The University of Queensland Press has refused to publish the memoir of former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, due to Mr Newman’s decision as Premier to axe the Premier’s Literary Awards.
Earlier this week Newman said his memoir, co-written by former Cairns MP Gavin King and with a working title of Can Do, would be a “warts and all” story of the man who left his job as Brisbane’s lord mayor to became Queensland’s premier.
It appears the warts may never see the light of day, with UQP publisher Madonna Duffy saying she believed the publisher had no choice but to reject it.
“It would be both a betrayal to the Queensland literary community and to our own values to publish his memoir,” she wrote.
The Newman government also controversially moved to cut funding to the publisher in 2013, but that decision was reversed.
UQP chief executive Greg Bain supported the decision, in a released statement.
“Whilst we did not see sustained interest in such a book with a likely publication date one year out; 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,” he said.
“The community response in keeping these awards alive demonstrated the depth of feeling out there in supporting such a vibrant writing sector in Queensland — the envy of other states.
“UQP has a long history of nurturing new voices and we are not in the business of damaging that hard-earned reputation.”
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
Follow Andrew: Twitter