26 February 2015

University of Queensland Press (UQP) board chair Professor Joanne Wright has clarified UQP’s decision to reject an approach to publish a proposed memoir of former Premier Campbell Newman.

UQP was approached by former LNP MP Gavin King, who said work had not started on a manuscript and there were no “sample chapters and other formal requirements for manuscript submissions”.

Professor Wright said UQP did not enter into agreements to publish work by new authors without sighting a manuscript.

“UQP publishes a limited number of works each year and selects works based on a combination of factors, including the content, the quality of writing, the contribution to literature and the prospect they will be commercially viable,” she said.

“UQP does not accept unsolicited manuscripts for works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s and young adult literature, nor does it accept email approaches or pitches without a synopsis, chapter overview and sample chapters.”

The UQP manuscript submission guidelines are here.

Professor Wright said UQP did advise Mr King that a Campbell Newman memoir would not be considered because Mr Newman had cancelled the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.

“The University disagrees in the strongest terms with the reason given and this has been communicated to UQP management in unambiguous terms,” she said.

“The fact that none of the requirements for manuscript consideration were met, the reality that political memoirs take a significant amount of time to complete, and the necessity to consider the integrity of such works and the prospect of their success all provided grounds for rejecting Mr King’s approach.

“It is unfortunate that this was not explained to Mr King.

“UQP has a proud history of bringing a range of literary voices to Queensland, Australia and the world.”

Recent publications from UQP have included biographies of co-creator of the cervical cancer vaccine Professor Ian Frazer and Treasurer Joe Hockey, as well as works from authors David Malouf and Matthew Condon.

Media: Carolyn Varley, c.varley@uq.edu.au, 0413 601 248.