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Welcome to Vanark Press and Literary Advisory Services


We are a new small independent publisher dedicated to publishing exciting, fresh literary fiction and creative non-fiction in Australia. Interested primarily in giving innovative, young and new voices a start in literary publication, Vanark Press is at the cutting edge of Australian publishing and literary consultations encouraging creative approaches in writing, publicity/marketing and distribution.  


Vanark Literary Advisory Services


Vanark also provides expert manuscript assessment and literary/academic advice.

With academic and literary experience our editors/ staff also offer constructive advice and support on academic proposals and theses in Professional and Creative Writing.

Publisher/Editor of Vanark

Helen Cerne, TPTC, BA, MA, Grad Dip TESOL.


Available for talks, seminars, readings and conferences, Helen Cerne is an experienced freelance writer of novels, short stories and poetry. A lecturer and tutor for over a decade teaching Professional Writing at Victoria University and Community Adult Education classes, she has had much experience and expertise in supervising Honour students, minor and major MA theses in the Faculty of Arts.


Slogan:   Vanark   -  vanguard of innovative lit

Services Available

1. Editing & Proofreading


                  Structural editing

2. Manuscript assessment services

Fees     One chapter        $50

            25,000 words      $250

            60,000 words      $350

            100,000 plus       $450


3. Academic Support for academic or creative theses

    Consultations             $50 hour

4. Writing workshops

5. Mentoring

6. Guest reader and available for book launches

7. Experienced writing judge of competitions eg FAW awards, SWWA awards,   
    Literary festivals, Ada Cambridge Award

8. Publisher/editor Vanark Press



Guidelines for Submissions

Vanark is interested primarily in fresh, innovative or experimental adult fiction and creative non-fiction. Send three chapters, a synopsis, and a CV to Vanark Press, 49 Fisher Pde, Ascot Vale, Vic 3032



Exciting novel Personal Taxidermy set in Melbourne to be released in good independent bookshops late October 2007. For Reader's responses see below




Where can I buy Vanark books?


Good small independent Melbourne bookshops

Does Vanark take unsolicited manuscripts?

Yes, see submission details

Do Vanark books publish poetry and short stories?

Not at the moment.

Do you offer literary consultations before submitting and during writing process?

Yes. $50 a consultation .




Book Orders


Books are available through small independent bookshops or direct orders to Vanark Press include postage See Catalogue prices and postage.


Mail:   Vanark Press

49 Fisher Pde Ascot Vale Vic 3032



Blurbs and Feedback on Vanark Books







Blurb: The Road Behind  Jonathan Griffiths

Life and death, heart and soul, rock n roll and the adventures of an arsehole.

THE ROAD BEHIND is a journey of self-discovery, an adventure and a picaresque romp. Protagonist Mark Kidman traces a circuitous route from his childhood, to fatherhood and impending middle age.  His journey crisscrosses the Tasman, swirls around Australia and circles the globe, as he runs from his past, headlong into his future.

Mark flies into Sydney - as the singer of a punk band - full of expectations of success.  But when his girlfriend takes off and the band goes nowhere, he hits the road in search of adventure. 

As a bouncer, a taxi driver, a set builder, an actor and a writer, he’s constantly on the move.  But as he powers along he is often overtaken by his past: his fragmented family, his numerous failed relationships and the ghosts of his brothers and friends. 

Again and again the road behind engulfs the road ahead.


'A shaggy propulsive and picaresque novel of misspent youth, it explores the genealogies of damage and self-destruction…’

‘Griffiths takes us on a dynamic and humorous ride.  He has an outrageously keen ear for dialogue…’ Cameron Woodhead The Age

‘Lust, loss and redemption collide in a love story like no other.’ Helen Cerne

 A wild narrative of energy and brevity.’ John Clarke

Blurb: Personal Taxidermy   Stuart Forsyth


Widmo is a child with a sickness.   Alone and frightened, he is taken in by a prostitute to a run-down hotel in inner city Melbourne.    As the boy attempts to navigate his way to his forgotten past, he discovers a twilight world, where he floats in the dark noir streets.   In the hotel, he encounters an eccentric Chinese food delivery girl with yellow rubber gloves, a down-and-out circus clown, and a man torn utterly by lost love   He also encounters Bebel, a traumatised former Italian funeral singer who is becoming morbidly obese.   Increasingly entangled in the world around him, Widmo's past eludes him, but he recognises the odd symbiosis in Bebel's fatal condition, his own predicament and their entwined fate.      

Personal Taxidermy is a compelling fable, a meditation on reality, identity, love and redemption.

Readers' Responses to Personal Taxidermy

'Think Lewis Carroll meets Murakami, I loved these crazy people caught in a void of darkness. Whacky, whimsical and weird, this could become a classic.'                                                                
Writer and editor
'Blurring genres, first part noir, then part fantasy this is a novel which subverts and seduces at the same time. A book which is sure to have a cult following with its rich array of characters, surreal situations and profound insights.' 

