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We’re celebrating the writers, editors, proofreaders, designers and publishers involved in Exchanges. So please welcome banQuet Raven Publishing.

Image: banQuetpress/Mark Russell Dean

Image: banQuetpress/Mark Russell Dean

When Melbourne-based indie erotica publishers banQuetpress and Little Raven decided to collaborate, a grand idea was hatched to give writers an opportunity to show-off their steamy tales in an erotic short story competition. We launched the search for work that explored a diverse range of sexualities and sexual expressions. Over seventy people responded and we enjoyed reading the variety of erotic writing.

banQuetpress is an independent Australian publisher based in Melbourne. Established in 2009, our first publication was banQuet 2010: an anthology of art and writing by queer Australian women. We launched four more publications of LGBTIQ writers and artists in both 2011 and 2012. So far, banQuetpress has provided publishing opportunities for over seventy emerging artists, photographers and writers. The anthologies are annual publications. banQuetpress is the only dedicated Australian publisher of LGBTIQ-themed print and eBooks. Currently, banQuetpress is doing one-off special writing/publishing projects and events.

Our mission is to create publishing opportunities for new and recently established LGBTIQ writers and artists, and to provide queer readers with stories that reflect their lives. We also support our LGBTIQ and literary communities by hosting spoken word performances, literary events and Writing Dirty Words workshops for writers. banQuetpress authors have participated in the Midsumma festival launches, the ChillOut Festival, the F-Word Feminist Conference, Words in Winter and the Melbourne Leather Pride Festival.

banQuetpress is owned/operated by Dettori and Deanne Carson. Publication costs are financially supported by the editors, sponsors, community fundraising events and book sales. Production and events are assisted by a team of volunteers.

Little Raven Publishing was born in 2011 during an Editing 1 class at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. One by one, budding editors introduced themselves until it was Van Roberts’s turn. A lifelong erotica fan, she mentioned her vague dream of one day running a publishing house.

Encouraged by the response, an open-mic reading was organised to test the waters. A small group of writers gathered in the band room of the John Curtin Hotel. It was dark and many read their erotic stories by the light of their phones. All that was needed was a name, the answer again came from the classroom.

A classmate presented a seminar and passed around a brochure: Bird life of Victoria. Van flicked through the pages and a name jumped out, Corvus Mellori, otherwise known as Little Raven.

Van is driven by a love for original, strong, quality erotica. This desire has led to events such as Saucy (erotica and burlesque), Spin the Bottle, The Good Bits (erotic readings), The Fitzroy Frolic (erotic walking tour) and Velvet Tongue (feature performers and open-mic erotica); the Ravening writing workshops; the anthologies Little Raven One, Little Raven Two, The Brunswick Street Strip, A Storytelling of Ravens: The Best of Little Raven Publishing 2011 – 2014, Exchanges; zines and smaller collections; podcasts, videos and guest bloggers. With the help of generous supporters, collaborators, staff, mentors and volunteers, Little Raven continues to expand.

Image: Jane Christensen

Image: Jane Christensen