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UQP rejects Campbell Newman memoir over awards axing

The University of Queensland Press (UQP) has declined to publish former Queensland premier Campbell Newman’s memoir, citing Newman’s axing of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards as the reason, reports the Courier-Mail.

UQP publisher Madonna Duffy said in an email to former MP Gavin King, who is writing Newman’s memoir, that ‘it would be both a betrayal to the Queensland literary community and to our own values to publish his memoir’.

King has publically criticised the publisher for its decision. ‘Surely a publishing house run by a university, a place where free speech and all points of debate and politics are supposed to flourish, should consider a book project like this on its merits, rather than the partisan politics of a few personalities who run the place,’ he said. ‘For UQP to not even have read a single word of the project, it’s just gobsmacking to me, incredibly disappointing.’

King said he ‘deliberately sent [the manuscript] to UQP because they are just about the only publisher left in Queensland’. ‘I would have thought their remit included Queensland authors and Queensland stories and this book is both of those things and it’s a significant chapter in Queensland’s history.’

UQP chief executive Greg Bain told the Courier-Mail that the publisher ‘did not see sustained interest in such a book with a likely publication date one year out’, but ‘far more importantly we stand by our colleagues in the writing and reading community who have supported us and were enraged and insulted by the axing of the Literary Awards’.

King said he was dealing with three interested publishers and was confident the memoir would be published by the end of the year.



Category: Local news