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A Score for new publisher Escalator Press and its first book

Sep 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Latest News, News

A NEW publishing house, Escalator Press, and its first publication were launched last night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Whitireia Creative Writing.

The Score, by Adrienne Jansen, left, is the first book by Escalator Press, an imprint set up by the polytechnic.

It will publish work by writers associated with the writing programme, which was established in 1993 and was the first non-university course in New Zealand.

It has produced notable writers such as Alison Wong (As the Earth Turns Silver), Tusiata Avia (Wild Dog Under My Skirt ) and Mandy Hager (Blood of the Lamb Trilogy).

Programme manager Mary-Jane Duffy and Ms Jansen, a tutor and writer at Whitireia, decided to set up the press and tie it in with the 20th anniversary.

“We’re just going to ride the wave of the future of publishing, whatever that may look like,” Ms Duffy told a gathering for the launch at Whitiriea Performance Centre in Wellington last night.

She said their planning started 18 months ago.

As the founder/coordinator of the writing programme, it was only fitting that Ms Jansen was the first to have a book published by the imprint.

The novel is about Stefan, piano restorer and illegal immigrant, who tries to rebuild a grand piano after it falls off a crane lifting it into a block of council flats, and the misfit bunch of tenants who decide to help him.

Ms Jansen said the most challenging part of writing the book was to get the technical aspects with the piano right, so she sought the advice of a piano technician.

Serge Grandchamp, a specialist technician at Steinway & Sons, told the launch he was curious and intrigued by the request.

“The challenge to get a viable story, with the technical and physical parts,” Mr Grandchamp said.

“What would the damage be if a piano fell two metres?”

Ms Jansen has published two novels, Spirit Writing and Floating the Fish on Bamboo, and penned several works of non-fiction and a collection of poetry.

She teaches fiction and editing at Whitireia, works as a writer at Te Papa, and does some other freelance writing.

Ms Jansen’s upcoming projects include a collaboration between the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme and Te Papa Press called The Curioseum.

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is a journalism student at Whitireia Polytechnic. She enjoys reading, cuddling cats and long romantic walks to the fridge.
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