Working with the Hachette team, Law will scout new writers for the Hachette Australia and Lothian lists, with a focus on discovering underrepresented voices, offering a streamlined and simplified path to publication, and creating opportunities for writers to take that important first step towards being a published author.
Law is best known as a multi-disciplined creative whose impact and output is both prolific and uniquely broad, crossing almost every creative sector in Australia: author of the bestselling memoir The Family Law (2012); editor of the anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019); creator and co-writer of three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law; playwright of the sold-out mainstage play Torch the Place for Melbourne Theatre Company (2020); co-host of ABC Radio Nation’s ‘Stop Everything’; one of the AWGIE Award-winning writers on SBS’s New Gold Mountain; and co-EP, co-creator and co-writer of upcoming Netflix series Wellmania.
Hachette Group Publishing Director Fiona Hazard said of the appointment: ‘Benjamin’s success and influence across the publishing, media, TV and performing arts landscapes gives him a unique understanding of the creative process and means he is exceptionally well placed to spot talent. His desire to encourage underrepresented creatives to be heard in their chosen industry, his commitment to high levels of literacy, and his own multi-faceted, stellar career are an amazing springboard for an exciting partnership that we believe will lead to a diverse collection of books.’
Benjamin Law said: ‘Australian storytelling excites me because it’s impossible to pin down. First Nations people on this continent are part of oldest continuing story ever told; migrants and settlers can trace their ancestry and stories to over 250 parts of the globe. Yet there still remains so many untold stories in Australian publishing, from perspectives we urgently need: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; queer; migrant; disabled; disadvantaged and working class. I want to read stories from Australia’s remote, rural and regional voices, right through to the outer suburbs and inner city. And I can’t wait to connect voices from other storytelling realms – poetry and performance; stand-up and screenwriting – to Hachette, and their already-impressive list of authors, including Nardi Simpson, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Peter Polites, Zoya Patel, Deng Thiak Adut and more.’
The partnership, which commences this month, continues Hachette’s investment in discovering and nurturing new writing talent, which includes a partnership with the State Library of Queensland’s black&write! program; the annual Richell Prize for emerging and unpublished writers and the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers in association with Express Media.
Louise Stark, CEO of Hachette, said: ‘When meeting with Benjamin to discuss the possibility of working together, I was struck by how aligned our visions are. We want to publish fantastic stories from writers who may not think that publishing a book is for them, and to connect these stories with Australian readers. Working with Ben will contribute to our overall mission, which is to make it easy for everyone, everywhere, to unlock new worlds of ideas, learning, entertainment and opportunity.’
Photo Credit: Aaron VIII
Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law (2010), Gaysia (2012), the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 (2017) and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). Benjamin created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, based on his memoir, and wrote the sold-out mainstage play Torch the Place for Melbourne Theatre Company (2020). In 2019, he was named one of the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit’s (AALS) 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians – winning the Arts, Culture & Sport category – and one of Harper Bazaar’s Visionary Men. He has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC Radio National’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything and interviews public figures for Good Weekend. He hosted ABC TV’s two-part feature documentary on Chinese-Australian history Waltzing the Dragon, and has appeared on TV shows like Filthy Rich and Homeless (SBS), Q&A (ABC), The Drum (ABC) and The Project (Ten). He has also written for over 50 publications in Australia and beyond, including The Monthly, frankie, The Guardian, Monocle and Australian Financial Review.
Benjamin works and lives on Gadigal Country, part of the Eora Nation (Sydney). He is a board member of Story Factory, committee member of the Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship and ambassador for Plan Australia, the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, Victorian Pride Centre, Bridge for Asylum Seekers and the Pinnacle Foundation.