About writing in Australia: Non-Fiction, including Biography and Autobiography

Non-fiction is often best offered to publishers as a brief proposal involving:

An Introduction to the project, including: target audience, why you are the best person to write the work, some background information about you.

  1. A Chapter Breakdown which is a list of chapter headings that give an indication of the contents.
  2. A sample chapter, preferably the Introduction and/or Chapter 1.

With non-fiction work, it can help if you have a media profile. Consider writing letters, opinion pieces, features and essays on your topic and submit them to editors of newspapers, magazines and journals. Also, contact radio talk back when the area of your expertise is being discussed.

If you have a completed manuscript Golvan Arts Management recommends that you contact Mr Sean Doyle at LYNK Manuscript Service (PO Box 7004, Lismore Heights, NSW 2480; phone: (02) 6624 5750) or your local Writers' Centre about organising a professional assessment. After responding to suggestions in the assessment report, you could approach the following non-fiction publishers. However, in order to make sure you have the best possible material to send, it could be helpful to seek and pay for the advice of a professional editor, such as those registered in the Freelance Register of the Society of Editors (Victoria). When approaching publishers, even if you have completed the manuscript, we suggest you initially send a proposal as above. Remember to enclose a stamped, self addressed envelope if you want your material returned to you.

Allen & Unwin PO Box 8500 St Leonards NSW 2065
Contact: Non-Fiction Commissioning Editor
HarperCollins Lvl 13, 201 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
Contact: Non-Fiction Commissioning Editor
University of Queensland Press PO Box 42 St Lucia Qld 4064
Contact: Non-Fiction Commissioning Editor
Hachette Livre Australia 17/207 Kent St Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: Fiona Hazard
Hybrid Publishers

PO Box 52 Ormond Vic 3204
Contact: Louis de Vries

Macmillan 1 Market St (level 25), Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: Tom Gilliatt
Random House Australia
Contact: See the Random House web site
Waterline Publishing PO Box 3 Palmyra WA 6157
Contact: Lee Barclay