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Nakkiah Lui launches publishing imprint Joan

Nakkiah Lui launches publishing imprint Joan

Gamilaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman, Nakkiah Lui, is launching a new imprint with Allen & Unwin called Joan.

A writer, producer and actor, Lui is beginning Joan in order to commission books across a myriad of genres, and hopes to give a home to ‘the voices that get pushed to the fringes.’

The new imprint is named after Lui’s grandmother, who always encouraged her to read as a young girl. 

‘She read everything and she always said I was really lucky that I was able to read. That was something my grandfather didn’t have the privilege of being able to do. She never let me forget that being able to read gives you such a sense of freedom in world,’ Lui told The Sydney Morning Herald.

The loss of her grandmother led Lui to channel her grief into writing.

By choosing the name Joan, Lui intends to continue her nan’s ‘legacy of radical, inclusive rebellion’.

‘I have had the privilege of being able to work with a lot of different artists and voices and to meet people through my work, and I am always, especially now as I enter a different stage in my career, thinking how do you hold the door open for people? Not only how do you hold the door open, but how do you tear it down?’ she said to The Sydney Morning Herald.

New imprints are very rare within Australia’s small publishing industry. Allen & Unwin’s last new imprint was established more than ten years ago, and focused on commercial fiction.

‘Not only does Lui bring her network, her reputation, her imagination and her artistic lens, but the creation of her imprint, Joan, is a chance for A&U to explore new ways of publishing…’ said publisher Kelly Fagan.

Lui aims to use her existing audience and network to boost new voices with limited access to any publishing opportunities.

‘… I want people to be like, ‘if this Aboriginal girl from Mount Druitt can do this, then I have something to say and I am important.’

‘I want people to feel like they have a place,’ she said.

Lui will also publish a newsletter twice a year under the same name that will explore what she is currently reading, writing, watching and working on. 

Joan is now open to receive manuscripts.