In 2018, a trail-blazing group of professional writers left behind the Goliath world of publishing to form an independent small press. The traditionally-published authors – formerly of Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and Text – embraced the opportunities offered by the digital age by striking out in a pioneering new direction. Pilyara Press is their brain child.

Founded by best-selling author Jennifer Scoullar, Pilyara Press offers readers a diverse and distinctive range of books that all have one thing in common – they are page-turners.

Joining forces with authors Sydney Smith, Kate Belle and Kathryn Ledson, Jennifer says Pilyara Press is a galvanising new vision of how publishing can be done.

‘We’re a bunch of professionals,’ says Jennifer. ‘As well as our own particular brand of fiction, each of us brings a very specific talent to the group. I’m a former lawyer and know the ins-and-outs of publishing, Sydney is a recognised writing mentor and structural editor, Kate is a professional project manager, and Kathryn is a qualified editor and publicist.

‘Why are we doing this? We want to cast off the restrictions and compromise of the traditional publishing model. We want to access the global market through digital publishing on our own terms. We want control over what we write; we want to be true to our art. Without the commercial imperatives of corporate publishing, we can do that. Profit is not our bottom line.’

Pilyara – an indigenous word for Eagle – is the name of Jennifer’s family bushland property in Victoria, Australia, where she grew up.

In 2019, Monique Mulligan and Desney King joined the Pilyara Press team, followed by Jenn J McLeod, Shelley Kenigsberg and Olwyn Conrau in 2020.

Pilyara Press plans to expand its network in the future.

It is not currently accepting submissions.

‘The eagle represents the freedom and strength Pilyara Press adds to our new-found independence. Like the eagle, our books soar.’ 



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