 VU Lecturer in Advanced Fiction

'Compassionate and humane, this is an optimistic book which offers hope to those who live without it.'      
A psychotherapist
'A haunting, enigmatic story with strong visual imagery which moves the heart and lifts the spirit.'     
An artist and teacher
'Funny, disturbing and wise, this is a story which lingers in the mind long after its baffling closure. I can't forget it.'                          
 CAE Book Club Leader
'An enigmatic, at times confusing but ultimately rewarding narrative this is a cryptic crossword of 250 pages.'  
Coordinator of Western Union Writers
'Funny, perplexing and mesmerising, this is a wonderful story of loss and redemption.'   
 An avid reader



Blurb: Those Who Can't

This novel about teaching in the west of Melbourne is the compelling story of a woman, Ellen Donaldson who is a primary, secondary then tertiary teacher. A narrative journey of self-discovery, this autobiographical novel explores the tensions of balancing family, artistic expression, love and intimacy. Those Who Can't probes questions of identity and choice that are central to every contemporary woman's life .


Readers' responses to Those Who Can't

Engaging and poignant, a story that women with dreams will be inspired by.  
Janet M.Brown, playwright
This book highlights a woman's struggle with commitment and that longing for fulfilment.
Margaret Campbell, CAE tutor, co-editor of Poetrix




Blurb: Swimming  Enza Gandolfo

Kate Wilks is a swimmer, a teacher and a writer, but she has never been a mother. She believes she has a good and satisfying life until a chance encounter with her ex-husband and his daughter. Suddenly submerged by a past overflowing with grief, secrets and betrayals, Kate is forced to reassess her life.   Swimming is a lyrical story of one woman's journey. A novel about loss and survival, friendship and love, creativity and fulfilment, it will resonate with anyone whose life hasn't turned out as planned.

Set in the western suburbs of Melbourne and on the surf beaches of the Great Ocean Road , Swimming is a novel that negotiates primarily in close-ups, taking the reader into the world of the protagonist, Kate Wilks: a swimmer, a teacher and writer. This is a poignant, emotional and psychological journey of a woman confronting several unplanned changes in mid life - childlessness, sexual betrayal and the desire for creative fulfilment. Kate is in her early sixties when the novel opens. Kate's days are divided between swimming, writing, and spending time with her lover George (a biker and journalist, almost fifteen years her junior) and with her friends, especially her best friend, Lynne, who has early onset Alzheimers. A chance encounter with her ex-husband Tom, propels Kate back into a past cloaked in grief, in secrets and betrayals. From this point, the narrative shifts between Kate's present life, and her past life partly documented in an unfinished manuscript titled, ‘Writing Sarah'. Written some twenty years ago, ‘Writing Sarah', begins with Kate's struggles to have a child. It is an exploration of her emotional state during those years, of her relationship with Tom, of his affair with Kate's friend Mai, and the breakdown of their marriage. 

Thirty years later a friendship develops between Mai's daughter Leesa and Kate, and so Kate is forced to reassess her past; to think about what it means to be a woman that has never had a child; she is forced to confront the destructive aspects of her own nature. Swimming is compelling new novel about female friendship, artistic creativity, and unexpected childlessness.

Novelist, Amanda Lohrey wrote: ‘ Swimming is a charming and delicate work that very early establishes the weight and authority of voice . . . beautifully paced. There is a steady poise in the telling which I responded to, a mature sympathy that manifests in the writing as an impressive composure. All through there is a quiet conviction of tone, beautifully attuned to the moral and emotional complexities of the subject. The sea is a strong presence within the text…'

Shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award 2010

About the author: Enza Gandolfo works as a lecturer in Creative Writing at the School of Communication and the Arts at Victoria University . She has a PhD in Creative Writing and is the author of many published short pieces of fiction and non-fiction, as well as the recipient of several grants and awards, including a Varuna Fellowship. Her previous books include: Inventory: on op shops with Sue Dodd (Vulgar Press 2007) and it keeps me sane: women craft wellbeing with Marty Grace (Vulgar Press 2009). She lives in Melbourne .


 Titles Available on Vanark                                                                Price   

      Just Heart Work

A collection of poems and short prose pieces     about family, relationships and emotional connection                                         


 Those Who Can't        H.Cerne     $19.99

A novel about a   female teacher who thinks creativity can make a difference.                                                                           


Personal Taxidermy    Stuart Forsyth   $23.95

Set in Melbourne, a haunting novel about loss and redemption  

Swimming  Enza Gandolfo   $29.95 ISBN 9780980350029

The Road Behind Jonathan Griffiths  $24.95 ISBN 9780980350036 


Please include $2.45 for postage. Cheques made out to Vanark Press   

  Vanark Press and Literary Advisory Services Helen Cerne ABN 17 709 876 066

49 Fisher Pde Ascot Vale Vic 3032


                                                                           Ph 03 93767010