About Us


Spinifex Press was set up in March 1991 by Susan Hawthorne and Renate Klein. Now with well over 200 titles in print and more than half available as eBooks, Spinifex turned 21 in 2012.

1991 was a time of cut backs in publishing following the recession in Australia this was having a significant effect on two areas of interest to us: feminist and literary publishing.

We began with four titles and of those titles two were reprinted, three were about to be translated and three were shortlisted for awards. We had set up distribution in the US and quickly found networks to expand into overseas markets with distribution soon following in NZ and UK and several translations picked up.

Spinifex has always been at the forefront of technological change – publishing books about new technologies – we were the first Australian publisher to offer a web-based catalogue and the third to have our full catalogue available for purchase from our website. In 2006, Spinifex was the first small press in Australia to release eBooks through an eBookstore attached to our website. We were the first publisher (1996) to set up an interactive site based on a book.


We have continued to be active in this area, upgrading our website and making our books readily accessible on line. We are regulars on social networking sites and participate in political and community events.

For Spinifex, publishing is a political act as well as an opportunity to engage in creative ways of producing good quality books.  Our titles on pornography, globalisation and ecology engage with debates in these fields. While writers of fiction and poetry, experiment with text, cross genres and produce high quality books which are useful class texts.

Spinifex has developed a number of strong specialist lists including Indigenous, writing from Asia and Africa, lesbian books as well as women’s health, violence against women, racism and cultural opportunism, ecology and economics, war and exile, prostitution and pornography.

Feminist publishing has gone from a thriving international network which was decimated by the advent of superstores and depoliticisation of feminism in the late 1990s. But feminist publishing is getting a new lease of life through activism against corporates and with the repoliticisation of young women who are challenging the sexualisation of culture. Social networking has given us a way of contributing to and tapping into these new communities. In 1997 we set up a site about Women in Publishing in Asia and Pacific. 

While the digital shift is critical in the coming years, so are issues around fairness, healthy environments, challenging exploitation and engaging with new ideas. Remaining fresh, interesting, keeping the quality of the work high and breaking new ground are all necessary in keeping us going. Keeping our passions alive, keeping our connections with authors and all the other people in the book industry remains vital.

Out Now


Renate Klein

   Pared down to cold hard facts, surrogacy is the commissioning/buying/ renting of a woman into whose womb an embryo...

The Pimping of Prostitution

The Pimping of Prostitution

Julie Bindel

This book examines one of the most contested issues facing feminists, human rights activists and governments around the...

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

Michelle Hattingh

I am the statistic that I read about. I am the thing I always feared most. I am rape.

That morning, Michelle had...

Dark Matters : A novel

Dark Matters : A novel

Susan Hawthorne

In a dawn raid, Kate is arrested. She is imprisoned, beaten, kept awake and tortured. She has no idea what has happened...

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