Bold. Creative. Different.
Ultimo Press is an independent publisher established in 2020 with the simple ambition to become home to Australia’s best storytellers. We are part of Hardie Grant Publishing.
Distinctive and discerning, we value quality above all else, and aspire to be known for our creativity and our commitment to our authors. We want to excite readers of general and literary fiction (especially the sweet spot in between), and discover non-fiction that inspires and ignites. Our hallmarks will be editorial excellence, arresting design, dynamic marketing and publicity, respect and loyalty to our authors, and publishing compelling new voices and original perspectives that reflect the full spectrum of Australian life.
Our ambition is serious, but with a brief to be vibrant and compelling; we want to be distinctive, a little bit different, to disrupt and to have fun.
Named for the Sydney suburb that houses Hardie Grant’s Sydney office, Ultimo references our home – an historic and colourful part of Sydney. The Italian translates roughly to ‘the latest’, and that will be our ambition: to provide a platform for the latest trends and newest voices.
Who we are
Publishing Director of Ultimo Press, Robert Watkins, has over 20 years experience in the Australian book industry having worked in book retail, sales, marketing, publicity, publishing and most recently as Head of Literary at Hachette Australia. His love for a good story well told has led to publishing some of Australia's most acclaimed contemporary authors, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Claire G. Coleman, Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Sarah Schmidt and Peter Polites, to name just a few. His particular passion is progressive, inclusive publishing that speaks to contemporary issues, whether that be in narrative non-fiction or literary and reading group fiction.
‘Books present us with an opportunity to not only be entertained and educated - but also to broaden our worldview, empathise with others and hear from those who might not have had the opportunity otherwise. I love when a book challenges me to be better, to do better - and all the while sweeps me away with a great story.’
Alex Craig began her publishing career at Pan Macmillan, having previously worked in magazine journalism. She was Publisher of Picador Australia until 2016. She has published commercial non-fiction, literary fiction and bookclub bestsellers with a particular focus on women’s voices and stories. In recent years she has edited contemporary and historical fiction for HarperCollins, Hachette and Harlequin, and authored two travel guides.
‘Books have the capacity to open up new frontiers in ourselves; the very best writing inspires us, shifts our thinking and transports us. I am passionate about pushing the boundaries of what the book is capable of, discovering new Australian voices and finding books that change the conversation.’
Brigid Mullane is a commissioning editor at Ultimo Press. She previously worked at Hachette where she was the Managing Editor. Before that, she was Editor of literary journal Kill Your Darlings, Communications Manager at Writers Victoria, and she has also worked in a variety of roles at Melbourne Writers Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Sun Bookshop and the Brunswick Street Bookstore. Brigid is seeking narrative and literary non-fiction. She is interested in activism and politics, nature and science writing, pop culture and criticism, and memoir. She encourages LGBTQIA+ and own voices submissions across all topics.
‘Australia is home to some of the world’s best storytellers - writers doing bold and exciting things with the written word. I want to bring these stories to the fore, opening up a conversation about who we are, and who we want to be.’
Community and Media Coordinator
Katherine joins with experience from the Sydney Writers Festival, bookstore Better Read than Dead, and the Hachette Internship. She wishes to focus on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within publishing and to amplify storytelling from indigenous, LGBTIQA+, and other marginalised authors. Katherine will focus on fostering reader engagement through social, media and community advocacy.
‘It seems as though the book industry stands on the precipice of change. In an ever-shifting socio-political climate, the demand for books which reimagine the literary sphere can be heard louder than ever before. I am beyond excited to join a team whose vision reflects just that.'
Community and Media Manager
Emily joins from Penguin Random House where she drove campaigns for Rebekah Robertson, Turia Pitt, Evie Wyld, The Space Between and Nat’s What I Reckon. Before that she held positions at the Independent Publishers Guild in London and the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin, where she also Chaired the Society of Young Publishers. Emily will lead the publicity and marketing campaigns for our authors and their books, driving reader engagement through social, media and community advocacy.
'To be part of a new press from the outset is a once in a lifetime opportunity - especially when you're given the chance to help build a community from the ground up! I look forward to many conversations with readers who are as excited as I am about the compelling, distinctive and original voices that we'll be publishing.'
James Kellow has 30 years of publishing experience in Australia and the UK. Formerly HarperCollins ANZ CEO, he cut his teeth at Reed International in the early 1990s before landing the most creative role of his career as marketing director at Fourth Estate in London, then one of the UK’s leading independent publishing houses. James is known for his passion for the book industry, his championing of authors, and his focus on Australian stories. He is the current President of the Australian Publishers Association.
‘I believe in the importance of stories. They inform who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. They reflect our understanding of the past, and our desires, hopes and fears for the future. Stories connect, ground and inspire us. They fulfil a unique role in our lives and I’m passionate about connecting readers and writers and presenting fresh ideas and new ways of thinking and feeling.’
CEO, Hardie Grant
Chief executive and co-founder of Hardie Grant, Sandy has a distinguished career in book publishing and media. He was formerly MD of Heinemann, Octopus and Reed Australia, and CEO of Reed Books UK. In addition to his key strategic role guiding Hardie Grant, Sandy has always been actively involved in the publishing industry, including as a former director of Meanjin and the Australian Republican Movement, chair of the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Copyright Agency, member of the UNESCO City of Literature Bid Committee, and president of the Australian Publishers Association.
‘We believe in books – in print, digital and audio – and we see an opportunity to provide a contemporary, vibrant home for Australian authors here and in global markets. We think success in the next era will look like Australian authors punching above their weight across the English-language world, not just being sold well here. That is our opportunity – over 50 per cent of our sales are now beyond the Australian market – and the growth has been exponential.’
For general enquiries, questions and comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For all submissions, please provide a cover letter, synopsis, author bio and a sample chapter of your writing. Please do not send full manuscripts. Send to email@example.com.
Ultimo Press is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace. We welcome job applications from people with diverse backgrounds and experience.
Home is a heritage-listed converted 19th-century grain store that we share with Johnson & Johnson, Screen Australia, architects and an investment bank. Ultimo is what they describe as an 'emerging' inner-city residential and business area. What it lacks in harbour view, it makes up for in edge!
Our Sydney office is on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We acknowledge them as the traditional custodians of the land, and pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.
Hardie Grant Publishing
Level 7, 45 Jones Street
Ultimo, NSW 2007 Australia
tel: +61 2 9857 3700