Euan Mitchell is a wordsmith who lives in Melbourne, Australia. For over two decades, he has put words together for a living. Usually in the right order. He enjoys hearing from readers who agree or disagree with the words he puts into his fiction and non-fiction works. At times he has also been known to help launch other writers’ works into orbit.



When and where did you start in publishing?
I started on 21 January 1993 with Ausmusic, an Australian music-education publisher located in South Melbourne.

What was your role at Ausmusic?
I began as a staff writer, became the publisher – which extended into producing and directing educational videos screened on SBS Television – and finally wrote a national curriculum in contemporary music that was fully accredited in 1996. We road-tested our educational workbooks and videos with prisoners in juvenile detention centres in Melbourne, then sold them globally to secondary schools and colleges.

What did you move on to after your first break in publishing?
From 1997 to 1998 I worked as a senior editor for Reed Elsevier Publishing, a UK-Dutch multinational, in its Port Melbourne office. At the same time I began casually teaching business writing to corporate clients, via a company called Australian Business Writing, which led me to run my own business writing company from 1999 to 2001.

When did you publish your first trade book (available through retail bookstores)?
In November 1998 I had to self-publish my first novel, Feral Tracks, to bookstores around Australia after it was rejected by 25 literary agents and publishers. The novel had taken me three-and-a-half years to write in my spare time.

How was Feral Tracks received?
It sold 7,000 copies while it was in print from 1998 to 2005, was optioned for a feature film by Asylum Films, and short-listed in the democratically voted West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award (WAYRBA). Although the novel was self-published in Australia, it was picked up by Addenda Publishing in Auckland and launched into the New Zealand market from Xmas 1999.

When was your first trade book published by an established publisher?
Hardie Grant Books published my first trade book in June 2000, titled Self-Publishing Made Simple: the Ultimate Australian Guide. Even more ironically, it was launched by Hardie Grant’s boss, Sandy Grant, who at the time was the President of the Australian Publishers’ Association. The book became the best-selling reference for Australian self-publishers until it went out of print 11 years later.

Why did you begin teaching at universities and (TAFE) colleges?
In 2001 I was asked to teach a TAFE writing class at Swinburne University in Melbourne, and enjoyed it so much I applied to several universities for a scholarship to do my PhD in creative writing. I was lucky enough to win one of Victoria University’s full-time scholarships and began my PhD there in February 2002, which enabled me to teach further creative writing subjects as a sessional.

Where else have you taught?
I taught at Box Hill Institute of TAFE for nearly ten years (Sept 2004 – Jan 2014), where my Professional Publishing class created and released nine editions of the student anthology, Avant. My classes in Novel Writing and Editing at Box Hill gave me a valuable grounding in how to teach the craft of writing and the complexities of grammar. Through Box Hill Institute’s imprint, Avant Press, I was fortunate enough to edit and publish trade books by Lucienne Noontil, Fiona Trembath, Carole Poustie and Maree Eggleston. Two of my students, Sue Williams and Nicki Reed, went on to have their novels published by Text Publishing. Another student, Liz Corbett, won the 2009 Bristol (UK) Short Story Prize under her pseudonym Elizabeth Jane. OverDog Press also published two former Box Hill TAFE students, Tony McMahon and Lucas Di Quinzio. In 2020, a former student of mine from Victoria University, Wayne Marshall, will have his debut short story collection published by Affirm Press. I also moonlighted at Monash University in 2007, teaching Advanced Professional Writing. From 2014 to 2018, I again taught at Swinburne University. My public workshops in writing and publishing have evolved a long way since the first one in 1999.

What other works have you written?
– In 2005, after finishing my PhD, I started my own little publishing imprint, OverDog Press, distributed nationally by Bookwise, later Scribo, to release the second edition of Self-Publishing Made Simple: the Ultimate Australian Guide.
– In 2006 OverDog Press published the novel I wrote as part of my PhD, titled Making Noises.
– In 2008 my short story, The Pudden Olympics, was broadcast on ABC Radio National in their ‘short story of the week’ segment, after it was published in the Cardigan Press Anthology of 2006.
– In 2009 veteran screenwriter Everett DeRoche (Patrick, Road Games, Razorback) optioned the film rights to my second novel, Making Noises, on my condition that he would allow me to co-write with him so he could teach me the craft of screenwriting. Our screenplay was read by professional actors at Chapel Off Chapel theatre in June 2011, which led to a meeting with an American producer in Los Angeles in January 2013. The revisions required by the US producer were not realised due to Everett’s battle with cancer and very sad passing in April 2014.
– In 2010 Vulgar Press published the second edition of Feral Tracks with revisions based on the unproduced screenplay developed with Asylum Films in 2000.
– In 2014 OverDog Press published Your Book Publishing Options: How to Make and Market Ebooks and Print Books, distributed by Woodslane (Sydney). Originally this book was commissioned in August 2011 by the Australian Society of Authors, to be published by the ASA’s own imprint, Keesing Press. However, in the spirit of indie publishing, and to demonstrate the commercial application of the know-how contained in the book, we agreed it was preferable to publish it through OverDog Press, then list it on the ASA’s website bookstore as a resource for all Australian writers, published or yet-to-be published.
– In 2015 OverDog Press published the global print editions of Feral Tracks and Making Noises, to support the global ebook editions (in American English) released in 2014.
– The ‘Series for Writers’ was begun in 2012 and completed in 2016 (four books in total).  These short books are designed to succinctly pass on to new and emerging writers what I consider the most useful lessons that I learned in more than two decades of working in the professional writing, editing and publishing fields.
– In 2017-18 the world of Making Noises was reinvented as a TV comedy series. Although the script was well received by several producers, it did not win the political battle required to go into production.

In 2019 I concluded 18 years of tertiary teaching and started my own full-time editing and rewriting business. I now assist writers in a range of media to bring out the best in their novels, memoirs, scripts, blogs and short stories. You can click this link to a brief YouTube video of some research I did for one of my more unusual clients.

If you have another question that is not answered here, please email Euan via the Contact page of this website.


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