In 2016 Margrete founded Dirt Lane Press Inc., a not-for-profit publisher that creates quality books for young readers, on the premise that every book is a socially significant cultural act. Dirt Lane Press Inc. aims to connect people with quality books in meaningful ways, and partners with refugee and asylum-seeker groups, youth groups, and mental-health organisations.
Margrete holds a master’s degree on the social benefits of aesthetic quality, and commences a PhD at Monash in 2019 to research the socio-biological impact of literature. Margrete has also authored over 20 titles for young readers. Her most recent title, The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear, was short-listed for the 2018 NSW State Premier’s Award.
Publishing and Copyright
Margrete has worked as publisher in children’s publishing for two decades, specialises in award-winning picture books. She was first to publish household names Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood, and regularly publishes leading children’s authors including Ursula Dubosarsky, Libby Gleeson and Bronwyn Bancroft.
She spent four years at Scholastic Press, moved to Little Hare Books, and then to Hardie Grant Egmont, to build an internationally recognised list of quality titles.
Margrete is concerned about creators’ shrinking incomes, the negative implications of the proposed ‘Fair Use’ legislation, and threats to the sustainability of creating and publishing in Australia.
Comment on Nomination
I seek this opportunity to proactively champion the preservation of a vibrant, unique Australian cultural identity and to energetically defend the future of Australian creative industries by ensuring governments understand the social value of creativity.
My two main interests regarding the future of imaginative culture are:
That the erosion of copyright is underpinned by a creeping societal dismissal of the relevance of imaginative culture.
That growing children’s literature and championing its creators will positively impact the future of the publishing industry.