Awa Press was founded in a flash of inspiration by publisher Mary Varnham as she sat on a bus reading John Updike’s Golf Dreams, a book she’d just bought for her partner, a regular golfer. She’d always wondered what pleasure a person got trying to hit a small white ball into a hole in the ground. Updike’s lyrical hymn of praise to the game blew her away. Now I get it, she thought.
In short order she had founded a publishing company and commissioned short books from leading authors who, like Updike, were enamoured of a particular activity, from bird-watching to star-gazing to the beautiful, brutal game of rugby. It was called The Ginger Series.
Nearly 20 years later, Awa Press has become one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading independent publishers, producing award-winning books such as How to Look at a Painting by Justin Paton to Civilisation by Steve Braunias, Tragedy at Pike River Mine by Rebecca Macfie, So Brilliantly Clever by Peter Graham, Goneville by Nick Bollinger and Driving to Treblinka by Diana Wichtel. And, of course, 100 Essential New Zealand Golf Holes.
The company works with both new and established authors at home and around the world to produce terrific non-fiction titles that have wide appeal and long shelf-life. It is recognised for outstanding writing, rigorous and sympathetic editing and high-quality production. And today the carefully curated Ginger Series numbers 14. Two have become major television series.
We actively seek international rights sales. We’d love to talk with you.