
Thanks for acknowledging me Belladonna in this article. I'm grateful to be an author at Ford Street Publishing. Best wishes, Juliet
by iantr (score: 0|4) 26 days ago
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