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Sugar and Snails Press Sugar and Snails Press i(A87940 works by) (Organisation) assertion (a.k.a. Women's Movement Children's Literature Co-operative Ltd)
Born: Established: May 1974 Box Hill, Box Hill - Burwood area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 1991 East Melbourne - Richmond area, Melbourne, Victoria,
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Concerned about sexism in children's literature, a group of women from the Box Hill Women's Liberation Branch in Melbourne formed the 'Book Group' and decided to create an alternative. Shares were issued at $1.00 each and sold to a wide group of women in Melbourne's women's movement. Thus, Sugar and Snails Press began life as the Women's Movement Children's Literature Cooperative Ltd in May 1974, with the aim of publishing and promoting non-sexist children's literature.

The Cooperative began by packaging children's books for publication by other publishers such as Wren Publishing, but as the cooperative members' experience grew they also published titles under the Sugar & Snails imprint. The Press's inaugural title under its own imprint was a black-and-white picture book, The Witch of Grange Grove (1974) by Judy Bathie, illustrated by Isobel Wicca, produced on a shoe-string budget sourced from shareholdings. The initial print run of 2,000 soon sold out, as did two further runs of 2,000, so it was soon followed by such titles as Nicky (1975) by Jenny Pausacker, illustrated by Rae Dale; Alison and the Bear (1975) by Judy Bathie, illustrated by Carol Pavey; The High-Rise Gang (1975); Sugar and Snails: A Countersexist Booklist (1975) and Role Your Own: A Book about Women's Liberation for Fourth Form Students (1975) by Jenny Pausacker; The Go-Cart Money (1977) by Carol Pavey, illustrated by Marg Haines; and The Horrible Thing (1977) by Annette Rubinstein, illustrated by Janet Cuffley.

In the 1980s, Sugar & Snails also produced and promoted several school book series including the Sugar & Snails Work Series and the On the Job Career Series, both in cooperation with Australasian Educa Press.The 1980s also saw the publication of more Sugar & Snails children's picture books and readers for children.

Over a seventeen-year period, Sugar and Snails Press, always with a core membership of six or eight women, produced over 50 books and non-book items, and was 'responsible for a significant and timely contribution to the emergence of non-sexist children's literature'. Over the years, numerous women worked at Sugar & Snails or served on its board; thus, Sugar & Snails assisted in launching the early careers of some now well-known authors and illustrators, editors and publishers, including Jenny Pausacker, Libby Hathorne, Truda Olson, Elizabeth Flann, Jean Taylor and Susan Hawthorne. The cooperative finally closed in 1991, declaring that 'mainstream publishers had accepted the need for non-sexist literature'.

Source: Sugar & Snails Papers in the University of Melbourne Archives.

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Last amended 14 Jul 2007 23:14:12
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