Terri-ann White at home | Credit: Robert Frith from his Isolation Portraits 2020

Upswell operates in the city of Perth, on ancient country of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation who remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of this beautiful land. We acknowledge their continuing connection to country and express gratitude to elders past and present for their strength and creativity.. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

About Upswell

In mid-2021, I launched a small imprint, Upswell, to continue my adventures in publishing. All of my working life has been arranged around books and ideas: as a bookseller, writer, publisher and organiser of public events involving literature and writing. After 14 years of shaping a list as publisher at UWA Publishing, I am delighted to be building this new venture of Upswell.

The principles remain in how I built a list of books that spoke to each other across a set of intellectual interests. I’ll publish a small number of distinctive books each year in, broadly, the areas of narrative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. I am interested in books that elude easy categorising and work somewhat against the grain of current trends. They are books that may have trouble finding a home in the contemporary Australian publishing sector.

From my beginnings as a bookseller in my twenties, I’ve thought about books that last, in a cultural sense, for 20 to 50 years or more, whether they remain in print or not: books that have been noticed and noted for their originality. I have been delighted with the many recent shortlistings in major awards for the last books I published at UWAP, and am thrilled and hugely enthusiastic about this new venture and the opportunity to continue to make books of substance.

I have entered into an agreement with Black Inc Books for Upswell to be distributed within their list by Penguin Random House, and it is lovely to have such generous and savvy colleagues and supporters. Upswell will be a not-for-profit company. The three directors of Upswell are Dr. Carmen Lawrence, Linda Savage and myself.

Wholesale queries for retailers without an account with UBD are welcomed. Send an email to books@upswellpublishing.com Some Upswell books are only available to bookshops by direct order.

About Terri-ann White

Terri-ann White was Director and Publisher at UWA Publishing from 2006 until June
2020 and in that time published around 450 books: fiction, poetry, narrative non-fiction, scholarly, and art and natural science monographs. Prior to this, she founded and directed a cross-disciplinary research centre at UWA, taught literature and writing in universities, was a bookseller for 16 years, and organised ‘ideas’ festivals.

Terri-ann is also a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and a serious enthusiast of dance and music and visual arts, as well as literature that extends boundaries of how stories are told and language is worked.


After avoiding the opening of manuscript submissions because the traffic was so heavy from day one in May, I have decided to not open for submissions to protect my mental health: it’s an overwhelming workload and the intensity of some responses to my polite rejections is a burden I no longer wish to carry.

The alternative (borrowed from numerous other publishing houses) is as follows:

A pitch session, from January 2022, on a regular basis between 9am and 12 noon in your time zone.

You are invited to send the following: 1. a page (A4 limit) describing your manuscript and why it fits into the rationale for Upswell Publishing. I am building a fiction, poetry and narrative non-fiction list . Your work must fit my list and that is easily understood by looking at this website and all of its writings and declarations, as well as the descriptions of Upswell books. (I am not interested in genre fiction or commercial novels.) Make this page dynamic and a direct communication with me to persuade and excite my interest. 2. Tell me a bit about you and what you have written and published until now. (maximum 1 A4 page) 3. Send me a sample of 15 pages from the manuscript you are pitching. Your best pages–perhaps the start; perhaps the end, or something in the middle.

I’ll read everything that comes in on that day and respond with a simple, and polite, NO or YES. Friday 21 January 2022 was the first Upswell Pitch day. Friday 18 March was the second pitch day.

UPDATE: the pressure involved in these days means that I need to adjust again the frequency. There are just too many of you! From monthly to bimonthly to QUARTERLY. And the next session is 24 June.

24 June is the last Pitch Day for 2022. With more than 300 pitches under my belt, some of which I am still working on, I need some clear space to plan my 2023 list. I anticipate the next session will be in early 2023. Thanks for all of your enthusiasm and attention.

Pitches to: books@upswellpublishing.com